2013 Oscar nominations: What they got wrong

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From the January 17, 2013 edition

As someone who loves movies, my favorite part of the Oscar nomination process is complaining about the Oscar nominations. Is it too much to ask that the biggest celebration of the year’s best movies actually includes the year’s best movies?

The Academy tends to play it safe — which makes sense, since the average voting member is, like, 89 years old — but my annoyance at some of the glaring omissions grew to a storm during the Golden Globes on Sunday night. Will the Globes be a predictor of the Oscars? Not this year, when some of their winners aren’t even Oscar nominees.

Here are the worst snubs in the major categories.

Best Picture

Only nine of a possible 10 crossed the voting majority threshold for inclusion in this category. “The Master” not making the cut was criminal, although it’s easy to see why it divided audiences. But would it have killed the Academy to have embraced a sense of whimsy and finally dropped Wes Anderson’s lastest and best (“Moonrise Kingdom”) on the list. I love you, Academy, but you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Best Director

I dissent from the critical mass on “Zero Dark Thirty” — it’s good, not great — but it was a total director’s movie. It’s in for Best Picture but Kathryn Bigelow is not? Even worse, Ben Affleck won the Golden Globe for “Argo” … and isn’t even a nominee for the Oscar. Oopsie. Oh, also? No Quentin Tarantino?

Best Actor/Supporting Actor

John Hawkes’ performance as a man in an iron lung aiming to lose his virginity with a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt, who did get a nod) was a glaring omission on the lead actor front. And Christoph Waltz rightly got the nod for “Django Unchained,” but Leonardo DiCaprio was nearly as deserving — and better than several other nominees.

Best Actress/Supporting Actress

The mixed reaction to “Hitchcock” probably doomed Helen Mirren, possibly coupled with the fact that we just expect her to be amazing (which she was). And Ann Dowd in the disquieting indie “Compliance” was a dark horse for supporting actress that would have made my day.