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The ones that Oscar missed

Although there may not have been an earth-shattering dark horse, therewas one notable surprise unwrapped during the unveiling of the AcademyAward nominees.

Although there may not have been an earth-shattering dark horse, there was one notable surprise unwrapped during the unveiling of the Academy Award nominees and it came via The Reader.

With five nods (including best actress for star Kate Winslet), The Reader wasn’t so much a bombshell for wrangling nominations as much as it was for being deemed the film that knocked blockbuster The Dark Knight out of contention for best picture.

But while the focus has been primarily on The Dark Knight’s stunning absence in that category, there have been several other overlooked films in the race for an Oscar this year. While the Academy may ignore their significance, they are worth noting here:

The Wrestler
Bruce Springsteen has been getting most of the attention ever since his musical contribution to The Wrestler was snubbed by the Academy but many fans have also been abuzz on the Internet arguing the film itself was deserving of best picture.

The first-ever animated movie to win top spot from the L.A. Film Critics Association, many thought it could do the same at this year’s Oscars. There’s little doubt it will take best animated picture, but where is Andrew Stanton’s nomination for best director?

Happy Go Lucky
Sally Hawkins may have shocked many by taking home the Golden Globe for best actress earlier this year but she’s surprising even more by not even receiving an Oscar nomination for her fantastic role in Happy Go Lucky.

Wendy and Lucy
This intimate drama about a girl who loses her beloved pooch on a cross-country road trip took top honors from the Toronto Film Critics’ Association and was named one of the best movies of the year by the American Film Institute. Film critic A.O. Scott even wrote “it does not contain a superfluous word or shot.” Unfortunately for writer/director Kelly Reichardt, that collective acclaim will be all for naught at this year’s Oscars.

Gran Torino
At 78-years-old, Torino may be Clint Eastwood’s final acting performance. As such, people are fuming that he didn’t even receive a nomination for his powerful portrayal of a bigoted war veteran. Still, the best actor category is one of the toughest races — who would you replace?

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