Oscars: The Biggest Snubs of the Night

American Hustle Snub OScars
Ethan Miller/WireImage

In a nail-biting photo finish, “12 Years a Slave” was crowned best picture of the 86th Academy Awards, besting the night’s most popular film, “Gravity,” which won a total of seven awards.

But that wasn’t the only eyebrow-raising moment of the night.

In a year in which several front-runners were established months ago, such as Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto, there were several notable omissions Sunday night in Hollywood.

“Gravity” loses picture, despite love for Cuaron: Director Alfonso Cuaron, who shared the film editing kudo with Mark Sanger, was the heavy favorite to win for helming “Gravity” — in fact, it would have been a seismic snub had he not won.

It was an inevitable outcome even though “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” entered the Oscars with plenty of awards season heat behind them. And even as the night progressed, there was little clarification as to which film would walk away the big winner since “Gravity,” which won seven Oscars, was expected to win the majority of its technical nods. It did — with six below-the-line awards including both sound categories, original score, cinematography, visual effects and film editing.

That said, it’s uncommon for the Oscar picture and director categories to diverge, making this year the 23rd time it’s happened, including last year, though “Argo” director Ben Affleck was not even nominated (an even greater rarity). “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen did win as co-producer, however.

American Hustle” shut-out: The night’s biggest shut-out went to “American Hustle,” which went 0 for 10 — its greatest chance for a win in the original screenplay category ultimately went to Spike Jonze, who won for “Her.”

Though the “American Hustle” shut-out likely stung, it wasn’t completely unexpected since none of the actors were frontrunners (except for possibly Lawrence ) and most of the below-the-line categories succumbed to the weight of “Gravity.” In fact, the night offered few surprises as frontrunners Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett won in the lead acting categories, while Jared Leto not surprisingly won supporting actor for his performance in “Dallas Buyers Club.”

Losing to McConaughey and Blanchett, respectively, Leonardo DiCaprio and Amy Adams are now 0-9 collectively.

Sorry, J-Law: Lupita Nyong’o, who triumphed over “American Hustle’s” Jennifer Lawrence in the supporting actress category, provided hope mid-way through for the “12 Years a Slave” camp. The film gained momentum after scribe John Ridley won for adapted screenplay (the film’s only three wins, including best picture).

Animated short stunner: The first surprise of the night came in the animated short category where French film “Mr. Hublot” beat out the Disney favorite-to-win “Get a Horse!” (Not surprisingly, “Frozen,” which was preceded by “Get a Horse!” in theaters, won the Oscar for animated feature.)

Other notable disses: Among the other films going home empty-handed were “Nebraska,” “Philomena,” “Captain Phillips” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The nominations were led by “Gravity” and “American Hustle,” 10 each; “12 Years a Slave,” nine; “Nebraska,” “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Captain Phillips,” six each; “Her” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” five each. So no records were set Sunday for shutouts. The records are for “The Turning Point” and “The Color Purple,” 11 noms each; and “Gangs of New York” and “True Grit”  (2010), 10 apiece. All went home empty-handed.

“American Hustle” joins only four other films in Oscar history to lose all 10 or more of its nominations, the latest being “True Grit” in 2010.

In Memoriam omissions: Among those not included in the In Memoriam segment were Dennis Farina and Jonathan Winters. French auteur Alain Resnais died Saturday, likely too late to be included.

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  1. Jake says:

    What about Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” from The Desolation of Smaug? not a win, granted, but it is a much better song, and much worthier of nomination than “Happy”…

  2. Mar says:

    I think everyone finally realized what a bad film American Hustle truly is…maybe David O Russell will stop making Jennifer Lawrence play roles that are too old for her and kill their upcoming third collaboration, coz after this embarrassment, no one will watch his movie with her anymore, or any of his movie for that matter. He is a one-trick pony with zero originality.

  3. Hey, can you get your copy editor to spell Cuarón’s name correctly please?

  4. Gina says:

    American Hustle should have won best picture, not 12 Years. Americans feel guilty about slavery and that is why it won the Oscar. I hope all those old white guys feel better now.

    • Smooth says:

      What a crock of bologna, “American Hustle” sucked. No one in it looked the part. Jennifer Lawrence a great actress looked totally out of place. To my knowledge the Academy voters are not made up of just old white men. Plus if it was up to old white men, I doubt if they would have cared about a film like “12 Years A Slave, “The Wolf Of Wall Street” is more their speed. You obviously don’t feel guilty about slavery, we get that Ellie Mae.

  5. Vladdy says:

    The first surprise of the night? I notice you never mention another. I think you meant, “The only surprise of the night, for the eighteen people who cared about the category….”

  6. Syd says:

    Same way you give “Cabaret” eight Oscars…and not Best Picture.

  7. jr240483 says:

    That’s been their MO since the beginning. Screwing over movies that deserve an oscar while giving it to movies that dont deserve it and/or movies that just plainly sucks.

  8. wotnonline says:

    Where was Andrew Garfield and the big superhero induction ceremony that was so widely publicized? Big screw up with no explanation.

  9. Biggest snub, most definitely Leo. What is this? Marlon Brando?

  10. Joe R says:

    Biggest snub/insult: Kim Novak. Sidney Poitier got a well-deserved standing ovation, but Hollywood legend Kim Novak appears on the Oscar stage (for the first time in Lord knows how many years) and…nothing??..Absolutely shameful

    The show also showed how bad plastic sutgery has become. Not just Ms. Novak (and I won’t mention everyone), but Goldie was almost unrecognizable, Why Goldie, why????

    • Goldie is untouched by plastic surgery. She had some filler in her face, so would you in HD TV! She looks gorgeous and just like her younger, gorgeous self. No one RECOGNIZED Kim Novak, howeve, for the unrecognizable plastic surgery! Maybe that’s why no standing ovation! Please, Sidney Poitier changed history at the Academy Awards, and is a living legend.

      • big daddy D says:

        Kim Novak sounded like a sick horse..and could barely move on stage. Goldie has DEFINITELY had work done..took it all from Kurt, I guess. Geez…He’s looking rough.

      • Joe R says:

        So those big eyes are now almost slits because of “some filler” Ok, if you say so. And Ms. Novak’s name was announced. And while she may not have “changed history”, she’s still a living legend. Guess the audience was too preoccupied anticipating their pizza.

    • Sorry, Jennifer Lawrence? Sorry Julia Roberts, sorry June Squibb, sorry Sally Hawkins…(who deserved the Oscar in my opinion) This is reminiscent of the height of the Julia Roberts craze. Now Julia just sits there, no one cares. Just because Jennifer Lawrence is cute, doesn’t mean she deserves an Oscar, nor does she deserve a nomination for EVERYTHING she does! C’mon now, its not all about whose uyour favorite, Variety. Its about who is the BEST ACTOR. She’ll be Julia one day too.

  11. Michael Ansara was also omitted from the “In Memoriam” segment.

  12. Mark Isenberg says:

    A lot of us will now get DVDs of films we should have seen. I went to Philomena on Saturday and enjoyed it though I did not expect it to win awards. And maybe that is the problem in modern film awards that so many awards shows have devalued the Oscars and made it just a popularity contest. One year Lauren Bacall lost a best supporting actress category to Ms.Binoche of the English Patient. How does that happen not that Ms.Binoche is not a good actress? Bruce Dern is not as beloved as we all think he is at a senior age nor did that many go to see Nebraska. I would also like to know why Robin Williams was not asked to present an award? He has proven over three decades what a good actor and comedian should be. He would not have embarassed the moments the way Ellen did in bringing pizzas or collecting tip $$ or trying to close the show before the Best Picture award. OOPS. But there is always one Ceremony moment we all drop our jaws over and it came via Angelina Jolie with Sidney Poitier. There is nothing more to say as Oprah has in the past said tributes to him much better but Sidney Poitier had not only received his Oscar for Lillies of the Field from Anne Bancroft but shown dignity and class and humanity all along his career journey. Denzel has also noted that. We are grateful Sidney Poitier has given us so much entertainment and is still with us kind of like Kirk Douglas is still with us and even Maureen O’Hara is still with us and she will participate at the Turner Classic Film Festival next month.

  13. Cjm says:

    One of the most boring shows ever. I listened to some of the acceptance speeches and thought most were self-serving. Not much humility & no surprises except for the lack of interest in American Hustle. Like I said, boring.

  14. Sam says:

    There were zero surprises. For such a banner year and the closest race, it was all very predictable and that is truly unfortunate and to too it off just a badly produced and directed show.

  15. Lynn Shepodd says:

    And the forgot Mary Carver.

  16. GKN says:

    I don’t know if you’re being serious, but obviously he meant the Coen Bros version, a thousand times better from every point of view.

    Dern and Nebraska did win the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, though everyone was expecting Douglas and Damon to win for Behind the Candelbra, and they really should have. Not that there was anything wrong with Dern’s performance. He did a perfect job with the role, but the film was rather dull in comparison, so it really felt like one of those ‘let’s correct an oversight in awarding this fine actor’ – at last- choices.

  17. so4delish says:

    amazes me how gravity one of these awards when there were only two characters who were into different rooms being sounds in their little space outfit and speaking through microphone and the only thing that changed was the background and there was sound. I have not seen any of the nominees yet me cause I like you see where it goes. 1 traveling thing I tend to see is when they do the best picture of the year it tends to be biased sometimes um it was for gravity I mean that’s all everybody talked about yet I’ve read negative reviews I know people who saw it and said it was terrible yet it was up against movies like 12 years a sleeve which is based on a true story can you imagine being a black African American who’s living on the East Coast you know New York , Boston area @that era and basically being tricked and kidnapped brought half way across to the States that used slaves to work 18 hour days whether it be on the farm or cooking meals or to help raising the families kids and basically you took that person’s freedom away and there’s nothing that can be done because nobody in the south is coming to listen to you. I believe the same thing to like with captain Phillips this is a true story it is scary and it happens more than you would think but just two people on a regular boats if you’ve ever seen any of those programs locked up abroad or nightmare abroad there’s always Somali and other countries have pirates. They will often attack your ship boat and take whatever they can sometimes they won’t even take the people hostage and try to negotiate with the family or the government so let these people go free…sometimes they all make it out sometimes none sometimes um and to go from stuff they’re really happened and either you’re in denial are you one of those people who believe like the Holocaust never existed because I can’t believe people still don’t believe that then you’re living in a fantasy world so because I just suggested the two movies above and as many more the category could be the best motion picture based on a true real life event. Then if you want to nominate films like her, and you know last year there was silver linings playbook, and Nebraska this year I don’t think that’s based on anything true I never checked it up but then you could say the award for the best fiction movie Is…….
    its two completely different worlds and genres and you really have to commend the actors and actresses who can go from an intense film based on reality real life something that happened like Sandra bullok how she was in The Blind Side and that’s based on a true fact about a struggling teens needed family a roof over his head support to get a scholarship to go to college 2 then being just a person in a box and I know that they have any talents and they can play every kind of part and genre but I think when you mix the real non-fiction with the fake fiction it is a very very thin line that needs to be cut. Maybe in the near future we could work on changing that and a few other things.

  18. Anthony Clarvoe says:

    “True Grit” was not shut out. John Wayne won the 1969 Best Actor Oscar for his role as Rooster Cogburn.

  19. Everett says:

    I wouldn’t at all call it a nail biting finish. Nearly all the prior award shows had given 12 Years a Slave the Best Picture and most major critics were predicting it would win. I found the evening to be entirely predictable. The many awards shows preceding the Oscars are taking all the suspense out of it.

    • so4delish says:

      I totally agree I wound up turning it off at 11 so I could watch true detective on HBO and then my walking dead which I could’ve watched them tomorrow on demand but I just had had enough hearing about gravity which to me makes know sense 2 me. With only 2 characters yet they both were paid A TON OF $$$$ ,!! to be in a space suit and a one of the shadow or the little part that breaks off and stand in front of a green screen and they were in two separate rooms and not always selling at the same time and would communicate only through a microphone makes no sense to me especially when you have movies that were based on true stories things that affected our lives like 12 years a slave do now deal capture a free black man from the East Coast I didn’t see it but I know about it and sell him off as a slave to someone in this south.. & captain Phillips which is the true story the real captain Phillips was there pirates do exist in the waters not like the Johnny Depp Pirates but Samolian pirates & many others especially in certain areas because they will capture you take everything from your boat they might even take your boat they will take the People try to negotiate with family friends for money and even the government and usually they don’t all make it out alive. So I guess America still wants to live in some sort of denial or hiding in a closet or being ignorant that some of these things do happen or are happening and take place so they would rather go watch George Clooney who I guess his old age is kinda still good looking and I will never get married and Sandra Bullock who’s the character in his self just float around in space and see what happens go figure

  20. J.E. Vizzusi says:

    I truly believe Dern was in another world with his incredible performance in Nebraska but because of the limited screens and little publicity he failed to get the eye of the voters. That would be my sole snub for the night.

  21. therealeverton says:

    Still actually think Chiwetl is unfortunate he was never going to add an Oscar to his BAFTA, however outstanding Dallas Buyers performance was as well.

  22. Toon says:

    American Hustle was crap, didn’t begin to compete with Her. Let this be a lesson to the studios, you can’t buy respect.

    • TG says:

      I know. I was going to be so mad if American Hustle win original screeplay, because a lot of people were predicting it as the winner.
      Thank God Her won. it was an amazing work of writing.

      • So true, American Hustle didn’t deserve to even be nominated. The only reason it was, is because it had the cast of “new, young talent.” If you ask me, there’s not much talent there, just a lot of blue eyed pretty faces. Jennifer Lawrence…I just do NOT understand. I understand she’s pretty…but Oscar’s? Please.

    • PETER SOLARI says:

      AMERICAN HUSTLE should have won Best Picture. Fabulous movie all around. The entire cast, especially Jennifer Lawrence, were outstanding.

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