I love this time of year.
I rolled out of bed this past Tuesday to watch the nominations for the 83rd Academy Awards and after Monique finished reading off the names, the clocked started.
As of right now I have a little over 31 days and counting to watch 56 films. All 56 films nominated for an Academy Award this year.
This year I’m ready to give it another go, and last week I thought I’d visit some film geeks that would share the same excitement. I dropped in on a meeting of the DC Film Society’s Cinema Lounge discussion group. The group meets on a monthly basis to talk about various topics in film. The topic of that night: Oscar Prognostication. I listened and quipped in some thoughts as the small group argued over potential nominees and attempted to predict who would get a nod from the Academy.
They didn’t do too bad predicting the nominees for the top categories:
The Kids are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
In year two of ten best picture nominees it has become call this category given the large number of slots. The Cinema Lounge went for 10 for 10 despite my personal inclinations for The Town over Winter’s Bone in that last spot.
I know my Massachusetts love may but the Academy loves Boston films: The Departed, Gone Baby Gone, Mystic River, The Fighter. The gritty, working class background is great for any Oscar-type film. Plus it would of been a great way to welcome Ben Affleck to the golden group of actors/directors.
Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
David Fincher – The Social Network
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan -Inception Ethan Coen, Joel Coen – True Grit
David O. Russell – The Fighter
Four out of five here ain’t bad for the Cinema Lounge group- most had Nolan getting in for Inception, and his absence was a shock for many. While Inception is certainly one of the best films of the year and deserves all of the it’s praises, I fear that the summer blockbuster is already a distant memory compared to The Social Network and The King’s Speech, both of which are still in theaters. Nolan’s snub also makes me question his likability among Academy members.
Jeff Bridges – True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
James Franco – 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling – Blue Valentine Javier Bardem – Biutiful
Some maybe heartbroken that Gosling join his co-star Michelle Williams among the chosen, the group among others paired up Williams and Gosling as an acting item- you gotta nominate both! Javier Bardem’s nomination is a sign his name is well liked with the Academy… and we shouldn’t underestimate the power of Julia. The Eat, Pray, Love co-star held a screening party in his honor in an attempt to get the film and his performance more attention.
Don’t forget there’s politics in Hollywood too- not just DC.
Annette Bening – The Kids are All Right
Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman – Black Swan
Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine
Another perfect 5 for 5 from the DC Film Society- what a savvy bunch! I got no qualms here, five solid performances.
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale – The Fighter
Andrew Garfield - The Social Network John Hawkes – Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner – The Town
Mark Ruffalo – The Kids are All Right
Geoffrey Rush – The King’s Speech
The group missed on Hawkes, and really surprised me that he made it here. The group had Hawkes among the possible contenders but was easily scratched off without a thought. Seeing how Winter’s Bone snuck in both Best Picture and got this Supporting Actor nod shows that I misjudged Hollywood’s opinion on the film.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis - Black Swan Jacki Weaver – Animal Kingdom
Melissa Leo – The Fighter
Hailee Steinfield – True Grit
I’ll bring up the point that Bill Simmons tweeted earlier: both Jennifer Lawrence and Hailee Steinfield are young actresses in breakout performances that dominate the production, yet Lawrence is considered a lead actress while Steinfeld is considered a supporting actress. Those that saw True Grit are probably asking the same questions.
“It’s office politics,” replied discussion moderator Adam Spector, explaining that the Academy will often honor younger actors/actresses in the supporting category.
But still why Steinfeld and not Lawrence? Steinfeld may dominate the story and screen but she still has to share it with Lead Actor nominee Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin while Jennifer Lawrence is the clear and absolute lead in Winter’s Bone.
Other parting thoughts on the nominations:
- Lots of locals may have been disappointed to see Waiting for Superman not get a nomination for Best Feature Documentary when it looked to be the front-runner to win. I personally haven’t seen the film yet but it appears that some are happy to see it snubbed including the Washington Post.
- I always laugh at the bad action films that I will have to watch thanks to a sound editing/mixing nomination. This year it looks like I’ll be popping in Unstoppable.
What did you think about this year’s Oscar nominees? Leave your thoughts in the comments!