Jilted films, thesps in good company

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HOLLYWOOD — For many showbizzers, the road to Oscar is the Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

Every year, there is speculation about Oscar “snubs.” But somebody had to come in sixth place — especially in the wide-open 2000 race.

And those who are glum over Tuesday’s announcements can take solace in the fact that “King Kong” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” were never nominated for best pic; “Vertigo” got a couple of noms in tech categories, and Marilyn Monroe never got a single nomination. Sometimes history is kind to films that don’t always wind up in the winner’s circle.

Some of the most talked-about omissions on Tuesday were in the best film category, where “Almost Famous,” “Billy Elliot,” “Cast Away” “Thirteen Days” and “Wonder Boys” had often been mentioned.

Other no-shows include directors Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous,” though he’s up for original screenplay) and Lasse Hallstrom (“Chocolat”); actors Jamie Bell (“Billy Elliot”), Michael Douglas (“Wonder Boys”) and Sean Connery (“Finding Forrester”); actress Bjork (“Dancer in the Dark”); supporting thesps Bruce Greenwood (“Thirteen Days”); and supporting actress Kate Winslet (“Quills”).

And once again, the Golden Globe comedy categories meant nothing to the Oscar noms; Golden Globe winners George Clooney (“O Brother, Where Art Thou?”) and Renee Zellweger (“Nurse Betty”) came up empty Tuesday.

Academy voters bypassed a lot of films that fit into categories that are traditional favorites with voters, though most of them never caught the Oscar buzz wave.

A couple of these omissions are surprising; many are not:

  • Critic’s picks such as “Best in Show,” “Chicken Run,” “High Fidelity” were spurned.

  • Many “prestige” pics with lofty subjects and/or Oscar-pedigree contributors were ignored: “All the Pretty Horses,” “Pay it Forward,” “Proof of Life,” “Unbreakable” and “The Legend of Bagger Vance.”

  • In past races, “Howards End,” “Secrets & Lies” and “Shine” have proved that Oscar voters often embrace arthouse faves. This year, niche hopefuls such as “Requiem for a Dream,” “Pollock,” “Quills” and “Before Night Falls” got over the hump. But among those falling short were “Chuck and Buck,” “The Claim,” “An Everlasting Piece,” “Girlfight,” “The House of Mirth,” “Joe Gould’s Secret,” “State and Main,” “Sunshine” and “Tigerland.”

In the acting categories, minorities were a definite minority.

There are two Latino actors, Javier Bardem and Benicio Del Toro. But blacks and Asians were absent from the actor race, though their respective studios had been promoting such thesps as Rob Brown, “Finding Forrester”; Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”; and Denzel Washington, “Remember the Titans.”

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