Oscar nominations: Snubs (Christopher Nolan) and surprises ('Winter's Bone')

oscar-snubs-surprises-2011.jpgThe instant reaction to the Oscar nominations Tuesday morning (Jan. 25) went something like this: "No Chistopher Nolan for best director? What the ...!?"

Judging by the tweeted outrage and general surprise from Academy Awards pundits, the absence of Nolan ("Inception") from the best director field was the biggest snub of the day (Nolan was nominated for best original screenplay, and "Inception" is up for best picture). Nolan is nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award for the movie, and the DGA is usually a pretty reliable predictor of the Oscar nominees for director.

Oscar voters, however, chose "True Grit" directors Joel and Ethan Coen over him. The other DGA nominees -- Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), David O. Russell ("The Fighter") and Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") -- all made the Oscar field.

Other surprises, both good and bad, that we noticed in the nominations:

Snubs

Mark Wahlberg. His co-stars in "The Fighter" -- Amy Adams, Melissa Leo and Christian Bale -- all earned supporting nominations, but Wahlberg's much quieter performance went unrecognized. Too bad -- because he's great in the film.

Julianne Moore. We don't really have a beef with any of the best actress nominees -- including Moore's "The Kids Are All Right" co-star, Annette Bening -- but Moore was equally deserving for her work in "Kids."

Ryan Gosling. Again, tough to argue with a best actor field that features Javier Bardem, Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth, Jesse Eisenberg and James Franco. But while Michelle Williams was nominated for best actress for "Blue Valentine," Gosling was left out.

Andrew Garfield and Mila Kunis. We were figuring on first-time nominations for both of them -- Garfield for "The Social Network" and Kunis for "Black Swan." We figured wrong.

We were also slightly surprised not to hear "The Town" nominated for best picture and Robert Duvall for best actor in "Get Low," but we can't muster much indignation in either case.

Surprises

Lots of love for "Winter's Bone." The best actress nomination for Jennifer Lawrence was expected, considering all the critics' nominations she's received. The three others -- including one for best picture -- for the well-regarded but little seen indie movie were not.

"Toy Story 3's" best picture nomination. This is a mild surprise, considering how loved the movie was and the fact that another Pixar film, "Up," made the best picture field last year. But it's a surprise nonetheless.

Jacki Weaver for best supporting actress. When she was named a Golden Globe nominee, our reaction was, "Who?" Although not many people (in this country, anyway) have seen the Australian crime movie "Animal Kingdom," but the string of critics' commendations Weaver has racked up means her nomination doesn't exactly come from out of nowhere.

Nothing for "Waiting for 'Superman.'" Having not yet seen most of the nominees for best documentary feature, we're not going to argue the merits of what's there. But more often than not of late, one of the nominations seems to go to The Documentary You're Most Likely to Have Heard Of/Seen, so it's a bit of a surprise not to see "Waiting for 'Superman'" on the list.

Oscar nominee "Country Strong." Because, well, come on. (Its lone nomination is for the original song "Coming Home.")

What were you most surprised to see (or not see) in the nominations?

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images, Roadside Attractions
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