Oscar Nominations – The Snubs and Surprises

Well the obvious blemish is the Inception snubs, that is Christopher Nolan for Director and Lee Smith for Film Editing.  These were shoe-ins, but for some reason, the Academy didn’t think Inception worthy of such nominations.  This is detrimental for Inception in the Best Picture race as no film has EVER won Best Picture without both a Film Editing and Director nomination.  Even Driving Miss Daisy in 1989 won Best Picture without a Director nomination, but it was nominated for Film Editing.  So that’s over and it’s a sad thing.  Inception was easily one of the top 5 films of the year, if not the best.  The Academy doesn’t see things as we do.  They make a hobby out of snubbing Christopher Nolan.  Until Nolan makes a talkie, something more up their alley, it seems he may not get the acclaim he deserves.  I hope he doesn’t take it personally.  I hope he keeps doing his thing, because I love it.
The Surprises:
Inception snubs for Director and Film Editing.  Javier Bardem getting an Acting nomination for his performance in Biutiful, but this is no real shocker.  David O. Russell held his Director spot.  I thought the Coens would get in over O. Russell, never Nolan!  Also, Hereafter for Visual Effects.  Please.
The Locks:
Firth, Portman and Bale are pretty much locked for Actor, Actress and Supporting Actor.  Aaron Sorkin for Adapted Screenplay.  Toy Story 3 for Animation will win (though I detect a non-Pixar movement brewing).
The Not-So-Locked:
The real race is in Supporting Actress.  Some say it’s between Melissa Leo and Hailie Steinfeld.  Leo’s been here before for Frozen River. She’s a veteran.  However, we haven’t seen a performace like Steinfeld’s in True Grit for a long time.  The thing is, she just turned 14.  This shouldn’t mean anything, but if history tells us anything the chances are not good for a win for Hailie.  Amy Adams might be the dark horse here.  Her performance in The Fighter along side Leo was much more subdued and subtle.  The Supporting Actress race far more wide open than the others.
The Academy never ceases to amaze with its inconsistent nomination procedures.  For years, they have only nominated 3 films for visual effects.  This year they nominated 5.  Not that that’s a bad thing, but it just exposes the lack of structure.  In years past, The Academy has found a way to show their love for Clint Eastwood.  This year is no different as they give Hereafter a Visual Effects nomination.  Inception should walk away with this one.
Sound Editing and Mixing are as arbitrary as ever.  The only common film between the two categories is Inception and I feel that it will win both here to make up for its awful snub.  Although, look for the eventual Best Picture winner to snag an Editing/Mixing win (The Social Network, The King’s Speech).
Makeup is always an odd choice.  I’m no makeup expert, but every year The Academy leaves off the more obvious films like, Black Swan and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Anything goes with this category, but does anyone care about movies they probably haven’t seen?
Costume Design goes right up there with makeup.  No Black Swan.  Although, look for the eventual Best Picture winner to snag the Costume win (The King’s Speech)
Cinematography could go to anyone.  Deakins has been snubbed in the past.  They could give it to him for that reason (as I don’t believe this is his best work).  Libatique for Black Swan deserves it in my book, but one can never count out the Best Picture frontrunners, The Social Network and The King’s Speech; The King’s Speech having the edge here.  Pfister’s work on Inception is some of the best of the year, but I don’t see the Academy awarding it to the same film they snubbed earlier just to make amends.  This is wide open.
Original Score will go to the either The Social Network or The King’s Speech, both of which are the Best Picture frontrunners at the moment. 
I think Fincher takes home the Director Oscar, but I’m not as sold on The Social Network’s Best Picture chances.  85% of the time a film wins Best Direct it also wins Best Picture.  Only 7 times (15%) has a Best Picture winner not won Best Director, the most recent being Brokeback Mountain in 2005.  That’s about once every 6 or 7 years.  We could be due for another!

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