Tuesday, 25 January 2011

OSCARS 2011: The King's Spech and True Grit lead the field for Oscar gold

THE CONTENDERS: True Grit stars Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld both received Oscar nominations for their memorable performances. True Grit snagged a total of 10 noms.

The wait is over. Oscar nominations for the 83rd Awards are finally out! A few big surprises and some hugely surprising snubs characterized this morning’s announcement of nominees for the February 27 event, but there are certainly no complaints emanating from the studios behind two of the best-reviewed films of the year: The King’s Speech and True Grit, which took the lion’s share of nominations – 12 and 10 nods respectively. Both movies are up for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. Among this year’s other top contenders are The Social Network (8) Inception (8), The Fighter (7); Black Swan (5) and Toy Story 3, which became the third animated film in history to cop a Best Picture nomination. Here’s my breakdown of the key categories. For the complete list of nominees, visit oscars.org.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Amy Adams (The Fighter); Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech); Melissa Leo (The Fighter); Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit); Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom).
(No surprises here. Melissa Leo should take this category over 14-year-old sensation Hailee Steinfeld.)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale (The Fighter); John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone); Jeremy Renner (The Town); Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right); Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech).
(I’m hugely disappointed that The Social Network’s Andrew Garfield was overlooked. However, it’s great to see that Jeremy Renner got a nom. Frontrunner Christian Bale sits smugly at the top of the list.)

BEST ACTRESS: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right);Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole); Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone); Natalie Portman (Black Swan); Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine).
(Having seen Blue Valentine a few times in the past week, it’s a joy to see Michelle Williams among these leading ladies for her impressive performance. The other four women were always a lock for nominations.)

BEST ACTOR: Javier Bardem (Biutiful); Jeff Bridges (True Grit); Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network); Colin Firth (The King’s Speech); James Franco (127 Hours).
(After failing to cop SAG and Golden Globe nods, Javier Bardem has found favour with the Academy for his intriguing portrayal in Biutiful, getting the nod here over Get Low’s Robert Duvall. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t show up either. And no sign of Ryan Gosling… *sobs*)

BEST DIRECTOR: Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan); Joel & Ethan Coen (True Grit); David Fincher (The Social Network); Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech); David O. Russell (The Fighter).
(Christopher Nolan, where art thou? His omission here is quite possibly the biggest snub of the morning. The Coen Brothers, however, deserve the recognition for their remarkable 2010 incarnation of Charles’ Portis’ True Grit.)

BEST PICTURE: 127 Hours; Black Swan; The Fighter; Inception; The Kids Are All Right; The King’s Speech; The Social Network; Toy Story 3; True Grit and Winter’s Bone.
(Where do I begin? Toy Story 3 has become the third animated pic, after Beauty & The Beast and Up to receive Best Picture honours – at the expense of Ben Affleck’s riveting The Town, however. A joyous salute to independent filmmaking, Winter’s Bone and The Kids Are All Right also made the final cut.)

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