The Academy Awards ceremony takes place this Sunday in Hollywood, but some of the most deserving films and performances aren’t even in the running. We run down who should have been on the ballot.
10. “The Adventures of Tintin” for Best Animated Feature
While I love the frontrunner “Rango,” I’m at a loss as to how Steven Spielberg’s foray into animation got skipped. It was a great kid-friendly adventure with spectacular 3D set pieces.
9. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’ music for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” for Best Original Score
Full disclosure: I’m a huge Nine Inch Nails fan. I got, like, 10 texts from friends as soon as Reznor and Ross won last year for “The Social Network.” Their “Dragon Tattoo” work was dark, dense and highly deserving.
8. Elizabeth Olsen in “Martha Marcy May Marlene” for Best Actress
The “other Olsen sister” gave a star-making and nuanced performance as a young girl who has escaped from an abusive cult. John Hawkes’ Manson-esque cult leader also deserved a nod.
7. Michael Fassbender in “Shame” for Best Actor
Yeah, all the frontal nudity probably didn’t help with the uptight Academy, but Fassbender’s tightly wound performance was nearly flawless — even if the film itself wasn’t.
6. “50/50” for Best Original Screenplay
The Oscars love a story, and you would have thought cancer survivor Will Reiser penning a funny and truly moving script from his experiences would have made a nice Oscar storyline.
5. Tilda Swinton in “We Need to Talk About Kevin” for Best Actress
Swinton’s turn as a mother dealing with the aftermath of her sociopathic son’s actions was a wonder to behold. The non-linear structure may have turned some off, but Swinton hit this one out of the park.
4. Michael Shannon in “Take Shelter” for Best Actor
Shannon brought the boiling tension of a man struggling with apocalyptic visions, and it would have been great if a nomination got this movie on more people’s radar. Oh, also? Jessica Chastain was way better here than she was in “The Help” (for which she was nominated).
3. Patton Oswalt in “Young Adult” for Best Supporting Actor
The comedian was both funny and achingly moving as a disabled townie who crosses paths with Charlize Theron (also unfairly left out). Of course, Oswalt has some great bits about just how ridiculous the Hollywood process is in his stand-up act. I doubt that makes him much loved in Tinseltown.
2. “Bridesmaids” for Best Picture
Just once I’d like to see a smart and uproariously funny comedy get its due, Academy. They even left one of the slots — a maximum of 10 — empty, which added insult to injury. I guess you don’t know how to laugh.
1. Albert Brooks in “Drive” for Best Supporting Actor
How do you go from Oscar frontrunner to not being nominated? Ryan Gosling also could have gotten a nod in the oh-so-brooding lead, but Brooks seemed like a sure thing. And now that people are watching “Drive” on home video, they can see why.