Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Snubs Cometh...

Reader Nick (no, not this Nick) brings up an interesting point. In most years something that looks like a sure bet in the picture category crumbles on nomination morning --he writes:

"Cold Mountain last year. Black Hawk Down in 2001. Almost Famous in 2000. Malkovich in 99. Truman Show in 98, Amistad in 97, etc.... [edited for length] of the "sure bets" goes down and inevitably headlines the snubs discussion of all the bewildered daytime talk show hosts. It's an absurd logic, I know, but it's airtight.

It has to be one of the racehorses. No one'll be talking about Hotel Rwanda getting "snubbed" after all since it's an underdog anyway. And Ray, I think, is riding the coattails of Foxx anyway, so its omission also won't really be an attention-getter. So keep Ray and Rwanda on the list and look at the rest."

So, Nick's contention is actually that Sideways and Finding Neverland are the vulnerable ones. Sideways because Payne's films have not been embraced by the Academy even when expected to be (see: About Schmidt) and Neverland because of well, because...

In Nick's case this is not wishful thinking, though it is in mine. I would love for it to be Neverland that takes the plunge.

Nick goes on to say:

"Neverland wasn't that bad. It's just less cynical than 90% of the work of the more "serious" directors. Back in the old days there were a lot of great directors who made great, if borderline saccharine, films. Frank Capra, Norman Jewison, Stanley Kramer. These and Marc Forster are all far better filmmakers than Lasse Hallstrom as your comparison suggests."

I really don't have anything against sentimental films (though many readers think I do). I think Babe deserved its nomination in 1995. I love some of Capra's films (not all). Etc... I just need them to be good, potent, and memorable and I don't think Neverland accomplishes any of those tasks. And neither do I think that Hallstrom is an irredeemable director. I thought Gilbert Grape was good, for example. It's just his Oscar stuff that has made me cringe.

I don't think Neverland will see a snub on Tuesday morning. The snubs I most fear for those who seem locked up are:
Annette Bening -Being Julia
Paul Giamatti -Sideways
Clive Owen -Closer


adam k. said...

I would add Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine to my own list of feared snubs. I still wonder if Sunshine might end up a one-nomination film... I could see it happening... but I think you're right that it will get actress and maybe editing... and then hopefully the screenplay win. But I think actor is where there will be talk of snubs... after all, there will have to be a snub somewhere in that cateogry, whichever way you slice it. Giamatti could easily be snubbed. Javier Bardem missing would probably be considered a major snub, even though he's not American or a Hollywood fixture... even Depp could be snubbed. Cheadle missing would raise eyebrows, since he's done well. I could see Neeson coming back for a nom and even Eastwood getting in, too, leaving several hopefuls in the dust. Anyway, someone (or two or three) will be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I have a theory of my own. It seems the biggest snubs/surprise nominations come in the categories where one performer is a HUGE frontrunner. [See: Best Actress and Best Director last year; the Dennis Quaid snub when Chris Cooper was running away with the field.] With the way the ballots are weighted, it sorta makes sense.

With that in mind, you have to figure Best Actor is a complete toss-up, and I don't think anyone beyond Foxx and DiCaprio are safe. I even think Jeff Bridges has a shot because you have to figure he'll be getting some #1 votes. Same with Javier Bardem and Paul Giamatti.

If you're looking for the most likely SHOCKER of Tuesday morning, look to Johnny Depp.

-- Joe