Feature: Oscar & Emmy Watch

Oscar & Emmy Watch: Musings & Misgivings: 2011 Oscar Nominations

Author: Alan Appel
Published: January 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

The first gasp from the over-caffeinated audience at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills came shortly after 5:40 AM (Pacific Time) with the very first announcement in the 2011 Oscar nominations. Javier Bardem, a supporting-actor winner a few years back for No Country for Old Men, received a Best Actor nod for Biutiful. Be honest now, who saw that coming? How many of you, in fact, have even SEEN this art-house film? A surprise like this meant two things: good news for the Bardem entourage, but disappointment for two other nomination-worthy actors who were pushed aside—in this case Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine and Mark Wahlberg for The Fighter.

The Wahlberg omission is interesting. Let me see if I understand this: The Fighter gets nominations for Best Picture, Director (David O. Russell), Supporting Actor (Christian Bale), Supporting Actress (Amy Adams and Melissa Leo), Film Editing and Original Screenplay, but Wahlberg, giving the performance of his career in this gritty boxing drama, is shunted aside (though he is a producer of the film)?

His wasn’t the only snub. The box-office hit Inception gets a Best Picture nomination, but it is primarily the vision of one of Hollywood’s most boldly imaginative directors, Christopher Nolan, yet he is overlooked. Crazy. And what of The Social Network, which received eight nominations? Jesse Eisenberg did score a Best Actor nomination, but some (including myself) feel two things about this film. 1) It is wildly overrated and 2) The best performance of the film was given by Andrew Garfield, who was considered a shoo-in for a supporting nod—and didn’t get one.

Here’s the good news in the Supporting Actor category: the great Mark Ruffalo did indeed score his first nomination for The Kids Are All Right, though probably hasn’t a shot in hell of winning. Bale and Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech) are the favorites. Another highly touted contender was Mila Kunis for Black Swan in the Supporting Actress category. She didn’t get a nomination, and that now calls into question whether her costar in the film, Natalie Portman, is really such a lock-solid sure thing for winning the Best Actress prize. Momentum does seem to be building for two of her rivals, Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right) and Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine). The good news in the Supporting Actress grouping is that young Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) received a nomination; the bad news is that Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right) didn’t.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Alan Appel

Alan Appel is a veteran entertainment journalist, having been for many years the New York Bureau Chief (and occasional book reviewer) for TV Guide Magazine. That experience, not surprisingly, has given him a deep knowledge of --and strong opinions about--the worlds of television and movies. …

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