Now that the nominees have been announced for the 85th annual Academy Awards, the subject always becomes who was ‘snubbed’? It’s a long list this year, even though there are as many as ten slots for Best Picture now, rather than five as it was up until a few years ago.
In the category of Best Picture, the most obvious snub is Skyfall. The franchise has been around for fifty years now and it has never garnered a nomination for Best Picture. In a year where only nine films were nominated for Best Picture, this is a clear oversight. Arguments can be made for other films to replace one or more of the nine nominees, like The Impossible, Moonrise Kingdom and Middle of Nowhere. Moonrise Kingdom and Middle of Nowhere were also obvious snubs in the category of Best Original Screenplay, although since there are only five nominations in that category, the competition is much fiercer.
Best Director is a more difficult category because there can be up to ten films nominated but no more than five of their directors can get a nod. A further limiting factor is that only members of the Directors Branch of the Academy are involved in voting to select the nominees in this category. Kathryn Bigelow was considered a “shoe-in” for a nomination for her film Zero Dark Thirty, but was overlooked. Ben Affleck was also supposed to be in contention for a nomination in this category for Argo. Both of their films were nominated for Best Picture. The surprise nominations of Michael Haneke for Amour and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild may be why Bigelow and Affleck were not nominated.
That John Hawkes was not nominated in the Best Actor in a Lead Role category is a travesty. There were other great performances in 2012 but he was amazing in The Sessions. It is obvious that the film resonated with Academy voters because Helen Hunt was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her work in it, but clearly his performance was not given its due.
Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone and Helen Mirren for Hitchcock are the two biggest snubs in the Best Actress in a Lead Role category, but there were a lot of people who thought Kiera Knightley was worth of notice for her fine work in Anna Karenina. Also passed over was Emayatzy Corinealdi for an outstanding performance in Middle of Nowhere.
In the Best Supporting Actor category most people were convinced that Leonardo DiCaprio would get a nomination alongside his Django Unchained co-star Christoph Waltz. Waltz was nominated but not Leo. Some thought Matthew McConaughey might be in the mix for his dancing in “Magic Mike” but that didn’t happen either. Maggie Smith was amazing in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and didn’t make the cut, and neither did Nicole Kidman for a very strong performance in The Paperboy.