Oscar 2001: Snubs

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Article by Mark Dujsik

I didnít think the Academy could make any mistakes this year, considering the less-than-average year it was. Well, I was wrong. While on the whole they were successful in choosing the right films, there were some major oversights. Here are my personal picks of films and people who were completely overlooked this year.

 

 

BEST PICTURE

Almost Famous

How the Academy forgot this film in this category is a mystery. It was easily one of the top five films of the year, and it is much more worthy of a nod than Erin Brockovich or Chocolat. Perhaps it came out too early to be remembered, but both Gladiator and Brockovich came out much earlier than this gem.

 

Wonder Boys

I know why this movie failed to receive as many nominations as it should have: it was a bomb at the box office. Even during itís re-release, no one saw it. Yet, Curtis Hansonís previous film L.A. Confidential had the same flaw and managed to receive 9 nominations in 1998. While it was completely different than that masterpiece, it was a excellent film in its own right and definitely worthy of a Best Picture nomination.

 

 

BEST ACTOR

Michael Douglas, Wonder Boys

This snub is the most disappointing one since Jim Carrey was overlooked two years in a row. There was no reason for the Academy to forgot to include Douglasí best performance. I didnít even realize he hadnít been nominated some hours after the nominations were announced. I figured it was a guarantee and took it for granted. Hopefully the Academy recognizes they took one of the best performances of the year for granted.

 

John Cusack, High Fidelity

Any question of Cusackís acting abilities were put to shame this past year. While this nomination was a long shot, I still think he deserved it. Cusack embodied rejection in this role, and his monologues to the camera were delivered with such conviction and believability, it was impossible not to be drawn into this story.

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Gary Oldman, The Contender

While everyone comments on Willem Dafoeís metamorphosis in Shadow of the Vampire, almost all of them forget a similar transformation by Oldman. In The Contender, the British actor looses all evidence of an accent, changes his entire physical appearance, and literally becomes GOP representative Shelly Runyon. While Iím glad Jeff Bridges was nominated, I cannot believe the Academy forgot or ignored the Oldmanís astonishing performance.

 

Jack Black, High Fidelity

This was another long shot, but Black was more than worthy of a nomination for his over-the-top yet believable performance. If you can name me one performance as energetic as his during the year, Iíd like to know.

 

Bruce Greenwood, Thirteen Days

Never have we come as close to see the sadness and confidence of John F. Kennedy as we did in Thirteen Days. Greenwoodís performance was no caricature (in fact, he didnít look or sound like Kennedy), but instead he personified the spirit of our beloved, fallen president. He was my personal favorite of all the possible nominees, and the list seems empty without him on it.

 

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Rod Lurie, The Contender

To make politics interesting, you must exaggerate; to make politics believable, you must also exaggerate, but only a little less than to make it interesting. Lurieís script has all the components of a great political film. There are lies and deceits, scandals and controversy. The most important part of the film is that it gives an insiderís feeling to the political intrigue transpiring, and Lurieís screenplay has as much to do with that feeling than any other part of the film.

 

 

BEST ART DIRECTION

The Cell

No matter what you thought of The Cell, you cannot deny that its visuals were extraordinary. I swore this was a definite nomination, but once again, I am proven wrong.

 

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The Cell

Once again, I thought The Cell would get nominations in most of these technical and artistic awards, but it didnít.

 

Dinosaur

The only reason I can think this movie wasnít nominated was if the voters thought it was entirely animated. Save for the lemurs, Dinosaurís special effects amazingly blended computer-generated animation and live-action backgrounds into a stunning exercise in special effects.

 

Copyright © 2001 by Mark Dujsik. All rights reserved.