Oscar buzz is in the air ahead of the big day on the 22nd of this very month. While most nominations fell into the ‘expected’ category, as always, the Oscar panel appears to have relished their moment in the limelight and used it as an opportunity to stir things up a bit. While Heath Ledger got his well-earned Best Supporting Actor nod, The Dark Knight was shafted in every other way imaginable, missing out on nominations for Best Picture, Best Director for Christopher Nolan and Best Adapted Screenplay.
While The Dark Knight still came third in the overall nominations category with eight nominations (behind The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with thirteen and Slumdog Millionaire with ten), most of these came in technical categories seemingly reserved for comic book adaptations, like visual effects and art direction.
Another surprise snub was Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet missing out on nominations for their first on-screen appearance together since Titanic in the marital drama Revolutionary Road (although Winslet did pick up a nomination for Best Actress for The Reader).
Revolutionary Road, directed by Sam Mendes (of American Beauty fame) was heralded as a sure bet for multiple nominations, yet all it ended up with was a supporting actor nod for Michael Shannon in the “who’s going to lose to Heath Ledger category.”
Perhaps the most controversial snubbing though, was dished out to none other than Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen. After winning a Golden Globe for his title track in The Wrestler, “The Boss” missed out on even a mere nomination by the Oscar panel, who preferred nominating not one, but two tracks, from firm Best Picture favourite Slumdog Millionaire.
With all this snubbing going on, naturally, there were also a couple of surprise nominations. The most unexpected of these was the nomination of Robert Downey Jr. for Best Supporting Actor for his turn in the Ben Stiller directed comedy Tropic Thunder, where Downey Jr., as he puts it, plays a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude.
While all of this makes for an interesting Oscar’s build-up, few people realise how important an Oscar’s nod can be to the actors and directors whose careers are on the line. While most would presume that winning an award would greatly enhance future movie offers and especially future pay-cheques, a study by forbes.com determined that lives themselves may be at stake. According to the study, Oscar winners actually live longer than mere nominees. Directors live on average a full two years longer, while winning actors live an estimated 3.9 years longer than their losing counterparts.