Christopher Nolan NOT Nominated for Best Director Oscar! See Other Glaring Omissions!  

The 83rd Academy Awards nominations announcement was at once exciting, and frustrating. Exciting because as a movie buff, it’s quite exhilarating to see your favorite films get nods. But at the same time, it was frustrating because some of the movies and the people that worked in these films were ignored.

(Check out complete 2011 Oscar nominations right here)

So here are my complaints, frustrations, and thoughts on the Oscar nominations revealed this morning. Who and what did the Academy ignore?

In the Best Actor category, Robert Duvall was bumped out of the race to give way to Javier Bardem. Duvall was nominated for a SAG award for his performance in “Get Low” but the Academy gave the slot Bardem for the foreign language-nominated film, “Biutiful.”

Hilary Swank, who received a SAG award Best Actress nomination for “Conviction,” was ignored. In her place is the much-deserving Michelle Williams for “Blue Valentine.” BUT, Williams’ co-star, Ryan Gosling, did not receive a Best Actor nomination for his performance in the movie.

In the Best Supporting Actress category, SAG-nominated Mila Kunis for “Black Swan” gave way to the excellent Jacki Weaver for “Animal Kingdom.” And I love, love, love that newcomer Hailee Steinfeld received a nomination for her memorable performance in “True Grit.”

While “Inception” received 8 nominations -- Best Picture, Art Direction, Cinematography, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Best Original Writing – the guy behind it all, Christopher Nolan, was left out for Best Directing! Sure, he’s nominated for Best Original Writing, but the Academy relegated his excellent mind-boggling film to the technical categories.

YET, “Inception” did not receive a Best Film Editing nod. In my humble opinion, the movie’s jumping narrative sequence would not have worked if not for Lee Smith’s great editing skills for the movie. But the film that squeezed into its place is equally deserving. Jon Harris’ editing work for Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” is also truly commendable.

Speaking of omissions, Ben Affleck’s fantastic film, “The Town” was largely ignored by the Academy. The film failed to get a Best Picture nomination, but at least, Jeremy Renner received a Best Supporting Actor nod for his work on the film.

In Costume Design, I love that the Academy did not forget Antonella Cannarozzi’s work in “I Am Love” yet the Italian movie failed to receive a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Going back to the Best Directing category, while I love all the nominees – Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”), David O. Russell (“The Fighter”), Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”), David Fincher (“The Social Network”), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (“True Grit”) – it’s interesting to note that the great Coen brothers were ignored by the Director’s Guild (where Nolan was nominated for “Inception”), but at the Oscars, the game of musical chairs was played in this category. Buh-bye Nolan, Hello Coen brothers.

And really, the Academy voters, bless their hearts, could not dare to nominate a woman! Sure, Kathryn Bigelow won last year for “The Hurt Locker” and made history, but one can argue that she received the Best Director trophy for a film that’s largely a part of the male-oriented genre. This year, two excellent films, both nominated for Best Picture Oscar, are dramas and were directed by brilliant women. There’s Debra Granik for “Winter’s Bone” and Lisa Cholodenko for “The Kids Are All Right.” Were they nominated for Best Director? Of course not!

In the Documentary (Feature) category, where’s “Waiting for Superman?” Davis Guggenheim’s exploration of our failed public school system received the Producers Guild Award for Best Documentary but was nowhere in sight in the Oscar nominations. I did like that both “Restrepo” and “Exit Through the Gift Shop” made the cut though.

And just between us, I’m kind of glad that “Burlesque” did not receive a single nomination in the Music category. The songs sounded strained, and I’d rather hear Dido sing “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” than see Cher and Christina Aguilera duke it out on stage…again.

One more thing, I’m glad that “Winter’s Bone” is getting all the love – four nominations including Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, Best Supporting Actor for John Hawkes, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Granik & Anne Rosellini.

Speaking of the Best Adapted Screenplay category, where was “Toy Story 3” adapted from? Was it because it’s a threequel and all the characters were based on the first two films? Really? I thought this category was for a film that has previous incarnations as either a book or a play but not a sequel. Hhhmmmmm.

“127 Hours” was based on a book “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Aron Ralston, “The Social Network” was based on a book by Ben Mezrich, “True Grit” came from Charles Portis’ novel, and “Winter’s Bone” was based on Daniel Woodrell’s book.

“Toy Story 3?” An original story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich. So the film should have been nominated in the Original Screenplay category right?

Last thing, I’m also happy that “Another Year” by Mike Leigh was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. But I think it’s a crime that Lesley Manville, the talented actress that won my heart in “Another Year” was ignored! Oh well, perhaps another year.

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