Oscars snub: why were Drive and Bridesmaids left out?

Jan 24, 2012
Hollie Clemence

Academy Awards voters seem to be out of touch with what film audiences see as the top movies

EVERY YEAR there is always a film that is adored by audiences but overlooked by the Oscars. This year is no exception, leaving movie fans wondering if an Academy Award is no longer a reliable yardstick for what's hot and what's not in the world of film.
Bridesmaids was described as last year's "most universally beloved film", clocking up more than $288 million at the box office worldwide. It was even dubbed as leading a new feminist revolution in Hollywood comedy.
But Bridesmaids and its star Kristen Wiig were nowhere to be seen on the Best Picture or Best Actress shortlists today – just a nod for Best Screenplay for Wiig and co-writer Annie Mumolo and Best Supporting Actress for Melissa McCarthy.
So why have some of the best-loved films been snubbed by the Oscars?

The LA Times suggests the Academy has become "insular and parochial" about what it considers to be Oscar-worthy, subconsciously disqualifying anything that isn't a weighty drama, biopic or character-driven story based on a novel.
It adds that Martin Scorsese, who cleared up today with 11 nominations for his 3D adventure Hugo, had to wait until he was a senior citizen to have his films recognised by the Academy, largely because he started out making gritty crime thrillers.
Similarly, Ryan Gosling fans were left wondering why there was not a single nomination today for his slick LA noir Drive. Rolling Stone magazine predicted Drive would be "too bloody, too creative, too ambitious and too polarising" for the Oscars – the exact reasons why the magazine says it should be named as one of last year's top ten.
Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig acknowledges that the more stylistic films seem to appeal to the Academy but says it is easier to create a showy drama than a showy comedy without distancing the audience.
"It's hard because most comedy needs to be very relatable," he tells MTV. "If I were to do Bridesmaids kind of very stylistic, I think I would alienate the audience."
Kristen Wiig recently shot down rumours that a Bridesmaids 2 was on the cards but revealed she will star in a new film that she has written and produced called Imogen. Maybe this will be in with a chance next year if, as the LA Times hopes, the Academy starts broadening its creative horizons.

Oscar nominees:

Best Picture.
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Woody Allen – Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick – The Tree of Life

Best Actor
Demián Bichir – A Better Life
George Clooney – The Descendants
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt – Moneyball

Best Actress
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help
Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill – Moneyball
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Max von Sydow – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Supporting Actress
Bérénice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer – The Help

Best Original Screenplay
The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids – Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig
Margin Call – J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen
A Separation - Asghar Farhadi

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Descendants – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash
Hugo – John Logan
The Ides of March – George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Moneyball – Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, story by Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan

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Excuse me.......why was "The Guard" left out? Brendan Gleeson was terrific and should have been amongst the contenders.