2012 in Film: Oscar Snubs/Surprises

On Thursday morning, we got the dreaded Academy Award nominations.  While I thought this was a great year in film, I knew I’d be disappointed with some of the picks.  However, I can’t have everything my way, and as a whole, I am a-okay with the nominees.

That doesn’t make for good coverage, though, so below you will see some of the snubs from this year.  You’ll also get to see some of the surprises, both pleasant and not.

Here is a complete list of the nominees.

So, here we go:

SNUBS

1) Supporting Actors: Javier Bardem (“Skyfall”), Sam Rockwell (“Seven Psychopaths”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Django Unchained”), and Tom Hardy (“The Dark Knight Rises”)

I mentioned that the Supporting Actor race was pretty muddled.  In my mind, there were close to 10 actors that had to fit in the 5 spots.  I understand how Bardem was left off the most because he simply didn’t have enough screen time.  Rockwell, though, is probably the most unfortunate one because the genre killed his chances.  Pure comedy doesn’t get enough recognition.  Even “Django Unchained” was part comedy, and I think that Leonardo DiCaprio outperformed the other supporting stars, including the one that got nominated (Christoph Waltz).  As for non-comedies, I thought Tom Hardy’s Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises” was arguably the best villain of the year.

2) “Looper”

While still not that surprising, I thought Rian Johnson’s “Looper” was completely overlooked by the Academy.  His best shot, in my opinion, was getting a nod in the Original Screenplay category.  The movie itself was a fresh take on time travel and turned out to have a much more thought-provoking plot than what was led on.  He deserved credit for it.

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3) “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “The Master” Best Original Score

Personally, I’m more upset about “Beasts of the Southern Wild” missing out on an Original Score nomination than “The Master,” but they are both worth noting.  Not only did I feel like “Beasts” deserved a nomination, I felt like it should’ve won the whole thing.  I guess I’ve tipped my hand on who I’ll be rooting for at the actual ceremony.

4) “The Dark Knight Rises”

Far and away the biggest snub, in my opinion, goes to “The Dark Knight Rises” for being completely shut out of the Oscars.  I didn’t expect a major award nomination (the only dark horse shot was Tom Hardy as a Supporting Actor), but to be left off the technical categories (most notably, Cinematography, Costume Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Editing, Production Design, and  Visual Effects) is absolutely absurd.  This is even more true when you look at some of the terrible movies that did get nominations.

5) Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Ben Affleck (“Argo”)

This is bound to happen when more films get nominated for Best Picture compared to directors in the Best Directing category.  Both “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” share a similar feat because they’re both based on true events with predictable outcomes.  Yet, they are both extremely engrossing and edge-of-your-seat intense.  Who is to thank?  Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck.  Imagine these films without those directors…are you confident they’d be as good?  I’m not.

(Hit the jump to look at the surprises)

SURPRISES

1) “Anna Karenina” and “Snow White and the Huntsman”

I was hoping not to spend the entire article bashing on movies that I didn’t believe deserved nominations.  Therefore, I’ll keep it to about 1/10th of it.  I was fairly indifferent on movies such as “The Avengers,” “Prometheus,” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” but seeing those land some technical nominations was fine by me.  However, “Anna Karenina” and “Snow White and the Huntsman” are not worthy of 6 total nominations, especially when you look at some of the movies that got none (“The Dark Knight Rises,” “Looper,” and “Compliance” to name a few).

2) Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”)

Finally, a movie I haven’t seen!  I plan on watching this movie before the Oscar presentation in late February.  When I was canvassing the predictions before Thursday, I’d seen Watts’ name plenty of times.  However, I still thought she’d lose out to some other great Best Actress considerations (Helen Mirren and Marion Cotillard to name a couple).  I will reserve judgment on whether she deserved it or not…

3) Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”)

The Best Actor race is Daniel Day-Lewis’ to win (and he should), but sometimes a runner-up prize is okay.  Bradley Cooper has come a long way since he was the douche bag boyfriend in “Wedding Crashers” and his performance opposite Jennifer Lawrence in “Silver Linings Playbook” may be the second best of the movie, but it’s still very great.  Consider this a pleasant surprise.

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4) “Silver Linings Playbook”

Speaking of “Silver Linings Playbook,” it had a surprising haul altogether.  They totalled 8 (tied with “Les Mis”), and they can thank the major acting categories because they were the only film to sweep all four (Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress).  I’m even surprised David O. Russell got a Best Director nomination, which likely pushed Bigelow or Affleck out.

5) Benh Zeitlin

Just like with the Best Actress category, when someone gets snubbed, it usually means someone else got a surprise nomination.  As much as I hated seeing Bigelow and Affleck left out, I think Zeitlin is a worthy spot-holder.  For a first time director to create arguably the best movie of the year, he deserves to be recognized.  I hope he wins the whole thing.

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Look for my Oscar predictions piece in about a month!

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