And the Nominees are…

Well, well, well, it’s Oscar nomination morning. And I feel fine.

Let’s jump right into them, shall we?

Best Picture

Black Swan (Fox Searchlight)

The Fighter (Paramount)

Inception (Warner Bros.)

The Kids are All Right (Focus Features)

The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company)

127 Hours (Fox Searchlight)

The Social Network (Sony Pictures)

Toy Story 3 (Disney)

True Grit (Paramount)

Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions)

How I Did: 9/10 — it was pretty obvious though, that Winter’s Bone was going to get in here instead of The Town. The Academy just won’t vote in those genre pictures (unless they were made by the Coen brothers). I stuck with The Town out of love. Either way, I’m glad I correctly guessed 127 Hours on here.

Good year to be Paramount, huh? Or Fox Searchlight. Even though this race is clearly between the Weinsteins and Sony Pictures. But still, good on them.

What This Means: Nothing. It’s still a two horse race, and all it really means is that there were no surprises whatsoever. We said the last spot was a tossup, and it was. I just picked the wrong one. Good start, though. I only disagree with one of these films being on this list, and we all knew about that. The other two I’d have switched out were really a matter of opinion and are (for the most part) worthy. So, good job on the list, let’s see who pulls ahead in the coming weeks.

Best Actor

Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Jeff Bridges, True Grit

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

James Franco, 127 Hours

How I Did: 4/5. Well, well, well, would you look at that — famous people having opinions. Remember when I said that whole thing about Julia Roberts getting all her friends to vote for Javier Bardem? Looks like she’s got a lot of friends, doesn’t it?

I said, “I’m not saying it’ll happen, but, always listen when famous people have opinions,” and then I linked you to that crazy picture of Mel and the beard, and it was funny, because I was referencing “Sugar Tits” and “Fuck the Jews.” But, still, I told you this could happen.

I stuck with Duvall just because he’s a veteran, but I underestimated just how much people didn’t even bother to watch that screener. People who saw it in theaters like me not only would have given Bob some votes but also would have voted Bill Murray, who was incredible in the film. Tsk, tsk, Academy.

What this means: Also nothing. Bardem gets in again, and he becomes the fifth nominee. No shot at winning whatsoever. In fact, it pretty much cements Colin Firth winning this. So, good job Colin Firth.

Best Actress

Annette Bening, The Kids are All Right

Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole

Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

How I Did: 5/5 — and to answer your question, yes, I’m jumping for fucking joy right now. Michelle Williams so deserved this nomination. And I’m so happy she got it. Great job, Academy. I even forgive you for not nominating Gosling, just because I can blame that on Julia Roberts and that horse smile she has.

What this means: Well, for one, it means they like Nicole Kidman (they really like her). And it also means — oh, wait, that’s next category. What it really means, like the others — nothing. This is still between Annette and Natalie, with Natalie the overwhelming favorite. Aside from knowing Nicole was going to get in and thinking she shouldn’t have, they pushed her only logical replacement to Supporting, so, I’m ecstatic with this category, since, I think we ended up with the perfect five.

Best Supporting Actor

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

How I Did: 4/5. They must have loved Winter’s Bone, because man, only like 60% of people were expecting that. Once again, SAG proves totally correct on these things. It makes sense. The only other people that could have gotten on were Damon and Michael Douglas. Damon was really the one that could have gotten in, but I don’t think people noticed how brilliant that performance was (Coen brothers movies often take more than one watch to really learn how great they are). So, it really was the obvious choice. Chalk up another one to me voting with my heart. I’m not ashamed.

What this means: Quick, guess the word before I say it — that’s right, nothing. It’s still between Bale and Rush, with Bale the overwhelming favorite, just because he was so fucking good in the role. The other three are so weak (in terms of perception, not in performance) that it’s essentially between those two. Renner is the third choice, but he won’t win. It’s between the two, with Bale the frontrunner. Let’s hope this carries until Oscar night. Bale deserves this.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, The Fighter

Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech

Melissa Leo, The Fighter

Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit

Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

How I Did: 5/5. Oh, man, am I fucking happy. Jacki Weaver deserved this nomination so much. Thank god nobody voted in Another Year. Hailee Steinfeld deserved to go lead, but I’m glad she got in here. She also might deserve to win, but that’s another story. They won’t vote her to win, because she’s a young’in, and the last young’in to win was 17 years ago in a weak ass category. So, with the strength of this one, I don’t think she can.

What this means: Not much. Ah, caught you, you thought I was gonna say nothing, didn’t you? Supporting Actress is always the category where the surprises happen. I give you 2007. Weird shit happens here. What we know for sure is that it’s essentially between three women. Amy Adams, Helena Bonham Carter and Melissa Leo. Melissa Leo is the favorite because, one, she was incredible, and two, she won the Globe. This can all change come SAG, but for now, she’s frontrunner. But, there’s Amy. Amy has been up before in this category (and against a fellow nominee from her film as well), and they ended up splitting the vote and both losing. So, Helena becomes potential favorite here as well. Let’s keep an eye on this one, Sauron.

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

David O. Russell, The Fighter

Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech

David Fincher, The Social Network

Joel & Ethan Coen, True Grit

How I Did: 4/5. How everybody did — 4/5. Oh, man, Chris Nolan gets left off again. That’s gotta sting. Why did he get left off? I guarantee you it’s the same reason I got upset at the picture back on opening night — it’s too mainstream. Nolan had a better shot at getting nominated for Memento than he did for Inception. Tone down the blockbuster and up the inventiveness. Don’t worry though, this means he’s a Scorsese-sized lock whenever he does direct that picture that’s gonna be embraced.

Actually, we all should have seen this coming. The old-timers don’t give a fuck about Chris Nolan. They probably didn’t understand the movie and marked it off as some summer blockbuster. Always go with the veterans. The Coens, deservingly, should be on this list But, I said, the weak link was Tom Hooper, but since his film was going to be nominated for Best Picture (and possibly win), he had to stay. That made Nolan the weak link. True Grit is now a bigger favorite to win Best Picture. Not by much, but Best Director, when it matches with Best Picture, is usually which five they liked the best. (Thank god, too, because I was praying over the summer that Inception not have a legit shot to win anything except maybe Best Director. Well, no need to worry there.) So, no Nolan.

What this means: Nothing. And, we’re back. It means nothing. Fincher should have this all sewn up. Even if he doesn’t win Best Picture, he’s almost certain to get this. The Academy could sweep King’s Speech, but I doubt that’s gonna happen (at this point in time), and we still have the DGA to look forward to. Those motherfuckers are right all but 6 times. So, let’s say whoever wins that wins the Oscar. (Unless it’s Nolan.)

Best Original Screenplay:

Another Year

The Fighter


The Kids are All Right

The King’s Speech

How I Did: 4/5. I switched out Black Swan for The Fighter. Not the worst decision anybody’s made. Still, this was an easy category.

What this means: Pretty much nothing. Unless something strange happens, King’s Speech should take this one easily. Very easily. You see anything else likely to win?

Best Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

How I Did: 4/5. This was a continuation pick. I picked The Town over Winter’s Bone just because I figured it was more Academy-friendly. The whole, “Who’s gonna watch the small indie movie screener?” sentiment was thrown out the window once it got nominated for Best Picture. It was clearly getting both. You pick with the heart, you gotta be willing to be wrong. And I was wrong. Oh well….

What this means: Less than nothing. Aaron Sorkin’s got this shit locked down. Like, really so. And he should. If he loses his, I lose a lot of respect for someone. Who, specifically, is TBD.

Best Editing

Black Swan

The Fighter

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

How I Did: 4/5. Had to happen. I picked Inception here. And once Nolan was out of the bag, so was this nomination. 127 Hours was clearly the best replacement. I thought Inception would have been the favorite to win herre — you know, because they were cutting between like three different timelines and all, and for the most part you were able to make sense of it. I guess no one in the Academy really was able to make sense of it. Oh well.

What this means: A lot, actually. This is a fairly open category. This should be between Social Network and King’s Speech, but no one really watches those and goes, “Man, look at that editing!” So, something else could actually take this. At this point, I won’t speculate, since I have other categories to see what was nominated in them, but for now, let’s say, if one of those two wins this, they’re almost certainly winning Best Picture. If not, then it’s still a photo finish.

Best Cinematography

Black Swan


The King’s Speech

The Social Network

True Grit

How I did: 5/5. This was easy. I said 4/5 were already locked. The last was almost a given. Surprised they stuck with Inception though. Either way, these were a pretty easy five to guess.

What this means: Same as it did before. If Roger Deakins does not win this, how is there any justice in the world? (That said, I wholly expect them to not give it to him, again. Also, just know, he is my vote, even if the Academy all but comes out and says, “We’re giving it to King’s Speech.” I’m still gonna vote that Deakins wins it. Has anyone watched True Grit? The man should win this award, motherfuckers!

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon

The Illusionist

Toy Story 3

How I Did: 2/3. Yay, Academy. Good job. You actually watched The Illusionist. I was worried Despicable Me was gonna get on here. Glad they all thought it sucked as much as I did. Shame about Tangled, but Illusionist was the film to put on here. So, good choice. Glad I’m wrong.

What this means: Fucking really? Did I not say that Pixar was nominated here?

Best Art Direction

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1


The King’s Speech

True Grit

How I Did: 4/5. I put Black Swan in here because it hit all the guilds. I also said I hesitated putting it on there because it didn’t stand out to me as much. I should have went with my gut, because I’m more in line with Academy voters than the people who work in Art Direction guilds. I did say Potter first when I mentioned the likely possibilities. So, I had it right there. Just went with the guilds. Fuck you, guilds. I said it would be hurt by all those CGI shots and, you know, shots of them in the woods — I guess I was wrong. I wonder if it hit this nomination for all the other films. If it did, then that’s poor homework on my part.

Which, we should all come to expect.

Best Costume Design

Alice in Wonderland

I Am Love

The King’s Speech

The Tempest

True Grit

How I Did: 3/5. Though I did say, “this is one of the few categories I know I’m likely to be two or even three off from.” I’m so happy Burlesque wasn’t on here, even though I picked that it would have been. Tempest makes more sense. I left off crazy and weird for over the top and showy. I also put Made in Dagenham, which for the most part was an upset pick. I Am Love is a surprise, especially since they ignored it almost everywhere else. But, I picked one period piece for another. That’s probably the biggest surprise (inclusion, not exclusion) so far.

What this means: Not too much, I think. King’s Speech should be the favorite here, thought it’s ripe for an upset. Really any one of these could take it, especially that underdog new entry. Don’t misunderestimate the competition here.

Best Original Score

How to Train Your Dragon


The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

How I Did: 3/5. Did they really just not nominate one of the best scores of the year in True Grit? The Academy really doesn’t like Carter Burwell, do they? Oh, wait, I picked them to leave him off. Oh, wait, Black Swan was ineligible. And I had it on my list. That was an oversight. I’m bumping myself up to 4/5, then. Because I said “the only two real possibilities here are John Powell…and A.R. Rahman.” And look at that, both got in. So, pick whichever you want, I’m taking that back because I accidentally left an ineligible score on my list. I’ll be happily incorrect about the Danny Elfman one. I thought they’d go with him for Alice in Wonderland even though I said I didn’t understand why they would because it sounds just like all his other scores and the film wasn’t very good. Turns out I was right.

What this means: Not much. It’s essentially between King’s Speech and Social Network. This is a tough one. Reznor and Ross won the Globe, but the Globe tends to skew more toward scores like that, written by rock stars and stuff. Usually the Academy likes their normal scores. So, I say King’s Speech is the favorite here. I might even stick with the pick come Oscar night. Reznor and Ross are de facto favorites here, but King’s Speech has the most upside, being more Academy-friendly, and most willing to benefit from a sweep (Social Network does not have the possibility of a sweep).

Best Original Song

“Coming Home,” Country Strong

“I See the Light,” Tangled

“If I Rise,” 127 Hours

“We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3

How I Did: 2/4. Wait, they only nominated 4 here? So my TBA fifth nominee was actually right on the money? Can I get a 3/5 on that? Okay, okay, I’ll keep it. but still — that was pretty good.

So, I put Burlesque on here, but once it didn’t get Costume Design, there was no way it was getting on here (not true, but rationalization is key). Really, this came down to Country Strong beating out the Waiting for Superman song (which, again, made perfect sense to me, because it’s obviously bait, but I went with the consensus. C’est la vie. Also, I keep thinking the song is the Diddy song, “Coming Home.” If that’s the case it should totally be on this list).

Also, always vote for Randy Newman.

What this means: I’m not sure. I thought “Coming Home” was a huge favorite entering the race then went away from it when everyone said it wouldn’t get nominated. So now I guess it’s back to being the favorite. Because the Tangled songs sucked, Rahman shouldn’t get the win (but it’s possible, based on the shitty criteria for picking songs in this category, which I’ll explain in the coming days), Randy is like 1 for 15 in total Oscar nominations, so I find it hard to believe that he’s suddenly gonna start picking up wins. I mean, if “You Got a Friend in Me” didn’t win, are they seriously gonna vote for a song that’s essentially “We belong together — we belong together — just you and me — best of friends — me and you — we belong together –“? I mean, I would, but will they? Based on Randy’s track record, I say no. So that leaves “Coming Home.” Though this category is ripe for spoilers. But no one really cares anyway, so ultimately, let’s just say who cares and call it a day.

Best Makeup

Barney’s Version

The Way Back

The Wolfman

How I Did: 1/3. I mean, really, who was gonna vote against the fucking Wolfman?

Who could have guessed on those two? They must have really fucking hated Alice. Wow. That seemed obvious to me, with the makeup and all. I correctly guessed they weren’t gonna vote Jonah Hex on here. That’s a shame. People were talking about the Barney’s Version makeup, and I did say it could get in. So, I kind of figured it would. And The Way Back — no one saw that coming. I mean, with seven possibilities, clearly it had a shot, but, no one thought that was coming. So, I don’t feel too bad.

What this means: Not much, I think. We should all assume Wolfman is gonna win, and then we’ll all be shocked when Barney’s Version does, but ultimately, we’ll forget about it like two minutes later.

Best Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1



Iron Man 2

How I Did: 3/5. But that was to be expected. I said they’ll probably keep Iron Man on, and went with Scott Pilgrim because it’s my baby. I also could not bring myself to nominate Potter because of naked horcrux and went with Tron instead. The lack of Tron love surprises be, but really doesn’t. Those two were clearly the ones on my list that looked like stragglers.

I must point out, however, that one of these nominations pleases me above all. I said that Hereafter, while not having the most eye-popping special effects, was a Clint Eastwood film. And every Clint Eastwood film in recent memory, has obtained at least one Academy Award nomination. And I said, “I’m going to take the history and say this gets in and is the weak link of the bunch.” How do you like me now?

What this means: Inception, for the win, done and done. Of course, now, there’s the possibility it could lose. Since, Transformers lost Best Visual Effects to The Golden Compass (I just heard like three people go, “What?!”), anything goes here. But since Dark Knight went on and won it, I say it should hold on. Don’t be shocked by an upset, though. Surprised, but not shocked.

Best Sound Editing


Toy Story 3

Tron: Legacy

True Grit


How I Did: 3/5. Not bad. Unstoppable should have been an easy choice. Somehow missed out on that. Love the Tron love. At least it got something. Actually, this category makes the most sense. Good job on that, Academy. Other than that, no one really cares about this.

What this means: I have no fucking idea. You think we can guess Sound Editing? Let’s all assume Inception is the favorite here and then put all our money on Unstoppable because it was the biggest and loudest movie here. (Though, personally, Go Tron!)

Best Sound Mixing


The King’s Speech


The Social Network

True Grit

How I Did: 3/5. Ha ha ha … I said I saw Salt popping up everywhere. I bet people wouldn’t even dream that would be even close to this list. I mentioned it could make it. I win. Didn’t pick it, but who needs to pick it when you pull a fucking platypus out of thin air like that? The other one I missed was King’s Speech. I underestimated the amount of sweep possibility there.

That’s funny. I said, one “random ass action film” makes it on these lists. I got two this year. Wow.

I put Shutter Island on the list instead of King’s Speech. But I guess they all forgot about it because it came out back in February. So far, it’s got nothing. (And can’t get anything, by my count.)

What this means: Umm…six more weeks of winter? The sweep is still there for King’s Speech, Inception is the favorite, and really anything can win here. So, it’s all up in the air.

Best Foreign Language Film

Biutiful, Mexico

Dogtooth, Greece

In a Better World, Denmark

Incendies, Canada

Outside the Law, Algeria

How I Did: 4/5. That’s right, motherfuckers. I’m a G. I went with Sweden over Canada because Sweden sounds better. Who doesn’t like Sweden? I can’t believe I got 4 of these.

Well — 3 were obvious. Javier Bardem got in for Best Actor, so that was a given. Denmark won the Globe, so that was a given. And I said Greece film got amazing reviews, so that seemed like a given. Plus I said, “Algeria just makes sense.” And it did. I also said the Russia film sounded awesome but would never get on. So, I went 4/5. Canada gets in.

What this means: Nothing? Everything? It’s Foreign Language film, not the Nuremberg trials. Who cares what wins?

Best Documentary Feature

Exit Through the Gift Shop


Inside Job


Waste Land

How I did: 3/5. Not bad. Everyone assumed Waiting for Superman would get on. That hurts whoever made it, because I’m certainly not. Restrepo was an obvious choice to go on as well, but I left it off in favor of being first alternate. Just because I assumed the idiots wouldn’t be able to pass up a Cambodian genocide doc. They did. Meh. Whatever. GasLand makes sense. I left it off because I thought the premise was boring. So, 3/5. Surprised The Tillman Story didn’t make it. But, I picked it not to, so — good?

What this means: Remember what I said about Best Foreign Language Film? Same holds true here. Favorites though are 1,3 and 4. I vote Exit, just because it seems like the least documentary of the bunch.

Best Documentary Short

Killing in the Name

Poster Girl

Strangers No More

Sun Come Up

The Warriors of Qiugang

How I Did: 3/5. Ha ha ha ha …how the fuck did I pick 3/5? I went purely on synopsis. I assumed the RFK one would get on here even though it sounded bad just because I thought they loved Bobby. I did say that the Israeli children one (#3) was also likely. Didn’t want to go with the too obvious bait. I have some standards. I also always vote cheerleader, so that made sense. I voted Killing in the Name because of the Rage Against the Machine song. Clearly that line of thinking always works out. And Sun Come Up is about climate change refugees. Clearly that was a likelihood to get on. I went about obvious Oscar bait — the Cambodian child with arsenic poisoning who wants to be a karaoke star. Clearly they wanted different bait. I just thought the other one would be funnier. It’s like Mad Libs.

What this means: I’m gonna be watching closely to see if they vote the cheerleader to win purely because it’s about a cheerleader. Other than that, no interest whatsoever in this. I’ll pick blindly come Oscar night.

Best Live Action Short

The Confession

The Crush

God of Love

Na Wewe

Wish 143

How I Did: 1/5. That’s what I get for picking based on title alone. But really though, who gives a shit enough to actually look at what these are about? I should have went with Na Wewe. That’s just funny. I’m gonna be saying Na Wewe to people all night come February 27th. Telling people to snack on my “Na Wewe.” I’m a child, I know.

What this means: Four hail marys and an ass raping by Father Fabulous.

Best Animated Short

Day & Night

The Gruffalo

Let’s Pollute

The Lost Thing

Madagascar, A Journey Diary

How I Did: 2/5. But I voted based on the most interesting. The Gruffalo was obvious Oscar bait.I was bored by the clip I saw. I also said Madagascar was an alternate. I figured they’d be voting it in even though I didn’t. I voted for Sensology, even though it wasn’t so much animated as it was Avant Garde. I can see why they didn’t vote it in, even though I thought it was better than most. The Silence Beneath the Bark was also one where it looked differently animated than the rest of the boring computer shit they nominate nowadays (looking at you, Lost Thing and Gruffalo). Also, Urs looked to have a human element to it, which is why I threw it on there.

What this means: Pixar clearly looks like the winner. That shit is genius. Let’s Pollute is a serious alternate. As long as one of those two wins, I’m happy.

So, that’s everyone. How did I do in total? Let’s add it up…

Out of 120 nominees…oh, that makes it easy to do the math on this one (which we’ll learn on Friday why that is not my strong suit)…I got…


That’s funny. This is the 83rd Academy Awards.

Also, that’s a 69% percentage of correct films. Not bad. Not bad at all. One away from a solid 70%. And that one away was probably one I could have voted correctly on but didn’t on purpose so I could maintain my dignity and backbone. So, I’m probably just below the uppermost tier of people on this yet again, which is fine, because I am, and always will be … a B+ student.

And there’s me, turning everything into a punchline. Except The Fighter. Because it already is one. (Get it? Rim shot. — I want to name a porno Rim Shot.)

Tomorrow I’m going to go start going through every single category, two at a time. It’s gonna be fun.

Zulu out.

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