Oscar Nominees: EW Critics Said...
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE The King's Speech
What Lisa said: ''Lest the audience miss a cue, [director Tom] Hooper and soundtrack composer Alexandre Desplat count on the ringing grandeur of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony — the famous second movement, no less — to amp the emotions. With instincts like these, Oscar speeches are bound to follow.'' B+
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE The Social Network
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE The Fighter
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE Inception
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE Black Swan
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE True Grit
What Lisa said: ''Much is fine in True Grit, including typically impeccable dusty-Western cinematography by Roger Deakins. Much is admirable, or diverting, especially when [Jeff] Bridges' and [Matt] Damon's characters jostle for dominance and Mattie exerts her will. Too little, though, is wild like [author Charles] Portis can be wild, despite the shoot-outs, the horse gallops, and Rooster's inebriated sprees.'' B+
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE Toy Story 3
What Owen said: ''Toy Story 3 represents a virtuoso performance by the Pixar team, led by director Lee Unkrich (the codirector of Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo). I think it's the studio's greatest achievement since The Incredibles, and — just maybe — since the original Toy Story.'' A
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE The Kids Are All Right
What Lisa said: ''I don't know what's more delightful — that The Kids Are All Right stars Bening, Moore, and Ruffalo are at the top of their games in an irresistible story of lesbian marriage, sperm-donor fatherhood, sex, red wine, and teen angst. Or that this warm, funny, sexy, smart movie erases the boundaries between specialized ''gay content'' and universal ''family content'' with such sneaky authority.'' A
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE 127 Hours
BEST PICTURE NOMINEE Winter's Bone
What Lisa said: ''Winter's Bone is one of the unshowiest and most true-blooded epics of Americana you're ever likely to see — especially if you've seen your share of indie movies in which picturesque poverty is faked by the half-dead flickering neon of a roadside truck stop.'' A
BEST ACTOR NOMINEE Colin Firth, The King's Speech
BEST ACTOR NOMINEE Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
What Owen said: ''With his close-cropped curls and pursed lips that make him look like a Jewish-preppy John Lydon, Eisenberg plays Zuckerberg as an egomaniacal whiz-kid creep who's the smartest dude in any situation because he's outside it and inside it at the same time. The actor takes on a whole new aspect — he's a geek programmed for revenge. And he's mesmerizing.''
BEST ACTOR NOMINEE James Franco, 127 Hours
BEST ACTOR NOMINEE Jeff Bridges, True Grit
BEST ACTOR NOMINEE Javier Bardem, Biutiful
What Owen said: Javier Bardem ''brings the role every charismatically morose shading of disruption and anger and despair he can.''
BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE Natalie Portman, Black Swan
BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
What Lisa said: ''Lawrence is the movie's blooming discovery, a mesmerizing actor with a gaze that's the opposite of actress-coy and a voice modulated in the low, almost monotone cadences of local ways.''
BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEE Christian Bale, The Fighter
What Owen said: ''Bale, cadaverous and google-eyed, with a jack-o'-lantern grin and an energy so manic it borders on the obscene, finally takes the compulsion toward Method eccentricity that's been driving him for close to a decade and makes it pay off. His Dicky is that rare thing: a wing nut with soul and a touch of tragedy, too.''
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEE Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEE Jeremy Renner, The Town
What Lisa said: ''[Affleck's] instincts are also right in casting Renner in the role of Jem, the local baddie with a short fuse, and letting the effortlessly magnetic actor steer the pace of the action, hinting at danger even when Jem's just nursing a brew.''
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEE Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR NOMINEE John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
What Lisa said: Hawkes earns his nomination as Teardrop, the complicated uncle who first denies her but then unexpectedly comes to the aid of Jennifer Lawrence's Ree ''as she looks for her daddy in a community where oaths of silence are as serious as any Mob omertà.''
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE Amy Adams, The Fighter
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE Melissa Leo, The Fighter
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom
What Lisa said: ''...matriarch Janine (the great, enduring Australian star Jacki Weaver) dotes on her boys, even if her boys include a chilling, killing, gentle-eyed psychopath (Ben Mendelsohn, simultaneously terrifying and mild). Don't be fooled: In this unpeaceable kingdom, the den mama is also ready to eat her young.''
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS NOMINEE Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEE David Fincher, The Social Network
BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEE Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
BEST DIRECTOR NOMINEE Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
What Owen said: ''Aronofsky shoots the entire movie with a handheld camera, and his images have a burnished, raw-silk night-world chic, the shots weaving and bobbing as they follow Nina's bunned head through the stark halls of Lincoln Center. The director lingers on details of physical turmoil in much the same way he did in The Wrestler.''