2011 Oscar Nominations: Interesting Mix

They’re out! The countdown begins! February 27, 2011

Yes, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the nominations for the 2011 Oscars. In the grand scheme of things, the Oscars may be insignificant in our daily lives but the tinsel of Hollywood still holds an attraction for the public and we always tune in or certainly read about and discuss the movies. Ah, the movies, such escapism and who doesn’t live to escape once in a while?

Who goes? Moi? Guilty as charged. I certainly like to dig into a large bag of popcorn while probably exceeding the recommended daily amount of sodium but meeting my fibre requirements. I get to spend a couple of hours from the rat race and transport myself to one of many places which seems for that short period of time a tad more exciting than doing my job, doing my laundry or taking out the trash.

The Academy has announced James Franco and Anne Hathaway as co-hosts. Franco’s most recent film is "127 Hours" while Hathaway can be seen in "Love and Other Drugs" (see my blog). A list of presenters has been published and notable names are Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock, Bridges won Best Actor for "Crazy Heart" and Bullock won Best Actress for "The Blind Side".

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
Best Actor
  • 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”
Best Actress
  • 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”
Best Director
  • “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
Best Supporting Actor
  • 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”
Best Supporting Actress
  • 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”
The Nominations for Best Film
Going down the list gives me an opportunity to re-live a few of those moments parked in front of the silver screen: some great films, some not so great films but a successful attempt nevertheless to lure me into the dark and get me to cough up my hard earned dollars for that cinematic entertainment.

Black Swan – Rotten Tomatoes: 89%

The Fighter – Rotten Tomatoes: 89% 

Inception – Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
my blog: Why wasn’t this movie made in 3D? While it is visually stunning, I had a problem with the premise. Like the Matrix, we start with an idea which allows the maker to do anything he wants to twist reality. That’s a good thing and leads to some great movie scenes. Nevertheless, I found that unlike the Matrix, the supporting premise was not adequately explained and seemed just a tad convoluted for the necessary suspension of belief

The Kids Are All Right – Rotten Tomatoes: 94% 

The King’s Speech – Rotten Tomatoes: 96% 
my blog: I found this slice of history to be well done, well acted and well told.

127 Hours – Rotten Tomatoes: 93% 

The Social Network – Rotten Tomatoes: 97% 
my blog: I found the movie fascinating and would give credit to Aaron Sorkin who wrote the screenplay. That man did a fabulous job with the TV series The West Wing and once again, his writing shines. Of course, considering the story is a true story makes it all that much more interesting. Fact wins over fiction.

Toy Story 3 – Rotten Tomatoes: 99% 
my blog: Is 3D a fad or is it here to stay? Pixar once again show themselves to be excellent makers of great family entertainment.

True Grit – Rotten Tomatoes: 95% 
my blog: This is a movie which has some meat on its bones. Jeff Bridges had a colourful role, far better than Tron Legacy and much deserves his nomination.

Winter’s Bone – Rotten Tomatoes: 94% 

Other Films
There were a few other films of note in 2010 I would like to point out.

Barney’s Version was an excellent film and an excellent adaption of the book by Canadian author Mordecai Richler. You can’t take your eyes off of Paul Giamatti. This love story will tug at your heart strings.

Blue Valentine is a sorrowful tale. This love story shows us the highs of love at first sight and the lows of two people who have grown apart.

Another Year is a wonderful character study written and directed by England’s Mike Leigh. No car chase scenes but a lot of "small" action nevertheless.

I do want to add here how some documentaries proved to be some of the best if not the best films for me in 2010. Fiction is great and who doesn’t love a well told story. But what about reality? Both Inside Job and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer deal with events surrounding the financial crisis of 2008 and taking into account just what happened to all of us, to the entire world, I found these films to be truly the most fascinating films I had seen last year. I can’t recommend them enough.

See my blog’s site map for all of my movie reviews.

Final Word
Where will I be on February 27? Probably not watching the Oscars. I will look up the results but will probably be occupied elsewhere. Heck, I could very well be at the movies! There are still some nominated films I haven’t seen so maybe I should get cracking and find out why those names wound up on the ballot.

Click HERE to read more from William Belle.

References

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
83rd Academy Awards: Oscar Nominations – February 21, 2011

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