I felt very lucky when the Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. Thanks to my membership in the Cinema Society, an off-shoot of the Santa Barbara Film Festival, I always get to see screenings of the sure-to-be-buzzed-about films well before they open in theaters and this year’s crop was no exception. We saw “The King’s Speech” and had a Q&A with its director. We saw “Biutiful” and had a reception for Javier Bardem. (Be still, my heart.) We saw “The Social Network” and had visits from Aaron Sorkin, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Armie Hammer. We saw “The Fighter” and Amy Adams dropped in by helicopter to talk to us.
I thought the Academy did a good job of selecting the nominees, and I only have a few quibbles:
* Why was “Inception” nominated for Best Picture but its director, Christopher Nolan, snubbed?
* Why were both female directors of Oscar nominated Best Pictures (“Winter’s Bone” and “The Kids Are All Right”) not nominated? Wasn’t Kathryn Bigelow’s big win last year for “Hurt Locker” supposed to open doors for other women?
* Why was young Hailee Steinfeld of “True Grit” nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category when she was in virtually every scene of the movie?
* Why wasn’t “The Town” nominated for Best Picture since they expanded the list to 10 films and it was, in my opinion, a very good movie?
I’m looking forward to the big night in any case. For me, the Oscars are the Super Bowl of award shows; I’m not only glued to the TV for however many hours it takes to hand out the gold, but I usually have friends over to watch. Is it too early to make some predictions? Oh, why not.
Very tough choice between “Social Network” and “King’s Speech,” both of which I loved. I’m going with “Social Network.”
Natalie Portman or Annette Bening? Oy. I think Portman will win, but I’m hoping Bening gets the nod. She earned it for “Being Julia” a while back, so she’s due.
Colin Firth. No contest.
Best Supporting Actress?
Melissa Leo or Amy Adams? Both were great in “The Fighter” and one of them will win. I’m picking Adams. No, wait. Leo. No, wait. Adams. Okay, I can’t decide.
Best Supporting Actor?
It would be a stunner if Christian Bale didn’t win. He gets my vote.
I’m thinking David Fincher for “Social Network.” Just a hunch.
Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind about all of the above.