Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: The Big Snub of 2007

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. The Big Snub is the second 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, the Oscar nominations announcement presents several notable omissions. This series is devoted to analyzing the biggest and most shocking snub of all (in any category). It has nothing to do with personal opinion but rather with what seemed likely at the time and what most people were predicting. Once again, this is a film/director/actor who didn’t even earn a nomination.

The Big Snub of 2007:

Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart) for Best Actress

Why it was all set to happen: Jolie was previously a one-shot wonder, winning the Best Supporting Actress trophy in 1999 for “Girl, Interrupted.” She didn’t have any Oscar-worthy roles over the next few years, opting instead for action movies like “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and big-budget flops like “Alexander.” Her ultra-serious performance as the wife of kidnapped reporter Daniel Pearl earned her Golden Globe and SAG nominations, setting her up perfectly for an Oscar bid.

Why it probably didn’t: Despite earning positive reviews, her movie carried no other buzz, putting a dent in Jolie’s chances since it was considerably easier for voters to forget about her film altogether. She fell prey to a surprising joint scenario where both an unexpectedly strong nominee and a contender without any precursor mentions both snuck in, ousting her from the lineup while Marion Cotillard, Julie Christie, and Ellen Page were safe.

Who took her place: Cate Blanchett is a force to be reckoned with, going into the awards season with three previous nominations and one win. Most expected the attention for her to be on her supporting role in “I’m Not There.” Her Golden Globe nod for the reprise of her Oscar-nominated performance in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” seemed unimportant because there are many filler slots at the Globes, but her subsequent SAG nod helped translate to double nominations at the Oscars that year (Ryan Gosling in “Lars and the Real Girl” wasn’t so lucky). With Blanchett in rather than out, Jolie lost the fifth slot to a revered actress who hadn’t popped up on many awards rosters that year – Laura Linney from “The Savages,” which also earned a nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Consolation prize: Jolie did make it all the way to Oscar the following year, earning a Best Actress nomination for her performance in Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling.” She even had the good fortune of being accompanied by the film’s cinematographer, art director, and set decorator.

Come back next week for a look at the Big Snub of 2006. If you have a prediction or a suggestion, please leave it in the comments.

1 comment:

Greg Boyd said...

I haven't seen the film, but this is certainly a good pick. Everyone was predicting Jolie, and from what I hear she should have gotten the nod over Blanchett (who was snubbed herself in 2008 for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button").