The biggest snubs arrived in the form of names that were absent from the Best Director nomination list.
After getting critical acclaim for his direction on the film “Argo,” Ben Affleck did not make the directing category list, even though he was expected to receive a nomination and even snag an Oscar since he was nominated for Best Director by the Directors Guild of America and the Golden Globes.
It was thought that Afleck’s chances at a Best Director win had been boosted by the fact that other actors-turned-directors had taken home trophies in the past in this category, including Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, and Warren Beatty.
Another major snub in the Best Director contest was the exclusion of Kathryn Bigelow for her work in “Zero Dark Thirty.” Bigelow was the first woman in Academy history to win Best Director for her past work on “The Hurt Locker.” She has also received director noms from the Directors Guild and the Globes this time around.
Tom Hooper, director of “Les Miserables,” garnered a nomination from the Directors Guild but was also snubbed by the Academy. Hooper took home an Oscar in 2011 for “The King's Speech.” Additionally, Quentin Tarantino, who received a Globe nomination for “Django Unchained,” did not appear on the Oscar list.
Two first time nominees, Benh Zeitlin for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Michael Haneke for “Amour,” were surprise picks.
In the Best Actor category, John Hawkes, who received a Screen Actors Guild nomination for his acting in “The Sessions,” was snubbed by the Academy, while Joaquin Phoenix, who was ignored by the Screen Actors Guild, was given a Best Actor nomination for “The Master,” despite having made some disparaging comments about the Academy Awards.
Leonardo DiCaprio was rebuffed in the Best Supporting Actor category for his work in “Django Unchained,” and “Skyfall”’s heavy, Javier Bardem, who received a Screen Actors Guild nomination, was left off the nomination list.
In the Best Actress category, the youngest nominee in Academy history is nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” and the oldest nominee in Academy history is 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour,” both surprises.
In a shocker, the last film in the Batman trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises,” received zero nominations.
Although “The Avengers” was the biggest grossing film of the year, it was only given one Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.