Oscar Nominations: King's Speech, True Grit Lead the Way

It's that time of year again. This year's Oscar Nominations have been announced, and while there are some surprises and snubs, as there always are, most of the moves that people expected to lead the charge did just that when the dust settled.

The most nominated movie was The King's Speech, which is looking more and more like the darling of this year's academy awards. The movie repeated most of its nominations from the Golden Globes, including acting (Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, directing, original screenplay, sound and score, editing, cinematography, costume design, art direction, and of course best picture.

Right behind it was True Grit, which apparently wasn't very well liked by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The western received 10 nominations, including a best director nod for brothers Joel & Ethan Coen, best actor for Jeff Bridges, who looks to repeat on last year's win for Crazy Heart, and a best supporting actress nod for newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, a well-deserved nomination (although really she should be nominated for lead actress). The film also received nominations for best adapted screenplay, sound mixing and editing, costume design, cinematography and art direction, and once again best picture.

Inception and The Social Network were right behind them with 8 nominations each. The Facebook movie received most of the expected nominations, including best picture, adapted screenplay for Aaron Sorkin, best director for David Fincher, best actor for Jesse Eisenberg, as well as cinematography, editing score and sound mixing. Missing is a nomination for Andrew Garfield in the supporting actor category.

Inception may have accumulated a wealth of nomination, some of which it has to be a favorite to win and including best picture, but it was also the source of the biggest surprise of the oscars. Following last year's snub of James Cameron despite re-imagining the way movies are made, the Academy decided that they wouldn't even bother stringing director Christopher Nolan along this time, because, you know, apparently all the incredible directing techniques he created to make inception with limited use of CGI are worthless. Nevertheless, Nolan is nominated for best original screenplay, and the film also has nods for art direction, cinematography, score (if Hans Zimmer loses out to The Social Network again I'm going to go on a shooting spree), sound editing and mixing and visual effects. Because, you know, none of that has to do with directing.

The Fighter was up next with seven nominations, including directing and screenplay, three for acting including early favorites Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in the supporting categories, editing and of course best picture. Missing from the list is Mark Wahlberg, but I guess none of us should be surprised about that.

James Franco will be hosting the awards show with Anne Hathaway, and he will also be up for a best actor award for his performance in 127 Hours. The film garnered a total of 6 nominations, including best picture, screenplay and director, editing, score and original song.

In a case of polar opposites receiving the same number of awards, Black Swan and Toy Story 3 both received five nominations, including Best Picture. No one should be surprised that Toy Story 3 is among the ten films up for best picture, but Black Swan will likely have a better chance at winning, as will Natalie Portman for her leading role, assuming No Strings Attached didn't leave a sour taste in the voters' mouth. Toy Story was also nominated for best original song, best screenplay and best animated feature, and it will at least win the latter.

Rounding out the Best Picture nominees along with all the films mentioned above are The Kids Are Alright and Winter's Bone.

Finally, in a more personal note, two foreign language films peak my interest this year. Denmark's "In a Better World" is likely the favorite to win, but local (to me, anyway) filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is nominated for "Incendies" for Canada, and "Dogtooth" from my home country of Greece will also be up for the award, along with films from Algeria and Mexico.

The full list of nominations can be seen below.

Post your thoughts in the comments!

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BEST PICTURE
127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
INCEPTION (Warner Bros Pictures)
THE FIGHTER (Relativity Media/Paramount Pictures)
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
THE KING'S SPEECH (The Weinstein Co)
THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
TOY STORY 3 (Pixar/Walt Disney Studios)
TRUE GRIT (Paramount Pictures)
WINTER'S BONE Roadside Attractions

BEST ACTOR
JEFF BRIDGES - TRUE GRIT
JAVIER BARDEM - BIUTIFUL
JESSE EISENBERG - THE SOCIAL NETWORK
COLIN FIRTH - THE KING’S SPEECH
JAMES FRANCO - 127 HOURS

BEST ACTRESS
ANNETTE BENING - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
NICOLE KIDMAN - RABBIT HOLE
JENNIFER LAWRENCE - WINTER’S BONE
NATALIE PORTMAN - BLACK SWAN
MICHELLE WILLIAMS - BLUE VALENTINE

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
CHRISTIAN BALE - THE FIGHTER
JOHN HAWKES - WINTER’S BONE
JEREMY RENNER - THE TOWN
MARK RUFFALO - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
GEOFFREY RUSH - THE KING’S SPEECH

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
AMY ADAMS - THE FIGHTER
HELENA BONHAM CARTER - THE KING’S SPEECH
MELISSA LEO - THE FIGHTER
HAILEE STEINFELD - TRUE GRIT
JACKI WEAVER - ANIMAL KINGDOM

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
TOY STORY 3
THE ILLUSIONIST

BEST DIRECTOR
DARREN ARONOFSKY - BLACK SWAN
DAVID FINCHER - THE SOCIAL NETWORK
TOM HOOPER - THE KING'S SPEECH
JOEL AND ETHAN COEN - TRUE GRIT
DAVID O. RUSSELL - THE FIGHTER

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
ANOTHER YEAR, Mike Leigh
THE FIGHTER, Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
INCEPTION, Christopher Nolan
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
THE KING'S SPEECH, David Seidler

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 HOURS, Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
TOY STORY 3, Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich
THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Aaron Sorkin
WINTER'S BONE, Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
TRUE GRIT, Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Algeria, Hors la Loi
Canada, Incendies
Denmark, In a Better World
Greece, Dogtooth
Mexico, Biutiful

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Black Swan - Matthew Libatique
Inception - Wally Pfister
The King's Speech - Danny Cohen
The Social Network - Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit - Roger Deakins

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Exit Through The Gift Shop - Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
Gasland - Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
Inside Job - Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Restrepo - Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Waste Land - Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Killing In The Name - Nominees to be determined
Poster Girl - Nominees to be determined
Strangers No More - Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
Sun Come Up - Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
The Warriors Of Qiugang - Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Black Swan Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter Pamela Martin
The King's Speech Tariq Anwar
127 Hours Jon Harris
The Social Network Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION
Alice in Wonderland - Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1 - Production Design: Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Inception - Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
The King's Speech - Production Design: Eve Stewart, Set Decoration: Judy Farr
True Grit - Production Design: Jess Gonchor, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Alice in Wonderland - Colleen Atwood
I Am Love - Antonella Cannarozzi
The King's Speech - Jenny Beavan
The Tempest - Sandy Powell
True Grit (Paramount) - Mary Zophres

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP
Barney's Version - Adrien Morot
The Way Back - Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman - Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
How to Train Your Dragon - John Powell
Inception - Hans Zimmer
The King's Speech - Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours - A.R. Rahman
The Social Network - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

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

Best animated short film
Day & Night - Teddy Newton
The Gruffalo - Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
Let's Pollute - Geefwee Boedoe
The Lost Thing - Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) - Bastien Dubois

Best live action short film
The Confession - Tanel Toom
The Crush - Michael Creagh
God of Love - Luke Matheny
Na Wewe - Ivan Goldschmidt
Wish 143 - Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Achievement in sound editing
Inception - Richard King
Toy Story 3 - Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy - Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit - Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable - Mark P. Stoeckinger

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

Achievement in visual effects
Alice in Wonderland - Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter - Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception - Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2 - Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Comments 15
Patrick Storto's picture

I wonder which film will win best animated feature.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

No idea how Toy Story three made naminations for best Picture. Ya ya, understand it's cool the way they make those movies, but it's depth is well, there is none. Hate when they throw movies like that into the mix. 127 hours lacked climax I found. Ill give it to them for making a movie with pretty much one actor, but they missed the g-spot on when he actually cut his arm off. lol I know, im sick.

George Prax's picture

I disagree Jason, I wasn't on the TS3 bandwagon as much as other people but it was an excellent film, possibly the great animated film of all time, and I'm not going to lie, by the end I was choked up a bit. This was Pixar's masterpiece, and there was plenty of depth in there that appealed to a lot of different people, even if, in the end, it was a movie geared towards kids. It definitely deserves to be up there in the best picture Noms, but only with the list being 10 movies long. If it was only five, there would be no way it would get up there.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Maybe its because I have no heart. LOL. Def better than TS2, I turned that one off.

Derrick Newman's picture

As much as I love Jeff Bridges, does he really deserve to get nominated? True Grit just disappointed me so much...but i love the dude...i'm torn

George Prax's picture

The acting and visuals were the best part of that movie. I would rather Leo get nominated for something but he did a good job with the character, considering how campy the script was. But the academy loves the Coens so I'm not surprised.

Justin Traviss's picture

I agree that Nolan should have been nominated for director, and I would have replaced the Coens first. Then David O. Russell. The Fighter was nothing special. Some okay acting, a pretty good movie, but not the BEST of much, really.

Overall I wasn't that impressed with most of these Best Picture nominees. The King's Speech, The Social Network, and Inception are good, and Black Swan is very interesting and thought provoking (and debate-provoking), but other than that, methinks is a weak, weak year.

I am surprised that Waiting for Superman didn't get a documentary nomination.

George Prax's picture

I have The Fighter in my top 3 of the year actually (keeping in mind I've missed some of these nominees). Loved that movie, especially the fight scenes which I found brilliantly shot. I actually think this year was relatively strong lol. I could legitimately see most of those ten winning, and there are probably a couple others which I personally place in the Best Picture category. At the same time, there was also an inordinate amount of crap at the theaters last year too.

Micheal A. Aldred's picture

I'm kind of pissed Nolan didn't get nominated for Best Director. Yes I can see Fincher and Hooper, I've yet to see the Fighter to have an opinion, but seriously... Nolan behind Aronofsky? Yeah, sure there.

Justin Traviss's picture

I would put Aranofsky and Nolan on par. There is some brilliant direction in Black Swan, with wonderful cinematography. I would say its incredibly well MADE, but most of my qualms with it have to do with script. Smile

I was also impressed with the direction of The King's Speech, but I won;t go into my "hipster" technical rant on its brilliance. I would say the CUTTING in The Fighter is FINE, but I found nothing about its direction particularly compelling. When you make a boxing movie 40 years after Rocky, I expect you to make some improvements. Nothing about The Fighter is particularly better than Rocky, in terms of how the fights were shot and such. The one thing that fascinated me with that though, as that they use the actual ring commentary. I thought it was exaggerated for the movie, but no. The commentators actually said a lot of the rude, ignorant shit during the Ward-Sanchez fight. Thus, even that is not really an invention by Russell, but rather remnants of the actual historical incident. Moral: Average film.

George Prax's picture

I'm actually going to blog about the snub... that's how much it pisses me off. Because it's a clear snub, I mean, it happened once with Mememto, twice with The Dark Knight, and now with Inception? The only reason they gave him Best Movie and Screenplay was to quiet the fanboys but he ain't winning anything.

Justin Traviss's picture

The Academy is simply not a fan of Sci Fi/fantasy movies. Especially when it comes to direction.

George Prax's picture

I'm not going to disagree with you Justin, I know it's true. It's just frustrating. Nolan's getting Scorcese'd

Justin Traviss's picture

As a major fan of original, delightful fantasy, or sci fi stuff, I too feel that frustration. From the Star Wars movies, to 2001, to Lord of the Rings (acting esp), it is a damn shame the Academy ignores these types of films.

And you mentioned Memento earlier, that was beyond a damn shame there. What should have been best picture of the year BY FAR got 2 lousy nominations. A Beautiful Mind? Gosford Park? MOULIN ROUGE?!? Some okay movies, but Memento is a bloody gem! MAJOR snubbage there.

Patrick Storto's picture

Toy Story 3 definitely deserves to be there. I can't think of any trilogy of films that is more critically acclaimed than the Toy Story one.

All three films were great.