In roughly twelve hours, we will have our Oscar nominees 2011. There will be names of films I have yet to see and others I didn't like enough to understand why they're nominated. Amidst my existence of seeing mostly just the popular choices, not having quite the opportunity to be exposed to under the radar films before other people get a chance to tell me to see them, there still seem to be disappointments for me when nomination morning comes. I doubt anything tomorrow morning could upset me the way I wanted to break my television when The Dark Knight was snubbed for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay (all of which it deserved, in my opinion), but I'll still be disappointed in the likeliest of circumstances.
Thus, like everyone else, I have a few names and roles and things I'd like to see nominated come tomorrow morning. Let's run through some of my dream nominees, shall we?
While I liked Winter's Bone, I understand some people calling it "overrated" - it is a well-crafted film, a well-written story, and features some brilliant performances. However, I probably won't be too disappointed if it isn't nominated for Best Pictures. Jennifer Lawrence will get her due, which she deserves. I'll be more disappointed if John Hawkes' scarily intriguing and, as every role should be, complex and layered performance isn't nominated. Jeremy Renner for The Town or Matt Damon for True Grit were also good, so I can't complain too much, but John Hawkes would be my pick. If the supporting actress race were less challenging this year, I'd be more outraged at Dale Dickey's exclusion as well. The bizarre chorus of angry women in Winter's Bone and The Fighter were so fascinating. But, like I said earlier, Winter's Bone is a strong, well-crafted film from Debra Granik, in only her second feature film.
The Fighter is getting loads of notice for its performances, particularly its strong supporting performances from Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo and while they all deserve the attention, Mark Wahlberg's lead role is fan-friggin-tastic. I loved The Departed and thought he was great in that, but his more reserved performance here was even better and this will be the one he won't be nominated for an acting award for.
All the nominees I'm pulling for on varying levels of expectancy:
Best Picture: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Best Picture: How to Train Your Dragon
Best Director: Banksy, Exit Through the Gift Shop
Best Director: Debra Granik, Winter's Bone
Best Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Best Actress: Emma Stone, Easy A
Best Actor: Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Barbara Hershey, Black Swan
Best Supporting Actress: Dale Dickey, Winter's Bone
Best Supporting Actor: Cillian Murphy, Inception
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Sheen, TRON: Legacy
Best Supporting Actor: Jon Hamm, The Town
Best Supporting Actor: John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Best Adapted Screenplay: How to Train Your Dragon
Best Adapted Screenplay: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Best Documentary Feature: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Best Documentary Feature: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Best Visual Effects: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Best Original Score: TRON: Legacy
Best Original Song: "Despicable Me" from Despicable Me
...and I'm kinda out. Some of these I'd be pulling for more than others (the music categories are some of my more fervent endorsements; that song from Despicable Me was perfect and I adored every aspect of the soundscape of Tron: Legacy, including and particularly the score). Jon Hamm, Michael Sheen, and Cillian Murphy I have no expectations for and their competitors are worthy. Barbara Hershey I feel deserves it more than Mila Kunis. Hailee Steinfeld I feel is really a lead performance and a good enough one that even her young age shouldn't keep her sitting in the supporting field. Exit Through the Gift Shop I just loved if it wasn't obvious. And Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work was just so well-crafted and so enjoyable and interesting, for lack of a better word. HTTYD is as good as TS3, and I wish I could give more love to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but it is hard to root for just one part of it.
It's really disappointing how few films I've seen this year, though. Shame. Shaaaame. I'll try to fix that in future years. But, mostly, I feel that also I just agree with at least half of the likely nominees.
Honestly, if there were anything I wanted to really push for, it would be a lockout for Alice in Wonderland (which will at least get a few nods if not wins), and switching out The Kids Are All Right for Best Picture with Winter's Bone. Maybe just ditching The Kids Are All Right in screenplay too - I wouldn't even mind shut outs elsewhere, but that'd be hoping too much. Hater that I am...
Well, Oscars, do your worst. Actually, please don't. Do your goddamn best, got it?