Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A look at the Academy Award Nominations for 2011

32 days until the Academy Awards! It's time for me to spill my thoughts regarding the 2011 nominations.

Disclaimer -- due to the fact that most of these movies have not yet made it onto film, I've been unable to see as many as I would like. Bear in mind while reading any comments! Also, there are a few catagories in which I felt I was not at all qualified to offer any sort of opinion and so I removed them from this list. You can see the full list of nominees at

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” (Paramount)
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
James Franco in “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)

~From all I hear, these nominations are well-deserved. Colin Firth is the general favorite right now and I have to say I'm 100% behind that. I haven't seen the film but I've heard so much about it and from what I understand, Colin Firth really does a phenomenal job as George VI.~

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Renner in “The Town” (Warner Bros.)
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)

~Little to comment about here, but it would be splendid to see Geoffrey Rush or Christian Bale come away with an Oscar.~

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate)
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight)
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company)

~This year is weird for me in that not only have I seen none of these films, but I'm also completely unfamiliar with three of these actresses. I do love Natalie Portman, so even if I'm not very enthused by all of the content in "The Black Swan," I do understand the complexity of the role and would enjoy seeing her walk away with an Oscar.~

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter” (Paramount)
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit” (Paramount)
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom” (Sony Pictures Classics)

~My personal favorite here would of course be Helena Bonham Carter. That woman is amazing and it is high time she returned to period drama and got recognized for her brilliance. That being said, I also understand that Hailee Steinfeld was pretty fantastic and would approve if she walked away with the award.~

Best animated feature film of the year
“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount) Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” (Sony Pictures Classics) Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney) Lee Unkrich

~"The Illusionist" was a total surprise in this category, as I was completely expecting "Tangled" to receive the nomination. However my friend Chloe has been raving about it and I can appreciate the recognition of a foreign/indie film. However my vote for this one is (unsurprisingly) going to go to Toy Story 3. Still, I wouldn't be at all upset if "How to Train your Dragon" won. Pixar has swept the awards for so many years now it's not even funny, and "How to train your Dragon" really was very good.~

Achievement in art direction
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney)
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part
1” (Warner Bros.)
“Inception” (Warner Bros.)
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
“True Grit” (Paramount)

~Granted, I haven't seen all of the films here. But I have to really say that my vote is going to Harry Potter. The art direction for the entire series has just been fabulous, and the "Tale of the Three Brothers" was a daring but brilliant piece of design.~

Achievement in cinematography
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) Matthew Libatique
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Wally Pfister
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” (Paramount) Roger Deakins

~Oh, INCEPTION, please win this one! All the others seem to me to fall in the territory of "been there, done that" (except possibly Black Swann...) and I feel "Inception" really should get this one.~

Achievement in costume design
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney) Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” (Magnolia Pictures) Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” (Miramax) Sandy Powell
“True Grit” (Paramount) Mary Zophres

~I suspect "The King's Speech" might win this one. However, that said, my vote goes towards "The Tempest" which features very original costuming. Just check out the trailer if you dont' believe me!!

Achievement in directing
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” (Paramount) David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) David Fincher
“True Grit” (Paramount) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

~Pretty mad that Christopher Nolan didn't get a nomination here. That being said, since I haven't actually seen any of these films, I feel highly unqualified to offer any sort of an opinion. Personal favorites would of course be the Coen brothers.~

Achievement in film editing
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight) Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” (Paramount) Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight) Jon Harris
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

~If I'd seen any of these I could possibly offer an opinion, but honestly I just don't know. I'll be pretty interested to see who carries this one.~

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” (Paramount) John Powell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Hans Zimmer
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight) A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

~It would be really interesting to see "How to Train Your Dragon" carry this one, although I doubt it'll happen.~

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
(Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems))
Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and
Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled”
(Walt Disney)
Music by Alan Menken
Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
(Fox Searchlight)
Music by A.R. Rahman
Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3”
(Walt Disney)
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

~I haven't seen "Tangled," but if it's written by Alan Menken, I know it's gotta be good. So that's my vote.~

Best motion picture of the year
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight)
A Protozoa and Phoenix Pictures Production
Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin,
“The Fighter” (Paramount)
A Relativity Media Production
David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark
Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” (Warner Bros.)
A Warner Bros. UK Services Production
Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
An Antidote Films, Mandalay Vision and Gilbert
Films Production
Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray,
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
A See-Saw Films and Bedlam Production
Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin,
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)
An Hours Production
Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson,
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
A Columbia Pictures Production
Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and
Ceán Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney)
A Pixar Production
Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” (Paramount)
A Paramount Pictures Production
Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions)
A Winter's Bone Production
Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

~Okay, any of the pictures I pick I definitely have an agenda behind. I'd love to see "Inception" win it, in the interest of acknowledging a truly remarkable bit of big budget science-fiction. It would be amazing to finally see an animated film win, as would happen if Toy Story 3 somehow won. Since neither of these are very likely, my third choice would be "The King's Speech" because I think it's just such a cool story and has so many good actors in it that I appreciate.~

Achievement in sound editing
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Richard King
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney) Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” (Walt Disney) Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” (Paramount) Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” (20th Century Fox) Mark P. Stoeckinger

~"Inception" please. Considering that sound is a major plot point in the film, it sort of needs to win.~

Achievement in sound mixing
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and
William Sarokin
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark
“True Grit” (Paramount) Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and
Peter F. Kurland

~Can I say "Inception" again here?~

Achievement in visual effects
“Alice in Wonderland” (Walt Disney) Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” (Warner
Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and
Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” (Warner Bros.) Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and
Joe Farrell
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and
Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2” (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment,
Distributed by Paramount)
Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

~This is a bit of a hard one. How can I choose between "Inception" and "Harry Potter"?~

Adapted screenplay
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight) Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney) Screenplay by Michael Arndt Story
by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee
“True Grit” (Paramount) Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter's Bone” (Roadside Attractions) Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne

~Is "Toy Story 3" in here because it's a sequal? Well, glad to see animated films getting taken seriously in this year's nominations. However my vote here is going to "True Grit." From all I understand, it's a very good adaptation of the book (which the John Wayne version actually didn't follow closely at all, I understand)~

Original screenplay
“Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics) Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” (Paramount) Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric
“Inception” (Warner Bros.) Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features) Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King's Speech” (The Weinstein Company) Screenplay by David Seidler

~I'd like to say "Inception" here, but I have to seriously give David Seidler kudos for taking a subject like a king's speech impediment and turning it into such a well-received film.~


Andy Hauge said...

Okay, not trying to be a Nolan fanboy here, but I definitely think that, in the technical categories it was nominated in, "Inception" ranks ridiculously high. The cinematography, sound, music, and effects are particularly tightly-woven into the movie. (The effects are rather subtle most of the time, but they do their job astoundingly. My favorite is probably towards the end, with the house that's on the edge of a cityscape "cliff")

And he should've totally had a nomination for Best Director.

Maggie D said...

I was thinking exactly the same thing as you -- why didn't Christopher Nolan get a nomination for "best director"? Anyways... yeah, I would like to see Inception win Best Movie but I haven't seen any of the others except Toy Story 3, and I'm pretty sure Inception will not win, because SF hardly ever does... sigh...

Amanda said...

Oh I would love love LOVE if How to Train your Dragon got best score!