Except for Javier Bardem in "Biutiful," the acting nominations reaped predictable results -- including placing Colin Firth in the best actor category and Geoffrey Rush in the best supporting actor category for "The King's Speech," and naming Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit" as a best supporting actress nominee (while her contemporary counterpart, Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter's Bone," is up for best actress).
Everyone prophesied that Amy Adams and Melissa Leo would both be nominated for best supporting actress for "The Fighter." (I generally admire Leo's empathic and chameleonic qualities, but I think Adams gave by far the subtler and more modulated performance this time around.) By the same tactics or reasoning that made Rush a supporting performer, Julianne Moore could have been considered one too, for "The Kids Are All Right." No such luck for Moore this year.
But with Steinfeld, Helena Bonham Carter of "The King's Speech," and Jacki Weaver of the Australian film "Animal Kingdom," the best supporting actress category has become a powerhouse. And with "Animal Kingdom" out on DVD, even Academy voters who ignored it in theaters or misplaced their screeners can have Weaver scare the bejesus out of them as a twinkling stay-at-home grandmother and crime-family queenpin.