By Kam Williams
Sentinel Contributing Writer
Mo’Nique Miffed by Snub of Halle Berry
The Oscar nominations were announced early Tuesday morning at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills by last year’s Best Supporting Actress-winner Mo’Nique (for Precious) along with Academy President Tom Sherak. The King’s Speech, the inspirational bio-pic about King George VI’s struggle to cure his stutter, has emerged as the early favorite in the annual awards sweepstakes, landing nominations in a dozen categories, including Best Picture, Actor (Colin Firth), Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Director (Tom Hooper) and Original Screenplay (David Seidler).
This development should come as no surprise to anyone who recalls how fond the Anglophilic Academy has been of British costume dramas over the years, especially productions revolving around the Royal Family. For example, in 2007 Helen Mirren won for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, while Dame Judi Dench won in 1999 for playing Queen Elizabeth I. Judging by such a persistent exhibition of deference, one might think that America had never declared its independence from England.
In any case, The Coen Brothers’ True Grit (10) garnered the second most Oscar nominations, followed by The Social Network (8) and Inception (8), and The Fighter (7). As for surprises, Javier Bardem (Biutiful) ostensibly bumped out Ryan Gosling and Robert Duvall in the Best Actor category, a pair who had benefitted from buzz for their work in Blue Valentine and Get Low, respectively. Also snubbed was Paul Giamatti who just won a Golden Globe for Barney’s Version.
As for Best Actress, Halle Berry had been rumored to be in line for a nod for Frankie and Alice, and that conspicuous omission prompted Mo’Nique to remark right after coming offstage that she was, “truly disappointed” because she had “really wanted to say Halle Berry’s name.” She went on to say she had been blown away by Berry, before saluting her for, “a great performance, sister.”
Julianne Moore was ignored in the Supporting Actress category although her co-stars Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo were recognized for The Kids Are All Right. And Christopher Nolan (Inception) was overlooked for Best Director, despite the fact that the movie was nominated for Best Picture.
Finally, the much-ballyhooed Waiting for Superman was left out of the Best Documentary category, perhaps because of a backlash against the public school education expose’s fervent anti-union stance. The 83rd Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Sunday, February 27th at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT, and will be co-hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway.