Here’s a tough one for you, PopWatchers: If there was one overlooked name you could add to the list of this morning’s Oscar nominees, who would it be, and why? Since I already blogged yesterday about Children of Men (and since I wasn’t holding out much hope for its chances), I’m gonna rant for a moment about Thank You for Smoking, a movie I genuinely expected to see on the list of Best Adapted Screenplay nominees. This Ginsu-sharp satire had a deliciously nasty streak that thrilled and delighted me, and while I figured its leading man (Aaron Eckhart, pictured) would probably be overlooked in favor of his showier dramatic rivals, I was hoping a little love for Jason Reitman’s adaptation of Christopher Buckley’s book would ease my pain. Instead, it’s like I got slapped up on both sides of my head. Booo!
My colleague Joshua Rich, meanwhile, just sent me an email about the snub that really got to him. He writes, “I know he was a long shot, but I’m still pretty peeved that Matt Damon wasn’t nominated for acting in either The Good Shepherd or The Departed. I mean, for my money, he was the real Best Actor of 2006, giving smart, understated performances in which it’s hard to even tell that he’s acting. And I’ve always said that that’s the hardest thing for an actor to do — play a ‘normal’ guy. Neither his CIA spook in The Good Shepherd nor his undercover mobster in The Departed had any kind of obvious physical or mental quirk that usually draws Academy attention. But, I ask: Isn’t it easier to limp or act crazy than to just seamlessly disappear into a character for whom the drama is taking place somewhere deep inside? Even more than that, I’ll state it simply: Time and again, movie after movie, Damon has proved himself to be one of the best actors working today, and he deserves more recognition.”
Now it’s your turn, PopWatchers: Which disregarded person or film ranks as this year’s biggest Oscar snub? (Try to limit yourself to just one.) Ready, set, vent!addCredit(“Aaron Eckhart: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images”)