F.J.’s Reactions to the 2011 Oscar Nominations.

The Oscar nominees have been announced, and as always, there are some disappointments and some surprises. I will only be covering a selection of the main categories and nominees, because I really don’t have something to say about everything…but whatever. Lets get right to it!

Best Supporting Actor:

The only surprise here for me personally was John Hawkes for the film Winter’s Bone, which I have yet to see. It’s nice to see someone unpredicatable get the nomination this time. Good choices for all the other actor nominees.

Best Director:

Alright, this is what bugs me. David O. Russell gets nominated, but Christopher Nolan is out? Seriously? No really! Are you fucking kidding me? Am I in Wonderland? Am I the star of The Truman Show? Without praising Nolan too much, let me put my frustration this way: The Fighter is one of the most overrated films of this year. Yes, even more so than Inception. Why? Because all The Fighter had going for it was the acting. Seriously, the acting clouded people’s judgement of the other aspects of the film. The script is cliched, even for a biopic, and there is not enough attention payed to Mickey Ward, the lead character whom Mark Wahlberg portrays. Wahlberg might have nabbed the Best Actor Oscar nomination if his character was not underwritten to give Chrisitan Bale the bigger spotlight. But please don’t think I’m dissing too much on Russell. He is a fine director, but I out of all the best shit that came out this year, including The Town, Inception and Buried, The Fighter ends up being among the five films nominated for their direction? I seriously hope that this is only a political move, because it might have something to do with Russell’s odd relationship with the Academy, and Nolan may be a shoe-in for later nominations (The Dark Knight Rises, perhaps? Here’s hoping!). Even with that future possibility, the fact is that Russell is not among the best directors, in my opinion. As much as the Coens piss me off occasionally, I can’t help but love many of their films, and True Grit was a very well directed, well adapted western. Russell definitely knows how to work with actors, which is an important aspect of direction. An Oscar nomination, however, is too much. This rant will not mean a flying fuck to anyone anyway, though, since God loves David Fincher.

Best Supporting Actress:

Ridiculous. I mean, I am happy with the nominees, but I really wish Amy Adams had been replaced with Julianne Moore. Amy Adams was good, but Julianne Moore was stronger and gave a very raw performance in The Kids Are All Right. I really hate that she is not being nominated along her co-star Annette Bening, who gave a really good performance as well. Either way, that is not the reason for me hating these choices. My beef is with placing Hailee Steinfeld in the “Best Supporting Actress” category as opposed to the “Best Actress” category. You may think it is a minor thing, but True Grit was practically her film. It was more her film than The Dude’s. The Academy did this before with Kate Winslet. Remember when she won for The Reader? What she was supposed to win for was for Revolutionary Road. I don’t understand these changes. I truly don’t. If you don’t want to put Steinfeld in the “Best Actress” category over someone else, than don’t bother nominating her at all. Oh, and one surprise for me was that there was no nomination for Barbara Hershey for Black Swan. She was really good, and I felt she was much more worthy of a nomination than Amy Adams.

Best Actress:

Nothing to complain about. Natalie Portman was nominated, I’m happy, and everyone loves her.

Best Actor:

Ok, Jeff Bridges did an awesome job as Rooster Cogburn. If you ask me, however, he should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor. I know what you might be thinking, but the truth is, Cogburn is a character who helps the lead character find her father’s killer. Thats how it is. Don’t “dude” me out of this argument, its true. Now, with the John Wayne version of the film, it’s different. That film was directed differently, and even written differently…essentially it was the lesser film of these two adaptations. John Wayne’s lead role nomination was right, because it really felt like Cogburn’s story as far as Hollywood marketing is concerned. The Coens did the right thing though and they gave the focus of the film to Mattie Ross.

Best Animated Feature:

I am very happy with the choices here. I never saw Tangled, though, and frankly am not really interested. It just looks like a bland fail of a Disney film. I will say this however: Alan Menken….just retire dude. Seriously.

Best Foreign Film:

Very interesting selection of nominees, and there will be no complaints from me. I was curious as to how Of Gods and Men did not make the cut, however…

Best Writing – Original Screenplay:

Why has The Fighter been nominated in this category too? This is where problems all started! This is where it could have been improved! Russell could have made a great boxing film, if there had been more effort put into the script. My buddy, M.T, pointed out that Melissa Leo’s character was one-note. I agree. As much as I want Melissa Leo to get the award (if Jacki Weaver doesn’t get it), her performance has little to do with the writing of her character. Bale’s character, however, was well written, and it seems obvious to me that the writer had so much fun with his character that he got sidetracked from what was supposed to be the real deal. On the plus side, for me anyway, I’m certain that The Fighter will not win in this category, but it still does not mean I can’t complain.

Best Picture:

Before the nominees were announced, I tried to guess what would appear on the lists, and I was almost right on all counts. I even guessed that Winter’s Bone would be among them. I was hoping, though, that the Academy would do the right thing and ignore The Fighter and give that nomination to The Town instead. I’m sorry, but that’s how it should be. I don’t see why people are blinded by The Fighter‘s influence. Nominate Bale, nominate Leo, nominate Adams as well, fair enough but just stop covering up the movie’s flaws. All of that being said, the world loves Facebook, or maybe even King George VI, so you can just forget my entire rant.


Despite my animalistic rage, I am pretty happy with this year’s Oscar picks. They certainly beats last year’s, and the awards should be a fun, albeit very predictable time. See you at the Oscars, and be sure to check out my picks for the ceremony in the week leading up to it. Oh, and am I the only one who thinks Gervais should replace Hathaway and Franco despite all the controversy?

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