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Snubs 2015: Oscar Disses of Now and Then

No one likes a sore loser, and yet no one wants to see their contender ejected from the race too soon. Such is the case among movie lovers when the Academy Award nominations are announced in the weeks before Valentine’s Day but after Martin Luther King Day.

Speaking of whom . . .

Snub #1: “Selma”

The most uncomfortable omission from this year’s Best Actor and Director categories is arguably “Selma,” the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic starring David Oyelowo in a much-acclaimed performance. Director Ava DuVernay shows us an un-retouched portrait of Dr. King and his compatriots through the retelling of a brutal, true story that (as we know) doesn’t wrap up in a nice neat package.

Snubbed Predecessors: “Do the Right Thing,” “DreamGirls,” Quentin Tarantino for “Django Unchained” 

 

 

 

 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a bad reputation for seldom recognizing both actors of color, and movies centered around the stories of people of color. While “12 Years a Slave” may have taken last year’s Best Picture statue, many predict that the performances from “Selma” will join the ranks of other brave-yet-unawarded classics  that dealt with slavery, the Civil Rights movement, Motown and more.

Snub #2: The Lego Movie

Some suspect that Academy voters were hesitant to give this ultimate-toy-tie-in flick a shot at Oscar gold. An ever-growing online mob continues to protest that the clever, well-received movie was heads-and-tails above “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” the other big-studio heavy hitter that made it into the running with Disney’s “Big Hero 6.”

Snubbed Predecessor:  The Harry Potter films; E.T.,’s loss to “Ghandi”

Since the Best Animated Film category has only existed since 2002, an animation snub this big doesn’t really have a precedent. But there are several instances of excellent classic films, which happened to be geared toward younger audiences, getting passed over for heavier, “more mature” films of the moment , which didn’t end up standing the test of time nearly as well.  Remember “Ghandi”?  No? It won Best Picture in 1982 over a little nominee called “E.T.” As for the Boy Who Lived (to not win an Oscar), the Harry Potter franchise is now the most commercially-successful series to have never won a single Academy Award.  Not one. 

We’ll have to tune in on Oscar night to see if “Everything Is Awesome,” the pop theme from “The Lego Movie,” will walk with a Best Original Song trophy as a consolation prize.

Snub #3: “Gone Girl” for Adapted Screenplay

The response and anticipation leading up to David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” was huge. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” director is well-known and well-lauded for his visceral thrillers, and the screenplay by novelist Gillian Flynn was more than notable for its effective translation of the best-selling book. But Academy voters didn’t see fit to nominate Flynn for her exceptional solo screenwriting debut.

Snubbed Predecessor: Kubrick’s “2001” and “The Shining”

To this day, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpieces are hugely-influential pillars in both the science fiction and horror film genres, and were both adapted from best-selling books. While “2001” more than earned its Visual Effects Oscar, that was all the love the Academy had to give for either movie. Here’s to hoping that Oscar looks more favorably on nominated actress Rosamund Pike; for his immortal, terrifying “Heeere’s Johnny!”  role, Jack Nicholson didn’t even get a nod.  

Be sure to join us on Sunday , February 22 when the Variety Children’s Charity of Illinois will host their 10th Annual Live Academy Awards Viewing Gala at Hollywood Blvd. Tickets are available now, in limited amounts, and are only $35 each. (You can’t go to dinner for that!) Your ticket entitles you to passed appetizers and an entrée, in addition to the private watch party with the Oscar ceremonies on our big screen.

 

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