Celebritology: Snubs and surprises among the Oscar nominations

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By Jen Chaney
Tuesday, January 25, 2011; 11:12 AM

The Academy Award nominations are out. And as always, some pleasant surprises and egregious snubs emerged.

Here's a rundown, followed by a pair of polls that allow you to vote for the biggest shocker and the biggest oversights among this year's Oscar nominees. And feel free to post a comment -- or tweet your outrage using the hashtag #oscarshocker -- to vent about Oscar's neglected and happily included.

The snubs

No Christopher Nolan for best director: "Inception," one of the most profitable, popular and widely dissected movies of the year, earned eight nominations, including one for best picture. But Nolan -- who was recognized by the Directors Guild for his work on the mind-twister -- was left out, unleashing a whole load of latent "Dark Knight"-snub rage on the Internet.

No Andrew Garfield for best supporting actor: The provider of "Social Network's" heart and soul also failed to earn recognition from the academy.

No Ryan Gosling for best actor: Same goes for the "Blue Valentine" star, who at least got to see his onscreen wife, Michelle Williams, get some Oscar love. Of course, his fans may not necessarily find solace in that.

No Mila Kunis for best supporting actress: With Hailee Steinfeld landing in the best supporting actress category instead of lead, looks like Portman's dance and make-out partner in "Black Swan" got bumped.

"The Town" fails to get a best picture nomination: As I suggested in my predictions, a couple of worthy movies were bound to get bumped from the finest film race. I posited that "The Town" might be one of them. In a wacky turn of events, I was right.

The surprises

Javier Bardem for best actor: This looked like a distinct possibility given the support behind his work in "Biutiful," but for casual movie fans who may not have heard of this bleak drama, it surely counted as one of the day's surprises.

Michelle Williams for best actress: Despite the acclaim for her work, Williams didn't necessarily seem like a sure thing as a lead actress contender. But she managed to make it into the big five.

John Hawkes for best supporting actor: Given his SAG nomination, the recognition here wasn't out of the blue to those closely following awards season chatter. But to everyone else, this one undoubtedly prompted some head-scratching, and perhaps some Google-searching to determine who he is.

Jacki Weaver for best supporting actress: The Aussie actress, a motherly force in "Animal Kingdom," also counts as one of those non-household names that may have led to some Oscar-nomination-morning gasps.

"The Illusionist" for best animated film: Most people know "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Toy Story 3." "The Illusionist"? Not so much.


© 2011 The Washington Post Company

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