On Thursday, the Academy officially announced their nominations for the 85th Academy Awards. Among the list of top films of the past year, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained, Les Miserables and Amour seemed to get the most attention, while there were a number of films that missed out either on certain categories or were nearly absent from recognition. It is always difficult to slim down the options but there is always a few films that seem to be missing in action from the major categories.
My most significant snub has to be Cloud Atlas. While the movie may have been too complex and intricate for the general public, it is those types of films that tend to get positive recognition from the Academy. I never thought that it would have been up for best picture or direction, but it should have been represented in nearly every production and presentation category. The biggest accomplishment of the film was its ability to transform each of the main actors into 6 distinct characters for each of the films storylines, some so significant that an actress like Halle Berry was able to play a White, German woman and a male, Chinese doctor. With each of the storylines spanning across generations, the scenery was rather mesmerizing as well. Integrated throughout the film, the original score and the “Cloud Atlast Sextet” should have been recognized for their brilliance.
Turning more toward a category versus a specific film, direction is always a tough call. The best picture category now gets 9-10 options but direction only gets 5, so there are alwayssome odd ones out. To top the list this year, Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow have solid recognition for their films but not their leadership in the development. All of the conversation during its release screamed that Argo would be the film to beat. Then, November happened and Lincoln became just one of the several films to be released late in the season to steal away the attention. Zero Dark Thirty’s subject matter may have made the film appealing but also too controversial for Bigelow to get another nod. Wes Anderson seemed to also miss out after having such positive recognition during the summer for his quirky hit Moonrise Kingdom. Tom Hooper got the nod when he directed The King’s Speech but Les Miserables was not up to par with the other nominees.
There were not a lot of surprises in the acting categories, but supporting actor was missing a couple of potential representatives. Leonardo DiCaprio is not an Academy favorite and got snub again for his villainous role, as did Samuel L. Jackson from the same film. Bruce Willis and Edward Norton had memorable performances in Moonrise Kingdom but not enough for the recognition. With the best actor category, it was surprising that John Hawke was mysteriously absent for his role as the hopeful but ill-fated Mark O’Brien. EwnMcGregor had two great performances between Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and The Impossible but not nomination to speak of.
In the end, Lincoln could easily get a lot of victories with some competition from Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty, but some may continue to get caught up on how films that had such hype earlier in the year just did not have the steam when nomination day finally came.