Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reverend’s Reactions: The 2010 Oscar Nominations

The sun is just starting to show itself here in Hollywood, but celebrations are already underway in the wake of the Academy Awards nominations announcement at 5:38 AM PST today. The film industry's equivalent of Christmas morning has inevitably left some kiddies disappointed while many others are gleeful today.

In general, I'm pleased with this year's contenders. I was very happy about the unexpectedly strong showing made by Winter's Bone in addition to The Social Network, The King's Speech (the leader with 12 nominations) and Inception, all of which were among my top 10 of 2010. I was also pleasantly surprised by Nicole Kidman's well-deserved Best Actress nomination for the affecting Rabbit Hole as well as the inclusion of Javier Bardem, who has been largely shut out of other awards this year, in the Best Actor category for his raw, haunting performance in Biutiful, which was also nominated as Best Foreign Language Film.

The Kids Are All Right, 2010's big GLBT-themed release, garnered a number of nominations and cemented its status in my mind as last year's most overrated movie. Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo were deservedly honored, but the nods it received for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture are excessive. More strained domestic drama than ballyhooed comedy, The Kids Are All Right fell way short for me despite its excellent cast.


Also highly overrated in my opinion is True Grit. While technically proficient, very well-acted (the amazing, 14-year old Hailee Steinfeld received a deserved nomination for Best Supporting Actress), and a definite improvement on the original movie version, it's also a fairly routine achievement for Joel and Ethan Coen. The brothers' latest nomination for Best Director is unjust, especially when one realizes Christopher Nolan was left out of the category for his extraordinarily creative work on Inception!

But my disappointment with the high praise heaped upon these two films is tempered by some nominations in "lesser" categories: the song "I See The Light" from Tangled as Best Song (although "You Haven't See the Last of Me" from Burlesque was somewhat surprisingly omitted, so we won't have the prospective thrill of seeing and hearing Cher sing it live during the awards ceremony); composer John Powell's Best Music Score nomination for How to Train Your Dragon; the Best Costume Design nod for the sumptuous I Am Love, our Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association pick as Best Film of the Year; and the inclusion of the hand-drawn, Jacques Tati homage The Illusionist among the Best Animated Feature contenders (alongside Dragon and Toy Story 3).

We'll have to tune in to the 83rd Academy Awards presentation on February 27 to see how everything plays out, but I'm expecting Bening and Colin Firth (Best Actor nominee for The King's Speech) at least to have continued reason to celebrate after that night.

See the comments section below for a quick look at all of this year's Oscar nominations.

By Rev. Chris Carpenter, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and the Blade California.

1 comment:

  1. Nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards:

    Best Picture:
    Black Swan
    The Fighter
    Inception
    The Kids Are All Right
    The King's Speech
    127 Hours
    The Social Network
    Toy Story 3
    True Grit
    Winter's Bone

    Actor in a Leading Role:
    Javier Bardem in Biutiful
    Jeff Bridges in True Grit
    Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
    Colin Firth in The King's Speech
    James Franco in 127 Hours

    Actress in a Leading Role:
    Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
    Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole
    Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone
    Natalie Portman in Black Swan
    Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine

    Actor in a Supporting Role:
    Christian Bale in The Fighter
    John Hawkes in Winter's Bone
    Jeremy Renner in The Town
    Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
    Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech

    Actress in a Supporting Role:
    Amy Adams in The Fighter
    Helena Bonham Carter in The King's Speech
    Melissa Leo in The Fighter
    Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
    Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom

    Directing:
    Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
    Joel Coen, Ethan Coen for True Grit
    David Fincher for The Social Network
    Tom Hooper for The King's Speech
    David O. Russell for The Fighter

    Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
    127 Hours
    The Social Network
    Toy Story 3
    True Grit
    Winter's Bone

    Writing (Original Screenplay):
    Another Year
    The Fighter
    Inception
    The Kids Are All Right
    The King's Speech

    Cinematography:
    Black Swan
    Inception
    The King's Speech
    The Social Network
    True Grit

    Art Direction:
    Alice in Wonderland
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
    Inception
    The King's Speech
    True Grit

    Costume Design:
    Alice in Wonderland
    I Am Love
    The King's Speech
    The Tempest
    True Grit

    Music (Original Score):
    How to Train Your Dragon
    Inception
    The King's Speech
    127 Hours
    The Social Network

    Music (Original Song):
    “Coming Home” from Country Strong
    “I See the Light” from Tangled
    “If I Rise” from 127 Hours
    “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3

    Film Editing:
    Black Swan
    The Fighter
    The King's Speech
    127 Hours
    The Social Network

    Sound Mixing:
    Inception
    The King's Speech
    Salt
    The Social Network
    True Grit

    Sound Editing:
    Inception
    Toy Story 3
    Tron: Legacy
    True Grit
    Unstoppable

    Visual Effects:
    Alice in Wonderland
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
    Hereafter
    Inception
    Iron Man 2

    Makeup:
    Barney's Version
    The Way Back
    The Wolfman

    Animated Feature Film:
    How to Train Your Dragon
    The Illusionist
    Toy Story 3

    Foreign Language Film:
    Biutiful
    Dogtooth
    In a Better World
    Incendies
    Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)

    Documentary (Feature):
    Exit Through the Gift Shop
    Gasland
    Inside Job
    Restrepo
    Waste Land

    Documentary (Short Subject):
    Killing in the Name
    Poster Girl
    Strangers No More
    Sun Come Up
    The Warriors of Qiugang

    Short Film (Animated):
    Day & Night
    The Gruffalo
    Let's Pollute
    The Lost Thing
    Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)

    Short Film (Live Action):
    The Confession
    The Crush
    God of Love
    Na Wewe
    Wish 143

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