Oscar Nominations Announced!

Today really has the potential to be one of the best days of the year.  Not only is it groundhog’s day, and the day of the most anticipated TV moment possibly in our lifetimes, but The Academy just released their nominations for the biggest awards show in the world.  After the jump, lets see how they stacked up against our predictions:

Best Picture: Avatar;  The Blind Side;  District 9;  An Education;  The Hurt Locker;  Inglourious Basterds;  Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Saphire;  Up;  Up in the Air

Where we were wrong: (Disclaimer: Our predictions were made before three very important things happened.  When our predictions were made, 1) Avatar had not come out yet and no one was sure if it would even be watchable, 2) Nine looked as though it would be the best film of the year, 3) The Lovely Bones looked amazing.  As it turned out Avatar was unbelievable, and Nine and Lovely Bones were somewhat unwatchable.)  The three nominations that we didn’t have in our list were Avatar, District 9, and Blind Side, although if we had updated the list more recently, we definitely would have included Avatar and District 9.

Where we’re surprised: We are truly shocked by the inclusion of The Blind Side into this category.  Bullock’s performance was critically acclaimed but the movie didn’t have the kind of buzz that all of the other films in this category did.  That being said, the point of expanding this category from 5 films to 10 was to get more commercially successful films in, and it did just that.

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart; George Clooney, Up in the Air; Colin Firth, A Single Man; Morgan Freeman, Invictus; Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Where we were wrong: If we had updated the list, we would have had the exact same names on it.  We wrote it before Crazy Heart was on our radar.  Jeff Bridges was absolutely fantastic in the film and could very easily walk away with a win.  (Sidenote: Crazy Heart happens to be playing at the Avon this week!)

Where we were surprised: Nowhere.

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side; Helen Mirren, The Last Station; Carey Mulligan, An Education; Gabourey Sibide, Precious; Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Where we were wrong: Our outdated Nine and Lovely Bones faith kills us yet again.  Also the academy, and pretty much everyone else in the entire world, loves Helen Mirren and Bullock took home the Globe.  Our list would have looked the same.

Where we are surprised: Nowhere.

Best Supporting Actor: Matt Damon, Invictus; Woody Harrelson, The Messenger; Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones; Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Where we were wrong: Woody Harrelson gained a ton of buzz for his role in The Messenger, and Matt Damon was great in Invictus, but we were really pulling for Alfred Molina, whose role in An Education was one of the best of the year.  He, along with Mulligan, made the movie what it was, and we were hoping he’d get recognized.

Where we were surprised: Towards the end we thought Molina would pull ahead of Damon for the 5th spot, but the fact that Damon got it isn’t that surprising.

Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz, Nine; Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air; Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart; Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air; Mo’nique, Precious.

Where we were wrong: We had the wrong actress from Nine, mostly owing to the fact that no one had really seen it.  If we had updated it recently, we would have thrown in Anna Kendrick in there to join Vera Farmiga.

Where we were surprised: Maggie Gyllenhaal?!?!?!  Very surprising considering she got nearly no recognition in any of the previous films But good for her, it was a great performance which very well could have gone overlooked.  We though Julianne Moore (A Single Man) would get the 5th spot, and if not her maybe Samantha Morton (The Messenger) or even Dianne Kruger (Inglourious Basterds).

Best Director: Avatar, James Cameron; The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow; Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino; Precious, Lee Daniels; Up in the Air, Jason Reitman

We inexplicably forgot to include Director in our predictions, however we would have had the same list.  No surprises here at all.  This is basically a battle between former spouses Bigelow and Cameron. Watch for Tarantino to spoil.

Only other thing worth noting is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs missed a nod for best animated film, which is kind of a shame because it was one of our favorite books growing up and was a pretty solid movie.  For a complete list of nominees and everything Oscar, click here.

— Matt Klimerman

1 Comment

  1. Susan

    Totally disagree with you about Maggie Gyllenhaal. She was so miscast and worse, created a character that: (1) was the weakest link n the movie and (2) made the romance between Bridges and Gyllenhaal seem absurd.

    Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent and Julianne Moore should have been nominated instead. Even Lindsay Lohan would have been a better choice. Maggie only got nominated (marisa-tomeid) because as usual, the Academy totally screwed up. They didn’t make clear whether Diane Kruger was up for best actress or best supporting actress. Same thing with Melanie Laurent – it wasn’t clear whether she was up for best actress or best supporting actress. So fans of Inglorious Bastards got confused – some voters voted for Kruger in best actress and others in supporting best actress. Same with Laurent, which resulted in diluting the votes for both.

    Maggie Gyyllenhaal is notorious for being a difficult diva on set. She fought continuously with Laurie Collier for “creative control” over the character of Sherry. Same with Mona Lisa Smile – she fought with the other actresses and the director. Same with Agent Provacateur – she was such am insufferable diva during the shoot that Agent Provacateur fired immediately after the shoot.

    And this is precisely why M Gyllenhaal nearly, single-handedly ruined Crazy Heart. Maggie expressly stated in an interview that when she started shooting Crazy, she expected to fight with Scott Cooper for creative control over the depiction of Jean Craddock, but to her “surprise,” Scott Cooper let her do whatever she wanted. So she played Jean Craddock like every role she plays – vulnerable but tough, which was so wrong for this movie. Why would a young smart (albeit ugly) reporter fall instantly in love with a fat drunk has-been? Many critics have pointed out the odd chemistry between Bridges and Maggie. Many have said that this is the weakest link in the movie. If Maggie had played Jean as a vulnerable and needy woman (especially one needy for the love of a man), then the character and the romance would have made sense despite the age difference. But Maggie being the egotistical diva she is – doesn’t like to portrary herself (and even her roles) in an unflattering light which is why she insisted on creating Jean as a smart tough woman – and which portrayal made no sense/did not fit in with the movie at all.

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