Oscars nominations 2011: Nolan snubbed while 'King's Speech' rolls

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and 2009 Oscar winner Mo'Nique announce the 2011 Oscar nominations.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011; 12:41 PM

The nominations for the 2011 Academy Awards are out, as Jen Chaney reported:

The Academy Award nominations, announced this morning in Los Angeles, mostly stuck to the script that Oscar-season observers expected.

"The King's Speech" led the field with 12 nominations, including nods for best picture and director, while "True Grit" galloped close behind with a healthy 10 nominations. "The Social Network" also landed its expected best picture nomination, along with seven other nods.

Other entries in the best picture race include anticipated contenders "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "True Grit," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right" and "Toy Story 3," the top-grossing film of 2010 and the third animated film in history to be recognized as a best picture hopeful. The trapped-hiker drama "127 Hours" and the Ozark-Mountain odyssey "Winter's Bone" rounded out the field.

There were however several highly-anticipated names which were not announced, Celebritology lists some of the Oscar snubs and surprises, here is a selection:

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.

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.

As Ann Hornaday explained the road to the Oscars can garner more fame to the recipients than the movies for which they were nominated:

With fewer people actually watching them in movies, stars are increasingly deploying their fame, glamour and mass appeal not on-screen but during awards season, the culmination of which is the Academy Awards ceremony itself. For the past few months, Portman, Bale, Michelle Williams and Colin Firth have dutifully shown up at critics' dinners, guild events, Academy lunches and even the ad hoc Friars Club Roast that was this year's Golden Globes, looking their best, giving gracious speeches and exuding the kind of star power that, in movies at least, seems to be on the wane. By the time the Oscars roll around, they've enjoyed months of visibility and press attention that solidify their importance in an entertainment culture increasingly oriented toward special effects, animation and un-star-driven franchises.

And, as this year's crop of likely nominees aptly illustrates, stars are still important, at least to the small films that leverage awards season to gain traction in a crowded market. "Repeat after me," Variety executive editor Steven Gaydos recently commented in the online column Hollywood Elsewhere. "Awards season exists to give movies that don't cost $200 million to make and $100 million to market a chance to recoup, so more of the movies that don't cost $200 million to make and $100 million to market can get made. It's called 'specialty film marketing.' "

More from the Washington Post

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Photos: A look at the Oscar nominees for 2011

Q&A: Ann Hornaday discusses the favorites, surprised

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