Your Favorite Was Robbed: The 6 Biggest Oscar Snubs

Let's just get this out of the way up front: Great job, Academy! That the AMPAS found room for everything from Winter's Bone to Toy Story 3 to the ferocious performance given by Movieline favorite Jacki Weaver means they deserve a bit of kudos. (If you're one of those, "Yawn, I'm too cool for the Oscars!" people, just go back to bed today.) Of course that doesn't mean many, many deserving nominees were left out in the cold this morning. Ahead, the six biggest from the major categories.


It's tough to say The Town was snubbed -- after all, it was a late comer to the Oscar party, and many people didn't take it very seriously as a contender -- but it does feel like the type of big, expertly made genre film the expansion to ten Best Picture nominees was made to accommodate. That said, what would The Town replace on this roster? Winter's Bone? Toy Story 3? Inception? Yeah, not really. If the Academy didn't find room for Shutter Island, they certainly weren't going to find room for Ben Affleck's heist thriller.

BEST DIRECTOR: Christopher Nolan, Inception

That sound you heard at 8:45 a.m. was every fanboy in America spitting up their Cap'n Crunch. Thought to be not only a lock for a nomination, but a possible upset victor, Christopher Nolan was snubbed once again by the Oscars -- this despite owning three Directors Guild nominations. The Inception hater-on-er in me would say that if Nolan didn't get an Oscar nomination for the superior work he did in The Dark Knight, then why would he get one for the muddled-but-cool work he did in Inception, but this is still shocking nonetheless. That said: Which of the five other nominees would you have left off the list? Perhaps David O. Russell, but it's clear that The Fighter had huge Academy support. Just not enough for Marky Mark...

BEST ACTOR: Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter

You can have your Ryan Gosling snub. For me, the big omission in the Best Actor category was Mark Wahlberg. As Micky Ward, he's the foundation of The Fighter, and at least part of the reason why Christian Bale, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo can all call themselves 2011 Oscar nominees as of this moment. Here's the big difference between Gosling and Wahlberg: You expect one to be outstanding, always; you expect the other to say hi to your mother. The Oscars don't grade on a curve, except that they kind of do. Of the two "young" performers, Wahlberg was the most surprising, and thus, most deserving.

BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right

I'll just say it: Julianne Moore was better in The Kids Are All Right than Annette Bening. Unfortunately, fortune favors the Bening bold, and that -- plus the muddled idea of whether Moore was a supporting or lead performer -- doomed her free-spirited work. Like the New York Jets, maybe next year, Jules!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Andrew Garfield, The Social Network

See, also: Armie Hammer and Justin Timberlake. Is the troika of Social Network supporting snubs a result of vote splitting, or some deep-seated blow back against what was the assumed favorite for so much of the season? Considering The Social Network only received eight nominations to the 12 of The King's Speech perhaps a little of both. For his part, Garfield was wonderful in The Social Network, but he's too passive until the third act. But what a third act! No matter, though; he'll console himself in the webs of Spider-man.


Another category where you can't fault any of the five nominees, but it does feel a bit unfortunate that Mila Kunis was overlooked for her tricky Black Swan work. After all, she has to go through many of the same beats as Natalie Portman, but without any of the depth and screen time. That Kunis is able to make it work is a testament to her performance. In the end, this snub just might be a case of, "Who else would you leave off?"

Enough from me, though -- let's open this up to the peanut gallery! Which snubs did you consider the most egregious? Barbara Hershey? Matt Damon? Robert Duvall? Daft Punk for Best Original Score? Yogi Bear for Best Picture? Let 'em rip in the comments below!


  • G says:

    I think "Ghost Writer" should have been nominated for best adapted screenplay at the very least. The lack of publicity/general interest in this film was obviously detrimental to it being nominted for anything, which is a real shame, considering in my opinion, it was one of the best of the year.

  • Chicago48 says:

    I disagree. I thought the noms were fair and on the mark. I predicted that True Grit (this year's Blind Side) would be the sleeper movie and the Coens would get best director. There's an upset coming. I also predict that Colin and Jeff will split the best acting....or Jeff walks away with the best acting award.
    Lots of surprises. I knew Andrew would be pushed aside for either Renner or Matt Damon (who I was rooting for). Didn't expect Ruffalo to be nom'd, I'm sure he's surprised.
    Didn't want and think that Inception would get much from the Academy because that story is a steal from the Matrix & Minority Reportl and the acting was lame.
    Nicole Kidman was a surprise and she could be the upset actress.

  • Chicago48 says:

    You have got to be kidding -- GHOST WRITER???? Seriously???

  • Nathalie says:

    I know this is a bit in the weeds, but I was completely shocked that "Inception" didn't get a best editing nomination. The editing held that film together.

  • Christopher Rosen says:

    I agree. The editing of the film was better than Nolan's direction, which was too often a bit unfocused. If there was a big Inception snub to be upset about this morning, the editing one is it.

  • Brian Clark says:

    I would have liked to see some love for Ghost Writer too. Seriously.

  • 2+2=4 says:

    Yes, seriously.
    Please don't sound your opinion if you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Alas, no Robert Duvall? One would think he'd be this year's Jeff Bridges, but Jeff Bridges is this year's Jeff Bridges. AND I wrote about my Duvall grandpa-crush for The Nervous Breakdown not long ago, asserting that Duvall would get a best actor nom for GET LOW (a film he single-handedly saves from mediocrity) ... so ... psh, thanks for leaving me twisting in the wind here Academy!

  • G says:

    I don't think anything the Coen brothers do can be considered "sleepers." The Academy loves them some Coen brothers. I also think it's kind of disgusting that you would compare "True Grit" to "Blind Side." Yuck.

  • Martini Shark says:

    Best Makeup is a complete sham! Where's "The Human Centipede"?! I defy anyone who saw that film tell me they did not believe there was actual oral-anal conjoinment depicted on screen!
    (I thought "Burlesque" had a shot here as well, but I guess this snub means Cher's precense was in fact completely CGI imaging.)

  • NP says:

    Eh. I don't think Mark Wahlberg not being nominated was a snub. That film has everything to do with the supporting performances, which I see as the foundation that lifted _him_ up, not vice versa. Wahlberg is sort of a cipher.

  • Rose Lee says:

    What about no "Waiting for Superman" nomination? HUGE SNUB.

  • Mikey M says:

    Inception was the most overrated movie of the year.
    Shutter Island was much better and that didn't get a nod.

  • Karen says:

    I agree. Comparing True Grit to Lifetime movie of the week The Blind Side is ridiculous. There is so much nuance and meaning in True Grit. Can you really say the same thing about The Blind Side? That movie was only Oscar nominated because it was a crappy year with very few stand out films. If it had come out in 2010, it wouldn't even have made a blip on the awards radar.
    I think the biggest snub this year is nominating Hailee Steinfeld for a "Supporting" role. Did the Academy not realize that True Grit is Mattie's story? Mattie is in every scene, it's narrated by her character. It's told completely from Mattie's perspective. How is that a supporting role? If anything, Bridges and Damon were supporting her.

  • Nathalie says:

    I also have to say that I was pretty surprised "Black Swan" was not nominated in the costume category. I don't have strong feelings about this particular category, I didn't even notice the snub until just now. But I do have to say that it seems like just the type of film that would get this sort of recognition.

  • The Winchester says:

    No Jackass for best doc? No Daft Punk for Best Score??? No Piranha 3D for Best Picture?!?!?!
    This town needs an enema.

  • Brian says:

    They were both overrated, but Shutter Island came off as more of a joke than anything. It's by far the worst movie of the director's career. It also had Michelle "Duckface" Williams, which was a drawback.

  • Brian says:

    I'm with you on that one. It's a shame that Ghost Writer was released so early in the year. Academy voters aren't the sharpest tools in the shed, so it's too much to ask for them to remember a movie from the ancient time that was February.

  • Glen Hull says:

    The only genuine surprise was seeing True Grit rally at the end to grab noms for Bridges and the Coen brothers. Now we can look forward to 5 weeks of the
    Weinstein douches trashing The Social Network.

  • G says:

    That same lady whom you so endearingly refer to as "Duckface" happens to have a best actress nom. Just an FYI.

  • josh says:

    the'shutter island' shut out, chris nolan and mila kunis along with 'he town'. and btw did anyone else but me notice blake lively in 'the town'.
    sorry but 'winter's bone' was a bore full of streotypes.

  • Patrick McEvoy-Halston says:

    I agree. Hailee should have been nominated for best actress, best movie, or not at all. The lesson in the film is that a smart, head-strong, civilized girl can make most of the wild have to be at their best to not already seem akin to a tamed wild-west show. Rooster has his (touching) wild ride, Laboeuf gets his miraculous shot, but there's a sense that her only equal was Ned, the compelling leader of the congress of louts. The gun recoil and the snake terror ease her into an easing and more capitulated form, and leaves Rooster alone to demonstrate his experience, endurance, and drivenness, but had she been a couple years older we would have been left without all that, and it would have simply been: "THIS is all you can conjure ..." As is, the night-conjured wild stars reign supreme, and clears the deck.
    I'd like to have seen Damon nominated for best supporting. He's like Wilbur proving he's really quite the pig after all, and it made me cheer!

  • jo dean says:

    Wow this makes a lot of sense.

  • The Cantankerist says:

    No love for "Despicable Me"? Alright, it's two-paced, and fair enough, TS3 is gonna trounce everything in that category. But still, "Dragon" gets a nod, and not "Despicable", and not "Tangled"?

  • JC says:

    How is "The Town" not full of stereotypes and cliches? Its not a bore, I'll give you that, but its full of cliches and stereotypes. "The Fighter" is what Ben Affleck tries to do for Boston, if "The Town" had been nominated, that would have been a snub. Without Blake Lively, Chris Cooper, the editing and Cinematography, "The Town" crumbles.