Academy Award nominees are out! They were announced earlier today, and if you’ve been following anything Oscar-related, the list looks almost exactly like most people said it would. Before the fateful show in March, I will get around to every nominated picture in “Oscar Talk,” but today you can be sure there are some people throwing tantrums in their big Hollywood homes or trailers on set. Let’s talk about who got snubbed this morning.
1. Mila Kunis
She’s the next hottest thing in Hollywood–she’s got a magazine cover this month, a new movie with Justin Timberlake this summer, and both men and women love her. Her performance in Black Swan was praised by both critics and audiences, and she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Golden Globes. As Lily, she was electrifying–just as compelling to watch as Natalie Portman, who is favored to win Best Actress. With Kunis’s star power is rising, many thought she was going to snag her first Academy Award nomination, too. Unfortunately, Helena Bonham Carter, Melissa Leo, and Amy Adams were already locks, and people can’t stop talking about the 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld’s performance in True Grit (there was talk that she would be nominated for Best Actress instead of supporting). That left one spot, and Jacki Weaver edged out Kunis with her performance in Animal Kingdom. Better luck next year, Mila!
2. The Town
You’ve got to feel for Ben Affleck a little bit. No one takes him seriously, despite his success in directing Gone Baby Gone and co-writing the Academy Award-winning screenplay for Good Will Hunting. In a surprising twist, the indie film that no one except me and the critics saw, Winter’s Bone, slid in with the bigger productions. For a while, people were speaking very highly of The Town, but it’s been spiraling downward lately. Affleck didn’t receive a nomination for screenplay, direction, picture, or acting. Ouch. In fact, the only nomination the movie did turn out was Jeremy Renner for Best Supporting Actor, but he was nominated for Hurt Locker last year and didn’t exactly need the boost like Affleck could have appreciated it. Maybe that’s the price of casting a Gossip Girl.
3. Christopher Nolan
Sure, Inception was nominated for Best Picture, but Nolan a fan-favorite director if there ever was one, was denied a nomination for Best Director. Many were outraged two years ago when The Dark Knight received snub after snub from the Academy. Nolan has reportedly been working on Inception since his 2000 film Momento. It’s his career’s biggest project, and for him not to receive a nomination as a director is a pretty big deal.
Even more mysterious is the fact that it wasn’t nominated for Film Editing. Nolan is particular about wanting to do as many things on camera to reduce the use of CGI, and that makes Inception’s film editing pretty damn impressive. We’ll see how the next Batman installment fares, but it sort of looks like the Academy isn’t too fond of Christopher Nolan and his highly advertised, big budget pictures.
Other Sad Snubs: Despicable Me for Best Animated Picture, Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine, Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right, and Andrew Garfield in The Social Network.