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Oscar nominations: Snubs and surprises

The 2011 Annual Academy Awards nominations are out and it’s pretty much what you’d expect with The King’s Speech leading with 12 nods. So, who was rewarded and who was snubbed?

Start getting your Academy Awards party finery ready. The 83rd Oscar nominations have hit the press. For the second time, we have ten nominees for Best Picture. A few people were initially worried that we’d end up with some not-so-great films clogging up the category, but that never panned out. They’re all worth a nod.

Black Swan is nominated for Best Picture

Here’s the list. Which ones have you seen? We’ve got 127 Hours which made people pass out in screenings, Black Swan which was so good it got press about something other than the sex scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, and Inception which was visually stunning and caused endless hours of debate about whether or not the dream totem falls at the end.

There’s The Fighter, a true story about boxing brothers that had Christian Bale dropping tons of weight again and The Kids Are All Right, a sweet, funny, heartbreaking comedy-drama about what can happen to a family when someone from the outside rocks your world. The King’s Speech is the absolutely beautiful story of Queen Elizabeth’s parents and what it means to have a true friend in the world and The Social Network, the kinda sorta maybe true-ish story of the founding of Facebook. Toy Story 3 is the finale of the three-act film franchise that made us feel bad about giving away our teddy bears, True Grit, the Coen brothers’ remake of the fantastic western and Winter’s Bone, a story about a girl who overcomes unbelievable odds.

The only one people are really surprised not to see is Blue Valentine.

In the Best Supporting Actor category, we have Christian Bale for The Fighter. No surprise there. Jeremy Renner (last year’s Best Actor nominee for The Hurt Locker) is up for Ben Affleck’s wonderful film, The Town. Mark Ruffalo has finally been recognized for his subtle performance in The Kids Are All Right. Geoffrey Rush is up for his brilliant work in The King’s Speech, though he could certainly have submitted himself for Best Actor. The big surprise here, and well deserved, is John Hawkes for Winter’s Bone. It’s about time someone noticed what he did here.

In the Best Supporting Actress category there are no surprises at all. Melissa Leo and Amy Adams are both up for The Fighter and Jacki Weaver for her performance in the little seen Animal Kingdom. I guess the Academy was happy to see Helena Bonham Carter in a less crazy role than she’s been playing lately, because she’s up for her lovely performance in The King’s Speech. And yes, the 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld has been nominated for her work in True Grit. This girl is outstanding and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Winter's Bone

In the Best Actor category, Jeff Bridges has been recognized for True Grit, something the Golden Globes failed to do. Javier Bardem is up for Biutiful and James Franco (one of the Oscar hosts) for 127 Hours. Colin Firth (who I predict will win) is nominated for The King’s Speech and the young Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network. (He was adorable in Zombieland.)

And finally, in the Best Actress category, we have Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right, though I don’t know why her co-star Julianne Moore hasn’t been recognized, Natalie Portman for Black Swan who will likely take the statue and Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole. Michelle Williams is up for Blue Valentine, though her co-star Ryan Gosling was snubbed, and the young Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone. So, there are very few surprises here, but I can’t think of a single name that doesn’t deserve a nod. What do you guys think? Let us know!

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