2011 Oscar Nominations Announced; THE KING’S SPEECH Leads with 12 Nominations

     January 25, 2011


The nominees for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards have been announced.  The King’s Speech led the pack with 12 nominations.  True Grit followed with 10 nominations while early favorite The Social Network racked up eight.  Most of the nominees were easy to predict.  While I’m not surprised that John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) nabbed acting nominations, I’m happy they were recognized for their work.  I’m also ridiculously happy that Exit Through the Gift Shop picked up a nod for Best Documentary.

As far as snubs go, the biggest one has to be Christopher Nolan for Inception.  While he picked up the DGA nomination, the Academy chose to go with Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit.  As someone who loved the hell out of True Grit, it’s hard for me to complain.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of nominees along with my commentary.  Winners will be announced on February 27th.  James Franco and Anne Hathaway are set to host the awards ceremony.

The-Social-Network-movie-poster-David FincherBEST FILM

  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

[Matt's note: Absolutely no surprises here, although I suppose you could argue that The Town got snubbed]


  • Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
  • David O. Russell – The Fighter
  • Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
  • David Fincher – The Social Network
  • Joel Coen and Ethan Coen – True Grit

[These five films are the real nominees and actually, the contest at this point is really between The King's Speech and The Social Network.  I wouldn't be surprised if Fincher ends up winning Best Director but The King's Speech takes home Best Picture]


  • Javier Bardem – Biutiful
  • Jeff Bridges – True Grit
  • Jesse Eisenberg – The Social Network
  • Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
  • James Franco – 127 Hours

[Oscar writers are masturbating furiously about all the jokes they can make since host James Franco is also a nominee]


  • Annette Bening – The Kids Are All Right
  • Nicole Kidman – Rabbit Hole
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
  • Natalie Portman – Black Swan
  • Michelle Williams – Blue Valentine

[Again, no real surprises but nice to see Lawrence in the mix.  However, at this point, the race looks like a contest between Natalie Portman and Annette Bening]


  • 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

[From now on, you can say Oscar nominee John Hawkes.  That's amazing]

the-kings-speech-movie-poster(1)BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Amy Adams – The Fighter
  • Helena Bonham Carter – The King’s Speech
  • Melissa Leo – The Fighter
  • Hailee Steinfeld – True Grit
  • Jackie Weaver – Animal Kingdom

[Very happy that the Academy recognized Weaver's tremendous performance in Animal Kingdom even though the film barely saw a release in the U.S.]


  • Another Year
  • The Fighter
  • Inception
  • The Kids Are All Right
  • The King’s Speech

[It's tough to see The King's Speech not winning this although I think these are all worthy films, although I would have liked to seen Black Swan pick up a nomination]


  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network
  • Toy Story 3
  • True Grit
  • Winter’s Bone

[This is Aaron Sorkin's award to lose.]


  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • The Illusionist
  • Toy Story 3

[And the award for Best Toy Story 3 in Best Toy Story 3 goes to...]


  • Biutiful
  • Dogtooth
  • In a Better World
  • Incendies
  • Outside the Law

[There are a lot of Dogtooth fans out there that are very happy this morning since the film didn't seem likely to receive a nomination.  I personally haven't seen the film yet, but it's been on my list for a while now]

black_swan_movie_poster_01BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Exit Through the Gift Shop
  • Gasland
  • Inside Job
  • Restrepo
  • Waste Land

[Banksy is now not only one of the world's most popular street artists.  He's an Oscar nominee.  Also, the second biggest snub has to be not nominating Waiting for "Superman".  Why does the Academy hate children?!]


  • Black Swan
  • The Fighter
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

[Very surprised Inception didn't get nominated in this category.  The editing in that film is so crucial to the storytelling.  In 127 Hours, it's fine, but slightly abrasive]


  • Black Swan
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Social Network
  • The King’s Speech

[This is a tough category, but it's one of the few where Black Swan could take home the prize]


  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
  • Hereafter
  • Inception
  • Iron Man 2

[Two major surprises in this category: First, there are five nominees when usually there are only three.  Second, Hereafter?  Really?  For what?  Afterlife blur effects?  Yeah, the tsunami scene is cool, but it doesn't hold a blurry candle to the entirety of how Edgar Wright used effects in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World]


  • The Way Back
  • The Wolfman

[Oh, Make-up.  You're such a lazy category.]

Inception-movie-posterBEST ART DIRECTION

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • True Grit

[Alice in Wonderland does have impressive art direction...provided you've never seen a Tim Burton movie before]


  • Alice in Wonderland
  • I Am Love
  • The King’s Speech
  • The Tempest
  • True Grit

[I'm betting The King's Speech will win because dressing people in period costumes is apparently the most amazing thing ever]


  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • Salt
  • The Social Network
  • True Grit


  • Inception
  • Toy Story 3
  • TRON: Legacy
  • True Grit
  • Unstoppable


  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Inception
  • The King’s Speech
  • 127 Hours
  • The Social Network

[It was a long shot, but I was hoping Daft Punk would get a nomination for their TRON: Legacy score.  Oh well.]


  • “Coming Home” from Country Strong
  • “I See the Light” from Tangled
  • “If I Rise” from 127 Hours
  • “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3


  • Killing in the Name
  • Poster Girl
  • Strangers No More
  • Sun Come Up
  • The Warriors of Qiugang


  • Day & Night
  • The Gruffalo
  • Let’s Pollute
  • The Lost Thing
  • Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage


  • The Confession
  • The Crush
  • God of Love
  • Na Wewe
  • Wish 143
Around The Web
  • Al

    That’s total B.S. that Inception didn’t get nominated for editing!! It should have won that category! It’s just like when Bruce Springsteen didn’t get nominated for “The Wrestler”. Good for John Hawkes though. The dude was amazing in WInter’s Bone and on Deadwood.

    • ReneT

      Couldn’t agree more with you! And Di Caprio for best actor, Nolan for best director! What the hell is on their mind!

  • Jenn

    I guess i’m a minority, I do not understand all the critical praise around The Social Network. I enjoyed it, and I’m a fan of some of David Fincher’s previous work. It didn’t stand out to me as groundbreaking, f anything it feels like over-hype. Is it just because it’s a character based drama? I thought for sure after seeing Inception that it would be the one to beat this year. Not only visually is it marvel, but performances were amazing, and it’s one of those unique movies that don’t pass us by often. Like i said, I don’t get it… clearly i’m not at the same pedigree as the Industry.

    Why was Nolan not nominated for best Director?

    • junierizzle

      You’re not alone. I liked it too but I think THE SOCIAL NETWORK is severely overrated.

      To me that movie is style over substance. Flashy, dialog, cinmeatography, editing, and no heart. The main character is the same through out the movie. He doesn’t change at all.

    • Twilidiot

      Maybe ‘The Social Network’ would have worked if it WAS a character-based drama. It wasn’t anything. I’m all for genre-busting but that wasn’t what this film was. It was a slick, choppy, nicely lit bunch of nothing.

      Is it a coming-of-age tale? The main character is portrayed as a one-dimensional, unsympathetic jerk. Real, living, complex people were reduced to caricatures. I was actually chanting “Team Winklevi” because I wanted to hit somebody. Why not have them jump Zuckerberg in a dark hallway? Obviously, no one involved in the film cared about accuracy. (Exception: costumers. I can’t find the quote, but Zuckerberg at one point talked about how it was funny that every T-shirt, every hoody, shown in the film is one he actually owns.)

      Was it a pseudo-documentary? The most exciting parts of the Facebook story weren’t in the film. Think daisy-chained servers cooled only by desk fans. That’s a visual that really hits me as to how out of control the growth was, much more than the film’s choice of numbers on a big TV screen. Numbers, schmumbers.

      Was it a legal drama? Most boring ever, then!

      Don’t even get me started on the Best Original Score nomination. Argh. At least the BAFTAs have some sense when it comes to music. If the music branch was more open-minded, TRON would be in that category instead.

      I think the nominations are just because it is so “now” but the story is so untrue, I think ‘The Social Network’ won’t be relevant ten years from now while we’ll all still be pulling out the “Inception,” “True Grit,” and “The King’s Speech” Blu-rays over and over. I thought “Black Swan” was wonderful but it messed with my head too much. It’s too painful to watch a self-destructive schizophrenic’s descent into madness and death over and over.

      Check out this very cool conversation between Sean Parker and author Paulo Coehlo (‘The Alchemist’) recorded yesterday. The important part is actually how Napster, Twitter, Facebook and Kindle can democratize the power of the recording and publishing industries, but Parker also talks about ‘The Social Network’ around 4:52. He liked the artistry of the film but it’s “complete fiction”: “I wish my life were that cool…. There are no Victoria’s Secret models in Silicon Valley.”

      http://youtu.be/at-FEx_WHYg (via @mashable)

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  • sunny

    I don`t see what was so special about Renner`s perfomance. Andrew Garfield should have taken his spot.

    • nanak

      i totally agree! He’s a great actor but that performance was certainly not Oscar-worthy

    • Trick

      With a few exceptions, it seems the academy awards ceremony (at least the big categories) is a ploy to market the movies that made the least during the year. Looking at Inception ticket sales v. Kings speech ticket sales, its not hard to see why the former was snubbed. Hell, even The Social Network was snubbed in a few categories. Even though I believe Renner is great at what he does, Garfield deserved that nom.

  • David

    Biggest snubs to me go to Nolan and Andrew Garfield.

    Garfield was the heart and soul of The Social Network. It’s a damn shame he was snubbed.

    I like the majority of the surprises though, And while I liked Hawkes, I’d have to give the edge to Garfield–but that’s just me.

  • danishdarko

    Chris Nolan ignored as Best Director was an insult! And where’s Ryan Gosling?Andrew Garfield?? Anyway, still The Social Network for BEST PICTURE!

    • ReneT

      I guess Academy is so subjective.

  • Mike

    There are 6000+ members on the Academy roster who obviously thought the other directors were more deserving, but to me, Christopher Nolan already won the “Best Director” award.

  • tigersuit

    Inception should win all the sound awards atleast. That would be well deserved, the sound in that film was amazing.

  • Rune Alexander

    Tangled should have been nominated for animated film (at least Alan Menken got a nomination for best song) and TRON: Legacy should have been nominated for visual effects! I’m happy that Alice in Wonderland, TRON, Toy Story 3, Tangled, Black Swan, Inception, Salt, The Wolfman, Christian Bale, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter and Natalie Portman got nominated.

  • Ringbearer1420

    Shutter Island, Inception, and True Grit were my favorites of the year and of the three True Grit’s the one I cared the least about getting nominated, unless it was for the girl, who I notice wasn’t nominated, guess only ‘cute’ kids get nominated.
    To not realize the Hitchcockian directors snub to Nolan it a bit appalling. Not to mention the editing snub, which is a joke, and Leo not getting a single nomination.
    People keep saying Social Network is so ‘timly’ its just another Hollywood biopic, and one of the weaker one at that. Innception is about our time, it’s just metaphorical and well moving and brilliant. Unless the Academy is paying you it’s ok to lay into them for their stupidity.
    Case in point: How is it fair for a animated film be up for both categories of best picture? This just guarantees Pixar a monopoly. One or the other.

    • Al

      The girl got nominated for best supporting. Anyone else feel like Jeff Bridges was just put in there as sort of filler?

    • Twilidiot

      Hailee Steinfeld was nominated for ‘True Grit.’ See “Best Supporting Actress.” It’s weird, I know, because the film was from her viewpoint, but that’s the politics of the nominating process for a performance from a 13 year-old.

  • Hamburgers

    why is a kings speech nominated twice for cinematography?

    • David

      It’s a typo. True Grit was nominated (and will probably win).

  • Stasz

    Very happy James Franco got nominated for ’127 Hours’.

    And I really hope he wins it, I want him for Best Actor.
    He was definitely my favourite for 2010.
    Would be quite funny as well to see the host win.

    But I doubt that because it looks like The Academy has got their fist in The King’s Speech ass and Colin Firth will probably get it.

    Christopher Nolan not nominated for Best Director surprised me as well.
    ‘Inception’ DOES deserve Best Screenplay.

    I could talk hours but I’ll just have to sit back and wait.

    And I also hope we’re gonna see a Academy Award Winner in the Batsuit next year.
    Christian Bale definitely surprised me big time in ‘The Fighter’.

    Natalie Portman brought tears to me in ‘Black Swan’.
    And I mean that in a very positive way.
    She definitely deserves the Oscar because the rest is shit. (Compared to)

  • Alex

    I’m sorry–Christopher Nolan worked 50x harder on Inception than any of these directors did on their movies. He deserves a Best Director WIN, let alone nomination. The Academy always seems to find a way to piss me off somehow each year.

    • Stasz

      What about Darren Aronofsky ?

      Walked around with the story for YEARS and has been struggling to finally get this film done as well.
      Talked with Natalie Portman in 2000 to play this role.

      Thanks to him the dancing scenes were captured perfectly … with a handycam !
      He did an amazing job on Black Swan.

      Don’t get me wrong I love Inception as much as you do but I just wanted to defend Darren Aronofsky because of your quote.

      I would have loved to see Nolan nominated as well but Darren wins it it for me.

  • Andy247

    So very, very, glad that someone else realises the sun doesn’t shine out of Christopher Nolan’s ringpiece.

  • Sara

    For those who think The Social Network is overrated, i agree u you.
    i think its a great film, but not thatttttt good u know?
    Anyway… Chris Nolan not best director? C’mon !

    I SOO want see True Grit, I live in Brazil, in a two weeks i guess i will be able to see… I mean the trailer is really good, and this film coust 38 millions and already is 138 millions. That’s crazy! And Jeff Bridges is great,… he looks great in the film, and he was nominate!

    And I am soooo glad that Waste Land as nominate, is because is half brazilian and also talks about garbage, social problems here … I am sooo happy

  • Allen

    How about Peter Morgan got snubbed for best screenplay nom in hereafter?

    As much as I love inception and hope Nolan win something for god sake, Peter deserves a nom in this category.

  • Bl

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the academy hates blockbuster films, and Christopher Nolan.
    Nolan is easliy the best director…..flawless was Inception.
    Best score and screenplay both 100% for Inception.
    The score for Inception was haunting.
    No Best Dir. nod for Nolan is unspeakable.

  • Pills26

    Ok, first: no best editing for Inception?? Seriously? Did they all walk out before the last hour where they seamlessly cut between 4 different levels? That sequence is a masterstroke of pacing and momentum.

    Next: no sound nominations for Black Swan – this one really gets me. The flutters and accentuated footsteps may have been a bit on the nose, but it really helped just the feeling of unease and otherworldliness of the story. If the academy was really serous about sound, rather than loud bangs and musical numbers, they would have nominated this.

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  • Excpired

    I think Scott Pilgrim should’ve been nomed for best editing, Edgar Wrights movies are always extremely well edited and Scott Pilgrim was the apex. Even if the premise and the pacing was on ADD the editing was just amazing, same with the sound track.

  • Excpired

    Well, the two biggest snubs this year are clearly The Town and Scott Pilgrim. Scott Pilgrim should’ve received noms for special effects, sound effects and editing. The Town should’ve gotten best director, picture and the third which it got only because Renner is an academy award winner now is best supporting actor for him (which he did an amazing job, I was thoroughly surprised by his performance in that movie).

    On the other hand I am very happy to see Mark Ruffalo getting a nomination I wasn’t really expecting it and I think he deserves it.

  • Excpired

    Another thing is hasn’t harry potter gotten special effects every year now? I mean fuck, who cares anymore it is the same bs every time.

  • Collin V.

    How the hell did Hereafter get a VFX nom and Scott Pilgrim didn’t!? Except the tsunami, there was really not any other amazing VFX in it.

  • Derek

    wow..just wow. no literal words can describe what i’m feeling right now as i type this. no freakin editing nod for Inception?? are you freakin kidding me??? the editing alone is one of the best i’ve seen in years of film and don’t get me started on the Best Director snub. he worked on that thing for a decade plus and all he get was a snub from the Academy? Academy if you were reading this somehow and someway, you’re a joke. seriously. you can count on me NOT tuning in Oscars next year, while the rest of us retract back to Inception Bluray in our couch.

    don’t get me wrong, i’m a huge fan of Fincher too and LOVE all his films and Social Network was actually down-right fantastic but Nolan deserves the Best Director and the editing nod. this is an insult to all the Nolan fans.

    on the side note – Andrew Garfield NOT nominated for supporting actor?? oh my god, he’s even better than Jesse Eisenberg and that Renner guy from the Town.


  • wtfmansrsly

    Would rather have seen Tron nominated for effects and score. How awesome would it be to see Daft Punk at the oscars?

    Aside from that everything else sits fine with me, actually.. Jesse Eisenberg for best actor? His role seems fairly straightforward to me, and I feel that any half decent young-ish actor could have pulled off the whole wise-cracking, cynical and somewhat misunderstood teenager role that he played. I thought the movie itself was great, but Garfield was more deserving of a nom in my opinion.

    And I’d love to see Aronofsky get some love, him being possibly my fav film maker, although I feel that he’ll lose the directing nod to Fincher.

  • Alex

    Hey, take a look at all five directors that were nominated. You know what they all have in common? Their main characters are all over the acting nominations. Fincher, Russell, Hooper, Aronofsky, and the Coens all worked phenomenally with their actors to create incredible characters to center their movies on. Nolan essentially created the most exciting and elaborate chessboard of the year, and used his characters as the pieces while he played against himself. Now, there’s something to be said for that as a cinematic experience (it’s fun as all hell, man!), but there was no visceral, emotional connection to what was going on there. Inception is a blast, but it’s not Best Director material, at least in terms of the basic facets of storytelling. Now, I know Nolan is capable of creating great characters for his stories (see Insomnia), but this isn’t his moment. Let it pass, people. (Though Inception and Scott Pilgrim NEEDED to be recognized for their superior editing. That was a big bummer.)

  • Joan C

    I am disappointed that Richard Jenkins was not nominated for Best Supporting Actor as the obsessive/compulsive Dad in “Dear John.” I remember his performance as he did an amazing job.

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  • Kevin

    Gosling got robbed not being nominated for Blue Valentine ive seen every contending movie aside from Bardem in Biutiful and Gosling was the best hands down

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  • Animated Film?

    No Despicable Me?

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