Oscar 2010: Glaring Omissions (Part One)

 Every year, as soon as the Oscar nominations are announced, we critics lament the omission of some serious contenders.

The Academy’s response has been consistent: There can only be five contenders in each category.  Well, except, for the Best Picture, which now encompasses a wide range of 10 films.  We knew that only five directors of the 10 nominated pictures would get a slot. But who was left out? And why?

Most Glaring Omissions

Best Director

“Inception” received eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, but failed to garner a nod for the film’s director, Christopher Nolan.

Nolan, a nominee of the Directors Guild, has never received a directorial Oscar, not even for “The Dark Knight,” which was even more critically acclaimed and more successful at the box office than “Inception.”

Question: Is Nolan not respected enough by his ppers in the Academy’s Directors Branch

Who “took” his spot: Joel and Ethan Coen, directors of “True Grit,” which is nominated for 10 awards, including Best Picture.

I did not expect Lisa Cholodenko, whose serio comedy “The Kids Are All Right,” was nominated in four categories, including Best Picture, to get a directing nomination.

But I did expect the estimable Julianne Moore, who is cast in a co-starring role, to receive a nod from the Actors Branch.

Who “took” Moore’s spot: Possibly Jennifer Lawrence, nominated for “Winter’s Bone,” or Michelle Williams, recognized for “Blue Valentine.”

The ‘good” thing about this particular omission is that Moore’s colleague, Annette Bening, who is nominated for Best Actress, will not have to compete with another thespian from her picture.

Remember the scandal of “All About Eve,” in 1950, when both Bette Davis (who should have won) and Anne Baxter (who should have been nominated in the supporting league) landed spots in the lead female category and possibly cancelled each other out.  As a result, the least expected actress, Judy Holliday, won the Best Actress Oscar, and for a comedy, “Born Yesterday,” directed by George Cukor.  (Personally, I think Holliday was great, too).