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Oscar Nominations As Expected

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Jan 31, 2006 2:46PM

With the exception of The 40 Year Old Virgin getting shut out of all major categories,* there were few surprises when the Oscar nominations were announced this morning. The full list is up at

2006_01_oscars.jpgBrokeback Mountain picked up eight nominations; Crash and Good Night and Good Luck snagged six; Capote and Munich picked up five, while Syriana and History of Violence garnered two each. In technical categories, Memoirs of a Geisha scored six nominations, King Kong picked up four nominations while War of The Worlds and Chronic(what)cles of Narnia grabbed three nominations each. Start working on your Oscar pool now!

Actors with local connections did well in the major categories. Some expected Chicagoan Terrence Howard to pick up dual acting nominations for Crash and Hustle and Flow but the supporting actor nod instead went to William Hurt for History of Violence. Maria Bello lost out on a supporting actress nod in the same film thanks to Frances McDormand’s pick for her work in North Country (McDormand was born here but raised in Pennsylvania). The film about sexual harassment among coal miners also helped knock former Steppenwolfer Joan Allen out of the Best Actress category (dark horse candidates Ziyi Zhang and Q'Orianka Kilcher also lost a spot thanks to Keira Knightley’s performance in Pride and Prejudice). Lastly, Chicago-as-Gotham got its own shout-out thanks to a Best Cinematography nod for Batman Begins.

The three big surprises in the Best Picture category were the shutouts of King Kong and Walk The Line and the inclusion of Capote. The sheer spectacle of Kong led many to believe the film’s shortcomings would be overlooked, while the excellent acting performances and Johnny Cash’s iconic status were expected to carry that film to a nomination. We’re still scratching our heads over Capote; its achievement rests solely on the performances of Hoffman, Keener and Chris Cooper in the kind of unsung supporting role that he’s made a career of.

More random notes after the jump:

For the first year in quite a while, all the directors of Best Picture nominees were nominated in the Best Director category as well.

Academy voters: Please, give Paul Giamatti the Oscar. It’ll help make up for last year’s Sideways slight and his loss for American Splendor.

Apparently, it’s a law that you must nominate Judi Dench for an Oscar anytime she appears in a film (Mrs. Henderson Presents). Even one that nobody saw.

Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith picked up a single nomination for makeup and was shut out of all other technical categories.

Noah Baumbach nerds rejoice! The Squid and The Whale snagged a Best Original Screenplay nomination. Sadly, the excellent work by Jeff Daniels and Laura Linney got lost in the shuffle.

John Williams will be competing against himself for Best Original Score thanks to his work on Munich and Memoirs of a Geisha.

This is the first year a Palestinian film has been nominated for Best Foreign Language film (Paradise Now). Its chances of winning are good due to a technicality that left the French film Cache (Hidden) out of the running.

And finally: thanks to the tireless civil rights efforts of Snoop Dog and The Archbishop "Magic" Don Juan, this is the first year a Best Original Song title has included the word “pimp.” (Hustle and Flow's "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp.") At last, that door has been kicked open.

The Oscars will be televised on Sunday, March 5th at 7:30 PM on ABC Channel 7.

* This is a joke. Kinda.