The 2011 Oscar nominations: predictions and analysis
Tom Huddleston offers his two cents on this year's Academy Awards hopefuls, including 'The King's Speech', 'Black Swan' and 'The Social Network'
Looking bleary-eyed and slightly uncomfortable, last year’s Supporting Actress winner Mo’nique announced the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards categories in LA this morning.
As with this month’s Golden Globe awards, it’s an unsurprising but still strong list of films: great British hope ‘The King’s Speech’ strolled regally into most of the top categories, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Colin Firth, Best Original Screenplay for David Seidler, Supporting nods for both Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush and a perhaps undeserved Best Director nod for Tom Hooper.
That film’s big rival, ‘The Social Network’, took many of the big prizes at this month’s Golden Globes, and looks set to repeat at least some of that success here, with nominations for Best Picture, Best Director for David Fincher, an acting nod for Jesse Eisenberg, which he’ll inevitably lose to Firth, and a handful of technical awards.
In the supporting categories, ‘The Fighter’ is the film to beat: the kind of old-fashioned comeback story the Academy love to reward, packed with noisy, powerhouse performances from the likes of Christan Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo, all of whom have been nominated along with the film’s director, David O Russell, and the film itself.
Echoing the Golden Globes, plenty of the Time Out team’s personal favourites are up for big awards: last year’s indie sleeper surprise ‘Winter’s Bone’ received not only richly deserved acting nods for Jennifer Lawrence and the great John Hawkes, but Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film as well. Five-star smasher ‘The Kids Are All Right’ stands alongside it in the Best Picture list, along with Annette Bening’s Best Actress nomination and an Original Screenplay nod, while the wonderful Michelle Williams is also nominated for Best Actress in ‘Blue Valentine’.
Slightly more surprisingly, ‘Black Swan’ is another big favourite: we saw Natalie Portman’s Best Actress nomination coming a mile off, but nods for Best Picture and Best Director were less expected, considering how eccentric Darren Aronofsky’s film is. We were also pleased to see the Coen brothers’ ‘True Grit’ getting its due, with nods for Best Film, Best Director, Cinematography, Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for Jeff Bridges, though a nod for young Hailee Steinfeld in the lead female role (rather than just in the supporting category) would have been welcome.
For British viewers, the big news is obviously ‘The King’s Speech’ and Christian Bale, but it was very nice to see Mike Leigh getting an Original Screenplay nomination for ‘Another Year’, Banksy’s ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’ getting some love in the Documentary category, and Danny Boyle’s ‘127 Hours’ nominated for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor for the increasingly impressive James Franco.
For the rest of the world, it was an equally solid turnout. The Oscars are notoriously America-centric, so it was great to see Javier Bardem’s Cannes-winning, Spanish-language turn in ‘Biutiful’ rewarded with a Best Actor nomination. And it’s a very strong Foreign Language category this year: of the films we’ve seen, ‘Dogtooth’ was a huge hit with our critics, while both ‘Outside the Law’ and ‘Biutiful’ received praise on our pages.
Someone has to lose out, and this year it’s ‘Inception’: Christopher Nolan’s film may have been a critical hit in some circles, but its flashy visuals and convoluted plot failed to see it pick up many nominations besides Best Picture, which it has absolutely no chance of winning, plus Best Cinematography and a brace of technical awards.
All in all, it’s a very satisfying field this year: the Time Out Film team is all but united behind ‘The Social Network’, arguably the most literate, complex and adult Best Picture nominee in years, but only a monstrous cynic would begrudge ‘The King’s Speech’ its time in the sun.
Most of this year's big Oscar nominated films are currently showing across the country. You can find out where to see them by clicking the link here.
And here is the full list of nominations...
* Denotes who we want to win
* Denotes who will probably win
'Black Swan' Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
'The Fighter' David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
'Inception' Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
'The Kids Are All Right' Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
'The King's Speech' Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
'127 Hours' Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
'The Social Network' Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and
Ceán Chaffin, Producers * *
'Toy Story 3' Darla K. Anderson, Producer
'True Grit' Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
'Winter's Bone' Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers
'Black Swan' Darren Aronofsky
'The Fighter' David O Russell
'The King's Speech' Tom Hooper
'The Social Network' David Fincher * *
'True Grit' Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
'127 Hours' Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
'The Social Network' Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin * *
'Toy Story 3' Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
'True Grit' Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
'Winter's Bone' Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
Writing (Original Screenplay)
'Another Year' Written by Mike Leigh *
'The Fighter' Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
'Inception' Written by Christopher Nolan
'The Kids Are All Right' Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
'The King's Speech' Screenplay by David Seidler *
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'
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 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' *
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'
Animated Feature Film
'How to Train Your Dragon' Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
'The Illusionist' Sylvain Chomet *
'Toy Story 3' Lee Unkrich *
'Black Swan' Matthew Libatique *
'Inception' Wally Pfister
'The King's Speech' Danny Cohen
'The Social Network' Jeff Cronenweth *
'True Grit' Roger Deakins
'Alice in Wonderland' Colleen Atwood
'I Am Love' Antonella Cannarozzi *
'The King's Speech' Jenny Beavan *
'The Tempest' Sandy Powell
'True Grit' Mary Zophres
'Exit Through the Gift Shop' Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz *
'Gasland' Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
'Inside Job' Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs *
'Restrepo' Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
'Waste Land' Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley
'Black Swan' Andrew Weisblum
'The Fighter' Pamela Martin
'The King's Speech' Tariq Anwar
'127 Hours' Jon Harris
'The Social Network' Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter * *
Foreign Language Film
'Biutiful' Mexico *
'Dogtooth' Greece *
'In a Better World' Denmark
'Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)' Algeria
'Barney's Version' Adrien Morot
'The Way Back' Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng *
'The Wolfman' Rick Baker and Dave Elsey *
Music (Original Score)
'How to Train Your Dragon' John Powell
'Inception' Hans Zimmer
'The King's Speech' Alexandre Desplat *
'127 Hours' AR Rahman
'The Social Network' Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross *
Music (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 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 *
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
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
'Inception' Richard King *
'Toy Story 3' Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
'Tron: Legacy' Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
'True Grit' Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
'Unstoppable' Mark P Stoeckinger *
'Inception' Lora Hirschberg, Gary A Rizzo and Ed Novick *
'The King's Speech' Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
'Salt' Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
'The Social Network' Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten *
'True Grit'Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F Kurland
'Alice in Wonderland' Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1' Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
'Hereafter' Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
'Inception' Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb * *
'Iron Man 2' Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick
Author: Tom Huddleston
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