Oscar Nominations Open Thread

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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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24 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Drew
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    I just shook my head when I saw she was up for Supporting. Actually, I didn’t even. I just tried keep my mouth from falling back open every time as soon as I took my finger off my lower jaw. I don’t pretend to understand this stuff, but seriously WTF.Report

  2. Avatar Pat Cahalan
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    > How does the Academy distinguish between a lead role and
    > a supporting role?

    By calling one “lead” and one “supporting”.Report

  3. TG is the only one I’ve seen of the Best Picture noms and I thought all three of the main actors were fantastic. I was disappointed that Matt Damon didn’t get a Supporting Actor nod. My understanding of the nomination for Hailee Steinfeld was that the directors pushed for her in that category because she had a better chance of winning. A bit shady but that’s Hollywood politics.Report

  4. Avatar J.L. Wall
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    1) Yes, she should be up for Best Actress. And, while I haven’t seen any of the other performances nominated in that category, I suspect that it may well have been that she ought to win, as well. (Which I’ll say more explicitly about Supporting Actress. The Helena Bonham Carter was quite good, as well.)

    2) I’d go with Colin Firth over Jeff Bridges for Best Actor. This may change as I think more about both films, but his performance was just mesmerizing. Bridges, of course, was fantastic — it may well be that if I weren’t comparing this performance to CRAZY HEART’s, I’d think differently about this award.

    3) That said, I thought Geoffrey Rush’s performance in THE KING’S SPEECH was good — but not Oscar-worthy. I suspect he’s riding Firth’s coattails. (And, again, I don’t know much about the other nominees.) I would have traded his nomination for a Damon nomination.

    4) I can only talk about two of the nominees here, but TRUE GRIT is far more deserving of Best Picture than THE KING’S SPEECH. Both are quite good, and both deserve nominations; but as a whole, TG is the more complete film, I’d say. (TOY STORY 3’s nomination leaves me wondering: how has it been that Pixar has yet to win a Best Picture award?)Report

    • Avatar 62across in reply to J.L. Wall
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      On #4, I believe it is a combination of disrespect toward animation and knowledge that the Best Animated Film award consolation prize is practically guaranteed. You’ll know progress has been made when a Pixar director gets at least nominated as Best Director.Report

    • Avatar Pat Cahalan in reply to J.L. Wall
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      I think comedies have a longer standing beef than animated movies on this account.Report

    • Avatar 62across in reply to J.L. Wall
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      On #4 again, people should take in The Social Network if they haven’t seen it already. I know, a movie about Facebook – meh. But, the film is beautifully crafted (David Fincher will likely win Best Director), the dialogue is great and Jesse Eisenberg is amazing as Zuckerberg.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to J.L. Wall
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      I have not yet seen the King’s Speech (though I’m trying to figure out a way to do so), but it would not surprise me in the least if Firth’s performance was superior to Bridges’, much as I’m a lifelong member of the Jeff Bridges Fan Club. I’m obviously speaking out of my element, but I’m assuming that Firth’s role was more demanding all-around and that he was required to carry the film in a way that Bridges was not. IOW, TG would still have been a very good film with a lesser actor whereas I assume KS sinks or swims on Firth’s performance.Report

    • Avatar Bob in reply to J.L. Wall
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      Re: 4) Both are very good but I’d give the nod to THE KING’S SPEECH.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to J.L. Wall
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      FWIW I really loved the King’s Speech. But then I am a Canadian Monarchist so I’m biased.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to J.L. Wall
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      The King’s Speech is an admixture of bad history and what the Spanish call dulces empalagosos, for which I have no good translation, cloying and fastidious come close. The Windsors all hated Churchill to a man (and woman), plumping for Chamberlain and appeasement with the Germans.

      It’s easy to see why Tom Hooper, he of many a costume-bedecked English Drama, would not tell the actual and far more dramatic story of B-b-Bertie Windsor and his erstwhile Germanic family. Such a Faulknerian tale would meet Merchant/Ivory like elemental hydrogen and oxygen, bringing down the Royal Family in a proverbial heartbeat.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to BlaiseP
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        I’m afraid to find out what you thought of The Queen.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to North
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          Elizabeth II was very much the child of her father George VI, himself an improbably decent, brave and kindly man.

          We’ll likely never know how accurate The Queen was, as history. Monarchy, like romance and religion, thrives on Mystery: the more one sees, the less-impressed one becomes over time. Princess Diana was a creature of her own time, as Elizabeth had been in hers. George VI had brought the monarchy down from atop its mysterious summit and presented himself to the common people. Elizabeth II continued and extended the tradition by televising her wedding, leading eventually to the Diana Debacle.

          The old word Glamour was once a synonym for Enchantment, from gramarye, occult learning. Americans always have a soft spot for Kings and Queens and such, poor besotted masochistic creatures. They really won’t be happy until they’re governed by a monarch, who will give their generous posteriors a well-deserved kicking with the Royal Boot.Report

  5. Avatar 62across
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    The studio chose to promote Hailee Steinfeld for the supporting actress nomination (through trade publications and the like) which is the typical approach with an unknown actor whether the role is large or not. The choice is based on what will promote the film the best. A young, unknown actor has a better shot at being nominated for supporting actor and winning as supporting actor (see Tatum O’Neal and Anna Paquin), so the studio campaigns with that in mind. The studio then gets to sell the DVD starring Academy Award nominee (or winner) Hailee Steinfeld.

    Nominations come from the respective branches (actors nominate actors, designers nominate designers – all members vote for the final awards), so there was concern that a lot of the actor contingent in the Academy would view her role the way you have regardless of how she was promoted. The vote could have split and she would have been cut out of a nomination altogether. Her performance was remarkable, so I’m glad she’s getting the recognition.Report

  6. Avatar E.C. Gach
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    No best director nom for Nolan. That surprised me. Inception is nominated for best pic, but has no best actors, relying instead on best original screenplay, music, etc.

    And yet the no nod to the Director on that?

    Also, True Grit was great, but not near best picture material. I’d be interested to know from people who feel that it is, why they feel that way.Report

  7. Avatar Robert Cheeks
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    I thought True Grit to be the finest Western ever made but I really like Unforgiven, so maybe it’s a question of which one I see next?
    There was a conversation on the movie over at PoMoCon if anyone’s interested which ended in a clever analysis of the dead bodies hanging around. I was kind of interested in exploring Mattie’s father’s Masonic association as a gnostic question but didn’t.Report

  8. Avatar StrongStyle81
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    Back in the old days of Hollywood the distinction was much more clear between lead and support. You’re top two or three billed stars were the stars of the pictures and everyone else in the cast was support. Over time the distinction became a lot more blurry as the movie industry morphed and changed.

    Now days as someone already said its about where an actor might have the best chance of winning that determines if she is nominated for best actress or best supporting actress. Natalie Portman will more than likely take the Oscar for Black Swan as its probably the most high profile female performance right now.

    I’m pulling for a True Grit sweep this year. Although history is on the side of Colin Firth getting the win for best actor. He starred in a period piece about a historical figure overcoming a personal obstacle, aka Oscar bait. Although Jeff Bridges can still win by overcoming the Academy’s love affair with historical dramas with the power of his sheer awesomeness.Report

  9. Avatar Katherine
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    I’m frustrated with the lack of nominations for Black Swan (nothing for Screenply? Art Direction? Costume Design? Makeup?), but on the whole the nomination list is better this year than it has been for several years – most of the pictures nominated for the major awards were popular and all of them are actually good (at least, I’ve seen most of them and the ones I haven’t seen [The Fighter, 127 Hours] have good reviews). There’s nothing that’s blatantly out of place in the major categories, and even the disappointments (no Nolan for Best Director?) are understandable, since everyone else in the category is good too.

    Firth and Portman absolutely deserve to win Best Actor and Best Actress; Firth because it must be astoundingly difficult to play someone stuttering when you don’t stutter, Portman because the entire movie centred around her and she carried it wonderfully and portrayed a complex emotional state with great skill.

    Hailee Steinfeld deserves Best Supporting Actress hands down, but it will likely go to Bonham Carter (despite not having a difficult role in any way – the Academy loves royalty) or someone from The Fighter.

    If Toy Story wins Best Adapted Screenplay I will be ecstatic, but realistically it will go to The Social Network (which, in making a movie out of legal proceedings, probably deserves it); Inception ought to win Original Screenplay.

    For Director, I’m cheering for Arronofsky, but having seen and enjoyed all nominees except The Fighter, I’ll likely be happy regardless.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Katherine
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      I’m with you on Black Swan Katherine. I felt the first half was a bit slow but it was more I was bored and agonized by her stilted character which probably indicates good acting on Portmans’ part. She was so uncomfortable in her own skin that ~I~ was uncomfortable watching her. The other half was spell binding.Report

  10. Avatar Dan
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    62across has this just about perfect. The nominations are obviously arbitrary, and are heavily influenced by the studios based upon who is most likely to win. How else to explain Jake Gyllenhaal’s Supporting Actor nomination for “Brokeback Mountain” when he and Heath Ledger essentially shared the lead (for which the latter was nominated).

    For that matter, how to explain the obviously arbitrary manner in which the awards are given? Judi Dench wins for a glorified walk-on role in “Shakespeare in Love” to make up for her inexplicable Lead Actress loss to Helen Hunt the year before. Jack Nicholson wins every few years for playing Jack Nicholson. “Crash” wins Best Picture despite being profoundly bad.Report

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