Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar 2010: The nominees

The Best Picture 10:

127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter

The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

The rest of the nominees.

First impressions: Perhaps the most significant item - and the one I'm sure everyone will be talking about today - is that once again, Christopher Nolan got shut out from Best Director. I never thought The Dark Knight was Best Picture worthy, at least, not in a field of five nominees, but I did believe Nolan deserved a Best Director nod. And now, to see him left off the ballot again is mind-boggling. Who else today is making films like Nolan? Who else could have made a film like Inception? When you see how much love it got in the tech categories - Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction (but not Editing, which is also insane since editing is so very crucial for this movie) - all of that is directly attributable to his vision for the story. But don't take my word for it. At least his original screenplay was nominated.

Yay for Michelle Williams and John Hawkes making the cut in Acting. Hawkes was nominated by SAG, so this wasn't too much of a surprise. No Robert Duvall or Julianne Moore though. No Blue Valentine screenplay either.

Exit Through the Gift Shop made the cut for Documentary Feature. Big surprise. It's currently available on Hulu, so I plan on finally watching it. Look for a post about it next week.

The important thing to remember when evaluating what will win Best Picture is the "preferential ballot" system, which went into effect last year when the field expanded to ten nominees. Here's how it works. (It's kinda complicated, but it's not that difficult to understand once you grok the mechanics of it.) Under this system, one does not need the most number-one votes to win. Divisive films - those that people either love or hate, with little in-between - will have a harder time winning under the preferential ballot. Some say this is what cost Avatar the Best Picture Oscar last year (though I like to think The Hurt Locker would've won regardless).

The Social Network has racked up a stunning amount of critics awards, and it won the Golden Globe for Best Picture/Drama, but The King's Speech beat it for the Producers Guild Award, where Network was heavily favored. As a result, what started out looking like a Network dominance has turned into more of an actual race. My money is still on Network to win at the moment, but Speech and especially The Fighter stand very good chances as well. We'll know for sure February 27.


  1. I'm not all that disappointed with the Oscars this year, except no love for Christopher Nolan, or The Town for that matter. However, it doesn't matter all that much really since The Social Network is practically going to win everything it's nominated for. Which kind of blows, but hey it really was an amazing piece of work. Can't wait for the show!

  2. I've been tweeting all morning voicing my disappointment about Nolan getting shut out. I'm baffled as to what is all the fuss about Renner, he's not all that great in The Town IMO, I'm sure there are dozens of other actors in that category that are more worthy. Truthfully, I thought Andrew Garfield's more understated performance in Social Network is more deserving of a nom. Oh well, I can go all day long on what I think of the Oscars :D

  3. Don't be too sure about 'Network' winning EVERYTHING. 12 nominations for 'Speech' means there's a whole lot of love for it within AMPAS. Plus, not only is 'Fighter' an actor's movie, but it got an Editing nomination, and Editing is usually a key category since it ties so closely with directing. (The Coen Brothers and Steven Soderbergh, for example, edit their own movies.)

    I was surprised at Andrew Garfield getting left out too. I really thought he had a good shot at making the cut.


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