While the nominees of the 83rd annual Academy Awards won’t all get a chance to make an acceptance speech this year, many did get the chance to talk about what their nods mean to them after they were announced Tuesday (January 25).
Michelle Williams, a former Best Supporting Actress nominee for “Brokeback Mountain,” earned her first Best Actress nod for her performance in the devastating indie “Blue Valentine.” Carrying the only nomination for the film (her onscreen husband Ryan Gosling got no Academy recognition this year), Williams made sure to thank the others involved with the labor-of-love project. “I am honored to receive this nomination. Making ‘Blue Valentine’ was unlike any experience I’ve ever had before, or may ever have again. I share this recognition with Ryan [Gosling] and [director] Derek [Cianfrance], who always brought out the best in me. Thank you to the Academy and to The Weinstein Company for their support of this film.”
Once again, Javier Bardem finds himself vying for Oscar gold, this time in the Best Actor category for his performance in the heavy foreign language film “Biutiful.” Regardless of whether he wins, Bardem already made Oscar history by becoming the first Best Actor nominee to appear in an entirely Spanish-language movie.
“I am truly honored for this nomination,” Bardem said in a statement. “And deeply thankful to the Academy members for their trust and support. Also to all of those who showed their support to my work in “Biutiful” I express my heartfelt gratitude. I am very happy for Alejandro [González-Iñárritu] and everyone who has made possible the special movie we made together. It’s really a huge honor to have been nominated in a non-English speaking performance and in the name of all my colleagues in Spain and mine I want to show my gratitude to the Academy for support and a recognition in this nomination for the movie ‘Biutiful.’ ”
Bardem and Williams weren’t the only ones to pull off something of an upset Tuesday morning, as Jacki Weaver earned the fifth spot in the Best Supporting Actress race. The “Animal Kingdom” actress was doubly excited about her first-ever nomination, as today also marks Australia Day. “I’m elated to the point of euphoria,” Weaver said in a statement. “I feel like I’m in a walking dream. I’m so relieved that all those millions of Australians that wanted me to get this nomination aren’t disappointed. Happy Australia Day.”
Jeremy Renner will be heading back to the Oscars for a second year in a row, this time as a Best Supporting Actor nominee for his work in “The Town.” Renner released this statement about the honor: “I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude by this recognition by the Academy this morning. I’m smiling from ear to ear knowing that lightning can strike twice and it feels electrifying. I’m thrilled to be amongst these tremendously talented artists. A big congratulations to all the nominees!”
Renner, who lost in last year’s Best Actor race to Jeff Bridges (who will also return this year as a nominee), checked in on the “Today” show to discuss the recognition for his role as an off-balance bank robber in the Ben Affleck crime drama. “It’s pretty fantastic. I’m pretty overwhelmed,” Renner said.
Best Actress nominee Annette Bening, who recently nabbed the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, kept her reaction short and sweet. “The Kids Are All Right” star, who plays a lesbian wife and mother whose children have found their sperm donor father, simply stated: “4 nominations and 4 kids. I am damn proud!”
Mark Ruffalo, who plays the “Kids” sperm donor, talked to Entertainment Weekly about his Best Supporting Actor nomination. “I had no idea they were announcing today. I swear!,” Ruffalo confessed to EW. “I was totally taken by surprise. I just dropped the kids off at carpool. I was about five minutes from the school with a carful of kids. With so many kids, I didn’t even realize it was today. I’m glad I forgot about it. It’s made it all the more — I don’t know, just sweet and poignant and unexpected, you know?”
In a statement, “Kids” co-producer Celine Rattray noted, “It took 7 years, 13 financiers, and a 23-day shoot to make our film a reality. By recognizing ‘Kids,’ the Academy has not only honored us but has given hope and inspiration to the independent film community.” Fellow “Kids” co-producer Jeffrey Levy-Hinte added: “We’re grateful to be acknowledged by the AMPAS voters as being among the year’s Best Pictures in what was a strong year for our industry — and are ecstatic that Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, and Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg are all nominated as well.”
Co-writer Blumberg couldn’t contain his joy about the nominations, as he confessed in his statement, “Try as I could to act cool and not care, as soon as I heard our names called, I started crying like a little kid. Pardon the cliché, but this truly is a dream come true. I want to thank the Academy for this most phenomenal honor.”
On the other ends of the Oscars arena, Sylvain Chomet earned his second career nomination in the Best Animated Film category, this time for “The Illusionist.” In a statement, Chomet expressed his gratitude to the Academy and paid homage to Jacques Tati, the famed French actor and director whose long dormant script (penned 54 years ago) is what the film is based on. “The Academy Award nominations this year for the Best Animated Film category are all the more prestigious due to the fact there were only going to be three of them. I am obviously thrilled and proud that ‘The Illusionist’ is among those nominated and can be considered alongside the best of the big budget studio films. It’s a testament to the skill and the dedication devoted to this film by a very talented team of artists. And of course I sincerely hope that Jacques Tati would be proud of what we have achieved with his marvelous story.”
Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor (along with co-composer Atticus Ross) helped David Fincher tell “The Social Network” story through his hypnotic score, earning him his first-ever Oscar nomination. The rocker said in a statement, “When David approached us to write the score for ‘The Social Network’ we were intrigued and excited to see what we could bring to the project — but truly couldn’t imagine it would lead to an Oscar nomination. We are extremely grateful to the Academy and very proud to have contributed to David’s vision.”
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