Oscar 1995: Omissions

Year after year, the nominations have been criticized for slighting and bypassing worthy achievements. The Academy's apologetic response is consistent: there can be only five nominees and only one winner in each category. This inevitably means that not every worthy achievement will be nominated. Yet, errors of omission are particularly visible in years in which the nominees are mediocre, compared with the level of excellence of those overlooked.

The most glaring omission is when a movie is nominated for Best Picture, but its director fails to be recognized. The lack of correlation between the Best Picture and the Best Director is a function of the voting procedures: The Directors Branch nominates accomplishments in its league, but all Academy members nominate films for the Best Picture.

In 1995, although their films were cited in several categories, directors Ron Howard (Apollo 13) and Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility) came up empty-handed. Instead, the two slots in the directorial category were filled by Mike Figgis, whose Leaving Las Vegas was nominated in major categories (such as acting) but not Best Picture, and Tim Robbins for Dead Man Walking, which failed to receive Best Picture nomination but was cited in several other fields.