Tuesday, January 25, 2011

83rd Academy Awards: Nominations

It's that time of the year again, when the nominees are announced, the pundits bristle with excitement, and everyone has their opinions on whether the choices were too predictable and who they think got snubbed. And, to fill up the space and pad the entry out, here is a full list of the nominees!

Best Motion Picture of the Year
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

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

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

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
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)

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

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

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

Best Short Film (Animated)
Day & Night Teddy Newton
The Gruffalo Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
Let's Pollute Geefwee Boedoe
The Lost Thing Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) Bastien Dubois

Best Short Film (Live Action)
The Confession Tanel Toom
The Crush Michael Creagh
God of Love Luke Matheny
Na Wewe Ivan Goldschmidt
Wish 143 Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

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

Achievement in Cinematography
Black Swan (Matthew Libatique)
Inception (Wally Pfister)
The King's Speech (Danny Cohen)
The Social Network (Jeff Cronenweth)
True Grit (Roger Deakins)

Achievement in Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood)
I Am Love (Antonella Cannarozzi)
The King's Speech (Jenny Beaven)
The Tempest (Sandy Powell)
True Grit (Mary Zophres)

Achievement in Directing
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

Best Documentary Feature
Exit through the Gift Shop Banksy, director (Paranoid Pictures)
Gasland Josh Fox, director (Gasland Productions, LLC)
Inside Job Charles Ferguson, director (Representational Pictures)
Restrepo Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, directors (Outpost Films)
Waste Land Lucy Walker, director (Almega Projects)

Achievement in Makeup
Barney's Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Achievement in Film Editing
Black Swan (Andrew Weisblum)
The Fighter (Pamela Martin)
The King's Speech (Tariq Anwar)
127 Hours (Jon Harris)
The Social Network (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Biutiful (Mexico)
Dogtooth (Greece)
In a Better World (Denmark)
Incendies (Canada)
Hors la Loi (Algeria)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
How to Train Your Dragon (John Powell)
Inception (Hans Zimmer)
The King's Speech (Alexandre Desplat)
127 Hours (A.R. Rahman)
The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
"Coming Home" from Country Strong Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
"I See the Light" from Tangled Music and Lyric by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
"If I Rise" from 127 Hours Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
"We Belong Together" from Toy Story 3 Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Achievement in Sound Editing
Inception
Toy Story 3
TRON: Legacy
True Grit
Unstoppable

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

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

Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours (Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle)
The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)
Toy Story 3 (Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich)
True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
Winter's Bone (Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini)

Original Screenplay
Another Year (Mike Leigh)
The Fighter (Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silverand Paul Tamasy)
Inception (Christopher Nolan)
The Kids are All Right (Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko)
The King's Speech (David Seidler)

 I don't think I'm much of a film snob - I don't mean "snob" as a bad thing. I guess I'm not really a connoisseur, and I love big-budget Hollywood blockbusters as much as the next guy, and generally only watch such "big" films in theatres. I've not seen a good number of the films that have been nominated - mostly because many have yet to be released here in Singapore. The King's Speech seems to dominate the list here. From the trailers and the hype and reviews, it looks like a really good film, and it has everything the Academy adores: a real-life basis, a period setting, maverick characters and skilled actors.

I'm glad that Inception has the nominations that it's got - the Academy generally turns their noses up at the big, popular films for the major awards categories. However, I will join in the chorus and I have to agree that not giving Christopher Nolan a Best Director nomination for that film is quite a snub. Darren Aronofsky, David Fincher and the Coen Brothers are pretty safe bets: they've all been nominated or won Oscars before. I think Nolan does deserve at the very least a nomination.

As usual, I'll zoom in on the "Best Visual Effects" category, one that is overlooked by most analysts and pundits. Here, I think the big crime is not nominating TRON: Legacy. That film was nothing if not brilliant visual effects. Most of the nominated movies did indeed feature good visual effects, and it seems Inception is a shoo-in for this category. However, it is surprising that Hereafter was nominated in this category. I just saw the movie last night, and the visual effects sequences were decent, but nowhere near outstanding or Oscar-worthy. And, compared to the other nominated films, the visual effects played a much smaller role in Hereafter. Odd.

Also, the selections for Best Animated Feature are interesting. Only three films are nominated - Toy Story 3 is pretty much a surefire winner, How To Train Your Dragon is a good choice, but nobody has really heard of the much smaller film, The Illusionist. It surprises me that Tangled was not nominated. Also, Pixar has once again made an animated film that is nominated for the Best Picture category as well - following last year's Up. It's only the third time this has happened, the first with Disney's Beauty and the Beast (which lost to The Silence of the Lambs).

I'm looking forward to the ceremony, which will be interesting because besides being nominated, James Franco is also the host, alongside Anne Hathaway. I was not a big fan of last year's ceremony, hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. The Academy is aiming for younger-and-hotter hosts, and I'm sure it will be a hoot.

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