Biggest Oscar Disappointments

The announcement of the Oscar nominations this morning was business as usual, for the most part. A couple of surprise nominees did manage to sneak in, most notably in the supporting actress race. After a decade of fantastic work, it was pleasant to see Maggie Gyllenhaal earn her first Academy Award nomination for her work in Crazy Heart in spite of a slightly bipolar campaign that saw her in both the supporting and lead actress categories at different stages of the race.

That aside, and while I had long given up on nominations for some of my favorite films, there were still a couple of  major disappointments.  It is only the second day of the month and already I’m threatening to exceed my whining quota, so for my own sake I will cap off my list at three.

Marion Cotillard

Like Gyllenhaal, she might have been the victim of a botched up campaign that ludicrously campaigned her for a lead actress nomination instead of supporting.  Unlike Gyllenhaal, she never recovered from it. Oh well.

My opinion of Nine has been relatively generous; I think it is an unfortunately uneven film that nevertheless has its moments. One aspect that was top-notch through and through, though, was Marion Cotillard’s acting. As the long-suffering wife, Cotillard proved she’s the real deal. She also gave the film a much needed emotional center. At least we will hopefully get to see her perform at the Oscar ceremony come March, where “Take it All”  will be vying for Best Original Song.

Mary & Max
It was an extreme long shot to begin with, but I held out hope that if enough Oscar voters saw this movie we could have a surprise nominee in the Best Animated Film category. There was a surprise nominee but, alas, it was not Mary & Max. Instead, The Secrets of Kells received a nomination out of nowhere, making Mary & Max’s snub a little harder to swallow. I have not seen Secret, but somehow I doubt it is better than Mary & Max (my #2 favorite movie of 2009).  My only hope is that the movie finds the audience it deserves with time. So what are you waiting for?  Go see it as soon as you can.

500 Days of Summer

After being  THE  indie film of the summer last year, 500 Days of Summer found itself without a single nomination this morning. It was a long shot in most categories, but a nomination for its winningly original screenplay was predicted by many. Even Best Picture seemed possible at one point with the field expanded to ten nominees for the first time in over 60 years. Neither materialized. Disappointing, it might be, but after a month of steady DVD rental business following an already healthy box office intake, I somehow think it will be just fine. With or without Oscar.

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4 responses to “Biggest Oscar Disappointments”

  1. Zuzana says :

    Excellent observations!

    One of the most frustrating things about the voting process seems to be how the ballots are sorted, so that a film which may be on everyone’s ballot, say, in fourth place or lower, may not get a spot because the “piles” are created by the films that receive #1 ballot position. All the politics and PR pretty much suck too. However, I was heartened a bit in 2007 when Martin Scorsese finally got his long-overdue recognition.

    Nowadays I just have fun with the noms, the show, and how everyone looks on the red carpet. I leave the real accolades to the movie watchers and the test of time. The stars and films you mention are adored by many, and in the end that’s really what counts.


  2. Rod says :


    I am only really disappointed at this point in cases where the film could really use a nomination or two to find an audience (Mary & Max).

    But…at least there’s always word of mouth and, in me, the oh-so-persistent, perhaps slightly annoying fan. That will surely expand its audience by at least five additional viewers or so. 😉

  3. Raffi says :

    Agreed on the first and third points. I have yet to see Mary and Max, so I will comment on it at a further date.

    I’m sad that Julianne Moore got bumped out instead of Penelope Cruz for Maggie Gyllenhaal. While I don’t think Moore gave a winning performance, she should still have been in the running. I would have understood if say Gyllenhaal and Cotillard got in over her, but not Cruz, who was great but not nomination material.

    500 days of Summer losing out on a screenplay nomination was disheartening, but like you said at least it is finding success elsewhere.

    Overall, I’d say the nominations didn’t really shake up the race. People seem to be glossing over the fact that The Hurt Locker is on its way to be the smallest film in history to win Best Picture along with Bigelow on her way to be the first ever female director to win and I think both are a big deal.

  4. Rod says :

    Also agreed on all points.

    Penelope Cruz was very good, but she’s been better. She had a better performance last year (in Broken Embraces). Still, although I am sad Julianne Moore (And A Single Man, apart from Colin Firth’s nomination) missed out, I am having a hard time being TOO sad about Penelope’s nomination. 😉

    Definitely check out Mary & Max!! 😀

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