2011 Academy Awards®
Winners and History
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Academy Awards History (By Decade):
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Academy Awards Summaries
Winners Charts:
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®

The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.
Best Picture

THE ARTIST (2011, Fr.)

The Descendants (2011)

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2011)

The Help (2011)

Hugo (2011)

Midnight in Paris (2011)

Moneyball (2011)

The Tree of Life (2011)

War Horse (2011)

Best Animated Feature Film

RANGO (2011)

A Cat in Paris (2011, Fr.) (aka Une Vie de Chat)

Chico & Rita (2011, Sp./UK)

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom (2011)

Puss in Boots (2011)

JEAN DUJARDIN in "The Artist,"Demián Bichir in "A Better Life," George Clooney in "The Descendants," Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Brad Pitt in "Moneyball"
MERYL STREEP in "The Iron Lady," Glenn Close in "Albert Nobbs," Viola Davis in "The Help," Rooney Mara in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," Michelle Williams in "My Week With Marilyn"
Supporting Actor:
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER in "Beginners," Kenneth Branagh in "My Week with Marilyn," Jonah Hill in "Moneyball," Nick Nolte in "Warrior," Max von Sydow in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
Supporting Actress:
OCTAVIA SPENCER in "The Help," Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist," Jessica Chastain in "The Help," Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids," Janet McTeer in "Albert Nobbs"
MICHEL HAZANAVICIUS for "The Artist," Alexander Payne for "The Descendants," Martin Scorsese for "Hugo," Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris," Terrence Malick for "The Tree of Life"

The Artist (2011)There were 24 different categories in this year's Oscars race. In the first year of Oscar presentations (for 1927/1928 films), there were only 12 categories. This year's nine Best Picture nominees in the top category included the most acclaimed and awarded films of the year.

The two top films, with a combined 21 nominations and 10 Oscar wins, were both nostalgic odes to the history of film-making and the early bygone days of cinema, followed by a few other films also set in the past. Six of the nine Best Picture nominees were adapted from literary works, and the top two were both French-related, as was Woody Allen's nominee! The two top films were also competing against each other in seven categories.

The lineup of Best Picture nominees with their wins (in descending order), are found below:

Only one of the Best Picture nominees had earned more than $100 million at the box-office at the time of nominations and awards, Buena Vista's The Help, at $169.6 million. The Artist at $32.1 million, the front-running winning film joined the low-ranking films of the previous two years, The Hurt Locker (2009) (at $17 million) and The King's Speech (2010) (at $135 million), and it was on track to be the second lowest-grossing Best Picture winner since The Last Emperor (1987) (at $44 million). Hugo was also low-grossing at $69.5 million.

The films of all of the five nominees for Best Director were also nominated for Best Picture. All of the Best Director nominees were males (unlike two years previously when Kathryn Bigelow won for the category), and all were veterans, except for 44 year-old Michel Hazanavicius, who won the Best Director Oscar for The Artist. It was his first nomination (and win), and the first for a French director. The other four nominees were:

The Iranian family drama from writer/director Asghar Farhadi, A Separation had two nominations (including Best Original Screenplay) and won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar - it was the first Iranian film to be nominated (and also win) in Academy history.

The Best Animated Feature Film category included two non-CGI (hand-drawn) animated nominees - a pair of unlikely and obscure, foreign-language independent film candidates from the small New York distributor GKIDS. The winner was Rango, director Gore Verbinski's Western comedy-adventure (with voice of Johnny Depp as chameleon Rango), Verbinski's first nomination (and win) after being overlooked for his live action films. The other nominees (conspicuously without a Pixar nominee or winner) were:

There were nine first-time nominees among the 20 performance nominees - the most newcomers were within the Best Supporting Actress category.

The Best Actor category included two long-time favorite nominees (Clooney and Pitt), but neither of them triumphed. The category was won by a first-time nominee - and the first French actor to ever win Best Actor - 39 year-old French actor Jean Dujardin (with his first nomination and win) for his performance in The Artist, as declining, handsome silent film star George Valentin struggling with the coming of talkies. The other four Best Actor nominees were:

The Best Actress category included two legendary veterans (one without any wins from six nominations, and the other with her 17th nomination), and only one first-time nominee. Two actresses in the category, Glenn Close and Meryl Streep have competed against each other in the Best Actress category twice before (in 1987 and 1988), and on the two previous occasions both lost (to Moonstruck (1987) and Cher, and to The Accused (1988) and Jodi Foster).

This time in an upset, 62 year-old Meryl Streep won her third Oscar (it was with her record-setting 17th Oscar nomination, five more than both second-place Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson, and she already possessed 13 Best Actress nominations), for her performance in The Iron Lady (with two nominations, and two wins including Best Makeup), a biopic by director Phyllida Lloyd, as former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She had two previous Oscars for Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Best Actress for Sophie's Choice (1982). [Note: Streep hadn't won an Oscar in the last 12 instances, stretching back to 1982]. The other Best Actress nominees were:

The Best Supporting Actor category was notable for having only one nominated actor under 50 years of age (there were two 82 year-old nominees, some of the oldest on record), and all nominees had never won an Oscar. The winner in the category was the favorite - 82 year-old Canadian-born Christopher Plummer (with his second Best Supporting Actor nomination and his first Oscar win), for Beginners (the film's sole nomination and win), a romantic comedy-drama by director/writer Mike Mills, as 75 year-old Hal Fields, a dying, terminally-ill widower who came out of the closet to his adult son. With his win, Plummer became the oldest actor to win an Oscar. He also became the oldest person to win an Academy Award in one of the four acting categories. The other nominees in the category were:

The Best Supporting Actress category had only one returning Oscar nominee and four first-time nominees. The category was won by 41 year-old African-American actress Octavia Spencer (with her first nomination) for The Help, as black 'help' maid and talented chef/pie-maker Minny Jackson. The other Best Supporting Actress nominees were:

Oscar Snubs and Omissions:

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