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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

January 24, 2012 at 6:29 AM

The Academy of the Overlooked

Well, good morning to you all. It’s certainly dark out, isn’t it? The Oscar nominations are out this morning, with “Hugo” a surprise leader with 11 nominations and “The Artist” right behind with 10. But before we dwell on the lucky nominees and the surprises, let’s take a moment to sympathize with a few of those who got up early this morning and didn’t hear their names called — i.e., the grand tradition of the Oscar Snub.
— Look who’s not on the Best Director list: David Fincher, for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” despite making the Directors Guild of America’s top five (which usually closely mirrors the Oscars). And look who made the Oscar list instead: Terrence Malick, for “Tree of Life.” I’m a Fincher fan, but I’m not complaining here.
— Though Leonardo DiCaprio is usually an Oscar favorite (he’s been nominated three times previously), he didn’t make the best actor list this time despite a valiant effort in “J. Edgar” — a movie which, as it happens, received no nominations at all.
— After watching “We Need to Talk About Kevin” the other day, I thought Tilda Swinton might be a shoo-in for best actress. Apparently not. I’d say this was perhaps because the Academy couldn’t stomach such a disturbing film, but then again, Rooney Mara got nominated, for a film that’s not exactly sunshine and rainbows.
— No screenplay nomination for “Beginners”? Really?
— Only two nominations for best song, which is pretty funny, really. But they couldn’t squeeze in “Life’s a Happy Song” from “The Muppets”?
— Not sure, at this hour of the morning, if “Cars 2” is the first Pixar movie not to get nominated for best animated film, but it wouldn’t surprise me. (Can’t say I entirely disagree with the Academy — though was it really so much worse than “Puss in Boots”?)
— And finally: Alan Rickman, in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2.” Sigh. All the love for “Hugo” indicates that the Academy isn’t entirely opposed to supporting what’s essentially a children’s film. So what gives, Academy? What does this man have to do to get nominated?

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