Oscar celebrates gay films, roles and females – oh my

Oscar, say hello to the gay ladies. The 83rd annual Academy Award nominations were announced this morning with multiple nominations for both The Kids Are All Right and Black Swan. Annette Bening and Natalie Portman are up against each other for best actress for their dueling roles, one as a lesbian mom struggling to hold onto her family, the other as a ballerina with lesbian tendencies struggling to hold onto her sanity. The King’s Speech led the way with 12 nominations followed by True Grit with 10. Black Swan garnered five and The Kids Are All Right earned four. It’s an exciting year for lovers of ladies and strong female roles. A look at some of the nominees.

BEST PICTURE
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

That a small female-fronted, directed and gay film like The Kids Are All Right can slip in here, as well as recognition for the even smaller female-fronted and directed Winter’s Bone is amazing and encouraging. Also, props to the crazy ballerina.

BEST ACTOR
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

So the key here is to have your name start with a J, or be Colin Firth.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

The sperm donor is the surprise here, interloping into the category after being snubbed by the Golden Globes. After his nomination Ruffalo released a statement saying: “This nomination is a win for Marriage Equality and that is the most I could hope for.” Good job, buddy, but just in case perhaps it is best to stay away from the married gay ladies.

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

 

With all due (and deserved) respect to the other nominees, this fight is an all-out brawl between Bening and Portman. It’s also the first time two actresses were up for gay (or at the very least gay acting) roles in the same year. With these two amazing actresses squaring off, it’s time to pick your side and choose your weapon.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

If you’re looking for the gay connection, Leo played Helena’s ex-girlfriend on The L Word and Adams played a woman about to be married who briefly rendezvous with an ex-girlfriend in Standing Still.

BEST ANIMATED FILM
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Cute category or cutest category?

BEST DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
Joel & Ethan Coen, True Grit
David Fincher, The Social Network
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
David O. Russell, The Fighter

So much for the Bigelow Effect. No female nominees the year after the first-ever female director wins. Lisa Cholodenko and Debra Granik for The Kids Are All Right and Winter’s Bone, respectively, did excellent, acclaimed (they were nominated for best picture, people!) work, yet the boys club continues.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Exit Through the Gift Shop, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
Gasland, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
Inside Job, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
Restrepo, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
Waste Land, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynley

If Bansky wins will he finally show his face? That’s reason enough to root for Exit Through the Gift Shop, plus – you know – it  was a good film.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Hors la Loi (Outside the Law) (Algeria)
Incendies (Canada)
In a Better World (Denmark)
Dogtooth (Greece)
Biutiful (Mexico)

Congrats to female director Susanne Bier and her film In a Better World, who took home the Golden Globes in this category, for crashing the otherwise male-directed foreign boys club.

BEST SONG
“Coming Home,” Country Strong, Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light,” Tangled, Alan Menken, Glenn Slater
“If I Rise,” 127 Hours, A.R. Rahman, Dido, Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3, Randy Newman

Wow, the Academy really, really must have hated Burlesque to snub it in the song category. Wow.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Another Year, written by Mike Leigh
The Fighter, Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
Inception, written by Christopher Nolan
The Kids Are All Right, written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
The King’s Speech, Screenplay by David Seidler

Finally, out director Cholodenko gets her due. She told Variety that learning of the nomination was an interesting process: “The first thing I did before I even began watching the nominations was I woke my girlfriend up and had her fix the TV because I was seeing picture but not hearing any sounds, which can be a little bizarre at 5:30 in the morning.”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
127 Hours, Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
The Social Network, Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
Toy Story 3, Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
True Grit, written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Winter’s Bone, adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Finally, Granik gets her due. Good thing they’re in separate categories so I can pull for them both.

So, how about those nominees? Surprised by some. (Bardem, 127 Hours, seriously – not even a pity song nomination for Burlesque?), shocked by the snubs (no Julianne Moore, no Mila Kunis, no women directors!) Discuss.

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