Despite every prediction about the Oscar race in the weeks leading to the announcement of the Academy Award nominations, there are always a few (wonderful) surprises that throw the whole thing off. This year was certainly no exception.
As last year's Best Supporting Actress winner Mo'Nique and Academy President Tom Sherak announced the nominations [...]
By Ryan J. Downey
With all of the early morning celebrating surely going on in Hollywood from folks like Javier Bardem ("Biutiful") and Michelle Williams ("Blue Valentine") after the Oscar nominations were announced, there are surely several other folks whose disappointment very likely sent them straight back to bed in their PJs.
Mila Kunis earned Best Supporting Actress nominations at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards for "Black Swan," generally a great indicator in the race for Oscar gold, but was left in the cold today as the 2011 Academy Award Nominations were announced in Beverly Hills by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Who else was snubbed?
Andrew Garfield, busy shooting "Spider-Man," won't be rewarded for his supporting turn in "The Social Network," a Best Picture nominee and Golden Globes Best Drama winner seen by many critics and pundits as the strongest best picture contender against "The King's Speech," which leads with nominations in 12 categories. "The Social Network" earned an Oscar nomination for Jesse Eisenberg in the lead actor category among other accolades.
The most notable best picture snub was "The Town," the Boston set bank-robber drama starring and directed by past Oscar winner Ben Affleck with a sharp supporting turn from Jeremy Renner, who was nominated today. While other shutouts like "Get Low" and "The Ghost Writer" were seen as more dark horse choices, "The Town" seemed like a safe bet. The movie earned several nominations from the National Board of Review, the Broadcast Film Critics Association and others. The late Pete Postlethwaite was nominated at the BAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actor.
Christopher Nolan is missing from the director category. The "Inception" helmer was nominated by both the Directors Guild of America and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (who put on the Golden Globes), and many thought made him a lock come Oscar time. Maybe he'll have better luck down the road for "The Dark Knight Rises."
Best Picture nominee "The Kids Are All Right" earned an acting nomination for Annette Benning but turned up nothing for her co-star, Julianne Moore. Michelle Williams "Blue Valentine" co-star Ryan Gosling was similarly shutout, and their movie is missing from the best picture category.
Mark Wahlberg wasn't nominated for his formidable starring role in "The Fighter." While that's a bit of a snub it wasn't really a surprise. This awards season has focused on Christian Bale, who played the crack-addicted, washed-up boxer brother of Wahlberg's real-life pugilist.
As Bale (who was nominated) said earlier this month in his Golden Globes acceptance speech: "I really gotta give a shout-out to Mark because he drove this whole movie. And you can only give a loud performance like the one I gave when you have a quiet anchor and a stoic character. I've played that one many times and it never gets any notice."
There were of course some folks pulling for "True Grit" star Matt Damon, but like Wahlberg, his absence isn't hugely surprising, despite the film racking up 10 nominations, placing it right behind "The King's Speech" in terms of overall nominations.
Many expected to see "Waiting for Superman" — about the education system in America — in the documentary category. The movie received the Audience Award for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
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