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Academy Award Nominations 2011: No Big Surprises

The Academy Award nominees have been announced, and they're... eerily familiar! The actor nominees almost mirror the SAG Award nominees, and all of the Golden Globe nominees for Best Drama, Best Screenplay and Best Director (well, except one) are represented. There are still some oversights, but no real upsets, except maybe in the director category. Somewhere in Gotham City, a bat is crying.

Best Picture
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The King's Speech
The Social Network
The Kids Are All Right
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

All of the Globe nominees for drama (Swan, The Fighter, Inception, Speech, Social) made the cut, but only The Kids Are All Right made it in from their comedy category. 127 Hours, True Grit and Winter's Bone are all deserving additions, as is the now-requisite Pixar film, Toy Story 3. Man, how many threequels have been nominated for Best Picture? Godfather III, of course. And does Return of the King count? Still, not many.

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David O. Russell, The Fighter
Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
David Fincher, The Social Network
Joel and Ethan Coen, True Grit

With Christopher Nolan getting edged out by the Coens, that means Inception is only nominated in two major categories (Picture and Screenplay). Not that we thought it would get any acting awards, of course.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King's Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

This list more or less duplicates the SAG Award nominees, except this time Javier Bardem edged out Robert Duvall's performance in Get Low. Still no Mark Wahlberg, which is understandable, really, but also still no Ryan Gosling, which sucks.

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

Again, the SAG Awards nominees provide the template, with only one change: Michelle Williams knocked out Conviction's Hilary Swank for her role in Blue Valentine. Hell and yes. And I think Halle Berry (Frankie & Alice) has learned a valuable lesson: multiple personalities do not guarantee multiple nominations.

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

These are the exact same nominees from the SAG Awards, and it's hard to argue with them. It's great to see Teardrop from Winter's Bone up there; Hawkes is one of those character actors you always see, and you're always like, "Man, he's awesome." No Andrew Garfield from Social Network or Matt Damon from True Grit, though, and nobody from The Company Men, despite a great performance by Chris Cooper. A shame, but oh, well.

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

I still say Hailee Steinfeld is the lead actress in True Grit, but whatever. Good for her. The best part about including her and Jacki Weaver? No Mila Kunis. I loved Black Swan, but how she got Globe and SAG nominations for such a straightforward role is beyond me.

Best Animated Movie
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Only three nominees this year, which means Tangled, Despicable Me and Megamind are on the cutting room floor. Not that it matters, because we know who's winning. Sorry, Illusionist.

Best Foreign Language Film
Biutiful
In a Better World
Dogtooth
Incendies
Outside the Law

The real battle here is between Globe winner In a Better World and Biutiful. Complaints that In a Better World is too after-school special may hurt it, especially now that Javier Bardem has a Best Actor nod for Biutiful. The other three replaced The Concert, The Edge and I Am Love on the Globes list, but we're not putting any money on them.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, 127 Hours
Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, Toy Story 3
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit
Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, Winter's Bone

The Social Network won the Globe, but only against 127 Hours -- the other three are new competitors. I tend to root for the underdog, and while I doubt Toy Story 3 or Winter's Bone could unseat the champ, it would be nice to see True Grit win. Both Grit and Social feature plenty of rapid-fire dialogue, albeit in very different settings.

Best Original Screenplay
David Seidler, The King's Speech
Christopher Nolan, Inception
Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right
Mike Leigh, Another Year
Scott Silver, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson, Keith Dorrington, Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, The Fighter

With The Social Network safely in a separate category, that opens this category up. The drily witty King's Speech was a frontrunner at the Globes, but American voters may lean towards rewarding the mind-bending script for Inception or the back-and-forth of The Fighter.... as long as they don't think too hard about Mark Wahlberg saying "NOT YOU, NOT YOU, NOT YOU AND NOT YOU!"

What do you think of the Oscar nominees? Let us know below, then see who won at the Golden Globes, and check out our guide to all of this year's SAG Award nominees!

Check out more Oscar nominations (including all those categories most people don't care about) right here, see the full list of snubs and find out if the Academy hates Christopher Nolan.

Watch Oscar nominee and telecast host James Franco criticize The Social Network in this video.

See TWoP editors offer their Oscar picks and predictions in this segment airing on the New York Nonstop cable channel:

View more videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com.

What are people saying about your favorite shows and stars right now? Find out with Talk Without Pity, the social media site for real TV fans. See Tweets and Facebook comments in real time and add your own -- all without leaving TWoP. Join the conversation now!

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