Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011

And the Nominees Are ...

Trumpets for His Majesty! The King's Speech, the story of King George VI's triumph over stammering, spoke clearly during the Jan. 25 roll call of Oscar nominations, earning 12, followed by the western remake True Grit, with 10. The Social Network, long a favorite for Best Picture, picked up eight nominations, in part because it received only one nod in the four acting categories (we miss you, Justin Timberlake and Armie Hammer) and also because it didn't get the craft nominations that bulk up the stash of a period film like The King's Speech. Acting favorites Colin Firth (The King's Speech), Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Christian Bale and Melissa Leo (both in The Fighter) all received their preliminary due. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also continued its cold-shouldering of Christopher Nolan: he was denied a Best Director nomination for Inception, as he was two years ago for The Dark Knight.

In other fraud-at-polls news, two sectors of the Academy committed unconscionable boners. The documentary division ignored Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for "Superman" and Alex Gibney's studies of Jack Abramoff and Eliot Spitzer, the better to include Josh Fox's amateur-night Gasland. (Guggenheim's exclusion may establish Exit Through the Gift Shop, the anarcho-whimsical doc from mysterioso street artist Banksy, as a slight favorite over the political exposé Inside Job.) And the foreign-film branch, which perplexes annually, slighted the two best eligible movies: France's Of Gods and Men and South Africa's Life, Above All. That gives a leg up to Biutiful, directed by previous Best Director nominee (for Babel) Alejandro González Iñárritu, and starring Oscar winner and Best Actor nominee Javier Bardem.

Who was nominated in the seven major categories? Who might win on Oscar night, to be held on Feb. 27? Read on and find out.