Good Job, Us!

Christian Bale as Dickie Eklund in The Fighter

While I’m a huge fan of Oscar predicting (and the award giving itself, if I feel it’s deserved), I must admit that the whole process is sort of like, pardon my English, watching people masturbate. Woody Allen said it best in Annie Hall when he said that people in Los Angeles don’t do anything but sit around and hand out awards. “World’s Greatest Dictator: Adolf Hitler,” he quips before he turns his car into a bumper cart.
Well, as you could have guessed, the Oscar nominations have come out today and the arguments began, absolutely immediately, about who was snubbed and who was falsely rewarded the “nom” as people who call themselves “insiders” like to say. All of this is very interesting for about ten seconds. That is, the amount of time it takes for the brain to realize that it is watching the world’s most expensive senior superlatives section of the school yearbook. Does it not feel to anybody else like we’re watching an employee of the month awarding ceremony?
The problem about this feeling I have in my gut is that it is coupled with another feeling. Perhaps an ever truer feeling that pulls me, paradoxically, into the depths. I love the Oscars. It is like the Superbowl, and I love both of the teams. I love the spectacle, the nominations, the speeches, the long, boring montages, and the arbitrarily stuffy atmosphere of it all.
I know that it is absurd, but I love it.

With that said, I’m going to ask you guys how you feel about the nominations. Personally, I’m pretty satisfied with what has been acknowledged. I have yet to see Winter’s Bone and The Kids Are All Right, but I have heard that those films are great and good respectively.

“Really? Not even editing?” Joseph Gordon-Levitt said.

The Shockers

  • Whaaaa? Inception gets no editing nomination?
    • Say what you will about the plot, characters, narrative, or ideology of Christopher Nolan’s giant budget sci-fi mindbender, but I think we can all agree that the dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream-within-a-dream conceit worked mighty well given the convoluted script behind it. This film was well-paced and never confusing, which is a huge feat for a film that is, at times, absurdly complicated. If any award is to be handed over to this movie, it should be editing. So of course we get a nomination for The King’s Speech in that category. Speaking of which–
  • King’s Speech gets more nominations than any other film with 12.
    • Alright, I guess that sort of debunks the whole Social Network thing we had going there. Don’t get me wrong, I thought The King’s Speech was an absolutely charming movie, but it seems strange that the academy, after nominating so many young names would choose to go for a more contemporary film. No, they’re going with the stiff upper lip British drama based on a true story. Way to be predictable, Academy, sheesh.
  • True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld nominated for supporting actress.
    • Not really a shocker, as we all expected her in this category, but it still makes me mad. She is clearly the protagonist of that film. She is in every scene and guides the entire picture. However, she is young, not very famous, and has to make room for Anette Benning. If Natalie Portman had played the same role, with the same amount of screen time, it would have been best actress. No question. Oh well, as is life.
Any excuse will do if it means I can use this image
Pleasant Surprises
  • Amy Adams and Melissa Leo get nods for The Fighter.
    • I really did not see both women getting nominated. Melissa Leo’s performance is, I think, the more note-worthy of the bunch. There is a scene between Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in that film that involves window-jumping, car singing, and lots of crying that should win an award all in itself. But hey, if the academy wants to give my favorite movie of the year some credit, go right ahead.
  • True Grit gets 10 nominations after receiving zero recognition from the Golden Globes
    • This shocker is a pleasant one, much like the Amy Adams surprise. I feel, strangely enough, like I am sometimes the lone defender of the Coen’s new film. It’s an adaptation of a novel that spawned a famous John Wayne film. It’s a tough sell, especially for the image savvy audience they have built for themselves over the past couple of decades. But that film truly deserves the honor of everything it gets.
  • David O. Russell receives best director nod over Danny Boyle
    • For the past month it has been a close race between Boyle and Russell for that final spot in the directing shortlist. As a fan of both directors, I was rooting for both men, but as you all know, The Fighter holds a very special place in my heart. I’m glad that Russell got his directing nod, but I bet Lily Tomlin is playing a different tune…
What do you guys think about the nominations? Pleasant surprises? Shockers? Lets talk.

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  • Who's the leading role in True Grit if not Hailee Steinfeld? I know, I know, Jeff Bridges. But I still don't understand.

  • Still haven't seen the fighter or King's speech so I have nothing to say. I am surprised that Inception did't get and editing nom. That was the best part of the movie.

    Also, Danny Boyle made a guy in a hole interesting for 2 hours. Give the guy some credit.

  • David O. Russell made the tired, tired genre of "boxing movies" extremely emotional and engaging. Credit goes to David, here.

  • Have to agree with the editing nom comment for Inception. It should have definetly made that cut. Not sure what part of King's Speech was so impressive in the editing department but I did love Colin Firth. I was a nervous wreck over a speech he was about to give. That was great acting!