I have scratched together a living, in one way or another, as a writer for more than 50 years now. I was a free-lance writer during the early stages of the Vietnam War. I was the Southwest Division Overnight News Editor for United Press International back when UPI was a legitimate news gathering organization. Following that, I went to the Dallas Morning News where I became the first person to write about rock 'n' roll on a daily basis for a Texas metropolitan newspaper. I later became the News' entertainment editor. Following some stints with a couple of prominent PR firms, I had the extraordinary good fortune to team with two communications legends, Ken Fairchild and Lisa LeMaster, as part of one kick-ass media consulting/crisis communications team. That was followed by short stays with the City of Dallas, as its public information officer; the Dallas Northeast Chamber of Commerce where I had the good fortune to meet and work alongside some of this city's business and political titans; and editorial director for QuestCorp Media until that company went out of business. Now officially retired, concentrating on this blog.
Only three real surprises in the Oscar nominations announced this morning and all of them were pleasant surprises. First and foremost, Winter's Bone, the film I thought was the second-best picture of the year but one I was afraid the Academy would overlook, made the final 10 for best picture and also secured a well-deserved supporting actor nod for John Hawkes. Jennifer Lawrence being nominated for best actress in the picture was a given and I was also delighted to see the film's writers nominated for the screenplay they adapted. I know Winter's Bone won't win any of those Oscars, nor should it, but the nominations are victories on their own.
I was also shocked, in a positive way, that Christopher Nolan was not nominated for directing the overrated Inception. He has his loyal following, however, who are still upset over his Dark Knight snub and they will be out in force critizingf the omission. For some strange reason, however, his stilted screenplay was nominated.
In the technical categories, I was glad to see the sound branch of the Academy recognize Unstoppable for its sound editing.
My only real disappointment is that Andrew Garfield of The Social Network did not receive a supporting actor nomination, but I must admit that's a mighty strong field of five who were nominated: Hawkes, along with Christian Bale (the favorite to win it), Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo and Geoffrey Rush. I was slightly disappointed that Julianne Moore did not receive a best actress nomination for The Kids Are All Right, but her absence from the field gives co-star Annette Bening a much better chance of upsetting Natalie Portman for the Oscar in this category.