Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Best Picture Oscar® Nominations and One Long Shot

I found no surprises in the Oscar nominations announced today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the 83rd Academy Awards®. I haven't even seen The King's Speech, yet, but I tapped it a month ago to get an Oscar® nomination for the Best Motion Picture of 2010. It received the most nominations, twelve in all.

Actors Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush all received nominations, a stellar lineup. Firth was nominated for Best Actor in a lead role. Rush and Carter were nominated in the acting supporting categories, actor and actress respectively. Director Tom Hooper made the cut for achievement as best director.

The other nine Best Picture slots went to 127 Hours, The Kids Are All RightBlack Swan, The Social Network, Inception, The Fighter, Winter's Bone, Toy Story 3, and True Grit. The King's Speech did exceedingly well in the technical categories to gain a sure footing on the path to a Best Motion Picture Oscar.

Remember boys and girls, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has the biggest voting block in the Academy. Thus, where SAG goes, the academy usually follows. SAG will give their awards this Sunday (30th).

All the actors nominated for their roles in The Social Network are also nominated for SAG awards in the same categories. Plus, the movie is nominated for the Best Cast award. The others nominated by SAG for best cast are: Black Swan, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right and The Social Network.

The other directors nominated are: David Fincher (The Social Network), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), the Brothers Cohen (True Grit) and David O. Russell (The Fighter).

The King's Speech received seven other nominations for achievement in: art direction, cinematography, film editing, original score, original screenplay, sound mixing and costume design.

Getting the most nominations is always commendable in the Oscar race, but movies have racked up the most nominations before, only to go home empty handed. I do not think The King's Speech will experience that problem.

Now, that I have acknowledged True Grit above, I must clarify the statements used in some of the reporting about the movie's lack of even a single Golden Globe nomination. The words, or phrases, used were snubbed, overlooked, passed over, ignored, etc. The truth is, True Grit was not released until December 22, and the Globes ballots were mailed to members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) on December 2nd. The final screening date was the 8th, press conferences the 9th, and ballots were due at Ernst and Young on the 10th for tabulation. Paramount set the HFPA an impossible task.

In not releasing True Grit before December first, Paramount allowed the studio to grab a good box office gross over the holidays, and take the lead in money charts, but it was too late for True Grit to get any Golden Globe nominations. I think that was a bad move by Paramount.

True Grit came in second in the Oscar race with ten nominations, including acting honors for Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld. Also, the aforementioned Cohen brothers directing nomination as well as their nomination for best adapted screenplay. In the other "achievement in" categories, True Grit was nominated for: art direction, costume, cinematography, film editing, sound editing and mixing.

Actor Jeff Bridges (Rooster) is nominated by SAG for best actor. SAG nominated actress Hailee Stienfeld (Mattie) in the best supporting actress category, too. There has been some contention about Stienfeld's supporting actress nod. Some believe that she should have been nominated as best actress.

The best picture long shot? That would be Toy Story 3 (Walt Disney), which I previously suggested would probably be nominated in the Best Motion Picture category, as well as the Best Animated Feature Film category. With it in the last category are: How to Train Your Dragon (Paramount) and The Illusionist (Sony Pictures). If I were voting, I would vote for Toy Story 3 for the Oscar in this category. It is no Fantasia. I think the Best Picture nomination is a "special salute" to Walt Disney and all those who participated in the Toy Story trilogy, and that, in itself, is a good thing.

The same was probably true about the salute to UP last year. I personally felt that the salute was not only for Walt Disney and Pixar, as well as all who participated, but it was an extra special salute to Mr. Edward Asner and Mr. Christopher Plummer.

More posts to follow about the nominations. Next post, "Discussing Three More Best Picture Nominees".

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