TAGS oscars
CATEGORIES Features, Oscars, Awards

Snubs and surprises are par for the Academy Awards course, and this year is no different. Check out the nominations list, and then read below to see who we think got snubbed and whom we're happy, yet surprised, to see on the nomination list.

And tell us in the comments who you think got robbed -- and whom you were pleasantly surprised to see nominated -- in this year's Oscar nods.

SNUBS:

Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake for Best Supporting Actor
We're thrilled that 'Social Network' star Jesse Eisenberg picked up a well-deserved Best Actor nomination today, but we'll admit we're a little sad to see his co-stars, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, miss out for Best Supporting Actor. Garfield often stole the show as ousted Facebook CFO Eduardo Saverin, and Justin Timberlake proved he could do more than just sing as Napster founder Sean Parker. Surely voters could have made room for at least one of these performances, specifically Garfield, who gave one of the film's most nuanced and sympathetic performances.


Christopher Nolan for Best Director
Hey, Oscar voters: Why do you hate Christopher Nolan so much? First you snubbed him in 2008 for 'The Dark Knight,' and then you went and did it again today for 'Inception.' Granted, directing "a comic book movie" doesn't gain you much traction in the Oscar community, but 'Inception' was buzzed about all year. It really couldn't have been made without Nolan's incredible vision behind the camera. Surely we must be dream-within-a-dreaming, because this snub doesn't seem real.


'Despicable Me' for Best Animated Feature
Only three movies qualified for Best Animated Feature this year, and we'll be the first to admit that each of the nominees were incredibly deserving. Still, we wish voters had saved room for the adorable 'Despicable Me.' The movie featured an all-star cast, ranging from Julie Andrews to Jason Segel to Steve Carell, and a colorful script that had us laughing throughout. If voters were able to nominate four original songs this year, why couldn't they have done the same here?


Julianne Moore for Best Supporting Actress
Julianne Moore is the Academy's bridesmaid: nominated four times, but no wins. Plus, her performance in 'The Kids Are All Right' already garnered Golden Globe and BAFTA noms, and her on-screen partner Annette Bening is a front-runner in the Best Actress category. Hopefully her snub is just an oversight and not a case of the Academy starting to take her consistently effortless performances for granted.


Mila Kunis for Best Supporting Actress
Mila Kunis seemed like a lock in the wake of her Golden Globe, SAG and Critics' Choice nominations, and 'Black Swan''s increasing wave of audience momentum. Everyone is talking about Natalie Portman's emotional performance of a pressured ballerina going on a downward mental spiral, but it's Kunis's bad-girl troublemaker who ramps up Portman's character. This is a case of 'The Fighter' double-stuffing the Supporting Actress category, not to mention Hailee Steinfeld's surprise nod. (Admit it: She was really the lead.)


Ryan Gosling for Best Actor
Let's be honest: Acknowledging Michelle Williams for Best Actress and not her on-screen husband, Ryan Gosling, means the Academy missed the entire point of 'Blue Valentine.' How could they see the movie, about two people painfully falling in and out of love, and only recognize one half of the couple? It just doesn't make sense. If we were Gosling, we'd be feeling pretty 'Blue' too.


'Waiting for 'Superman'' for Best Documentary
This was a banner year for documentaries; a variety of remarkably-done projects covering many subjects connected with large audiences this year. Having to narrow the list down to the top five was always going to be difficult, but we thought 'Waiting for 'Superman'' was a lock for one of those slots. Director Davis Guggenheim has become something of a documentary superstar and the film's controversial look at the American public school system has been a hotly debated talking point. Not getting nominated is a pretty big shocker.


'TRON: Legacy' for Best Score (by Daft Punk) and Best Visual Effects
In a year when the Academy acknowledges Trent Reznor's electronica-infused score for 'The Social Network,' we thought they might also acknowledge that other innovative, pulsating techno soundtrack, from the world-famous French duo Daft Punk. On top of that, by ignoring 'TRON's' visual effects palette, which infused every shot of every scene with a distinct digital landscape, they are overlooking one of the most talked-about technical achievements of the year.


SURPRISES:

'127 Hours' for Best Picture
'127 Hours' received a ton of buzz for Best Actor nominee James Franco's gritty performance, but the film itself seemed to have died off once the precursor season got underway. So, it was a surprise to see Danny Boyle's follow-up to 'Slumdog Millionaire' get a Best Picture nomination, especially when under-the-radar contenders like 'The Town' were gaining last-minute momentum. Still, Boyle is beloved by Oscar voters ('Slumdog' won eight awards in 2008), so I guess we can't be too surprised. Plus, any movie that causes such a strong reaction from audiences (reports claimed that theatergoers fainted and vomited during its self-amputation scene) deserves to make the cut (heh, sorry).


Mark Ruffalo for Best Supporting Actor
Mark Ruffalo has certainly made a career out of playing Mark Ruffalo. The actor again took on his scruffy, lackadaisical everyman character in 'The Kids Are All Right,' only this time it garnered him an Oscar nomination. Say what?! Ruffalo definitely took a backseat to his co-stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in this movie, but perhaps that's just because his performance was so subtle. Then again, this probably makes up for his 'You Can Count On Me' and 'Zodiac' snubs.


Michelle Williams for Best Actress
With the snub of her co-star Ryan Gosling, it's even more surprising that 'Blue Valentine''s Michelle Williams was nominated for Best Actress. Her tragic and committed performance as one half of a disintegrating couple in this realistic love story was so downright good, it's a shame that the film's major talking point became a single blown-out-of-proportion sex scene. Williams' nomination wasn't expected, but it's a welcome redirection of attention onto this awesome film.


Javier Bardem for Best Actor
There were a lot of notable acting performances from leading men in popular films this year, but Javier Bardem's nomination for the little-seen 'Biutiful' is a pleasant surprise. His Spanish-language role in the heavy, heavy character drama -- that so far has had a very limited release -- shows that Academy voters will sometimes still search far and wide for the most captivating performances of the year.


'Winter's Bone' for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor
It seemed like Jennifer Lawrence was a shoo-in for a Best Actress nomination, but the fact that this small indie thriller about the Ozark drug world, scored a Best Picture nomination demonstrates the lasting effect this movie has had on audiences. As a bonus, we're happy to see longtime character actor -- and HBO stalwart -- John Hawkes get recognized for his noirish performance as the dark, mysterious uncle known only as "Teardrop."


'True Grit''s True Comeback
After the Globes basically shut out 'True Grit,' we were worried it might hurt the film's chances at getting recognized. But it came back strong with a whopping 10 nominations -- from acting to directing to writing and everything in between. The Coen brothers have long since moved from quirky stylists to Hollywood powerhouses, Jeff Bridges has become one of the most revered actors alive and Hailee Steinfeld is a real breakthrough child-acting star. The movie is poised to establish a long-standing legacy, shoulder to shoulder with the 1969 John Wayne original.



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