Not too many surprises this morning, but there were a few. Here they are, along with other snap judgments regarding today's Academy Award nominations:
- True Grit back from the dead: After being snubbed at the Globes, and with indications that past winners the Coen Bros. probably would NOT be recognized for directing, the Coen Bros. WERE recognized for directing AND the movie had the second-most nominations, with 10
- Andrew Garfield overlooked for Best Supporting Actor in the role that is the heart of the film that is supposed to be the front-runner. I'm not saying this is a death knell by any means for The Social Network, but I can't take it as GOOD news by any means.
- The Academy just can't bring itself to dig Christopher Nolan. The whole reason we now have 10 Best Picture nominees is because, two years, the Academy made one of its biggest snubs ever and failed to nominate Nolan's film The Dark Knight. They've nominated Inception this time around, but snubbed the Brit of a Best Director slot, something that seemed like a foregone conclusion. The Coen Bros. presumably took that slot. So the moral of the story is, in the eyes of the Academy: Coens > Nolan
- Javier Bardem! The former winner (for a Coen Bros. film), in a bit of an upset, won a Best Actor nomination for his role in Biutiful. It's the first time ever that a leading actor nominee's performance was entirely in Spanish.
- Hailee Steinfeld's nom is Michelle Williams' gain. Not a surprise in the least that the 14 year-old heroine of True Grit was nominated, but there had been some thinking recently that she'd get nominated as Best Actress (since she drives the movie) and not Best Supporting Actress (which she was being pushed for, because she's 14). But in the end, Supporting it was - which kept open a spot for the much-loved indie queen Michelle Williams as a Best Actress nominee for Blue Valentine, but presumably kept Mila Kunis (Black Swan) out of the Supporting race.
- John Hawkes for Best Supporting Actor: The Winter's Bone actor presumably grabbed Andrew Garfield's spot.
- Jacki Weaver for Best Supporting Actress: The veteran Australian actress duplicated her Golden Globes nod by getting nominated for her chilling turn in Animal Kingdom. Largely expected in many quarters, but it's still somewhat of a coup considering her film is probably the least-seen of any nominee in a major category (acting, directing, writing, picture).
It's going to take a bit more than expected for the Academy to crown "the Facebook movie," especially when a heart-warming, old-fashioned piece of (British!) entertainment is sitting there for the taking - along with the Coen Bros., now firmly entrenched in the establishment, as a very dark horse.