The Most Egregious 2012 Oscar Snubs

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The 2012 Academy Award nominees were announced on the morning of January 24, 2012, and immediately, it became clear that several deserving or expected nominees were snubbed. With 9 nominated films for Best Picture, it was obvious that not every film being honored would receive honors across multiple categories. But many of the most eagerly and excitedly anticipated nominees were left off of the official Oscar ballots, including performers and directors from some of the year's top films. This list contains all the most surprising 2012 Oscar snubs, and it's Voteranked, so you can choose the people or films you thought were most deserving and move them to the top. Think the year's best unnominated performance, behind-the-scenes collaborator, writer or director was left off the list? Add it yourself at the bottom of the page!


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  1. 1
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    Fassbender appeared in about 80% of all 2011 movies, including a 'revealing' and praised turn as a sex addict in Steve McQueen's "Shame" and a memorable role as psychologist Karl Jung in David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method." It wasn't enough to earn him a Best Actor nod, however, as he was edged out by two other "breakthrough" performances: Demián Bichir in "A Better Life" and Jean Dujardin in "The Artist."

  2. 2
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    2011 was truly the Year of the Gos, with Ryan Gosling giving great performances in three different films: 'The Ides of March,' 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' and 'Drive.' At least Gosling got two Golden Globes nominations. Still. No Ryan G. at the Oscars? Crazy. And Stupid.

  3. 3
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    Actor, director, writer and comedian Albert Brooks was widely praised for his going-against-type role as a shady gangland figure in the indie sensation "Drive," earning a bevy of critics circle awards and even scoring a Golden Globe nomination. But he was passed over in the Best Supporting Actor category at the Oscars.

  4. 4
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    Many of the Best Actress nominees have been commonly shortlisted for the prize for most of awards season. There seemed little doubt Michelle Williams (for "My Week with Marilyn"), Viola Davis (for "The Help"), Glenn Close (for "Albert Nobbs") and of course Meryl Streep (for "The Iron Lady") would get mentions, and they did. Tilda Swinton's bold work in "We Need to Talk About Kevin" was a relatively late addition to the horserace, even though she has previously won an Oscar for her supporting work in "Michael Clayton." After Swinton won the National Board of Review's award for Best Actress, and was nominated for a Golden Globe, she seemed an obvious choice to fill out the Best Actress category on Oscar night. Instead, her "wild card" spot went to Rooney Mara for her take on Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."

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    Warrior, the film about two estranged brothers who end up facing each other in a mixed martial arts tournament, only received a single nomination. While Nick Nolte may deserve his supporting nomination as their alcoholic father, Tom Hardy deserves it more. His brutal intensity as a former Iraq vet trying to earn some money to put his mind at peace is a throwback to Stallone's Rocky fighting for self-respect. While Hardy's work in other films (Inception, Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy) has been mesmerizing, Warrior was a step beyond.

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    Dark, brooding Michael Shannon - perhaps best known to audiences as unpredictable Treasury agent Nathan van Alden on "Boardwalk Empire" - was praised for his role as a possibly schizophrenic husband and father in the art-house disaster film "Take Shelter." He took home a number of critics awards, won Best Actor in the Village Voice film poll and is up for the Independent Spirit Award. But it was not enough momentum to crack this year's tough Best Actor race, and "Take Shelter" went unnominated in any categories.

  7. 7
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    Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

    "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was left out of a number of categories, but none was more surprising than Best Original Score. Last year's winners for "The Social Network" - Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross - did similarly interesting work in "Dragon Tattoo" but failed to earn even a nomination, despite getting nominated in the category at the Golden Globes.

  8. 8
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    For 50/50. His best performance so far in his career.

  9. 9
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    Andy Serkis
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Many thought this would be the first year an actor would score a nomination for working with motion-capture animation. And if anyone was going to be the performer to break that barrier, it would be fitting to give the honor to Andy Serkis, the actor behind some of the most famous motion-capture characters of all time. (He's Gollum from "Lord of the Rings" AND King Kong AND Captain Haddock from "The Adventures of Tintin"!) His role as Caesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" helped propel that film from oddball summer curiosity into one of the year's most popular films. But the Academy held to a more traditional definition for Best Actor and Serkis was shut out.

  10. 10
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    Despite giving a stand out performance as Professor Snape in the final 'Harry Potter' movie, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,' Alan Rickman failed to garner a 2012 Oscars supporting actor nomination. This was the Academy's last chance to honor Rickman as Snape - one of the most memorable characters around. People were really buzzing that Rickman was a shoo-in for a nomination when the movie first came out. What happened?

  11. 11
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    Jessica Chastain in Tree of Life and Take Shelter Added by: KaroKilfeather

    Chastain earned a nod for her work in the make-white-people-feel-good film "The Help," but the academy overlooked two powerful, gut-wrenching, beautiful performances as two very different wives and mothers in two far superior films. It's great to see her nominated, but her better performances in more challenging films deserved the recognition.

  12. 12
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    David Fincher
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Fincher's last two films have earned a bevy of Oscar nominations. ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" collected a staggering 13 noms, including Fincher's first for Best Director.) Though his adaptation of the international smash hit novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" earned a nomination for Rooney Mara's performance, Fincher was not similarly honored.

  13. 13
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    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

    Despite being a fantastic wrap-up to the wonderful 'Harry Potter' film franchise, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' failed to garner a Best Picture Academy Award nomination. Anyone else see this is an oversight? Surely the Academy could use that 10th remaining Best Picture slot to honor this great 2011 film! At least the final 'Potter' movie got three other nominations: Art Direction, Makeup and Visual Effects. Still, the Boy Who Lived deserves better.

  14. 14
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    Melancholia Added by: Lons

    Lars von Trier's end of the world drama was one of the year's most praised films, in spite of Von Trier's dyspeptic public persona. The movie received recognition in Cannes (where Kirsten Dunst took Best Actress) and from the US National Society of Film Critics, which called it the year's best film. Yet it failed to earn a single Oscar nomination in any category.

  15. 15
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    The young starlet had a breakthrough year, starring alongside George Clooney in Alexander Payne's celebrated "The Descendants." Woodley's role as Clooney's eldest daughter puts her front and center throughout the bulk of the film, which is up for a total of five awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Clooney. Woodley herself did not earn a slot, though, despite her Golden Globe nomination and winning the Supporting Actress award from the National Board of Review.

  16. 16
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    The Adventures of Tintin

    A co-production between Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, bringing one of the most famous characters from comic book history to the big screen, this motion-capture epic was an odds-on favorite to win the Best Animated Feature category before it was even released. When it started piling up awards and nominations - and even winning the Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature - it seemed to be all wrapped up. But "The Adventures of Tintin" ended up not even earning a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars, getting passed over for the under-the-radar releases "A Cat in Paris" and "Chico & Rita." (John Williams is up for the film's Original Score, in the running against his own work in "War Horse.")

  17. 17
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    Keira Knightley did a wonderful perform in A Dangerous Method. She  had had so many great performances in the pass that she has earned getting a nom. 

  18. 18
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    Young Adult

    The last collaboration between director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody was "Juno," which earned Cody an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and was also featured in numerous other categories. Their 2011 collaboration, "Young Adult," was expected to appear in several categories, including Original Screenplay once again. Comedian Patton Oswalt was also mentioned as a possibility in the Supporting Actor category. Instead, the film was entirely passed over by the Oscars, not earning a single nomination.

  19. 19
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    For her performance in Shame.

  20. 20
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    Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" fizzled out with critics and audiences, but nonetheless, DiCaprio's out-of-character take on the legendary FBI man had been mentioned as a possibility for an acting nomination. It was not to be, however, as he was left out of the ultra-competitive category this year in favor of a mix of big stars (Clooney, Pitt, Oldman) and promising newcomers in more buzzed-about films.

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