While the Best Picture category now has the ability to stretch its number of nominations to account for a stellar year in filmmaking, the stagnant limit of Best Director nominees leave several top contenders out in the cold. The names left behind in this year's batch are a shock to many, with the biggest snubs and shocks listed below.
Whether the Academy wants her to choose a new subject matter or is afraid of CIA backlash, the biggest director snub this year goes to Kathryn Bigelow for "Zero Dark Thirty." The first woman to ever win an Oscar for directing won't get the chance to take home a win for her newest war-themed film, her second high-profile foray into controversial Middle East violence. To be left out of the directing category and still win Best Picture is a rare feat, and this omission may mean doom for "Zero Dark Thirty's" chances at winning the Best Picture race.
Many are disappointed that Hollywood actor-turned-skilled-director Ben Affleck was missing from the director's list this year for "Argo," as he finally broke out of Boston and tackled a true story of war-time rescue. Between Bigelow and Affleck, one could argue that the Academy believes directing war movies is a breeze, as both were left out of the mix while their films were both recognized for acting awards and Best Picture of the Year. Seems the Academy wants to enshrine Affleck's win with Matt Damon for co-writing "Good Will Hunting," since he has been unable to secure even a nomination since that win in 1997.
Fans of "Les Miserables" seem split on the outcome of the film, and critics were less than enthusiastic about Tom Hooper's adaptation of the sweeping musical about the French Revolution. Seems the Academy favorite who won Best Director two years ago for "The King's Speech" did not impress the Academy enough to earn a directing nomination for his massive production of a Broadway musical, which involved live singing throughout by several big stars. A slew of nominations keeps "Les Miserables" front and center, especially thanks to Anne Hathaway's harrowing performance as Fantine, but director Tom Hooper's hopes of a second win for direction have been dashed this year.
Maybe it is his brash personality or the sprinkling of blood and gore that kept the Academy from recognizing the always-surprising work of Quentin Tarantino. His love of Spaghetti Westerns and ability to bring the best out in every actor came to life in "Django Unchained." His direction scored a nomination for Christoph Waltz (who previously won thanks to Tarantino's direction in "Inglourious Basterds"), and his writing earned its own recognition for Best Original Screenplay. But those lamenting the absence of Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Supporting Actor are no doubt disappointed to see the visionary behind "Pulp Fiction" not claim his third nomination for direction this year.
Four big names were snubbed at this year's Oscars, leaving several movie fans disappointed and almost every movie award junkie surprised. Which of these snubs is the biggest of the bunch? Do you think their respective films are less likely to win Best Picture with their director omission? Sound off below!
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