Oscar Nominations 2011

Here are the ten movies you might like to watch before the 83rd Academy Awards on Feb. 27:

Best Picture Nominees:

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

For a complete list of nominees and to watch the announcement from this morning in case you missed it at 5:30 am (PT) or 8:30 am (ET), CLICK HERE.

The nominations count are as follows: King’s Speech = 12, True Grit = 10, Social Network = 8, Inception = 8, The Fighter = 7, 127 Hours = 6

The King leads the pack.  A royal flush they say, hope that’s the hand on Oscar night.  Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, and director Tom Hooper all get nods. Other categories include Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Editing, Original Score, Sound Mixing, Screenplay.  To read my review of The King’s Speech, CLICK HERE.

The surprise here is True Grit.  The Coen brothers’ film got snubbed at the Golden Globes and comes back with a vengeance.  Two years in a row they get the nod for Best Picture, after last year’s A Serious Man (my review here).   True Grit is a remake of the 1969 Western for which John Wayne got his Oscar.  Here we have a distinct Coen style film with smart dialogues and great acting.  “Nothing is free except the grace of God,” the beginning voice-over says, matched with the tune of the old hymn ‘Leaning on the Ever Lasting Arms’… I was amused to see how these two notions echo at the end of the film. At 13, Hailee Steinfeld beat out 15,000 other girls in the audition to get the role of tough and articulate Mattie Ross, seeking justice for her daddy’s death.  Now one year later, she has landed at the Oscars. Amazing. Also, Jeff Bridges gets the nom again, after snatching the Best Actor Oscar from Colin Firth last year.  It’s interesting to note that, while Colin Firth can act with half a voice, Jeff Bridges here shows us he can act with just one eye.

I’m excited to see Mike Leigh finally getting recognition for his poignant original screenplay for Another Year.  Unfortunately, the film does not get any more Oscar nods.  Veteran British actors Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, and Lesley Manville give a performance of deep resonance.  Lesley Manville is no less deserving than anyone on the list of Best Actress nominees.  This is one of the most neglected movies of 2010.  I saw it at the Calgary Film Festivals last year.  I know some cities are just showing it now. Don’t miss it.  CLICK HERE to read my review.

Toy Story 3.  The animated feature that gets into the major league, following the only two other animations ever to be nominated in a Best Motion Picture category, Up (2009) and Beauty and the Beast (1991).  The theme of growing up and parting with your beloved and familiar finds its way into a touching animation that may well appeal to parents more than kids.  The idea of a child leaving home for college has been used in several movies in recent years, most notably, The Blind Side (2009) and The Kids Are All Right (2010).  I’ve watched all of this year’s ten Best Picture nominees. But, don’t laugh, Toy Story 3 was the only time I’d shed a few tears.

For Best Documentary Feature, I’m glad to see our notorious graffiti artist Banksy’s film Exit Through the Gift Shop has not evaded the Academy.  To read my review CLICK HERE.

The Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 27.  This time Anne Hathaway and James Franco (a Best Actor nominee himself for 127 Hours), the youngest of Oscar hosts, are set to offer a fresh new look.  Hathaway had proven her versatility dancing and singing with Hugh Jackman two Oscars ago, and Franco has been hailed as the new Renaissance Man…  Just hope they will live up to expectations.

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

8 thoughts on “Oscar Nominations 2011”

  1. Hi Arti,
    I used to follow the awards ceremonies more because a very good friend of ours was the set designer for several of the Academy Award shows, etc. He passed away in 2003.
    He was a believer and a member of Grace Community church in Southern California where John MacArthur is the senior pastor. John MacArthur also has a radio broadcast called Grace to You.
    Here’s a little info on our friend Bob…

    BOB KEENE (1947 – 2003)

    Production Designer Bob Keene was best known for his work on live television awards shows — from the Grammys® to the Academy Awards® to the People’s Choice Awards®. He won Emmys® for his work on the “Centennial Olympic Games: Opening Ceremonies” (1996) and the “42nd Annual Grammy Awards”® (2000), and was nominated 11 other times. Keene also worked on various tribute shows and Magic Johnson’s talk show, “The Magic Hour.”


    Thank you for sharing with us a tribute to your very talented friend… a great loss indeed. The more I watch awards shows in recent years, the more I feel we need people who are themselves inspired so that they can design and produce programs that are not merely ostentatious displays or just to offer a few laughs. Honoring achievements and talents can be totally uplifting and motivational… as the best motion pictures can offer us.



  2. Thanks for this Arti. I’d better lift my game. I much preferred it when there were only 5 (or was it 6) best picture nominations. Anyhow, I’ve seen 6 (Black swan, Inceptions, The kids are all right, The King’s speech, The social network and Toy Story 3) to date. I don’t think I’ll manage all 10 – in fact, I’m not sure that Winter’s bone has been released here yet. True grit and 127 hours have just opened but I have a busy month with a trip away, major birthday celebrations for husband etc. But, I do want to see True grit and 127 hours.

    We are seeing Another year tomorrow, and am looking forward to that one.


    Yes, do go for True Grit and 127 Hours… I’d like to see what you think of them. And I’m really glad you’ll have a chance to see Another Year. Do come back and share your response with us. It’s your typical indie film, personal, deep and thought-provoking. It’s just too bad that the film has not received too much attention this side of the Atlantic.



  3. I’m ahead of last year, Arti, since I’ve seen one of the Best Picture nominees. I have seen True Grit reviewed in several places, including on one artist’s blog who spoke more about the images than the film itself. But it seems like one I’d enjoy.

    One of the side stories that interests me is how current issues with Facebook might affect the film’s awards. Of course Hollywood loves FB and all that, but there have been many, many critical articles written about the company in the past 7-10 days about their business practices, including this one. It may not affect anything, but it’s certainly interesting to watch.

    I meant to tell you – I really like the way you’ve done your sidebar with links to YOUR favorite posts. I might think about doing something similar.


    Do you know that we have ads on our blogs without our consent? I just found out. WordPress says that’s for them to at least generate some revenue, since they’ve offered us the blogging service. If we don’t want ads to appear on our blog, we’ve to pay them. Quite ironic isn’t it, to pay to be ad-free. Anyway, that’s our price to pay… albeit I was quite surprised to learn about this.

    And remember the glitch I had (one which WordPress apologized…), where all the visuals are gone on my sidebar? Well, I had to reload everything. So I thought of something new and more meaningful to put up there. That’s when I thought of listing some of my own fave posts. But freely we receive, freely they will be taken away… I’m just apprehensive about another ‘glitch’.

    About the Oscar nominees… yes, I think you’ll enjoy True Grit. Also, you might like 127 Hours too. It’s based on the real life story of Aron Ralston. If you’re into psychological thriller, then Black Swan. But this is a must-see, and it’s not on the list, Another Year.



  4. I’ve seen only two of the best picture nominees, Inception and True Grit. I’m glad True Grit is getting some attention, because I thought it was really great with excellent acting.


    If you’re to see just one more, I urge you to go watch The King’s Speech. As someone who loves and teaches literature, you’ll be moved by the stammering King’s struggles with the delivery of words, and his arduous journey to find a voice.



  5. I have seen The Fighter, True Grits and The King Speech. For my taste, I like the King Speech the best. My daughter though really enjoyed Black Swan and saw it twice. I agree that because of the current interest in Face Book this might influence the jury in the favor of The Social Network.


    Yes, since last year there are now ten to choose from, appealing to different tastes. I hesitate to predict though, since It’s more like a campaign for votes among the thousands of Academy members. As I write on my next post, there are the smaller productions that warrant credits. Even if they don’t win, being a nominee should have a catapulting effect. I’m thinking of Winter’s Bone… which deserves more attention.



  6. I bawled and bawled at Toy Story 3 as well. Starting in the boy’s room, when she’s clearing it out for him to move to college. The filmmakers did a phenomenal job with the poignant moments of this movie.


    You have to give it to them for striking the right chords, not just eliciting memories, but in presenting the ideal, as the ending so nicely wraps up… they sure know what the audience yearns for.



  7. For some reason your posts aren’t coming through on my feed reader, as I have just found out! I’m very pleased to read this, as I never know enough about the Oscars. I bought my husband the film Exit Through the Gift Shop for my husband for Christmas and now realise I forgot all about it and never gave it to him! I will if you think it’s good – I’ll check out your review.


    oh no, I hope other subscribers don’t have the same problems. But since you’re on Twitter, check my tweets. I tweet every time I have a new post. I also tweet quotes, and any news or info about arts, books, and films which I find interesting.

    And LOL, now your husband will have a surprise gift. Yes, feel free to explore my site, after you’ve read the Banksy film review, another one you just might be interested in is my review of Man On Wire, since I’d compared Banksy to Philippe Petit.



  8. I saw Toy Story 3 in both HD & 3D. Both formats offered the same emotional impact. I loved it, and cried, too. But I dont’s see it getting Best Picture. Not only because of the other outstanding offerings, but because of the timing of it’s release some time ago.


    You know as they say, being nominated is honor enough. Anyway, Toy Story 3 is one of only three animated features ever to be included in the Best Picture category. But you’re right, there are other outstanding offerings.



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