The Tangential Thinker

  It’s that time of year again. It’s awards season. The Golden Globes kicked things off in January and now Hollywood waits with bated breath for the main attraction, the Academy Awards. This year, like last year, the Academy named 10, yes 10, best picture nominees, so even Burlesque had hopes. In the end, there were surprises, shoe-ins, and of course, snubs.

The Best Picture nominees are:

Black Swan

The Fighter


The Kids Are All Right

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Social Network

Toy Story 3

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

As is often the occasion, the academy, it seems, was hard pressed to find 10 deserving films. Only four of the nominated films (Black Swan, The King’s Speech, True Grit, The Social Network), are in my opinion “Oscar worthy.” The others range from engaging (127 Hours, Winter’s Bone) to entertaining (The Kids Are All Right, The Fighter, Toy Story 3) to overrated (Inception). I must say I am thrilled that the Academy is giving some much-deserved attention to The King’s Speech, my favorite film of 2010 after it was shockingly almost overlooked—with the exception of Colin Firth’s impossible-to-ignore performance—by the Hollywood Foreign Press.

Every year actors, directors and producers wake up at the crack of dawn hoping to hear their name announced among the list of nominees, and every year some people go right back to bed. This year it was Andrew Garfield. Widely praised for his portrayal of the only truly sympathetic character in The Social Network, Eduardo Saverin, the performance didn’t catch Oscar’s eye. On a side note: He did just land the role of Spiderman, so I don’t imagine he’s crying himself to sleep at night.

Also snubbed this year was Mila Kunis, passed over for her earthy performance of a rival ballerina in Black Swan. Apparently members of the Academy have seen That Seventies Show. Michelle Williams received an Oscar nod for her bleak performance in Blue Valentine but not Ryan Gosling, who played her tortured husband. The shock there is not the snub; rather the nomination.

The films that were snubbed in general were Inception and The Social Network. Yes, they were both nominated for Best Picture, but Inception was passed over in almost every other major category. While The Social Network did receive eight nods, it hardly eclipsed the nominations it received with the Golden Globes. The Academy, it appears, likes movies with a little more heart. So come Feb. 27, look for the movies and performances that left you feeling moved to earn some overdue praise.

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