Honored pics, perfs are no-shows
And I am telling you, I’m not crowing.A lot of worthy work ended up omitted or underrepresented in Tuesday’s Oscar noms. That list includes “Dreamgirls” and its helmer Bill Condon and “Little Miss Sunshine” directors Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris, both cited by the DGA. Writers Guild nominees bypassed by the Acad were Zach Helm, “Stranger Than Fiction,” and Paul Greengrass, “United 93,” in the original category; and, in adapted, Aline Brosh McKenna, “The Devil Wears Prada,” and Jason Reitman, “Thank You for Smoking.” Among the actors, no-shows included Ken Watanabe and Kazunari Ninomiya, “Letters From Iwo Jima”; Annette Bening, “Running With Scissors”; Beyonce Knowles, “Dreamgirls”; Stanley Tucci, “The Devil Wears Prada”; Michael Sheen, “The Queen”; Brad Pitt, “Babel”; Adam Beach, “Flags of Our Fathers”; Ben Affleck and Diane Lane, “Hollywoodland”; Sharon Stone, “Bobby”; and Catherine O’Hara, “For Your Consideration.” It was either a great year for films or a terrible one. Whichever it was, year-end enthusiasm in early kudos awards was spread wide. Each new announcement — from critics, guilds and other year-end accolades like the Golden Globes — was fascinating for the honorees, but equally interesting for what wasn’t nominated. AFI’s top 10 bypassed “The Departed”; critics gave best-film honors to “Letters From Iwo Jima” and “United 93,” but neither made the cut with the producers or directors guilds. This year’s Oscar noms are again a reminder that Academy voters have minds of their own and that Oscar predictions are fun but ultimately just wild guesses. A question remains whether some of the films were seen enough. December brought some worthy pics that may have been lost in the glut of bigscreen bows and screener mailings, including “The Painted Veil,” “The Good Shepherd,” “Home of the Brave,” “Breaking and Entering,” “The History Boys” and “Miss Potter.” Others that opened earlier in the year, but, for whatever reason, never gained much kudos attention, include “World Trade Center,” “Catch a Fire,” “Infamous,” “Fur” and “Bobby.” The song category this year was filled with singer-songwriters who have proved themselves in the recording field. But in Tuesday’s announcements, most of them were absentees. That list includes Prince (who won the Golden Globe for his “Happy Feet” song), Chris Cornell, Ben Folds, Macy Gray, Spoon, Seal, Paul Westerberg, Avril Lavigne, Tim McGraw, Mary J. Blige, Sarah McLachlan, James Taylor, Jewel, Eric Idle & John Du Prez and Jack Johnson. In the foreign-language race, the Acad last week unveiled nine pics vying for the five slots. The ones left out were “Avenue Montaigne” (France), “Black Book” (The Netherlands), “Volver” (Spain) and “Vitus” (Switzerland). Semi-finalists for makeup who were left out: “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” “The Prestige,” “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause,” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.” In visual effects, it was “Casino Royale,” “Eragon,” “Night at the Museum” and “X-Men: The Last Stand.”
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