By Andy Taylor-Fabe Daily Film Editor
It’s the show you love to hate. From the geekiest cinephile to the most mainstream of viewers, everyone cries tears of rage about the Oscar nominations and the inevitable omission of someone or something that should have been chosen.
For the Best Picture category, the most obvious omission is “Memento,” which lost its momentum due in part to its spring release (and also because it’s just a damn strange movie and the Academy doesn’t like taking chances). The film is about a man named Leonard (played by Guy Pearce) with short term memory loss (you see, he has this condition …) who is on a confusing and frustrating quest to find his wife’s killer. The film is painstakingly constructed, and the chopped up, backwards timeline of the film firmly plants you in Leonard’s shoes. Pearce could have also swung a Best Actor nomination, but I guess they figured they had enough Aussies this year.
Many have commented on the fact that the directors of two of the Best Picture nominees, “Moulin Rouge” and “In the Bedroom,” didn’t receive nominations. People have been especially vocal on the exclusion of Baz Luhrmann, considering that “Moulin Rouge” received nominations in many technical categories in addition to Best Picture. This year’s director nominations follow a trend that prompted Billy Crystal, while commenting on a parallel situation, to ask “Did this film direct itself?” This is nice in theory, but the Director and Best Picture category are not the same thing. If every Best Picture nominee had to also get a Best Director nomination, we could combine the two categories, cutting the show’s runtime down to a trim three and a half hours.
Several films were snubbed on multiple fronts. David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” got him a Director nomination, but Australian actress Naomi Watts was passed over (see above for anti-Australian conspiracy theory). “Mulholland Drive” is also more than deserving of some of the technical awards as well, but alas, Lynch and his perfectly molded pompadour will only be present to not win Best Director.
The quirky and self-conscious “Ghost World” was completely ignored, with the exception of the Best Adapted Screenplay award. No one who saw the last third of the film would argue that it deserves Best Picture, but Thora Birch, with her