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Oscar 2011 Nominees React: Kidman, Bening, Bardem, Firth …

The morning of the big announcement, this year’s crop of Academy Award nominees share their joy and surprise

In the category of Best Reaction Statement, the nominees are:

Joel and Ethan Coen ("True Grit") for "Ten seems like an awful lot."
Colin Firth ("The King's Speech") for "Not used to this much joy or this much champagne at this hour."
Dean DuBlois ("How to Train Your Dragon") for "Maybe they'll let me stick around and become a citizen now!"
Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right") for "4 nominations and 4 kids.  I am damn proud!" 
Banksy ("Exit Through the Gift Shop") for "I don't agree with the concept of awards ceremonies, but I'm prepared to make an exception for the ones I'm nominated for."

Apart from those gems, this is one of those Academy categories where it's tough to find worthy nominees. Because, after all, most nominee reaction statements are pretty routine stuff.

Here's a roundup of reaction statements that illustrate all the different ways to say "I'm thrilled and grateful," along with interviews we've done with some of the nominees.

We'll be expanding this as more reactions come in.

BEST ACTOR

"I am truly honored for this nomination. And deeply thankful to the Academy members for their trust and support. Also to all of those who showed their support to my work in 'Biutiful' I express my heartfelt gratitude. I am very happy for Alejandro and everyone who has made possible the special movie we made together. It's really a huge honor to have been nominated in a non-English speaking performance and in the name of all my colleagues in Spain and mine I want to show my gratitude to the Academy for support and a recognition in this nomination for the movie 'Biutiful."’ — Javier Bardem, "Biutiful"  

"Currently celebrating with my colleagues three feet above the ground.  Not used to this much joy, or this much champagne at this hour." – Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"

“It feels great to be nominated and it is such an honor to be in the company of my fellow nominees. I'm especially proud of Danny Boyle and the whole team behind 127 Hours for their recognition by the Academy. Danny is such a wonderful entertainer and collaborator and to see the film nominated for Best Picture, Score, Screenplay, Song and Editing is thrilling.” — James Franco, "127 Hours"

BEST ACTRESS

"4 nominations and 4 kids.  I am damn proud!" – Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right" 

"What an extraordinary journey this film has taken me on! ‘Rabbit Hole’ has been a labor of love and I'm so thankful to John Cameron Mitchell, David Lindsay-Abaire and the brilliant cast. This nomination reflects all of the heart and soul that these people have put into it and I can't thank them enough." – Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"

“I am so honored and grateful to the Academy for this recognition.  It is a wonderful culmination of the ten-year journey with Darren to make this film. Making 'Black Swan' is already the most meaningful experience of my career, and the passion shown for the film has completed the process of communication between artists and audience.  I am so thankful for the support we have received and I share this honor with the entire cast and crew of the film, especially Darren Aronofsky.” — Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

"I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude by this recognition by the Academy this morning.  I'm smiling from ear to ear knowing that lightning can strike twice and it feels electrifying.  I'm thrilled to be amongst these tremendously talented artists. A big congratulations to all the nominees!" – Jeremy Renner, "The Town"

“It is with great honor and humility that I receive my Oscar nomination. I have been included with a group of top-notch actors who I respect and admire. I am humbled to be in their presence. I also would like to acknowledge the power of ensemble acting. The kind of acting that happened in this movie does not exist in a bubble. Any honor that I receive must be shared with Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Josh Hutcherson,  Mia Wasikowska, the rest of the cast, and of course the inimitable Lisa Cholodenko. Thank you to the Academy. This nomination is a win for Marriage Equality and that is the most I could hope for.” — Mark Ruffalo, "The Kids Are All Right."

"As an Australian, I'm as excited to be recognized and honored by the Academy as my character must have been when his London speech therapy business flourished when the future King Of England happened to pop by one day. This story has struck such a rich resonant chord with audiences of all ages, which is very exciting — to have your work honored by your industry peers is even better." – Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"

BEST DIRECTOR

“I was building Lego with my son and lost track of the time. Then the phone started ringing and I realized it must be good news. I'm incredibly touched and humbled. I grew up watching the awards and never thought this would be my reality. I'm thrilled for Natalie who trained tirelessly for a year and then trusted me with her soul and spirit.  And I'm so thankful the academy recognized my long time collaborators Matty, Andy and Scott. They are such focused and committed artists and their work inspired me every day.” – Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"

“I’m very grateful and humbled by the nominations for 'The Social Network.'  I’m incredibly proud of the work of my wildly talented collaborators in front of and behind the camera — all of whom gave the best of themselves and their talents in service to a film about a ground-breaking American innovation.  This directing nomination represents the sum of the work of all of us, and I want to acknowledge the vast contributions to this film of all of my good friends and creative partners.  The success of our movie belongs to many people, and this nomination is theirs to share.” — David Fincher, "The Social Network"

“I am absolutely overwhelmed by the twelve Oscar nominations for 'The King's Speech'.  I am so grateful to the Academy.  I am incredibly proud of my extraordinary cast and crew.  This is a day I will remember for the rest of my life.” – Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"

“Ten [nominations] seems like an awful lot. We don't want to take anyone else's." – Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, "True Grit"

 

"I tried to say to myself, just remember that you're fortunate to have worked on this film, and no one can take that way from you. And beyond that, I tried not to expect too much. So to get recognition in such a competitive year, especially when I've never been nominated, is just really f___ing great.

"I've been on the phone with the incredible cast this morning, because we're a family. And I tried to call Micky [Ward], but his voicemail is full. Mark Wahlberg couldn’t get him, either. But we're gonna get Micky and Dicky out here this weekend, and we're going to party." – David O. Russell, "The Fighter" (interview)

BEST PICTURE

“Wow! I am so honored, grateful and humbled to have our film recognized by the Academy. This  is really  something I have dreamed of since I began watching movies as a kid – even before I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker.  Having collaborated with Darren on four films, I've watched him push the creative boundaries each time. It is thrilling to see my long time friend receive this well deserved consideration alongside Natalie. Her hard work and dedication speaks for itself in her breathtaking performance. It took a tremendous team to put this film together and I am thrilled for the recognition of my colleagues Matty and Andrew, who helped bring this film and its characters to life.” — Scott Franklin, "Black Swan"

"On behalf of everyone associated with 'The Fighter,' we are deeply honored by The Academy's recognition of our film.  This has been a labor of love for us and an incredible, rewarding  journey that continues with this nomination." – David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, "The Fighter"

"It has been such an incredible journey with 'The Fighter' and one that I am grateful to share with David O. Russell, Christian, Melissa, Amy, my fellow producers and the Ward and Eklund families, who are the heart and soul of the film.  Thank you to the Academy for this tremendous honor." – Mark Wahlberg, "The Fighter"

"You go in with creative expectations, but you can't have awards expectations.  If you do, you'll just be disappointed. So I had to go in thinking, we have a $20 million movie that's heading for $80 million, the audience has embraced it, that's all we need. And the nominations on top of that were just great – especially the one for David O. Russell, because he had an impossible task when we handed him the script of a dark movie about drugs and said, 'You need to make this uplifting, and we're going to cut the budget in half, and you have to shoot it in 33 days.'

"At the end of the day, I don't know what the Academy looks at [in the process that denied Kavanaugh a producers credit on the film], but it was awesome to see the amount of support I got from David, the other producers, the department heads, the cast, managers, agents … We're thrilled that the movie got nominated, and it doesn't matter if I don't have my name on the statue." – Ryan Kavanaugh, "The Fighter" (interview)

“It's incredible to think that this morning's Oscar nominations go back 7 years to the fateful day Stuart Blumberg and I crossed paths in a Los Angeles coffee shop and agreed to write KIDS together. If luck is preparation meeting opportunity, then that was the opportunity, hands down! I'm thrilled that I'll be at the Kodak Theatre next month with Stuart, Mark Ruffalo, Annette Bening, Jeff Levy-Hinte, and my other producers who worked so hard to get this film made. I only regret that Julianne Moore didn't get the acting nomination she so richly deserved. But the Picture nomination is as much hers as ours. We couldn't have made this film without her heart, smarts and loyalty, not to mention her outstanding performance." – Lisa Cholodenko, "The Kids Are All Right"

"When we were making the movie, I remember watching that amazing cast, and watching what Lisa was doing, and thinking that this was going to be a gem. But I did not for one minute think that we'd be going to the Oscars. We showed the movie to Focus Features at Sundance one year ago today, so this is a great anniversary." — Celine Rattray, "The Kids Are All Right" (interview)

"We are overjoyed that the Academy gave our film four nominations — what a journey, from years getting the movie together to Sundance last year to the Kodak Theatre next month! We made the film because we had something to say about the power of love, and I want to thank the Academy members from the bottom of my heart for showing us their love!"- Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, "The Kids Are All Right"

"To be nominated for an Academy Award is a highlight in any career and I am delighted for each of our individual nominees and incredibly proud of them all. But more important than individual kudos, this haul of six nominations is a huge stamp of approval from the Academy for the film itself. The picture  expands into wide release in North America this weekend  – and is rolled out internationally over the coming weeks  – and  these nominations will encourage audiences all over the world to go and see the film – and in particular James Franco's unmissable performance. This is an incredibly proud and happy day for all of us who worked on the film." – Christian Colson, "127 Hours"

"I'm deeply grateful to the Academy for recognizing 'TSN' with eight nominations. It’s a recognition for every single one of the many many people who had a hand in bringing this film to life – both in front of and behind the cameras. I'm so incredibly proud to be a producer on this film. The mirror it holds up in terms of underscoring the universal, timeless human need for love, friendship and acceptance is a testament to Aaron Sorkin's brilliant script and David Fincher's masterful direction. Every producer in his career wants to be a part of a film like this one.  Making the film, and being a part of it continues to be an incredible gift." — Michael DeLuca, "The Social Network"

"We are ecstatic at the Academy's generous and humbling recognition of 'Toy Story 3.' For everyone that worked so passionately to bring these beloved toys back to life – from our artists to the actors – it's incredibly gratifying to be recognized along side these other amazing films today in both the Best Picture and Best Animated Feature categories." — Darla K. Anderson, "Toy Story 3"

ANIMATED FEATURE

"What honor it is to be nominated for an Academy Award!  I'm actually on my way to the Van Nuys immigration and naturalization office for a biometrics (fingerprinting) appointment.   I'm looking at the Oscar nom as a good sign!  Maybe they'll let me stick around and become a citizen now!" – Dean DeBlois, "How to Train Your Dragon"

"To be nominated in the animated feature film category is an unbelievable thrill and honor.  I honestly couldn't sleep last night in anticipation of the announcement.  When I was a kid I watched the Oscars with my grandmother – we never missed a broadcast.  I could never have imagined that as kid growing up in Colorado I would have a chance to be a part of this amazing thing. DreamWorks gave us a place where we were free to create and pushed us to never ever stop short of the best we could do." — Chris Sanders, "How to Train Your Dragon"

"I've been working at Pixar for 16 years, and a lot of my close collaborators and friends have been nominated or won awards. I was always been very happy for them, but I feel like I've been on the sidelines watching, so I'm walking on air this morning.

"When I was making the movie, the pressure was not to make a movie that would win awards – the pressure is to make the new Pixar movie, and to make a sequel to the 'Toy Story' movies. Because it was a sequel, I assumed that it wasn't in the cards for us to be wining awards.

"Everything up to this point has been thrilling and exciting, but today is very different from everything else. This one is on a different level."  – Lee Unkrich, "Toy Story 3" (interview)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

"I have never had a TV in my room, never.  I never watch TV. But we have two kids, so just two days ago we got a TV in our room. I didn’t know how to deal with that black hole in front of me, because I was afraid that if I started watching I would get sucked in and be flipping channels for five hours. So this morning was the first time I put on the TV, and the first name we heard was 'Javier Bardem.' I said to my wife, 'Well, it's not so bad to have a TV in the room.'

"I really feel very humbly honored by the Academy that despite the nature of this film, my colleagues recognized it. And we open this weekend, so it couldn’t be better for the film." – Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, "Biutiful" (interview)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

"This is a big surprise. I don't agree with the concept of awards ceremonies, but I'm prepared to make an exception for the ones I'm nominated for. The last time there was a naked man covered in gold paint in my house, it was me." — Banksy, "Exit Through the Gift Shop"

"I'm totally new to this world, so I thought they were going to announce the nominations at 10 a.m. At 8:30 I'd just gotten out of the shower and I was about to take my dog for a walk when I got the call.

"We made this film because the country is at war. We're nine years into this war in Afghanistan, and it's not a story that's over yet. We didn’t want to take sides, we wanted to make a politically neutral film so that the nation could have a conversation about the war. And maybe this nomination can help the conversation along." – Sebastian Junger, "Restrepo" (interview)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

"I'm absolutely delighted. No matter how many other nominations a film receives, there's nothing quite like an Academy Best Film nomination to make one proud. It's the gold stamp of approval.” – Simon Beaufoy, "127 Hours"

"My recommendation to anyone who wants to be nominated for an Academy Award is work with David Fincher.  I’m thrilled to be nominated by the Academy and I’m especially pleased for everyone who worked so hard on the film – it is a triumph of teamwork.  I’m honored to have our film nominated in such an incredible year for movies." — Aaron Sorkin, "The Social Network" 

"It's hard to avoid expectations with awards. I wish I could pretend to be cool and detached, but it's hard not to get sucked into this. You watch the announcement, and your heart stops beating, and then you hear your name and you feel very humble. And for me, the great thing is to be nominated by the writers branch – because nobody knows how hard it is to write a decent screenplay more than other screenwriters.

"I'd like to take all the credit for this, but at Pixar a script is an expression of an entire community. I always say that writing 'Little Miss Sunshine' was like building a homemade rocket in my backyard, and going to Pixar is like joining NASA. You're sort of doing the same thing, but not really." – Michael Arndt, "Toy Story 3" (interview)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“Try as I could to act cool and not care, as soon as I heard our names called, I started crying like a little kid. Pardon the cliché, but this truly is a dream come true. I want to thank the Academy for this most phenomenal honor.”- Stuart Blumberg, "The Kids Are All Right"

FILM EDITING

“To go from a little movie just struggling to make the schedule, cutting on my laptop, sometimes in a car, to this? I don't think we ever could have imagined this kind of reception or recognition! It speaks to Darren's ability to bring out the best from his collaborators and I'm so glad that people have enjoyed the film as much as we enjoyed making it.” — Andrew Weisblum, "Black Swan"

“Wow. We are honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to work on a
film with this level of creativity and collaboration. David's direction, Aaron's script, and performances by an amazing group of
actors created the perfect stormfor making a great film. Thanks to the producing team, everyone at Sony, and to the Academy for the
gracious nomination. We are incredibly excited and honored!”
 — Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, "The Social Network"

ORIGINAL SCORE

"It is a great honor to have my work noticed again by the Academy and I am very grateful … Writing the music for 'The King's Speech' has been a delight and I thank our brilliant director, Tom Hooper, for offering us and the audience such an inspiring and beautiful film. I also wish to congratulate all the other talents nominates for our movie"  — Alexandre Desplat, "The King's Speech"

“I’m very honored and humbled to be recognized by the Academy with two nominations. Working with Danny Boyle is such a remarkable experience, and I’m so fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with him again. I’m immensely grateful to Fox Searchlight for their efforts on this incredible film based on the courageous story of Aaron Rolston.” – A.R. Rahman, "127 Hours" [also nominated for Original Song]

ORIGINAL SONG

 “We are thrilled by the news of our nomination this morning. Troy Verges, Hillary Lindsey and I met with director Shana Feste in the early script stages of ‘Country Strong’ and she really gave us an inside look into the motivation behind the ark of the characters in the film. We instantly fell in love with the story and were taken with how respectful the filmmakers were of Nashville and country music. This entire process has been quite a creative ride, and the nomination is a real honor.” –  Tom Douglas, "Country Strong"

VISUAL EFFECTS

"The nomination is wonderful because working on 'Alice in Wonderland' was one of the best creative experiences of my entire career. Tim Burton trusted us with his vision and the work on the screen is the result of an amazing collaboration with hundreds of brilliant artists, including my fellow nominees and a great team on set. You hope to have an experience like this at least once in career and I am so happy that our peers recognized the extraordinary complexity, detail and accomplishment that the visual effects in 'Alice in Wonderland' represent." – Ken Ralston, "Alice in Wonderland"

ANIMATED SHORT

"I thank the Academy for this extraordinary recognition. Creating 'Day & Night' with the high quality team of artists and technicians within Pixar was truly a non-stop sensation of positive energy for me. I was constantly amazed by the crew's fortitude to push through challenges and inspire each other with their ingenuity. On behalf of the team that helped bring 'Day & Night' to life, it is an honor to be nominated." – Teddy Newton, "Day & Night"