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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

January 25, 2011 at 6:53 AM

Oscar musings: Who else got left out?

We’ve got four more weeks to ponder who’s been nominated for Oscars; this morning, let’s take a little time to look at who didn’t. In the acting nominations, the biggest surprise seems to be Mark Wahlberg, expected to be nominated for lead actor for “The Fighter” but left on the sidelines. I thought “Black Swan” would get more acting nominations than it did (just Natalie Portman; nothing for Mila Kunis or Barbara Hershey); likewise “The Social Network,” for which I was pretty certain Andrew Garfield would be recognized. (He wasn’t, though Jesse Eisenberg was.) And I’m disappointed that Julianne Moore’s lovely performance in “The Kids Are All Right” got lost in the is-she-a-lead-or-a-supporting shuffle. (Nice to see, though, that Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo got nominated; Ruffalo for his first time.)
And I know most of us in Seattle haven’t seen Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” (which got a well-deserved original screenplay nomination, though it’s an interesting one as Leigh doesn’t actually “write” the film, but develops it with the actors entirely through improvisation), which opens here this Friday. But go see it, watch Lesley Manville, and tell me she’s not doing something on an entirely different and remarkable level than, say, Natalie Portman. Maybe not enough Oscar voters saw the film; maybe there was confusion as to whether hers was a lead or a supporting role (it could be argued either way), leading to a split vote. In any case, Manville’s was one of the great performances of 2010, and I’m sorry that the Academy missed an opportunity to honor it.
Anyway, it’s never too early in the morning for a little Oscar trivia, so here we go: Though Hailee Steinfeld, nominated in the best supporting actress category for “True Grit,” is the youngest nominee in recent memory (she’s just turned 14), she’s far from setting a record. Tatum O’Neal won the category in 1974 for “Paper Moon” at the age of 10; Anna Paquin won 20 years later for “The Piano” at 11. More recently, 13-year-old Saoirse Ronan was nominated for “Atonement” in 2008, and 10-year-old Abigail Breslin for “Little Miss Sunshine” in 2007. Steinfeld is, however, the exact same age Jodie Foster was when she got her first nomination, for “Taxi Driver” in 1977.
I’m going to go find a Diet Coke now.

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