Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: The Forgotten Five of 2006

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. The Forgotten Five is the first in a series of projects looking back at the past eight years of the Oscars, dating back to the first ceremony I watched and closely followed.

Each year, a number of films are left off of Oscar’s Best Picture list. This year, even with ten nominees, films still didn’t make the cut. What I’m interested in looking at is the Forgotten Five – five films that probably came closest to getting nominated for Best Picture and ended up without a single nomination.

Each week, I’ll be working backwards one week. The rules are that the film cannot have earned any Oscar nominations at all. These are the movies that came so close and had buzz but just couldn’t ultimately cut it. If you disagree with my choices or think I missed one, please leave a note in the comments. This is designed to be a fun look back at some of the movies that may have been great (or not) and just missed the mark.

The Forgotten Five of 2006:

Bobby brought together so many stars in just one film, and it involved a historical figure with no actor playing him just like in a Best Picture nominee from the previous year, “Good Night, and Good Luck.” It earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Drama, but ultimately it just wasn’t serious enough to contend at the Oscars, and fell behind a number of other more well-received films.

The Fountain probably brought director Darren Aronofsky closer than ever before to scoring an Oscar nomination for his time-spanning scenery-heavy epic, a far more mainstream and fantastical film than his previous two features, “Pi” and “Requiem for a Dream.” It turned just as many off as it did on, and Aronofksy had to settle for helping another actor to an Oscar nod two years later, Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler.”

For Your Consideration would be the Christopher Guest movie to get in given its subject matter, satirizing Oscar season, but it failed to pick up any momentum prior to the Oscars save for its supporting actress Catherine O’Hara. It may have hit just a little too close to home for voters, and its failure to earn any Golden Globe nods or other nominations along the way probably didn’t help.

The Painted Veil had a lot going for it at the beginning, with two fantastic Oscar-nominated stars headlining a film that was named as one of the top ten films of the year by the National Board of Review. It wasn’t a flop but it just didn’t catch fire. Maybe the fact that it was a movie about love in the time of cholera had people mistakenly confusing it with the film that actually had that title?

Thank You For Smoking could well have been a nominee, given the future success of director Jason Reitman, whose successive two features, “Juno” and “Up in the Air,” both scored Best Picture nominations. With “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Borat” in the running, this just wasn’t the year for this politically astute comedy. Voters didn’t even give it a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Get started on 2005 and come back next Wednesday for a look at the Forgotten Five of that year!

No comments: