Despite the claims that 2000 was one of the worst movie years in decades, the competition for the Oscars is still fierce, and just like every other year, there are some excellent actors and films that were left out in the cold. In a word, they were snubbed. Whether it is because of legitimate reasons or problems with hype (or lack thereof) surrounding a movie, here are some of the films and people that were left out for this year”s Oscar race.

Paul Wong
A damn shame: In “Wonder Boys,” Robert Downey, Jr. reminds us once again that he”s one of the best actors working in Hollywood today.<br><br>Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

“Almost Famous,” a favorite of critics and moviegoers alike, was denied a Best Picture nomination, and Cameron Crowe was left out of the Director category. The film secured two best supporting actress nominations (Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand) and one for best original screenplay, but there are two stellar actors who could have easily gotten best supporting nominations who just plain didn”t: Billy Crudup in a hypnotic performance as Russell Hammond, the “guitar player with mystique” and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the late, great rock critic Lester Bangs. One of the best lines of the film was uttered by Hoffman: “The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you”re uncool.”

Curtis Hanson”s “Wonder Boys” was left out of almost every category, with the exception of best song for Bob Dylan”s “Things Have Changed” and Steve Kloves” adapted screenplay. It”s almost as if the Academy just forgot that the movie existed. Part of the problem lies in the timing the film was released early in the year and with inadequate promotional support, and even the re-release in the fall couldn”t save “Wonder Boys” from fading from memory.

In addition to being worthy of Best Picture and Best Director, “Wonder Boys” also boasts Robert Downey Jr. Downey Jr. is more than deserving of a nomination for best supporting actor for his portrayal of Terry Crabtree, Professor Grady Tripp”s (Michael Douglas) manic and sexually frustrated editor. Unfortunately, Downey”s drug problem and probable re-incarceration ruled out his chances.

“Dancer in the Dark” didn”t stand a chance, but not for lack of worth. Bjork was incredible in her role as a desperate mother who sacrifices everything for her son, but stories of her Dennis Hopper-“Apocalypse Now” type freak outs on the set and her vow that she will never act again probably curtailed her run at the best actress award. David Morse was painful and believable in his part, but he was also left out of the best supporting actor category. Other than a nomination for best song, Bjork”s “I”ve Seen it All,” the film didn”t receive any nominations.

Other omissions include Sean Connery for his performance as a reclusive but goodhearted author in “Finding Forrester,” which is considered to be one of his best roles, ranking with those in “The Untouchables” and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Also, the Coen brothers” saga “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” failed to receive any nominations other than best adapted screenplay, proving once again that the Academy just doesn”t dig comedies.

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