Nominations were announced today for the 83rd annual Academy Awards.
The usual suspects got their due—as did some unusual suspects.
The King's Speech led the way with 12 nominations, including Best Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor nods for stars Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.
True Grit, which in a twist for a Coen brothers movie has been a popular hit, but a hit-and-miss performer at awards shows, found its Oscar mojo, and notched 10 noms, while The Social Network and Inception tied with eight each.
The Best Picture field held to expected form, with The King's Speech, True Grit, The Social Network and Inception going up against Black Swan, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right, 127 Hours, Toy Story 3, and the little thriller that could, Winter's Bone.
Going into today, The King's Speech and The Social Network were considered the frontrunners, and coming out of today, they still should be. The main difference in the two films' nomination hauls is that The King's Speech earned more acting nods. (Don't get us started on the Andrew Garfield snub…) Plus, the Brit film's period costumes drew more respect than Jesse Eisenberg's start-up bathrobe.
Jeff Bridges, last year's Best Actor champ, could repeat in the category, however unlikely, for True Grit, while Jeremy Renner, who was up for The Hurt Locker last year (and lost to Bridges), is back in the game for The Town. (This time out, Renner's a Supporting Actor nominee.)
Probably the biggest acting surprise is that Javier Bardem, who'd been acclaimed, but otherwise ignored for playing a cancer-stricken father in the Spanish-language drama Biutiful (itself a Foreign Language Film contender), pulled off a Best Actor nod. Then again, maybe this isn't a surprise. Bardem, after all, had been the subject of a one-woman lobbying campaign by Julia Roberts.
Meanwhile, True Grit's Hailee Steinfeld, all of 14, became one of the youngest Supporting Actress nominees ever.
Overall, Hollywood blockbusters did well, with seven of the 2010's Top 10 grossers coming away with nods. Eclipse was the highest-grossing film not to get any (Razzies don't count), and, sorry, Twilight fans, but Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 rated two noms.
A film as forgotten as The Wolfman figured into the Makeup category, and a film gone as quickly as Country Strong figured in the Original Song race (for the tune, "Coming Home").
Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor is now and forever an Oscar nominee thanks to his score (written with Atticus Ross) for The Social Network.
And, although it probably won't happen, Toy Story 3 could be the first film to win Animated Feature and Best Picture.
Well, maybe if Roberts throws her support behind Buzz and Woody…
The Oscars are set to be handed out Feb. 27 with the help of hosts Franco and Anne Hathaway.
(Originally published Jan. 25, 2011 at 5:50 a.m. PT)