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As expected, "The King's Speech" reigned over this year's Oscar nominees, and Natalie Portman and James Franco received their Best Actress and Actor nods for "Black Swan" and "127 Hours," respectively.
Still, as always, there were plenty of surprises and snubs that had us raising our eyebrows: "The Town" was shut down, Mark Wahlberg and Andrew Garfield were somehow left out of the party, and Mila Kunis is probably drowning her sorrows at the barre.
Our nominations for the biggest shockers:
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'Winter's Bone' outpaces 'The Town.'
Ben Affleck's Beantown bad boys are no match for the Ozarks's mountain men. Most pundits figured there were nine surefire Best Picture nominees, with the last spot going to either the genre flick "The Town" or the quietly thrilling indie "Winter's Bone." The latter prevailed in a big way, not only with a Best Picture nod, but with four major nominations (Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay), compared to "The Town's" one mention (Best Supporting Actor).
NAWT Mark Wahlberg?
Ah you kiddin' me? Wahlberg turned in a wicked pissah performance as boxer "Irish" Micky Ward in "The Fighter" and figured to be a shoo-in for Best Actah, but failed to get an Oscah nawd. Meanwhile, as in the film, co-star Christian Bale continues to get all the attention as Dicky Eklund. The bastid.
Javier Bardem has a Biutiful day.
Foreign language and dreary plotline aside, "Biutiful" proved just that for Javier Bardem, who plays a single father with prostate cancer in this Spain-set heavy drama. Not exactly a feel-good film — but a feel-good ending for Bardem, who stole heavyweight Wahlberg's slot in the Best Actor race.
Oscars no friend of Andrew Garfield.
The Golden Globes and pretty much every other awards event considered him a contender, but apparently the Academy didn't "Like" Andrew Garfield in "The Social Network" (get it?) enough to nominate him for Best Supporting Actor. Just like his movie character, he got screwed. But be warned, members of the Academy: Garfield has been working out to play Spider-Man. And he will find you.
John Hawkes eyed by Academy.
Raise a glass of moonshine! As "Winter's Bone's" tough hillbilly with a soft side, Hawkes turned in one of the year's most searing performances, and without ever picking up a banjo. His nomination for Best Supporting Actor proved one of the day's biggest surprises.
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Mila Kunis odd Supporting Actress out.
Maybe her scary-sexy performance as "Black Swan" bad girl Lily was just too much for the Academy to handle. How else to explain why Kunis – a nominee for both a Golden Globe and Critics Choice award – was snubbed (as was the underappreciated Barbara Hershey)? We're kinda hoping Kunis goes to the Oscars in the same outfit as Natalie Portman and rushes the stage when they call Portman to the podium.
'True Grit' truly a winner.
The Coen Brothers movie showed its mettle, earning the second largest number of nominations (10), right behind "The King's Speech" (12). Not bad for a movie that earned zero (yes, ZERO!) Golden Globe nominations. We're happy that little Hailiee Steinfeld got acknowledged for Best Supporting Actress, but why not Matt Damon for Supporting Actor? He lost a tooth and half his tongue in the "True Grit" – hasn't he suffered enough?
Gosling and Williams go opposite directions.
Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling play lovers on the verge of a breakup in "Blue Valentine," and the Academy's relationship with the actors appears to be equally rocky. She got nominated, he didn't. Maybe they'll share joint custody of the Oscar if she wins?
Julianne Moore, Lisa Cholodenko not 'All Right.'
As "The Kids Are All Right's" lesbian mom questioning her sexuality, Julianne Moore captured Mark Ruffalo's heart. But the members of the Academy? Not so much. They neglected to nominate her for Best Supporting Actress (co-stars Ruffalo and Annette Bening did make the short list, however). Now Moore finds herself not-so-happily partnered with the film's writer/director Lisa Cholodenko, whose snub leaves the Best Director field all-male.
Sam Rockwell left out. Again.
One of the finest thesps of our generation, Sam Rockwell was left out of the Best Supporting Actor race for his role as a wrongly imprisoned man in "Conviction." This makes three years in row after many thought he should've had his name called for "Moon" and/or "Frost/Nixon." Maybe two-time winner Hilary Swank—who was also left out—will put her life on hold and launch a campaign to get him nominated.
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Christopher Nolan's mind-bending snub.
Forget that spinning top – what has us scratching our heads most about "Inception" is how writer/director Christopher Nolan got no acknowledgment from Oscar (Joel and Ethan Coen were the "surprise" pick in the category for "True Grit"). Maybe it's all a bad dream.
80-year-old Robert Duvall must wait till next year.
Though he's been nominated for Oscars six times before (and won for 1983's "Tender Mercies"), it seems octogenarian Robert Duvall's Best Actor nomination for "Get Low" — in which he plays a hermit who throws himself a funeral — must have gotten buried. Meanwhile, we're in mourning.
Jacki Weaver comes from a land Down Under.
No, that's not Sally Struthers portraying the "Animal Kingdom" matriarch who keeps crime all in the family. Supporting actress Weaver is the latest wonder from Down Under, earning an Oscar nod alongside fellow Aussie nominees Nicole Kidman (Best Actress, "Rabbit Hole") and Geoffrey Rush (Best Supporting Actor, "The King's Speech").
Illusionist out-animates 'Despicable Me.'
Both "The Illusionist" and "Despicable Me" feature plots in which creepy old men befriend little girls, but through some sneaky slight of hand, only the France import "The Illusionist" — a tale about an aging magician — snagged a Best Animated Feature nomination. Sacre Bleu!
No sympathy for the Douglas.
His comeback as Gordon Gekko got him a Golden Globe nomination, but apparently greed isn't always good. The "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" star, who is beating his battle with throat cancer, received no such Best Supporting Actor accolades from Oscar.