The nominations for the 83rd annual Academy Awards have been unveiled and as usual, there are some surprises. Oscar Frenzy takes a closer look at some of the notable inclusions/exclusions and what it may mean for the big races.

1. The King’s Speech garners 12 nominations

This was a bit of a surprise. Everyone thought The King’s Speech was popular, but it was by no means a shoo-in to get nominations for art direction and sound mixing. Sound?! The fact that it got these nominations is an indication of broad-based support throughout the Academy. This is why The King’s Speech is now arguably the new frontrunner over The Social Network. So far, this year is a little reminscent to 1998 when Shakespeare in Love, another crowd-pleasing British film, captured the most nominations and eventually took home the grand prize.

2. Christopher Nolan is snubbed for Best Director

So many movie lovers are so upset by this snub. Inception would not have been possible if not for Nolan’s bold vision and imaginative drive. He crafted a thrilling sci-fi adventure movie that pushed the boundaries and gave audiences something they’ve never seen before. Yet, at the heart of it all, he told a compelling love story that kept the story focused and emotional. It’s obvious the Academy has an aversion to action and science fiction movies. We should have seen this coming when The Dark Knight was snubbed two years ago. Expect Inception to clean up in the technical categories though.

3. Andrew Garfield misses out in the Supporting Acting category

Uh-oh. Here’s another sign of weakness on the part of The Social Network. Garfield received nominations from the Broadcast Films Critics and the Golden Globes, but not the Academy. Some could argue that the Academy was trending away from newer actors/actresses (Mila Kunis was also left out for “Black Swan”) but we think it may say something about overall love for the film. The Golden Globe win may have actually hurt The Social Network, as the Academy often likes to go its own direction. Avatar, Atonement, and Babel were all recent Globe winners that did not win the Best Picture Oscar.

4. Where is The Town? Ben Affleck gets no respect from the Academy.

The Town was favored to land Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations. So much for that. Again, it might have something to do with the Academy’s bias against action films, although The Town is easily half drama/half action. Well, there were basically eleven films vying for ten nominations so someone had to get left out. We’re thrilled to see a small indie film like Winter’s Bone make the cut. In the end, it may have come down to the preferential ballot, which determines both nominations and the Best Picture winner. The preferential ballot favors a film that has a strong fan base in the nominations process. More people probably ranked Winter’s Bone in their top five than The Town. A film that is well liked but not loved, as The Town probably falls under, often gets left out in the cold.

5. Yay! One nomination for Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter.

Remember the days when Clint ruled the Oscars? Things have changed. Last year, Invictus was snubbed for Best Picture and two years ago, BOTH Changeling and Gran Torino were bypassed. Well, at least Hereafter managed one nomination, albeit in the Visual Effects category. Better something than nothing, right?