Oscar 2012 Nominations: Biggest Snubs And Surprises

‘Harry Potter,’ Albert Brooks passed over, while Gary Oldman finally gets his due.
By Kevin P. Sullivan
Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids”
Photo: Universal We now have the answer to one of awards season’s biggest questions: We know who has been nominated for the 2012 Academy Awards. All we need to know now is who wins. This year’s Oscar nominations didn’t offer any enormous surprises, but a few of the snubs have some people gasping. Right off the bat, it must be addressed. Albert Brooks was not nominated for his delightfully evil turn in “Drive.” Both Brooks and the film have a passionate following, so Max von Sydow’s nomination for “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” over Brooks can’t come as welcome news for the movie’s many fans. Brooks hilariously responded to the snub over Twitter, saying, “I got ROBBED. I don’t mean the Oscars, I mean literally. My pants and shoes have been stolen.” That’s it, Al. Kill them with laughter. But let’s not focus on the negative. A great injustice was righted with the nominations. Gary Oldman’s nod for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” didn’t come as a complete surprise, but it was a welcome one. Shockingly, the famed British actor had never been nominated before now. After decades of memorable characters, Oldman has finally gotten his due. He and the Best Actor category’s other surprise, Demián Bichir from “A Better Life,” edged out category favorites Leonardo DiCaprio for “J. Edgar” and Michael Fassbender for “Shame.” Two dark horses, “The Tree of Life” and “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” shocked with major nominations after staying near the rear of the pack for most of awards season. Both earned Best Picture nominations, bringing the total number of nominees to nine, one less than the maximum limit. The elusive Terrence Malick scored a nomination for directing “Tree of Life,” and film legend von Sydow made the cut for his supporting role in “Extremely Loud.” Rooney Mara’s Best Actress nomination made for a minor surprise. Her nod was the only major nomination for “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” which was passed over for Best Picture, Director and Writing. Perhaps the biggest oversight from “Dragon Tattoo” was the hypnotic score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, last year’s Best Score winners for “The Social Network.” The nomination that may have brought on some of the biggest cheers around the country was the Best Supporting Actress nod for the breakout star from “Bridesmaids,” Melissa McCarthy. She had been passed over for a Golden Globe nomination, but she made the Oscar cut along with her co-star Kristen Wiig, who was nominated for co-writing the screenplay. Not everybody took the Oscar hopes for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2” seriously, and indeed, the biggest movie of 2011 failed to earn a nomination for Best Picture. Fans had also made a push for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Alan Rickman, but he didn’t make the cut either. You couldn’t have given that tenth Best Picture spot to the boy who lived, Academy? See the complete list of Academy Awards Nominations.

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