The Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and everybody’s buzzing about the films that were nominated ― Lincoln leading the pack with 12 nods, Silver Linings Playbook dominating all four acting categories, and the oldest and youngest Best Actress nominees ever from Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild.
But of course, not everyone gets to hear their name called on Oscar morning, and there were a few unpleasant surprises as to who was left out of the big race. Here are the most surprising snubs of this year's Oscar race... those who now can't win an Academy Award this year, but should have been in the running.
NOT BEST ACTOR:
Helen Hunt received an expected nom for her bare-it-all role as a sex surrogate in The Sessions, but her co-star didn’t fare so well. John Hawkes expertly plays a paralyzed man who wants to lose his virginity before he dies, and might have been a stronger choice than Denzel Washington’s addict pilot or Hugh Jackman’s song-happy parole violator.
NOT BEST ACTRESS:
Two actresses from smaller movies did manage to work their way in amongst heavyweights Naomi Watts, Jessica Chastain, and Jennifer Lawrence, but that left Marion Cotillard out in the cold ― with no legs. The steamy French romantic drama Rust and Bone stars Marion as a whale trainer who suffers a horrifying accident and wakes up in the hospital with her legs amputated ― and she spends the rest of the movie astonishingly convincing us of her disability.
NOT BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
There were a lot of gents from Django Unchained that might’ve gotten nominated if the competition weren’t so stiff, Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx amongst them. But the favorite was Leonardo DiCaprio’s scene-stealing plantation owner, who was snubbed in favor of someone who already won this award for one of Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist histories, Christoph Waltz.
NOT BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Skyfall is the most successful James Bond movie ever and also one of the most critically-acclaimed, so there was reason to think it might see Best Supporting Actor and Actress nominations and perhaps even a Best Picture. Javier Bardem could have been the first Bond villain for a nomination, but the most likely candidate was probably Judi Dench for her beefed-up role as tough cookie M. Because (spoiler alert!) this was her last shot.
NOT BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
Unlike your average Day After Tomorrow or 2012 disaster flick, The Impossible sweeps you up and makes you feel like you’re actually caught in a killer tsunami yourself. It’s terrifying. And yet the film’s masterful visuals were bested by the more fanciful Life of Pi, The Hobbit, Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, and The Avengers, proving that realism is not what voters value when it comes to special effects.
NOT BEST MAKEUP:
Expected Best Actor nominee Daniel Day-Lewis probably owes half his award to the makeup artists who flawlessly transformed him into our 16th president. Instead, the Academy went for Hobbit, Les Miserables, and Hitchcock. None of which is as impressive as Lincoln.
NOT BEST SONG:
“Ladies of Tampa,” Matthew McConaughey
Okay, so this was never a serious contender, but amidst such predictable nominees as Les Mis’ snoozy “Suddenly” and Adele’s powerhouse “Skyfall,” we could have had the eligible, brief ditty from Matthew McConaughey, and then either he or some other celebrity would’ve been able to perform it on Oscar night! It would have been some consolation for his snub in the Best Supporting Actor category… but alas, Magic Mike just wasn’t meant to be at the Oscars.
NOT BEST PICTURE:
Before its release, many might have predicted The Master to sweep the Oscars this year ― but then Paul Thomas Anderson’s film (loosely based on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology) baffled some critics and audiences and lost steam. It had a strong showing in the acting categories with three nominations, but otherwise was shut out in Cinematography, Score, and especially Best Picture.
And the award for Worst Snub Of Them All goes to...
NOT BEST DIRECTOR:
The most shocking snub of all was Kathryn Bigelow being shut out of the Best Director race as the filmmaker behind Zero Dark Thirty. Already a winner for The Hurt Locker, she was the first (and to date only) female to ever win; she could’ve been the only female to win twice, but alas, it’s five guys in the race. Beloved auteurs Quentin Tarantino and Paul Thomas Anderson were also shut out in favor of the even-more-severe Austrian Michael Haneke, while newcomer Benh Zeitlin replaced another Ben, Ben Affleck, who may still be considered more of a pretty boy actor than a filmmaker to be reckoned with. Another expected nominee, Tom Hooper, was shut out by some criticism of his hit-or-miss work on Les Miserables. But it’s Kathryn’s snub that really stings, and means the tense and satisfying Zero Dark Thirty has a weaker shot at Best Picture than expected.
Who do you think deserved an Oscar nod that didn't get one this year?