Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Oscar Nominations and the Films of 2010

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and despite the fact that it was unquestionably a down year for film, the Academy still managed to find ten films to nominate for Best Picture.

The idea of rather or not we really need to nominate ten films every year is one I will hold off on until another post, and instead in this post we will just take a look at the nominations and see if there are any glaring mistakes on the list.  (We will also hold off until the big Oscar preview and prediction post to give any deeper thoughts on who should win and who will win.)


  • Winter's Bone
    For the most part there are no surprises here.  With ten nominees, it becomes more dificult to leave out a really deserving film, especially in a year in which there weren't that many great films, although some people seem to be a little surprised that The Town didn't receive a nomination.  However, I think a better case could be made for Shutter Island.  The thing with both films, though, is that they were released very early in the year, and that is always a deterrent towards getting recognized for awards.  While both were good films (and Shutter Island will probably make my top ten) neither are so amazing that it is preposterous that they didn't get nominations, even with there being ten nominations now.

    When we can really begin to question some things is when we get into the nominated directors.


    • True Grit
      Obviously, the Coens, Aronofsky, and Fincher have to be here.  I haven't seen The Fighter or The King's Speech yet, but due to the fact that The King's Speech leads all the nominees, it can't be surprising that Hooper is here.  The big omission is, of course, Christopher Nolan, director of Inception.  I haven't made my top ten for the year yet (there are still a few films I need to see, and I want to watch some of them over again before I commit), but there is still definitely a chance that Inception ends up in the top spot (although, to be honest, I'm leaning towards The Social Network).  To not have the director of what is unquestionably one of the finest films of the year nominated for best director is unbelievable.

      Unless you are going to expand this category as well (and perhaps it is a bit ironic that it is Nolan being left out, since it was the fact that The Dark Knight, also directed by Nolan, was left off of the Best Picture list a couple of years ago that gave us the ten best picture nods we have right now) someone would have to be left out in order to put Nolan in.

      Personally, I would have put Nolan on the list in the place of Russell.  As much as people do seem to have enjoyed The Fighter, I doubt that there would have been too much uproar if Nolan had been nominated and Russell had not been.

      Another category with a pretty glaring (or at least surprising) omission is the Documentary Feature category.


      What is surprising is the fact that this year there was a documentary that got a lot of attention and pub, and usually when that happens, not only is that documentary nominated, it usually wins. (Think Fahrenheit 911.)  This year, that film was without question Waiting For Superman, and yet there are no nominations for Waiting For Superman at all.

      Having not seen any of the nominated films for Best Documentary, I can't say that the five films nominated aren't more deserving than Waiting For Superman, but I certainly find the omission of Waiting For Superman as a surprising one, if only because of all of the notice that it got.  That much attention for a documentary is usually more than enough to at least get it a nomination, especially when it is a very fine film.

      The final category that I have real issue with is the Animated Film category.


      • Toy Story 3
        While the whole conversation is moot, since there is no doubt that Toy Story 3 is going to win this category, there were actually a couple of other animated films that were very outstanding this year, primarily MegaMind and Despicable Me

        I don't know that you can say the films nominated shouldn't be, but MegaMind and Despicable Me both clearly deserved nominations as well.  With the advances of computer animation in the last 15 years (and can you believe that Toy Story came out over 15 years ago?) each year seems to have a few outstanding films in the animated category.  This might have been the best year for animated films (a little ironic considering that films as a whole weren't very good this year).  Personally, I think that it might be time to expand the animated category to five films instead of just three.  If there aren't five films that deserve nomination in a year, there is no problem with only nominating three in that year.  This year, however, I think that five films easily could have been nominated in this category, and MegaMind and Despicable Me deserved to be among them.

        Until Next Time, now that we know what's nominated, I have some more movie watching to do in order to give you a full and complete Oscar Preview and Prediction Post, and then, of course, there will be my latest Thoughts As I Had Them During the Oscars Post as we watch the Oscars on Feb 27th!

1 comment:

  1. I know your biggest omission of them all is probably Christopher Nolan, but mine is easily MegaMind, which I probably would have put in the Best Picture category over The Kids Are All Right, 127 Hours and Toy Story 3 (I haven't seen The Fighter or The King's Speech yet, but that's potentially better than half of the Best Picture nominees.)