Winter’s Bone and John Hawkes have entered the Oscars race.
Take that, Golden Globes. After being completely shut out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Coen brothers and True Grit, their fine remake of the John Wayne western, got lots of Oscar love last Tuesday, winning 10 nominations including deserving nods for best picture, director, adapted screenplay, lead actor (Jeff Bridges) and, although it's really a lead performance, supporting actress (Hailee Steinfeld).
It, along with The King's Speech (12 nominations), The Social Network (8) and Black Swan (5), were the predictable names on the list.
Canadians can all breathe a little easier now that Denis Villeneuve's Incendies has made the cut for best foreign-language picture - although come February 27 it may have a tough time beating Biutiful, which also scored a surprise nomination for actor Javier Bardem. (Looks like Julia Roberts's campaign for her Eat Pray Love co-star paid off.) Golden Globe-winner Paul Giamatti didn't get a best-actor nomination for the Canuck-made Barney's Version, but the film did get a nod for best makeup, which, come to think of it, was one of the most convincing things about the movie.
The biggest overall Oscar surprise was the strong showing by Winter's Bone, a quiet, intense picture about poverty in the Ozarks released way back in June. Lead actress Jennifer Lawrence's nomination was pretty much a given, but nominations for picture, supporting actor John Hawkes and adapted screenplay were unexpected. Not that any of them will win.
It was good to see Mark Ruffalo and Oscar co-host James Franco score first-time nominations, the former for his charming supporting turn as a sperm donor in The Kids Are All Right, the latter as mountain climber Aron Ralston in 127 Hours.
There were some disappointments in the director category. Best-picture nominees 127 Hours and Inception are completely director-driven vehicles, but neither Danny Boyle nor Christopher Nolan got any credit. Strangely, Nolan's Inception, with its bravura cutting between three or four storylines, missed out on an editing nomination, yet The King's Speech got one.
I'm also disappointed that none of the supporting actors from The Social Network - Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake or Armie Hammer - got noticed for their work. Garfield was the obvious pick, but JT was campaigning awfully hard to have the "Oscar-nominated..." tag before his name. Speaking of supporting actors, it was also sad not to see Matt Damon's turn in True Grit acknowledged. His great timing adds a lot of comic relief to the film.
On the subject of comedy and relief, let's all be grateful that the Golden Globe-nominated Burlesque was completely shut out, even in the best-song category. On the plus side, that means no Cher or Xtina performance; on the minus side, it means no Cher red-carpet roadkill moment.
For a complete list of nominees, see nowtoronto.com/daily.