Winners, losers, and snubs

Love it or hate it, the Oscars continue to be the single most defining cinematic awards show to date. The 83rd annual presentation was no different, with Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosing last Sunday’s event. Here follows a simple list of the primary nominees and winners (with some mild color commentary from yours truly).

First, I need to vent some frustration. The nominees for bet visual effects were “Alice in Wonderland,” “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part 1,” “Hereafter,” “Inception” and “Iron Man 2,” with “Inception” for the win. There is a large hole with this list: Where is “Tron: Legacy”?

From beginning to end, the live-action Disney flick was nothing but a redefinition of computer-generated imagery and 3D cinema, yet it won no recognition, and what’s more, it wasn’t beat out by any stiff competition. Although I personally found “Alice in Wonderland” to be a treat, it by no means deserves Oscar nominations, and despite my near violent obsession with “Inception,” the importance of the film did not rest with the visuals at all, which where few and far between. The graphics in “Harry Potter” were (sorry fans) alright at best. And the contribution made by “Hereafter” was one scene and one scene only. Please, Academy, give credit where credit is deserved.

However, I am significantly less upset when it comes to the two writing nominations and awards. The nominees for adapted screenplay were “127 Hours,” “The Social Network,” “Toy Story 3,” “True Grit” and “Winter’s Bone,” with Aaron Sorkin nabbing the award for the Facebook movie and leaving no complaints on my part. The script for “The Social Network” was stunning from beginning to end, and that’s that.

Original screenplay was contested between “Another Year,” “The Fighter,” “Inception,” “The Kids Are Alright” and “The King’s Speech,” with the latter leaving with the little gold man. I cannot make a full judgment upon this, because I did not see Colin Firth as king in time for the event. However, I am hard pressed to believe that it could compare with the pure originality of brothers Jonathan and Christopher Nolan’s “Inception.”

Best original score left Daft Punk out of the picture for their work with “Tron: Legacy;” however, the nominees were deserving. “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Inception,” “The King’s Speech,” “127 Hours” and “The Social Network” all vied for the spot with “The Social Network” the winner. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’s score for film was simply fantastic, with a particularly enjoyable cover of the classic “In the Hall of the Mountain King.”

Cinematography was a stiff competition with “Black Swan,” “Inception,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Social Network” and “True Grit.” “Inception” took home the gold with both content and discord in my mind, for “Black Swan” was a truly unique visual experience.

Best Animated Feature was a straight forward happening, with “How to Train Your Dragon” and “The Illusionist” losing to “Toy Story 3.” I doubt anyone is upset about that.
Natalie Portman swooped in and won Best Actress for “Black Swan,” with no qualms on this end, against Annette Bening in “The Kids Are Alright,” Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole,” Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone” and Michelle Williams for “Blue Valentine.”
And Colin Firth with kingly poise won best actor over James Franco in “127 Hours,” Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network,” Jeff Bridges in “True Grit” and Javier Bardem in “Biutiful.” This was a strong nomination list, all giving stunning performances.

Directing and Best Picture awards tend to go hand in hand, with the winner of one commonly being the winner of the other, whether deserving or no. “Black Swan,” “The Fighter,” “The King’s Speech,” “The Social Network” and “True Grit” competed (and no Nolan to be seen!) for Best Director, and “The King’s Speech” won.

The Best Picture category was one of the best it has been, with nothing but good movies pitted against good movies. “Toy Story 3,” “127 Hours,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “True Grit,” “The Fighter,” “Winter’s Bone,” “Black Swan,” “Inception,” “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech,” with the historical docu-drama, “The King’s Speech,” walking away with the final award. Difficult to say whether or not I agree, but the category was a tough one this year.

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