At the end of the 90s, famous Oscar show writer and Celebrity Fit Club contestant Bruce Vilanch claimed that, “Generally with the Oscars…there isn’t much you can do until the nominations are announced. Then you know what kind of year you’re dealing with – what’s been overlooked, what the issues are.”

He was talking about preparing to write the show, but it applies to everyone from the directors, producers and stars on down to the fans. It’s fun to guess around the water cooler (your office still has a water cooler?), but until now, it’s all been speculation.

Thankfully, almost all that speculation has been spot on, so we can all continue our conversations about whether Black Swan will beat The Social Network for Best Picture. Whether Natalie Portman has any true competition for Best Actress. Whether, most importantly of all, Colleen Atwood will beat Mary Zophres for Best Costume Design.

Here they are. The 2011 Academy Award nominees:

BEST PICTURE

127 HOURS (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
BLACK SWAN (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
INCEPTION (Warner Bros Pictures)
THE FIGHTER (Relativity Media/Paramount Pictures)
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT (Focus Features)
THE KING’S SPEECH (The Weinstein Co)
THE SOCIAL NETWORK (Sony Pictures)
TOY STORY 3 (Pixar/Walt Disney Studios)
TRUE GRIT (Paramount Pictures)
WINTER’S BONE Roadside Attractions

BEST ACTOR

JEFF BRIDGES – TRUE GRIT
JAVIER BARDEM – BIUTIFUL
JESSE EISENBERG – THE SOCIAL NETWORK
COLIN FIRTH – THE KING’S SPEECH
JAMES FRANCO – 127 HOURS

BEST ACTRESS

ANNETTE BENING – THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
NICOLE KIDMAN – RABBIT HOLE
JENNIFER LAWRENCE – WINTER’S BONE
NATALIE PORTMAN – BLACK SWAN
MICHELLE WILLIAMS – BLUE VALENTINE

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

CHRISTIAN BALE – THE FIGHTER
JOHN HAWKES – WINTER’S BONE
JEREMY RENNER – THE TOWN
MARK RUFFALO – THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT
GEOFFREY RUSH – THE KING’S SPEECH

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

AMY ADAMS – THE FIGHTER
HELENA BONHAM CARTER – THE KING’S SPEECH
MELISSA LEO – THE FIGHTER
HAILEE STEINFELD – TRUE GRIT
JACKIE WEAVER – ANIMAL KINGDOM

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON
TOY STORY 3
THE ILLUSIONIST

BEST DIRECTOR

DARREN ARONOFSKY – BLACK SWAN
DAVID FINCHER – THE SOCIAL NETWORK
TOM HOOPER – THE KING’S SPEECH
JOEL AND ETHAN COEN – TRUE GRIT
DAVID O. RUSSELL – THE FIGHTER

Continue on for more nominations…

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland, Robert Stromberg, Karen O’Hara
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Stuart Craig, Stephenie McMillan
Inception, Guy Hendrix Dyas, Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
The King’s Speech, Eve Stewart, Judy Farr
True Grit, Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh

Achievement in Cinematography

Black Swan, Matthew Libatique
Inception, Wally Pfister
The King’s Speech,  Danny Cohen
The Social Network, Jeff Cronenweth
True Grit, Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design

Alice in Wonderland, Colleen Atwood
I Am Love, Antonella Cannarozzi
The King’s Speech, Jenny Beavan
The Tempest, Sandy Powell
True Grit, Mary Zophres

Best Documentary Feature

Exit through the Gift Shop, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz, A Paranoid Pictures Production
Gasland, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic, A Gasland Production
Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs, A Representational Pictures Production
Restrepo, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, An Outpost Films Production
Waste Land, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley, An Almega Projects Production

Best Documentary Short Subject

Killing in the Name, A Moxie Firecracker Films Production
Poster Girl, A Portrayal Films Production
Strangers No More, Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon, A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production
Sun Come Up, Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger, A Sun Come Up Production
The Warriors of Qiugang ,Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon, A Thomas Lennon Films Production

Achievement in Film Editing

Black Swan, Andrew Weisblum
The Fighter, Pamela Martin
The King’s Speech, Tariq Anwar
127 Hours, Jon Harris
The Social Network, Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Best Foreign Language Film

Biutiful, Mexico
Dogtooth, Greece
In a Better World, Denmark
Incendies, Canada
Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi), Algeria

Achievement in Makeup

Barney’s Version, Adrien Morot
The Way Back, Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
The Wolfman, Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Even more nominees? But of course…

–~~~~~~~~~~~~–

Best Original Score

How to Train Your Dragon, John Powell
Inception, Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech, Alexandre Desplat
127 Hours, A.R. Rahman
The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Best Original Song

“Coming Home” from Country Strong, Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from Tangled, Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours, Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3, Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Best Animated Short Film

Day & Night, A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Teddy Newton
The Gruffalo, A Magic Light Pictures Production, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
Let’s Pollute, A Geefwee Boedoe Production, Geefwee Boedoe
The Lost Thing, A Passion Pictures Australia Production, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary), A Sacrebleu Production, Bastien Dubois

Best Live Action Short Film

The Confession, A National Film and Television School Production, Tanel Toom
The Crush, A Purdy Pictures Production, Michael Creagh
God of Love, A Luke Matheny Production, Luke Matheny
Na Wewe, A CUT! Production, Ivan Goldschmidt
Wish 143, A Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures Production, Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Achievement in Sound Editing

Inception, Richard King
Toy Story 3, Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
Tron: Legacy, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
True Grit, Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
Unstoppable, Mark P. Stoeckinger

Achievement in Sound Mixing

Inception, Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
The King’s Speech, Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
Salt, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
The Social Network, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
True Grit, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Achievement in Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland, Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
Hereafter, Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
Inception, Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
Iron Man 2, Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours, Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3, Screenplay by Michael Arndt. Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit, Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone, Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Original Screenplay

Another Year, Written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson. Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception, Written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right, Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech, Screenplay by David Seidler

So that’s it.

Not a lot of surprises, frankly, but there never are. Christopher Nolan is probably feeling a little bit disappointed this morning, and rightfully so.

Based on all of the awards, the movies leading the Best Picture pack are The King’s Speech, The Social Network, and The Fighter. True Grit and Black Swan are not too far behind, but Inception will have to pull a Driving Miss Daisy in order to take home the ultimate prize. Not likely at this point.

Still, it’s important to remember that the Oscars are a Democratic process. It’s a vote – not some secret cabal of people deciding in a smoke-filled back room somewhere.

At the end of the day, it’s an honor to be nominated, so congratulations to all of the nominees.

What do you think?


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