So, how about those Oscar nominations? Sure, we had almost all of them pegged, but there are still a few welcome surprises: Congratulations are in order to Javier Bardem (surely, his advocate Julia Roberts must be running around her Venice home, loudly clanging pots and pans, shrieking, “I love my life”) and hey, can it really be that subversive Banksy-helmed documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop managed a nod? Still, for some surprises to get nominated, others had to fall by the wayside, and so Vulture has assembled a list of this year’s most striking snubs (including many of the wannabe nominees we warned last week).
Conventional wisdom had it that the Academy dug The Town so much that Ben Affleck’s respected, romantic heist drama would make it in. Alas, Winter’s Bone proved its mettle and 127 Hours was unexpectedly strong.
As we’d foreseen, Robert Duvall’s Get Low performance was overlooked, since it came too early in the year and found its “crusty old man” niche supplanted by Jeff Bridges. More surprising was Javier Bardem’s indie spirit victory over fellow contender Ryan Gosling, who found his Blue Valentine performance just missing the mark.
It was called the most crowded field in years, and indeed, it’s easy to imagine a worthy alternate category made up simply of the snubs, including shoulda-been-supporting Lesley Manville (for Another Year), Julianne Moore (for The Kids Are All Right), and SAG nominee Hilary Swank (for Conviction). Sorry, Hilary: This is not your year for a Swank-Bening rematch.
Best Supporting Actor
It pays to be showy in this category, and so John Hawkes — who delivered an indelible performance as an intimidating meth-head in Winter’s Bone, and scored a SAG nod for it — triumphed over the far quieter work done by Andrew Garfield in The Social Network.
Best Supporting Actress
Mila Kunis, we do love you — and so does Hollywood. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to get you or your Black Swan co-star Barbara Hershey nominated. Oscar pundits were predicting a last-minute surge for Hailee Steinfeld’s True Grit performance to end up in Best Actress instead of a supporting category, and the fact that it didn’t happen may have been the difference here.
Animated Feature Film
Despicable Me was a huge animated hit this year, but there were two bigger — Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon — and, as often happens, the third slot went to something artier, in this case Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist.
The Golden Globes were wined, dined, and treated to a full Cher concert to score Burlesque some nominations, but the unusual Best Song list at the Oscars — which only includes four nominees — gave the campy musical a big, fat “no thanks.” Bob Mackie is surely shedding a tear for what could have been.
Best Director and Film Editing
Maybe the Academy isn’t as enamored of Christopher Nolan as we thought? Sure, Inception scored a Best Picture nomination (as expected, considering the move to ten Best Pic nominees was strongly influenced by Nolan’s snub for The Dark Knight), yet Nolan couldn’t score a Best Director nod, as Joel and Ethan Coen darted forward after their unexpected DGA diss. Even more telling: The ambitious, dreamy cross-cutting of Inception was shut out of Best Editing, which normally recognizes a high-achieving action flick yet this year hewed closely to prestige pictures. Sorry, Chris: Your Oscar hopes were just a dream.