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January 25, 2011 / TerranceTheTrailerTrasher

2011 Oscar Nominations Reactions

Last year at nomination time, box office champ AVATAR was the favorite, but THE HURT LOCKER pulled ahead to be the little indie that could. This year it’s been a SOCIAL NETWORK vs. KING’S SPEECH race for a while.

I knew from the teaser that SOCIAL NETWORK would click with audiences. I was less enthusiastic about KING’S SPEECH, giving its trailer only @@, based more on my personal preferences than the film itself. As I expected, I thought it was a fine film, but I didn’t connect with it personally and I felt it was too obviously tailored to be Oscar bait. So I liked SN better, but I was positive I’d just seen the Oscar winner for Best Picture when I came out of KS.

However, with all the SN steam building up, I decided last night to let today’s numbers guide my final prediction. If SPEECH got the most nods, it would win the biggest prizes. And it did, so it will. 12 nominations. It will win for Best Picture, Actor, Original Screenplay, and Art Direction for sure. Oscar voters like to prove how much they loved their winner by voting for it in as many below-the-line categories as they can, so SPEECH is likely to also win Editing (which should go to SWAN or 127) and Cinematography (which really belongs to SWAN or INCEPTION).

With ten Best Picture nominees, the director category now predicts the real top five contenders. That said, the big surprise was the Coens edging out Danny Boyle. Some people are bitter about Chris Nolan getting snubbed. I still think Boyle comes before Nolan, but O. Russell might be the guy who took Nolan’s slot. (I haven’t seen THE FIGHTER).

We haven’t seen a Picture/Director split since 2006, so the odds are in Tom Hooper’s favor, but Fincher could pull an upset just because SOCIAL has been getting so much love. Aronofsky could pull even more of an upset, which would be okay with me since SWAN is the most auteuristic vision of the five nominees, but SWAN is the only BP nom that didn’t get a screenplay nod. The extra slot went to Mike Leigh’s unscripted film ANOTHER YEAR, which is even more of a slap in the face to SWAN, so that hurts Aronofsky’s chances.

Screenplay awards are a no-brainer this year. SPEECH wins original, SOCIAL wins adapted.

Lead acting awards are also a given: Colin Firth and this year’s Oscar Prom Queen, the pregnant Natalie Portman. I’m extremely happy Jennifer Lawrence at least got nominated. (No, I know she doesn’t have a chance.)

Christian Bale appears to be the favorite for supporting actor. It doesn’t look like there’s a clear front runner for supporting actress yet. Melissa Leo seems to be getting more kudos. I’d rather see it go to Amy Adams (again, I haven’t seen the film, but she’s deserving in general and looks great in her underwear in the trailer for this), but being up against Leo in the same film may hurt both of them, letting 14-year-old newcomer Hailee Steinfeld pull ahead, Anna Paquin-style.

The 10 nominations bringing TRUE GRIT to second place for most nominations are a big surprise. I’m not really sure where that’s going to pay off.

I’m pleased to say I correctly predicted all three animated feature nominees. The winner will obviously be TOY STORY 3 and the animated short winner is likely to be the one that played just before it in theatres, the very enjoyable DAY & NIGHT.

I would have loved to have seen THE WOLFMAN, which got nominated for its makeup, get nominated for its score. It could have taken DRAGON’s slot, or even KING’S SPEECH, which should be ineligible for the same reason SWAN was — SWAN’s score used too much Tchaikovsky to be considered original, while SPEECH’s climax worked primarily because of its use of Beethoven. As for the song category, I’m disappointed Avril Lavigne got snubbed, but I’m not sure if she was eligible under stricter new rules for the category since her song for ALICE IN WONDERLAND was only used in the end credits.

What are your predictions? Leave a comment and help me out, especially in the supporting actress category.

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One Comment

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  1. thejamminjabber / Jan 26 2011 7:06 am

    Steinfeld for supporting, all the way.

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