Oscar Nominations: Snubs and Surprises

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  • Updated: Feb 22, 2012 12:10 IST
  • Academy Awards

    As Martin Scorsese's Hugo led the pack with 11 nominations, here's a look at all the films that got nominated for the prestigious Academy Awards.

  • Hugo

    Martin Scorsese's lavish 3D adventure Hugo won 11 Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is a visually rich tale ...

  • The Artist

    Silent film The Artist won 10 nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress among others. The film is ...

  • The Descendants

    The Descendants manages a nomination in almost every category including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay. Alexander Payne's The Descendants is about ...

  • War Horse

    Veteran director Steven Spielberg's equine epic War Horse got six nods for the Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Music among others.

  • Moneyball

    Moneyball received six Academy Award nominations, including four biggies: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Adapted screenplay. The story is about a general manager ...

  • The Tree of Life

    The Tree of Life has won nominations including Best Picture, Best Director. The story centers around a family with three boys in the 1950s, of ...

  • Midnight in Paris

    Midnight in Paris has been nominated for Best Picture and Best Director. The film is a romantic comedy about a family traveling to the French ...

  • The Help

    Best Picture nominated The Help is about an aspiring author of the 1960s who decides to write a book detailing the African-American maid's point of ...

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

    Best Picture nominated Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is about a nine-year-old amateur inventor. A francophile and pacifist searches New York City for the lock ...

In a refreshingly open Oscar field, the surprises outweighed the snubs among the varied nominees announced Tuesday.The favorites _ The Artist, Hugo, The Descendants_ all came away with their predicted boatloads, but a pleasant quirkiness followed with several out-of-left-field nods and a handful of unlikely curiosities.

One thing is clear: The year's movies were less song and more dance. Only two nominees were deemed worthy for best song (Man or Muppet from The Muppets and Real in Rio from Rio). The silence of the toe-tapping The Artist, you could say, was pervasive.

A look at those that snuck into the Academy Awards and the ones that narrowly missed:

Unbroadcast news: Throughout awards season, Albert Brooks has been hailed for his against-type performance as a violent gangster in the neo-noir thriller Drive.But Brooks _ like so many comedic brethren before him _ was left out from a competitive best-supporting actor category that also omitted Ben Kingsley for Hugo.

Brooks tweeted, "I got ROBBED. I don't mean the Oscars, I mean literally. My pants and shoes have been stolen." He added, "And to the Academy: `You don't like me. You really don't like me.'"

Keep your clothes on: The best actor nomination for Demian Bichir of the immigration drama A Better Life was a shocker. He, along with Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), landed a nomination over some favored heavyweights in Leonardo DiCaprio (with prosthetics in J. Edgar) and Michael Fassbender (without prosthetics in Shame). Also on the outside was Michael Shannon, whose paranoid performance in Take Shelter may prove more memorable than some of those that were nominated.

Making noise: The academy tweaked its best picture category this year, requiring winning nominees to receive a certain percentage of votes for inclusion. Anywhere between five and 10 films could have been nominated, and in the end it was nine. The final spot _ which was dramatically revealed last on Tuesday's broadcast _ went to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,the 9/11-themed drama about grief and growing up. Few of the year's films have been more polarizing, with most critics lambasting it for being over-the-top sentimental kitsch.

Tattooed: And then we have the curious case of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. David Fincher's remake of the Swedish thriller received a strong five nominations including Rooney Mara for best actress (over Charlize Theron in Young Adult and Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin), cinematography, film editing, sound editing and sound mixing. Those below-the-line nominations often signal high regard for a movie's craft, and thus a directing nomination. But Fincher (who was nominated by the Directors Guild) wasn't selected, and the film failed to land a best picture nod even with nine nominees.

A new leaf: There was always some mystery about how the academy would handle Terrence Malick's ambitious cosmic family drama The Tree of Life. A masterpiece to some, a pretentious hodgepodge with Sean Penn meandering on escalators to others, the film is the Herman Cain of the Oscar race: ardently supported by its backers, snickered at by its critics. The backers won: The film was nominated for best picture and Malick for best director.

What's up, Doc? The category with the most upheaval was best animated feature, where the unlikely and limited released A Cat in Paris (from France, naturally) and Chico and Rita (from Spain and the United Kingdom) snuck in ahead of high-profile studio films such as Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin, Arthur Christmas and Pixar's Cars 2.

The forgotten: Every Oscar race has a way of myopically winnowing the year's films to a batch of favorites, inevitably shutting out worthy movies. Everyone will have their own personal snub, but it's worth noting the fine absences, among them: Tom McCarthy's cheerful Win Win; the apocalyptic Take Shelter; the psychology history A Dangerous Method; the racing documentary Senna and, surely, many more.

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