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January 25, 2011

2011 Oscar Nominations: "King's Speech" vs. "True Grit," Christopher Nolan was Robbed

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See this is why ten Academy Award Best Picture nominees is ridiculous. We're talking Christopher Nolan, folks. Yep, the director of Inception.

It's ironic that the reason the ten nominations came into being last year was because of the work of one of the best directors in Hollywood -- who's now been stiffed by the 2011 Oscar nominations.

Two years ago in my post about the expanded Best Picture nominees, I saw this as a potential problem:

Let's say you nominated The Dark Knight last year in one of those newly minted Best Picture slots. And suppose Christopher Nolan, the writer/director, wasn't nominated for either writing or directing, because there are still only five slots for those. How fair would that have been?

Um yeah, so how fair is it that Inception, one of the most imaginative visual experiences to ever grace a movie screen is nominated for Best Picture, but genius, Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento) isn't nominated for Best Director?

No Slumdog Repeat for Danny Boyle

Then there's the case of Danny Boyle. 'Cause, see, Danny, the Best Director winner for the Best Picture of 2009, Slumdog Millionaire, is not nominated for Best Director, either. 127 Hours , it seems, directed itself. With the help of its Oscar-nominated editor Jon Harris.

While we're at it, spare a thought for Leonardo DiCaprio. I love Jarvier Bardem and I'm sure he's done a lovely job in Biutiful, but Leo was the solid anchor that smoothly led us through the mind bending "Inception" world and he deserved a nomination for that.

Not to mention how upset I still am that he was stiffed by the Academy for Titanic and especially Revolutionary Road. I'm starting a new Hollywood campaign, "Love for Leo!"


Singing the Ryan Gosling Blue Valentine Blues

Ryan Gosling's name was bandied about for a Best Actor nomination for Blue Valentine, especially since his co-star Michelle Williams got a nomination, but he too was stiffed. I haven't seen Blue Valentine yet, so I'll have to quickly put it on my list of films to see before Oscar night.

As Christian Bale said in his Golden Globe acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor, he had the flashier, more award-friendly role in The Fighter, so it was easy to overlook Mark Wahlberg's excellent leading performance. Well, it was easy for the Academy, too. Sorry, Mark.

A couple of minor omissions included Justin Timberlake for the overrated The Social Network. There had been some buzz that he might get a Best Supporting Actor nomination, 'cause he's smooth and likable, but c'est la vie.

Then there's this year's Oscar co-host, Anne Hathaway, who some thought might have been nominated for "Love and Other Drugs," but we all know how Hollywood sticks its nose up at comedies, especially romantic ones.

I Don't See Black People or Another Kathryn Bigelow

Since I'm a black woman, I feel obligated to throw out on the table the lack of good black roles in big movies this year. Hollywood goes through these phases where it seems that people of color are bursting out all over, and then you get a year like this. Nothin'. Just sayin'.

By the way, where are the next Kathryn Bigelows?

Early Oscar Predictions

Overall, The King's Speech leads with 12 nominations, followed by ten for True Grit and seven for The Social Network.

Some quick predictions: True Grit's gonna do well, the overrated Social Network is not, The King's Speech will garner Colin Firth his Firth Oscar -- sorry, couldn't help it -- Natalie Portman is a lock for Best Actress in Black Swan, Christian Bale (The Fighter) and Jeremy Renner (The Town) will fight it out for Best Supporting Actor, and feisty Hollywood newbie Hailee Steinfeld could waltz off with the Best Supporting Actress statue for True Grit.


List of Nominees in the Major Categories


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



  • 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 Picture

  • 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

To peruse the full list of 2011 Oscar nominees, and fume over who you think was left out, you can check out the Academy Awards website.

The 83rd annual Academy Awards air on February 27th on ABC, and if the show can be half as fun as those new promos with co-hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, we may have a very entertaining night.


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