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Oscar snubs and surprises: Nolan left out again

In handing out 120 nominations, the Oscars inevitably spurn others. "Snub" is the word of choice for these oversights, and Christopher Nolan is well-acquainted with its meaning.

Two years after seeing his "The Dark Knight" earn neither a best picture nomination nor a directing nod, Nolan was passed over for directing "Inception," another film both acclaimed and popular at the box office.

This time, at least, "Inception" was included among the best picture nominees, which now number 10, a change made last year partly because of the outcry over "The Dark Knight."

Though many of the nominations announced Tuesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were as expected, the most glaring omission was that of "Waiting for 'Superman' " in the best documentary category.

One of the most talked-about documentaries of the year and a widely expected Oscar favorite, the education system examination was left out, perhaps because some experts deemed it an inaccurate exaggeration of charter schools.

Other surprises from this year's batch of Oscar nominees:

* Bardem displaces Duvall: Javier Bardem's best-actor nomination for the Spanish-language "Biutiful" likely took the spot some pegged for Robert Duvall's bearded hermit in "Get Low."

* A king's dozen: "The King's Speech" was a heavy favorite going into Tuesday's announcement, but its leading 12 nominations is still a surprisingly high total. Though a performance-based film, it still earned nods for cinematography and sound editing. (With 10 nominations, "True Grit" also proved especially strong, further highlighting the Golden Globes' questionable judgment in snubbing it altogether.)

* This year's indie darling: The Ozark drama "Winter's Bone" had long been a cause celebre for those who root for the smaller movies. Rather than sneak into the awards, it garnered a commanding four nominations, including best picture and best supporting actor for John Hawkes. Its star, the 20-year-old Jennifer Lawrence, is the fifth youngest best actress nominee.

* Gosling, Manville missing: Many would say the two best performances of 2010 were Ryan Gosling in "Blue Valentine" and Lesley Manville in "Another Year." Both were left out, though Gosling's co-star, Michelle Williams, was nominated for best actress.

* Never in the conversation: The Oscar race often arrives at favorites in a curious, buzz-reliant way. There were many who never caught on with the Academy, but nevertheless are among the snubbed: Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," Tilda Swinton in "I Am Love," Pierce Brosnan in "The Ghost Writer," Greta Gerwig in "Greenberg," and Rebecca Hall in "Please Give," among others.

Here's a partial list of 83rd Annual Academy Award nominations:

Best Picture: "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right," "The King's Speech," "127 Hours," "The Social Network," "Toy Story 3," "True Grit," "Winter's Bone."

Actor: Javier Bardem, "Biutiful"; Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"; Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"; Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"; James Franco, "127 Hours."

Actress: Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"; Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"; Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"; Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"; Michelle Williams, "Blue Valentine."

Supporting Actor: 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."

Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, "The Fighter"; Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"; Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"; Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"; Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom."

Directing: Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"; David O. Russell, "The Fighter"; Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"; David Fincher, "The Social Network"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "True Grit."

Foreign Language Film: "Biutiful," Mexico; "Dogtooth," Greece; "In a Better World," Denmark; "Incendies," Canada; "Outside the Law (Hors-La-Loi)," Algeria.

Adapted Screenplay: Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, "127 Hours"; Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network"; Michael Arndt, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich, "Toy Story 3"; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "True Grit"; Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini, "Winter's Bone."

Original Screenplay: Mike Leigh, "Another Year"; Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson and Keith Dorrington, "The Fighter"; Christopher Nolan, "Inception"; Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, "The Kids Are All Right"; David Seidler, "The King's Speech."

Animated Feature Film: "How to Train Your Dragon," "The Illusionist," "Toy Story 3."

Costume: "Alice in Wonderland," "I Am Love," "The King's Speech," "The Tempest," "True Grit."

Documentary Feature: "Exit through the Gift Shop," "Gasland," "Inside Job," "Restrepo," "Waste Land."

Documentary (short subject): "Killing in the Name," "Poster Girl," "Strangers No More," "Sun Come Up," "The Warriors of Qiugang."

Film Editing: "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "The King's Speech," "127 Hours," "The Social Network."

Makeup: "Barney's Version," "The Way Back," "The Wolfman."

Animated Short Film: "Day and Night," "The Gruffalo," "Let's Pollute," "The Lost Thing," "Madagascar, Carnet de Voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)."

Live Action Short Film: "The Confession," "The Crush," "God of Love," "Na Wewe," "Wish 143."

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