Kudos 'bellwethers' proved fallible
HOLLYWOOD — It was a cold morning for “Cold Mountain” and for plenty of individuals including Anthony Minghella, Scarlett Johansson, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.
Some of the biggest buzz about Tuesday’s noms from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences was stoked by the list of who was not included, all the Oscar “bellwethers” having proved fallible.
Producers Guild of America picture contender “The Last Samurai” was a no-show Tuesday, as were a slew of Screen Actors Guild nominees including Peter Dinklage (“The Station Agent”) and Patricia Clarkson for her perf in that film, Evan Rachel Wood (also a BAFTA nominee, for “Thirteen”), Chris Cooper (“Seabiscuit”) and Maria Bello (“The Cooler”). (Interestingly, SAG nominated Keisha Castle-Hughes, “Whale Rider,” in the supporting category.)
The Writers Guild of America tapped Minghella for “Cold Mountain,” in the adapted script race; the original screenplay contest at WGA included Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges and Guljit Bindra (“Bend It Like Beckham”) and Tom McCarthy (“Station Agent”).
And the Directors Guild saluted Gary Ross, who scored two Oscar noms, but neither as helmer.
Even the foreign-language race omitted some high-profile possibilities, including Golden Globe winner “Osama” from Afghanistan, Brazil’s “Carandiru,” France’s “Bon Voyage,” Greece’s “Think It Over,” Mongolia’s “The Story of the Weeping Camel,” Palestine’s “Divine Intervention” and Germany’s “Good Bye Lenin!”
There also were individuals who did notable work but didn’t make the final cut, including directors Jim Sheridan (“In America,” though he did get nommed for best original script), Vadim Perelman (“House of Sand and Fog”) and Ed Zwick (“Last Samurai”).
Also, actors Paul Bettany (“Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”), Jennifer Connelly (“House of Sand and Fog”), Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis (“American Splendor”), Cate Blanchett (“The Missing” and “Veronica Guerin”), Sean Astin (“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”), Albert Finney (“Big Fish”), William H. Macy (“Seabiscuit”) and Omar Sharif (“Monsieur Ibrahim”) will not be making curtain calls Oscar night.
Missing scripters: Peter Weir and John Collee for “Master and Commander,” Nancy Meyers for “Something’s Gotta Give” and Richard Curtis for “Love Actually.”
Other individuals MIA include cinematographers John Toll (“Last Samurai”) and Andrew Lesnie (“Lord of the Rings”); composer Alexandre Desplat (“Girl With a Pearl Earring”); and makeup artist Toni G (“Monster”). Also getting the silent treatment were, for song, Eddie Vedder (“Big Fish”); Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Seezer (“In America”); Elton John and Bernie Taupin (“Mona Lisa Smile”); and Bob Dylan (“Gods and Generals”).
Distribs were high on various other films that never quite caught fire with awards voters. From the majors: “Open Range,” “Peter Pan,” “Calendar Girls,” “The Missing,” “Mona Lisa Smile” and “Veronica Guerin,” and arthouse fare “Bend It Like Beckham,” “The Company,” “The Human Stain,” “Japanese Story,” “Kill Bill Vol. 1,” “Monsieur Ibrahim,” “The Singing Detective” and “The Statement.”