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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ten in the Morning: Oscar snubs

This week, in honor of “The Dark Knight” getting snubbed last week for an Oscar nod for best picture, “Ten in the Morning” counts down the biggest Oscar snubs since 1990 (trying to keep it modern, folks):

10. “The Queen” losing to “The Departed” for best picture in 2006. Really tough call here, but Helen Miren’s stunning portrayal as Queen Elizabeth II and the backlash she receives after the death of Princess Diana is movie making at its best. “The Departed” blows you away with its cast, but its comical, almost goofy ending can’t be overlooked.

9. Tom Hanks (“Cast Away”) losing to Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”) for best actor in 2000. Not many actors can pull off a one-man ensemble for the majority of a movie, but Hanks did it in “Cast Away.”

8. Julianne Moore (“Boogie Nights”) losing to Kim Basinger (“L.A. Confidential”) for best supporting actress in 1997. Moore’s portrayal as a troubled pornstar in the 1970s crushes Basinger’s role as a callgirl in 1950s Los Angeles. This one’s not even close.

7. “Awakenings” losing to “Dances with Wolves” for best picture in 1990. Penny Marshall’s inspiring film about a doctor’s pursuit to find a cure for his group of comatose patients showcased Robert DeNiro in his finest role. As for Kevin Costner’s “Dances with Wolves,” I’ll take “Field of Dreams” and “JFK” over that in a heartbeat.

Speaking of "JFK" ... 6. Oliver Stone’s take on the John F. Kennedy assassination should have taken home the Oscar for best picture over “The Silence of the Lambs” in 1991. “JFK” was a brilliant tale of one man’s vision of a potential conspiracy.

5. Bill Murray (“Lost in Translation”) losing to Sean Penn (“Mystic River”) for best actor in 2003. Penn was fabulous in River, but Murray, who was a bit better in the tale of movie star who forms an unlikely friendship in Tokyo, proved he’s versatile enough to be taken seriously. That was probably his best shot at an Oscar.

4. “Mystic River” losing to “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” for best picture in 2003. Return of the King had the special effects, but a way-too-busy storyline. River had the cast, and an stellar mystery tale.

3. “The Shawshank Redemption” losing to “Forrest Gump” for best picture in 1994. Shawshank is one those perfect movie-going experiences. Gump is great, but not great enough.

2. “Scent of a Woman” losing to “Unforgiven” for best picture in 1992. I’m a huge fan of Gene Hackman and Clint Eastwood, stars of “Unforgiven,” but it’s difficult to understand the Academy’s choice to not crown this classic tale of a blind and retired military man struggling to cope with growing old alone.

1. Russell Crowe (“A Beautiful Mind”) losing to Denzel Washington (“Training Day”) for best actor in 2001. It’s no wonder Crowe seems so bitter these days.

- Mark Podolski


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