The biggest Oscar snubs are old news by now — WHERE’S WALL-E? We’re never letting that one go… — which is why today we’re having fun with the less talked-about omissions. Although we agree with what a wise friend told us on the morning of the announcements, “I learned long ago never to let Oscar break my heart,” that doesn’t mean we can’t show some love for some of the most underrated of this year’s films and performances.
After the jump, we round up the long-shots that critics and fans would have wanted to see nominated (Why not Tropic Thunder?), and pick some of our own (If you haven’t seen The Wackness, you really should).
– Esquire‘s Charlie Wilder thought that Tropic Thunder could have gotten a Best Picture nom: “I think people are afraid of taking comedy seriously, because it’s comedy. It’s like if you do take it seriously, you’re somehow not on the pulse of how the world works.” We thought Tropic Thunder was amazing, with stellar performances and a suberb script–so we appreciate Wilder’s bold choice. Wilder also found Rosemary Dewitt’s performance in Rachel Getting Married undeserving of a snub, and Anne Hathaway’s undeserving of a nomination: “It’s surprising that anyone could come away from that movie and not see that Dewitt’s performance was superior.” Yeah. Please don’t give it to Anne Hathaway. Please?
– The LA Times music blog Pop&Hiss thought that Jeffrey Wright was robbed of a nomination for his performance Cadillac Records: “He didn’t merely bring to life a departed titan of American popular music. With subtlety, sexiness and class, Wright embodied a primary conflict experienced by music’s pioneers: their careers were often enabled by white allies in the music business, but those “best friends” also frequently used them as if they were indentured servants.” We didn’t see it, but now we kind of want to.
– AOL’s Moviefone highlighted a few more predictable yet interesting picks, like Kristin Scott Thomas for I’ve Loved You So Long, Ralph Fiennes in The Duchess, James Franco for Milk (defs!), and both Rosemary Dewitt and Deborah Winger from Rachel Getting Married.
– The LA Times selected the best commenters’ picks, and we liked this one on Sally Hawkins: “The snub of Sally Hawkins in Best Actress is one of the most short-sighted, DESPICABLE snubs in the history of Oscar. How AMPAS manages to ignore such brilliant, gorgeously complex performances YEAR after YEAR baffles me.”
Some of the biggest mistakes, in our own opinion:
The Wackness for Best Original Screenplay: Judging by last year’s droolfest over Juno, it’s odd that The Wackness, a grainy yet lovely coming-of-age story New York in the ’90s, featuring new talent from Josh Peck and Olivia Thirlby and classic awesomeness from Ben Kingsley, didn’t get a single mention. Jonathan Levine’s screenplay is definitely one of the year’s best, if only because of the line “Peace out, forever” alone. Not very dope, Academy.
Julianne Moore in Blindness for Best Actress: Even though the film itself might have resembled a music-video-gone-bad and was really painful to watch for many viewers, there was one highlight: Julianne Moore’s character, who gives an impressive performance that sheds more than enough light on this depressing flick. According to Salon, “Moore takes the movie’s stiff, signpost dialogue and delivers it in a way that’s consistently believable. While everyone else fumbles around, she gets down to work, letting air and light into this dank, self-consciously miserable movie. She’s a miracle worker, and whatever Meirelles paid her, it isn’t nearly enough.” We want more, MOORE!
Let the Right One In for Best Foreign Film/Screenplay: Who would have thought a vampire film could be so beautiful? No, we’re not talking about Twilight… the Best Foreign Film category is crowded with beauties as it is, but what about a nom for the writing? As Hollywood Chicago put it, “No offense to the talented people chosen for this category, but could it have been any more predictable?”
Jon Brion’s Synecdoche, NY score for Original Music Score: Jon Brion has been creating masterpieces for years, from the I Heart Huckabees jingles to the dreamy mind-bending accompaniment in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and yet he’s never been nominated. He was at it again this year in the music for Charlie Kauffman’s largely-snubbed ouevre, and the least the Academy could have done was recognize the movie’s amazing score.