Yesterday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed their nominees for this year’s Oscar ceremony. As always, it has drawn sharp criticism from folks all over the world. I was especially incensed at some of the major snubs, and delighted by others.
So, let’s hash it out. I’m going to tell you what I feel were legit picks, and god-awful picks. I’m also going to cover what I feel were the most unkind snubs this year. So, let’s get this pity party started shall we?
MOONRISE KINGDOM – Best Original Screenplay
Those who know me are aware of how much I adored this film. The charm lies in its beautiful and unique screenplay, along with a perfect cast that only a director of Wes Anderson’s calibre could assemble. (Although it should have received more than just a screenplay nod.)
NAOMI WATTS – Best Actress: THE IMPOSSIBLE
It always seems as though Naomi Watts often gets ignored for solid work in films that also go unrecognized. Luckily this year the Academy took notice of her amazing work in THE IMPOSSIBLE. She turned in one of the bravest and most heart-wrenching performances as a mother trying to protect her children in the midst of a brutal natural disaster.
ALAN ARKIN – Best Supporting Actor: ARGO
Alan Arkin is great. Plain and simple. In his older years, he is producing some of the best work of his career in several high profile films. ARGO is no exception. Arkin delivers a bravura performance as Lester Siegel, an aging film producer who helps Ben Affleck’s character create a cover for a daring escape plan from Iran. It’s a great role, and Arkin absolutely deserves the credit.
THE BAD (The Unrecognized):
QUENTIN TARANTINO – Best Director Snub: DJANGO UNCHAINED
I couldn’t believe this. DJANGO UNCHAINED is easily one of the most interesting and unique films of the year. We’ve all been waiting impatiently for Tarantino to deliver this behemoth western, and he did so with massive impact. It’s ridiculous that he was not recognized with a director nod, as most critics found this film to be a so-called “return to form” for the prolific filmmaker. Just bad.
JASON CLARKE – Best Supporting Actor Snub: ZERO DARK THIRTY
It’s really unfortunate that Clarke got the shaft this year. His character “Dan” from ZERO DARK THIRTY is very intriguing. First we find him despicable for his indifference to torture. Next we find him brilliant for his skills as an interrogator. Finally, we find him disloyal for his allegiance to the agency. He likely would not win even if he was nominated, but he certainly deserved a tip of the hat.
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES – Snubbed All Over The Place
Really? Nothing? I know the film was divisive amongst fans, but ignoring it completely? How is it that Christopher Nolan has not been rewarded with even a nomination for his work on the BATMAN trilogy? But I digress…
JOHN GOODMAN – Continuously Snubbed – ARGO and FLIGHT
Ok so let’s see: John Goodman appeared in two Oscar-Nominated films for 2011 with EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE and THE ARTIST. In 2012 he appeared in two Oscar-Nominated films with FLIGHT and ARGO, the latter of which he certainly earned a nomination. Are you aware that Goodman has never been nominated for an Oscar? It’s perhaps the most shameful and continuous snub in Oscar history.
KATHRYN BIGELOW – Best Director Snub: ZERO DARK THIRTY
Say what you will about the validity of the story (even though Mark Boal wrote it AND got a nomination), but don’t take away the fact that Kathryn Bigelow directed this thrilling film with amazing skill. The last half-hour of ZERO DARK THIRTY alone is enough to warrant a nomination. Shameful indeed.
BEN AFFLECK – Best Director Snub: ARGO
What does Affleck have to do to prove to the Academy that he deserves an Oscar nomination? With the GONE BABY GONE snub, I accepted it. With THE TOWN snub, I was irritated. With the ARGO snub, I’m furious. Affleck seems to get more comfortable and ambitious as a director every year. Hopefully next year we’ll see another great project from him, with an Oscar to seal the deal.
JOHN HAWKES – Best Actor Snub: THE SESSIONS
Ok, so John Hawkes is a criminally underrated actor. Can we all agree? Well Oscar only reinforced that by ignoring Hawkes’ tour-de-force performance in THE SESSIONS. It was perhaps Hawkes’ most endearing film to date, and it also proved that he can carry a film in a lead role. Helen Hunt is being recognized for her supporting role in the film, and rightly so, but she wouldn’t have been half as good without Hawkes carrying the emotional depth of the film on his own. For this, I give a steady wag of the finger to the Academy.
So what or who did you feel got left behind this Oscar season? Sound off below.