2011 Oscar Nominee Summary

Saturday, February 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Many people tune in to the Oscars to root for a few favorite films, while the rest of the nominees are nothing more than names flashed on the screen. I hope to remedy this by presenting a one-sentence description of all the major contenders, from Best Picture all the way to Best Documentary. While many of these movies are too complex to adequately sum up in such a short space, it should provide enough material to make you a more informed viewer on Oscar night. And when these films hit the home video market, maybe you’ll be interested enough to give them a try.

127 Hours – James Franco stars as real-life mountain climber Aron Ralston, a man who must choose between death or self-amputation after an accident leaves his arm pinned by a boulder.

Black Swan – When she’s selected for the lead in Swan Lake, a ballerina (Natalie Portman) begins to succumb to madness.

The Fighter – The true story of boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his transformation from journeyman to champion.

Inception – A visually stunning tale about a team of specialists (including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who can journey into the human mind and extract memories.

The Kids Are All Right – A lesbian couple (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) are wary when their children want to meet their sperm donor father (Marc Ruffalo).

The King’s Speech – As the events of World War II loom, a monarch (Colin Firth) with a speech impediment seeks to overcome his stammer and bring comfort to his countrymen via the airwaves.

The Social Network – The somewhat true story of Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and his creation of the social network known as Facebook.

Toy Story 3 – The computer-animated tale about a group of toys who wind up at a day care center following their original owner’s departure for college.

True Grit – A remake of the film that brought John Wayne an Oscar, True Grit stars Jeff Bridges as a one-eyed lawman who heads into Indian territory to capture the man who killed a young girl’s (Hailee Steinfeld) father.

Winter’s Bone – In order to save her family farm, a teenage girl (Jennifer Lawrence) must search for her bail-jumping, meth-cooking father amidst the grim backwoods of the Ozarks.

Biutiful – Gifted with the ability to see spirits of the dead, a small-time crook dying of cancer (Javier Bardem) tries to secure a future for his children before passing away.

Rabbit Hole – Following the death of their young son, a married couple (Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman) begin to drift apart in their grief.

Blue Valentine – Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in this look at the beginning and end of a marriage.

The Town – A Boston criminal (Ben Affleck) looks to go straight, but his friends and business associates don’t want to let him go.

Animal Kingdom – A young man tries to survive after being forced to move in with his grandmother (Jacki Weaver), the head of a violent Melbourne crime family.

Another Year – A year in the life of a happily married older couple surrounded by unhappy friends and family.

Exit Through the Gift Shop – A look at the street art scene around the globe, narrated by Rhys Ifans and directed by mysterious street artist Banksy.

Restrepo – From the time of their deployment to their return home, this documentary details the experiences of American soldiers serving in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan.

Inside Job – Narrated by Matt Damon, this documentary focuses on the global financial crash of 2008.

Gasland – Documentary filmmaker Josh Fox takes a look at the perils of natural gas drilling in the United States.

Waste Land – A documentary that focuses on the lives of Brazilian garbage pickers, as well as the murals created from trash by artist Vik Muniz.

Alice in Wonderland – Thirteen years after she first went down the rabbit hole, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to slay the terrible Jabberwocky and rub elbows with the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp).

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 26th, 2011 at 6:43 pm and is filed under Academy Awards. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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