By Brian Ives, Radio.com
Ah, award nominations. Who can predict them, or explain their logic?
When it comes to institutions like the Academy Awards or the GRAMMYs, it’s almost as if they exist to inspire argument and debate among fans of pop culture, as much as to celebrate excellence in artistic achievement.
To kick off the arguments, one interesting thing to note is that this year, the Academy nominated just eight films for Best Picture, when they could have nominated ten. American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash all received nods. But with two unused slots on the ballot, that leaves even more films than usual in the ‘overlooked’ pile.
Everyone will have their own opinion of the biggest snubs among this year’s Academy Award nominees. Below is Radio.com‘s list of five films that could have been given a Best Picture nod.
Probably the most obvious oversight, Foxcatcher is a movie that’s been referenced as shoo-in for a Best Picture since its release. But with five nominations, four in major categories—Steve Carrell for Best Actor, Mark Ruffalo for Best Supporting Actor, Bennett Miller for Best Director and E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman for Best Original Screenplay (not to mention Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard for Best Makeup and Hairstyling)—it’s kind of shocking that it didn’t get one of the two remaining slots on the Best Picture ballot.
This is the highest-grossing film of 2014 that wasn’t either sci-fi, fantasy, animated or a remake. It’s also the kind of film you’d think that the Academy would adore: an adaptation of a best-selling book that remained true to the source material. Rosamund Pike got a Best Actress nomination, but Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Carrie Coon, director David Fincher, author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn and scorer Trent Reznor were all nom-less. (Renzor can take some comfort in the fact that he was nominated for a GRAMMY for the score, but after last year, he and the GRAMMYs may not be on speaking terms anyway.)
When the movie came out in the fall, the Oscar buzz was deafening, and maybe that worked against it. Or maybe it was the fact that so many people questioned the scientific premise of the film. Whatever: the last time director/co-writer Christopher Nolan unleashed a super-heady sci-fi flick it was Inception, which got him noms in Best Director and Best Screenplay (he didn’t win in either category). Inception did, however, take home four technical Oscars, and it seems like the Academy is looking at Interstellar in a similar way: as if it is more of a feast for the senses than the mind, since it has nominations in five technical fields. But Nolan himself isn’t up for any awards, nor are stars Matthew McConaughey (who won an Oscar last year for his role in Dallas Buyers Club), Anne Hathaway (an Oscar winner for her role in Les Miserables) and Jessica Chastain (a two-time nominee).
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