Early (and we do mean early) this morning the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences unveiled their nominees for the 2011 Academy Awards. In true Oscar fashion, they decided to shake up the Hollywood award system by throwing in a few surprises and snubs when they revealed their picks for the best in film from 2010. Here are the nominees that threw us for a loop…

John Hawkes – Best Supporting Actor

He made it! John Hawkes gave a strong performance last year in the indie drama Winter’s Bone as Uncle Teardrop. He went tit for tat with the various awards this season, where he was nominated for some and completely ignored for others. In the end, the Academy had the last word and he, along with his co-star Jennifer Lawrence will both represent Winter’s Bone in the acting categories.

Andrew Garfield – No Best Supporting Actor Nod

Who saw this coming? Unlike Hawkes, Andrew Garfield consistently appeared on the nomination lists for every major award in the Best Supporting Actor category. Unfortunately, his emotional performance as Eduardo Saverin in The Social Network wasn’t strong enough to compete with the likes of Bale, Rush, and obviously Hawkes.

The Coen Brothers – Best Director, Picture, Adapted Screenplay

The Academy loves Ethan and Joel Coen! Even though True Grit received great reviews, it’s had a pretty inconsistent awards season. The entire film was shut out of the Globes (due to the films’ late release?), followed by the brothers missing out on a Director’s Guild nod, but their film still managed to earn several SAG nominations for it’s cast. They’ve finished a rather uneven year with the biggest acknowledgment of all from the Academy.

Hailee Steinfeld – Best Supporting Actress

Hailee Steinfeld is very deserving of her nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but a lot of people were concerned if she would make the cut because of her leading role in True Grit. We weren’t sure if the votes would be split. Half of the Academy might have put her in the Lead Actress category and the other half in the Best Supporting, which in the end would have canceled her out all together. Luckily for her, that didn’t happen.

Christopher Nolan – No Best Director Nod

Every person nominated for the Best Director category was expected, but we knew someone would be left out in the cold and lo’ and behold it was Christopher Nolan for Inception. Once again the talented director has to comfort himself with a Best Original Screenplay nomination. It’s like the Academy loves his writing but they won’t give his directing the time of day. What’s up with that?

Javier Bardem – Best Lead Actor

When Julia Roberts talks, the Academy listens. The actress has been heavily campaigning for her friend and Eat Pray Love co-star Javier Bardem to get an Oscar nomination for his role in Biutiful. She even said that if the Academy didn’t recognize his performance in the film, Hollywood is “f*cked!” We guess they heard her loud and clear, because Bardem got the votes he needed to become a contender for Best Lead Actor.

Ryan Gosling – No Best Lead Actor Nod

Speaking of Bardem, it’s pretty obvious he slipped in to take Ryan Gosling’s spot for Blue Valentine. For the majority of the awards’ season both he and his co-star Michelle Williams have been recognized in the lead acting categories but for the Oscars he lucked out. We guess his heart-wrenching performance wasn’t sad and depressing enough to beat out Bardem’s in Biutiful.

What were your biggest snubs and surprises this year? Who else was noticeably absent from the Oscar nominations?