Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: The Forgotten Five of 2010

Welcome to a returning weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. The Forgotten Five was 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. Since I started this feature back in 2010, I’ll now be filling in the past two years.

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.

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 2010

Conviction was a November Hilary Swank movie, and late-breaking Hilary Swank movies have a tendency to catch Oscar voters by surprise and overwhelm them to discard other films. This story of a woman who becomes a lawyer to get her brother out of jail didn’t, and a SAG nod for Swank and diddly-squat for supporting Sam Rockwell were the only results.

The Ghost Writer was directed by Roman Polanski, who won an Oscar for helming “The Pianist” over two decades after fleeing the United States to avoid statutory rape charges. In France and other international awards groups, this film did well, but its politically-charged mystery was entirely forgotten by Oscar voters after a February release.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was ignored by Oscar voters long before the American remake fell short of a Best Picture nod but earned five nods (and one win) instead. Without a familiar director like David Fincher, this film probably felt too foreign – and violent – for voters’ tastes, though it was definitely popular, and given the lukewarm reception of the remake, this may just not have been Oscar-friendly material.

Made in Dagenham earned five BAFTA nominations and a handful of other British prizes, but it didn’t make any noise in the United States. Category confusion for this light-hearted dramatic story may have been the reason, but two-time Oscar nominee Miranda Richardson should have been able to overcome that for her fantastic supporting role.

Shutter Island br /> stands as the only Martin Scorsese-directed feature film in the past ten years not to earn a Best Picture nomination (the other four did). It wasn’t typical Scorsese material, trading gangsters for a gloomy, haunted prison, but this February release should still have garnered some consideration based on its director and star.

Take a look at past editions of the Forgotten Five, and other Wednesday Oscar Retrospective series.

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