ACTING: As expected, Jesse Eisenberg and Natalie Portman get top nods for starring in the most talked about movies of the year. Eisenberg, for his fictional portrayal of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network” and Portman for playing the self-mutilating, psychologically unhinged ballerina in “Black Swan”. James Franco, whose mother is Jewish, is nominated (also for being self-mutilating but in a life-preserving way) for the outdoor adventure film “127 Hours”. And in the supporting category, 14-year old Hailee Steinfeld nabs a nod for her portrayal of Mattie Ross, out to avenge her father’s murder in “True Grit”.
DIRECTING: Darren Aronofsky gets his first nod for the balletic melodrama “Black Swan” and Joel and Ethan Coen—aka the Coen Brothers—nab a nom for “True Grit”, their most commercially successful movie yet. David O’Russell, the son of a Jewish father and Italian-American mother also achieves in the directing category for the boxing drama “The Fighter”.
SCREENWRITING: Continuing with his sweep of writing awards, Aaron Sorkin is nominated in the adapted screenplay catergory for “The Social Network” and The Coen Brothers are also nominated in this category for “True Grit” for their faithful adaptation of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis. Writer/director Debra Granik nabs a nod for the chilling Midwestern thriller “Winter’s Bone”. In the original screenplay category, Mike Leigh is nominated for “Another Year” a glimpse into mid-life crises among the British middle class. Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg are honored for their portrait of a lesbian couple and their family in the “The Kids Are Alright” and David Seidler gets a first nod for the sharp and witty “The King’s Speech”.