Snubs and Surprises of Nominees
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) — “Kinsey” squeaked out only one nomination, “The Polar Express” didn’t make it in animated feature and “House of Flying Daggers” didn’t make it as a best foreign picture.
Those are some of the biggest surprises of the year, when looking to see what and who got snubbed in the 77th Academy Award nominations that were announced on Tuesday.
Obviously, the 5,808 members of the Academy didn’t stomach the bisexual biopic of “Kinsey” very well because at one point it was considered a surefire nominee for best picture, and for star Liam Neeson and supporting actor Peter Sarsgaard. Director and writer Bill Condon won a writing Oscar for “Gods and Monsters” and was previously nominated for “Chicago,” yet the only nomination for “Kinsey” went to Laura Linney for supporting actress, playing Alfred Kinsey’s wife. She’s a previous nominee for “You Can Count on Me” in 2000.
Two movies, “Closer” and “Hotel Rwanda,” won two acting nominations each, but neither film made it on the best picture list. And “Closer” nominees didn’t include superstars Julia Roberts or Jude Law, a previous winner and nominee, and instead picked supporting actors Clive Owen and Natalie Portman, both first-time nominees.
In the same way, “Sideways” earned supporting actor nods for Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen, but star Paul Giamatti was snubbed, like he was last year for “American Splendor.”
“The Aviator” and “Million Dollar Baby” each earned three acting nominations, but that doesn’t give either picture a lead because last year’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” won best picture easily without a single acting nominee.
“Fahrenheit 9/11” director Michael Moore may have shot himself in the foot for not competing in the best documentary category and instead shooting for best picture and screenplay. He didn’t get into either category. Instead, the documentary category is between a personal story about a man who finds out that the priest who abused him as a boy has moved in next door, “Twist of Faith”; a guy who eats fast food and harms his health, “Super Size Me”; a film about children in brothels in India, “Born into Brothels”; the life and violent death of gangsta rap star Tupac Shakur, “Tupac: Resurrection” and a film about a camel and a nomadic family in Mongolia, “The Story of Weeping Camel.”
Jim Carrey’s two films of the year included the children’s fantasy “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (four noms) and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (two noms), but none for Carrey.
Many past Oscar winners with showy roles were snubbed, such as Al Pacino for “The Merchant of Venice,” Jeremy Irons for “Being Julia” or “The Merchant of Venice,” Christopher Walken in “Around the Bend,” Tom Hanks or Catherine Zeta-Jones for “The Terminal,” Nicole Kidman for “Dogville” or “Birth,” Cloris Leachman for “Spanglish,” Kevin Kline for “De-Lovely,” Renee Zellweger for “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” Meryl Streep or Denzel Washington for “Manchurian Candidate,” Robin Williams in “The Final Cut” and Sean Penn for “The Assassination of Richard Nixon.”
Past Oscar nominees who at one time were likely contenders for the list, but have been left off this year, include John Travolta for “A Love Song for Bobby Long,” Tom Cruise in “Collateral,” Sigourney Weaver for “Imaginary Heroes,” Javier Bardem for “The Sea Inside,” Gena Rowlands and James Garner for “The Notebook,” Peter O’Toole for “Troy” and Billy Murray for “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.” (No, no one thought that Julianne Moore would get a nomination for “The Forgotten.”)
No movie about Hollywood history has ever won the top prize, so that may hurt the chances for “The Aviator” which is about billionaire Howard Hughes trying to make it as a director and dating movie starlets.
And Oscar history doesn’t bode well for “Sideways,” either, because the last best picture to win that was a comedy was “Annie Hall” in 1977.
Some critics thought “The Incredibles” would make it into the top five best picture contenders, rather than just be relegated to best animated feature. “Beauty and the Beast” made it in the top five one year, but that was before the animated feature category was created.
This year, “Team America: World Police” wasn’t eligible for animated feature because it was all puppetry, and “Ghost in the Shell 2” and “Polar Express” seemed like they would make it in the list, but didn’t. Disney’s “Home of the Range” and the successful “SpongeBob SquarePants Movie” also didn’t make on the list.
The popular “House of Flying Daggers” from China didn’t make the best foreign language film list, but it did get a nomination for best cinematography. Korea’s “Tae Guk Gi” and Lars von Trier’s “Five Obstructions” from Denmark seemed to be easy nominees, but neither made the list.
Past musical nominees “Moulin Rouge” and “Chicago” seemed to have paved the way for “The Phantom of the Opera,” but it didn’t translate to a best picture or acting performances and earned nominations only for art direction, song and cinematography.
Mel Gibson didn’t lobby for his “The Passion of the Christ” and he didn’t get a best director nomination, but earned three nominations for cinematography, musical score and makeup.
Oddly enough, once again it seems that a best picture nominee directed itself because the director and best picture categories don’t match up. “Finding Neverland’s” director Marc Forster didn’t get a best director nod, while “Vera Drake’s” Mike Leigh didn’t get a best picture nomination but it’s his fifth nomination. It’s happened many times before, but it gives Leigh a major disadvantage.
Snubs and Surprises of Nominees