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Unusual Number of Oscar Nominees Feature Severed Extremities, Oral Sex

James Franco in '127 Hours

Film critic Steven Rea "goes out on a limb" and proclaims this the biggest year ever for amputations that attract Oscar interest. But oral sex scenes still win more kudos.

"I believe this is the first time in Oscar history that four of the best picture candidates share a rather grisly theme: severed extremities," writes Rea.

SPOILER ALERT: "In 127 Hours, an experienced hiker must self-amputate [though as Danny Boyle reassures The Hollywood Reporter, "There's a hole in the rock that his hand goes into! It's trompe l'oeil. It really isn't real."]. In True Grit, the movie's resolute heroine loses her arm; in Winter's Bone, a teenage daughter must hack off a watery corpse's hands. And in Toy Story 3, Mr. Potato Head [Don Rickles] loses just about every appendage."

Other non-best picture Oscar nominees with a slicing theme: Alice in Wonderland, whose Helena Bonham Carter yells, "Off with their heads!" and The Town, wherein the late, immensely great Pete Postlethwaite, apt to have a tribute at the Oscar ceremony, calmly snips roses and tells Ben Affleck, "You're going to do this for me or I'll clip your nuts, like I clipped your daddy's."

But oral sex scenes seem to be the better plaudit-magnet shock tactic: You'll find them in Carlos, Black Swan, Blue Valentine, The Kids Are All Right, Greenberg, Love and Other Drugs, The Good Wife, Mad Men and almost but not quite in Somewhere (Stephen Dorff falls asleep too soon) and Boardwalk Empire (Michael Pitt's son wakes up too soon). Remember how much trouble Vincent Gallo got in for the oral-sex-intensive The Brown Bunny? Poor guy was just ahead of the curve.

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