Here's my list of the biggest disappointments:
Since the expansion of the Best Picture category from five to ten films a few years back, the prevailing thought was that it would allow the Oscars to showcase a wider array of films. Sure, we still really only expect it to be a five film race, but tossing out a cursory nod to worthy films is a nice consolation prize. And again, I'm not saying anything against this year's nominated films.
But, it's disheartening as a geek to see films like THE HOBBIT, THE AVENGERS, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (which in and of it self was a snub from THE DARK KNIGHT failing to get a nod years ago. Had it been nominated, it would have been representative of the the trilogy as a whole, not unlike RETURN OF THE KING) get snubbed completely.
Are any of these films truly best of the year material? No, but are they among the top ten films of the year? If anything, the film that really deserves to be up with the best of the best would be SKYFALL. Fans and critics alike applauded this grown up, well made Bond film, the box office reflected their appreciation, and it was gaining momentum as a dark horse in the weeks leading up to the noms. Would it have had a snowball's chance against the likes of a LINCOLN or LES MIS? Of course not. But it would have been nice to have seen it up there, especially with a strange glaring hole in this years list of nine best films. NINE?
Is there a greater snub than to have your film nominated for best picture, but not pick up a directing nod? Ask Ben Affleck, Quentin Tarantino, Kathryn Bigelow and Tom Hooper. While ARGO, DJANGO UNCHAINED, ZERO DARK THIRTY and LES MIS got the top honors, the people who helmed them and arguably were most instrumental in crafting and shaping the vision of those films were left off the list.
I could go on, (and on and on and on if I took Oscar history into account). There is a natural prejudice against science fiction / fantasy / horror when it comes to awards. Think of the number of films that fall into those genres that have ever won top prize throughout the history of the academy... yep. There's only one. 2003's LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING. If you stretch you can include AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, all the way back in 1953. In the entire history of the academy awards, only 16 sci/fan/hor films have been nominated for best picture, ever.
Again, not every piece of space opera deserves an academy award, but if we're truly talking best films of the year, I defy anyone to tell me that at least SKYFALL and THE AVENGERS do not make their list. And ultimately what the Academy has done has presented us with a very standard, almost boring line up. It seems almost a lock for LINCOLN to clean house, and does pave the way for Spielberg to take home his third directing Oscar. For a complete list of this year's nominees, click HERE.
We can console ourselves with owning the Peoples Choice Awards (with nods to The Big Bang Theory, Nathan Fillion, THE HUNGER GAMES and Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man among many others) but by the same token, Adam Sandler won Favorite Comedic Actor on the strength of his performance in this year's THAT'S MY BOY. Really, people?