With the announcement of the nominees for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards comes a wave of criticism and praise. Here at Hollywood.com, we’re incredibly opinionated and our editorial staff had a few things to say about the nominations. Read on for commentary:
Kelsea Stahler says:
Every year when the Oscar nominations come out, verbal punches are thrown and praises are sung because there’s always a surprise or two (Hello, where is Christopher Nolan’s nomination for Best Director? But good job with the Hailee Steinfeld nom!) and they spur lots of lively debate, but ever since last year when the Academy decided to include 10 films on the Best Picture roster, I’ve felt that debate has lacked teeth. It was a fun little experiment last year, but I had hoped that would be the end of it; yet here we are with 10 more Best Picture nominees. Those on the other side of the fence have argued that greater number of nominations gives smaller films a chance for recognition, but here’s the thing: if they wouldn’t have been nominated when there were only five slots available, they aren’t going to win now and with the probability of getting nominated doubled, the nomination frankly means less.
Yes, Winter’s Bone or Toy Story 3 wouldn’t likely be seen in a category of five Best Pictures instead of 10, but should a film like either of those make it in there with a limited number of noms, it would be a HUGE honor and a serious coup. It would have monumental significance. Doubling the nominations is a band-aid remedy to help with a larger problem and that is that generally with only five slots the Academy tends to fill out nominations with the films we expect to see from a prescribed docket of genres. I agree, this is an issue, but in all honesty, that problem lies with the Academy and no number of nominees can fix that.
Sam Morgan says:
My momma always told me to live up to what I believe in, so I’m not going to sugar coat this. I believe Edgar Wright should have been nominated for Best Director. I know everyone is up in arms about Nolan getting shafted (again [snicker]), but I think Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World is one of the most unique and stunningly visual films of the year. Not to mention he directed some of the best performances of the year (and yes, that includes Michael Cera). But now with my bitching over, I’ll go with The Social Network for Best Picture and everything else. I enjoyed the hell out of The King’s Speech, but I think TSN pushes the boundaries of film farther than any other nominated.
Eric Sundermann says:
Well, first off, no Best Director nomination for Nolan? Come on. I know Inception doesn’t fit the traditional mold for Oscar films (you know, biopics and really serious, character-focused dramas), but Inception was a brilliant new take on the heist-film genre. Plus, the Academy owed him for The Dark Knight getting snubbed a couple years ago. But my next and biggest complaint? Where’s the love for Blue Valentine? Yes, I’m very thankful that Michelle Williams got nominated, but no film since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has illustrated the downfall of a relationship in such a poignant, elegant way. It at least deserved a nod for Best Screenplay (after all, it took Derek Cianfrance approximately 12 years to write). And I’d even argue that it deserved a spot in the Best Picture category. You can’t win ’em all, I guess, and overall I’m pretty satisfied with the Academy this year. But then again, 2010 is the same year that gave us films like The Last Airbender and Skyline, so perhaps it’s not the Academy’s fault, but instead, the year of 2010.
Daniel Hubschman says:
My colleagues have pointed out most of my gripes with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but I’ve got a few bits of blabber to unleash myself. Yes, I’m upset that Chris Nolan was shut out of the Best Director category, but he’s a near lock for the Best Original Screenplay award. I was not a fan of The Kids Are All Right and can’t believe that it has come this far during awards season, but Annette Bening deserves her win already so I can stomach it. What I can’t stomach is the blatant disregard of Mark Romanek’s subtle sci-fi drama Never Let Me Go. Its haunting tone and reserved performances are a thing of beauty; Romanek, screenwriter Alex Garland and cinematographer Adam Kimmel all deserved recognition for their work.
The other unfortunate snub was Ryan Gosling’s exclusion from the Best Actor race. Gosling has been nominated in the past for his work on Half Nelson, yet his performance in Blue Valentine is perhaps his best yet. He seamlessly devolved from an optimistic and inspired man to a broken, hopeless soul. The fact that Michelle Williams was nominated and he wasn’t is something of a slap in the face, as her interpretation of her character wouldn’t have been possible without his contribution. That, above all, is my biggest complaint. However, quality pictures were nominated and as a whole I’m happy with what the ballot looks like.