By Daniel J. Hoag

The 83rd Academy Award nominations have been announced, which means Oscar season is in full bloom. Dozens of folks in Hollywood have been recognized for their artistic achievements and, as usual, a few of them have been noticeably omitted. Forthwith, the Haiku Review presents to you some Oscar commentary.

For the second year in a row, the Academy has chosen to bloat the Best Picture category up to ten candidates. The lucky nominees were as follows:

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

The film that just missed the cut is Ben Affleck’s well recieved heist flick The Town, and many of the film’s fans are disappointed. They will have to settle for this haiku:

So The Town got skunked.
Affleck should just be happy
folks like him again.

The biggest surprise came from the Best Director category:

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

Who’s missing? Why it’s Christopher Nolan, snubbed for directing Inception (previously snubbed for The Dark Knight).

Why so serious?
‘Cause Nolan can earn billions
but not Oscar nods.

There were few surprises in the lead acting categories.

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

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Portman or Bening,
the swan or the betrayed wife?
The Firth stands alone.

In the supporting categories, the only real news is that John Hawkes bumped out The Social Network‘s Andrew Garfield.  He’ll have to settle for being the new Spider-Man (and not the one failing on Broadway).  Also, there was some specualtion that True Grit‘s Hailee Steinfeld would be nominated for lead actress, despite the film’s studio campaigning for a supporting nom, and despite the fact that her character is, in fact, the lead of the film.

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

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Christian Bale will win,
so just don’t walk in front of
him during his speech.

There were many excellent films up for Best Documentary this year.  A few excellent ones that missed the cut were The Tillman Story, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, and, most surprisingly, the beloved look at the United States’ chaotic education system, Waiting for “Superman.”

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Inside Job
Waste Land

Blame our failing schools
for Waiting for “Superman”‘s
snub. Oscars, you failed.

The five films nominated for Best Original Screenplay:

Another Year
The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech

And the five films nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay:

127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Aaron Sorkin’s script
for Social will get friended
by Oscar, no doubt.

The nominations for Best Original Score:

127 Hours, A.R. Rahman
How to Train Your Dragon, John Powell
Inception, Hans Zimmer
The King’s Speech, Alexandre Desplat
The Social Network, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Daft Punk’s Tron score must
have gotten derezzed, so let’s
Nine Inch Nail this down.

The full list of nominee can be found here:
The 83 Academy Awards take place on Sunday, February 27th, 2011.