2007 Academy Awards®
Winners and History
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Academy Awards Summaries
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®
"NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN," "Atonement," "Juno," "Michael Clayton," "There Will Be Blood"
Animated Feature Film:
"RATATOUILLE," "Persepolis," "Surf's Up"
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS in "There Will Be Blood," George Clooney in "Michael Clayton," Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street," Tommy Lee Jones in "In the Valley of Elah," Viggo Mortensen in "Eastern Promises"
MARION COTILLARD in "La Vie en Rose," Cate Blanchett in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," Julie Christie in "Away From Her," Laura Linney in "The Savages," Ellen Page in "Juno"
JAVIER BARDEM in "No Country for Old Men," Casey Affleck in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," Hal Holbrook in "Into the Wild," Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Charlie Wilson's War," Tom Wilkinson in "Michael Clayton"
TILDA SWINTON in "Michael Clayton," Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There," Ruby Dee in "American Gangster," Saoirse Ronan in "Atonement," Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone"
JOEL COEN AND ETHAN COEN for "No Country for Old Men," Julian Schnabel for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," Jason Reitman for "Juno," Tony Gilroy for "Michael Clayton," Paul Thomas Anderson for "There Will Be Blood"
The pesky, long-running writer's strike ended approximately two weeks before the Oscar ceremony (the 80th annual show), ending speculation about whether there would be an awards ceremony or not.
The most profitable box-office blockbusters of 2007 were not well represented or were conspicuously missing in the lists of nominees and winners, such as Spider-Man 3, Shrek the Third, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (with two nominations), Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Transformers (with three nominations), I Am Legend, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and The Simpsons Movie. The immensely successful The Bourne Ultimatum from director Paul Greengrass, the third film in the thriller Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) trilogy, was an exception: it received three Oscar wins from its three nominations in technical categories (with wins for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Film Editing).
This marked the third consecutive year in which the Best Picture-nominated films were not big-budget studio pictures, and there were no obvious frontrunners, although No Country For Old Men had the edge. Nominees were mostly financed by outsiders and released by specialty divisions, meaning that they were artistic, creative and daring modestly-budgeted films from maverick film directors, for the most part. All five films were made for budgets of $30 million or less, about a third of the cost for a normal studio production (and Juno cost only $2.5 million!). Four of the five nominees for the top prize were films released by studio specialty divisions. [Note: the one exception was Michael Clayton, which was released by Warner Bros., but financed and bankrolled by a private individual.]
- No Country for Old Men, from Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax and Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Vantage
- There Will Be Blood, also from Miramax and Paramount Vantage
- Atonement, from General Electric Co.'s Focus Features
- Michael Clayton, from Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros.
- Juno, from News Corp.'s Fox Searchlight
Two Best Picture nominees had eight nominations apiece (both were American productions), and two had seven nominations apiece. The two nominees with the most nominations picked up multiple awards. Of the five bleak-themed nominees, there was only one feel-good comedy (an independent film which had the largest box-office of the films at the time of the nominations' announcement and after the awards were presented, and became Fox Searchlight's top-grossing movie of all time). The winning Best Picture marked the fourth consecutive year in which a film set in modern times won the top prize - a first for the Oscars!
The Best Picture winner was the Coen Brothers' 12th film, the violent thriller-drama and contemporary western chase movie No Country for Old Men (with eight nominations, including four wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor), an adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel about a hunter (Josh Brolin) who stole cash from a bad drug deal and then was relentlessly pursued. It was the Coen's first film based entirely on a novel.
[Note: the Coen Brothers directly received four of the eight nominations and three wins - for Best Picture (win), Best Director (win), Best Adapted Screenplay (win) and Best Film Editing (under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes), for the film. Only one other recipient has accomplished the same feat of earning four simultaneous nominations in four different categories for the same film: Warren Beatty for Reds (1981). Composer Alan Mencken also received four simultaneous nominations for Beauty and the Beast (1991), but three of the nominations were in the same category: Best Original Song. Mencken also scored three Best Original Song nominations this year for Enchanted - losing all three nods to Once's "Falling Slowly". This is the second year in a row that the film with 3 Oscar nominations for Best Original Song lost (Dreamgirls' three nominees lost to An Inconvenient Truth's "I Need to Wake Up" last year).]
The other Best Picture nominees were:
- director Paul Thomas Anderson's turn-of-the-century California oil-drilling epic There Will Be Blood (with eight nominations, including two wins for Best Actor and Best Cinematography), adapted from Upton Sinclair's novel Oil!; with other nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Adapted Screenplay
- director Joe Wright's British epic drama of betrayal and lost love, the acclaimed period piece Atonement (with seven nominations, and only one win for Best Original Score), adapted from Ian McEwan's prize-winning novel about regret and lovers Ceclia Tallis (Keira Knightley) and housekeeper's son/childhood friend Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) torn apart by a false allegation from Cecilia's over-imaginative younger sister Briony (Saoirse Ronan), with other nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay
- director Tony Gilroy's legal thriller Michael Clayton (with seven nominations, and only one win for Best Supporting Actress), with other nominations for Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Original Screenplay; it was the only Best Picture-nominated film with multiple acting nominations
- director Jason Reitman's dark comedy Juno (with four nominations and only one win for Best Original Screenplay), about a 16-year-old girl's unplanned pregnancy; its other nominations included Best Director and Best Actress; with his second feature film, Reitman was the 30 year-old son of director/producer Ivan Reitman known for Stripes (1981) and Ghostbusters (1984)
Normally, the nominated directors of Best Picture nominees match up fairly well. This time, Joe Wright was snubbed for a directorial nomination for Atonement, and was replaced by a nod to American director Julian Schnabel for his French film - an unconventional and uplifting biopic titled The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (with no wins). It would be rare for Schnabel to win Best Director without a Best Picture nomination.
All of the Best Director nominees were first-time nominees, except for winner Joel Coen, who had previously received multiple nominations for Fargo (1996), and Tony Gilroy's nomination was for his directorial debut feature film (he had previously co-written the Bourne films). Paul Thomas Anderson had previously been nominated twice for Best Original Screenplay, for Boogie Nights (1997) and Magnolia (1999). The dual directing nomination for the Coens was the first time a sibling team had been nominated in the category (and to date, the last Best Picture-winning film to have more than one credited director):
[Note: The Coen Brothers were also the third duo directing team to be nominated in Academy Awards history -- after dual nominations (and win) for Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise for West Side Story (1961), and dual nominations for Warren Beatty and Buck Henry for Heaven Can Wait (1978) - the Coens became only the second pair of directors to win Best Director, after Robbins and Wise.]
It was notable that four of the ten Oscar-nominated scripts this year were written by females - for their individual screenplays, and they were all first-time nominees. The winners of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar were directors/scripters the Coen Brothers for No Country for Old Men. Other nominees in the category included director/scriptwriter Paul Thomas Anderson for There Will Be Blood, writers Christopher Hampton for Atonement and Ronald Harwood for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and 28 year-old Sarah Polley for the sensitive marital drama Away From Her about Alzheimer's disease and its effect upon an aging couple: Fiona Andersson (Julie Christie) and husband Grant (Gordon Pinsent). The winner of the Best Original Screenplay Oscar was for ex-stripper/scriptwriter pen-named Diablo Cody for Juno. The other nominees were Tamara Jenkins for The Savages, Nancy Oliver for Lars and the Real Girl, writers/directors Tony Gilroy for Michael Clayton, and Brad Bird (with his second Oscar win for Best Animated Feature Film - he won his first Oscar in the same category for The Incredibles (2004)) for Ratatouille (with five nominations, but not one for Best Song, although it won Best Animated Feature Film).
The Best Documentary Feature category had 5 strong nominees, four of which dealt with warfare or the effects of war. The category was won, in an upset, by director Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side, a searing indictment of the government's illegal use of torture in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay - it focused on the death of innocent Afghan taxi driver Dilawar who was brutally tortured to death after being targeted as a terrorist (by a real terrorist). [The film's title was derived from VP Dick Cheney's line after the 9/11 attack: "We have to work the dark side." Gibney also helmed the Oscar-nominated Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005) and was the executive producer of No End in Sight.]
The other Best Documentary Feature nominees included the two front-runners:
- No End in Sight (Charles Ferguson's detailed examination of the process behind the Bush Administration's short-sighted decision to invade Iraq in 2003)
- Michael Moore's Sicko, using Moore's typically sharp and insightful look at the American health care system
- Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
- War Dance
Tremendous controversy surrounded the selection of nominees for Best Foreign Language Film. The winner in the category was Fälscher, Die (aka The Counterfeiters) (Austria) - the strong favorite, about Nazis during the Holocaust recruiting an imprisoned Russian-Jewish mobster/forger to produce fake foreign currency. The other four nominees were: 12 (Russia) - a remake of 12 Angry Men (1957), Beaufort (Israel), Katyn (Poland), and Mongol (Kazakhstan).
Ten of the 20 acting nomination slots went to British-Canadian-Irish (two winners were British/Irish) and Australian performers, to Frenchwoman Marion Cotillard (win), and to Spanish-born actor Javier Bardem (win).
European (non-American) performers took all four prizes in the acting competitions - the last time (and only other time) this occurred was for films in the year 1964.
The Best Actor winner was the favorite: 50 year-old Irish actor Daniel Day-Lewis (with his fourth Best Actor nomination and fourth career nomination, and second Best Actor Oscar) for his performance as successful but evil silver prospector and oil-catter Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood [Note: Daniel Day-Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar for My Left Foot (1989), and was also nominated as Best Actor for In the Name of the Father (1993) and Gangs of New York (2002)].
The other Best Actor nominees were:
- 46 year-old George Clooney (with his first Best Actor nomination) for his role as Michael Clayton, a ruthless, high-powered former prosecutor turned troubled "fixer" corporate lawyer in New York in Michael Clayton [Note: George Clooney was previously nominated (and won) as Best Supporting Actor for Syriana (2005), and received a Best Original Screenplay and Best Director nomination for Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)]
- 44 year-old Johnny Depp (with his third Best Actor nomination and third career nomination) for his role as the 19th century demonic, vengeful, and murderous barber Benjamin Barker (aka Sweeney Todd), who avenged his wife and daughter's deaths by slitting the perpetrator's throat and making meat pies of the body, in the horror musical Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, an adaptation of the Broadway stage musical classic by Stephen Sondheim (the major Tony Awards winner in 1979) [Note: Johnny Depp was previously nominated as Best Actor for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and Finding Neverland (2004)]
- 61 year-old Tommy Lee Jones (with his third Oscar nomination, but only his first Best Actor nomination) as grieving father Hank Deerfield of an AWOL prisoner (and Iraqi war soldier) in Paul Haggis' flop film In the Valley of Elah [Note: Tommy Lee Jones was previously nominated as Best Supporting Actor for JFK (1991) and won Best Supporting Actor for The Fugitive (1993)]
- 49 year-old Viggo Mortensen (with his first nomination) for his role as mysterious and secretive Russian chauffeur-turned-mobster Nikolai living in London in Canadian director David Cronenberg's violent thriller Eastern Promises (the film's sole nomination), noted for its nude fight scene in a bathhouse
The Best Actress winner was an upset win for 32 year-old French actress Marion Cotillard (with her first nomination and Oscar win) for her role as famed tempestuous singer Edith Piaf (Piaf's recordings were lip-synched by Cotillard) in co-writer/director Olivier Dahan's La Vie en Rose (Fr.) (aka La Môme) (with three nominations and two wins for Best Makeup and Best Actress, and a nomination for Best Costume Design).
[Note: It was the first acting Oscar awarded to a French-language film. She was only the third performer in a Foreign Language film to win one of the Academy’s acting prizes, following Sophia Loren in Two Women (1960, It.) and Roberto Benigni in Life Is Beautiful (1997, It.). And she became the fifth performer to win for a performance that was not completely in English, following previous Oscar winners: Benicio Del Toro in Traffic (2000), Roberto Benigni in Life Is Beautiful (1997, It.), Robert De Niro in The Godfather: Part II (1974), and Sophia Loren in Two Women (1960, It.). Cotillard's win was also the seventh lead actress win in the last nine Oscars for a portrayal of a real person.]
The other Best Actress nominees were:
- 38 year-old Australian actress Cate Blanchett (with her second Best Actress nomination, and fourth/fifth career nomination) for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in director Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth: The Golden Age (with two nominations, including a win for Best Costume Design)
[Note: With this nomination, Blanchett joined only four other male performers (Bing Crosby, Peter O'Toole, Paul Newman, and Al Pacino) who have been nominated twice for Oscars for playing the same character in two different films. She received her first Best Actress nomination for portraying the British monarch in Elizabeth (1998). She won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator (2004) and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Notes on a Scandal (2006).]
- 66 year-old British actress Julie Christie (with her fourth Best Actress nomination and fourth career nomination) for her role as afflicted Alzheimer's patient Fiona Andersson in actress-turned-director Sarah Polley's debut feature film, Away From Her, Polley's Oscar-nominated adaptation of the Alice Munro short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain [Note: Julie Christie won the Best Actress Oscar for Darling (1965), and was also nominated as Best Actress for McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) and Afterglow (1997).]
- 43 year-old Laura Linney (with her second Best Actress nomination and third career nomination) as failed, middle-aged playwright Wendy Savage who battled her bossy, dysfunctional sibling brother Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) about putting their aging and sick father Lenny (Philip Bosco) in a convalescent home in writer/director Tamara Jenkins' meditation on aging and dying The Savages (with two nominations) [Note: Laura Linney was previously nominated as Best Actress for You Can Count on Me (2000), and as Best Supporting Actress for Kinsey (2004).]
- 20 year-old Canadian actress Ellen Page (with her first nomination) for her performance as the smug, wise-cracking, precocious title character Juno MacGuff in Juno, who found herself pregnant after one sexual encounter with a friend (Michael Sera), and took her baby to term but gave it up for adoption to a childless yuppie couple (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) [Note: Ellen Page became the first American actress under the age of 21 to receive a Best Actress nomination. Other under-21 nominees included Isabelle Adjani (FR) in 1975, Keisha Castle-Hughes (NZ) in 2002, and Keira Knightley (UK) in 2005.]
The Best Supporting Actor winner was the favorite, 38 year-old Spanish-born actor Javier Bardem (with his second nomination and first Oscar win, following a Best Actor nomination for Before Night Falls (2000)) as cold-blooded assassin and deranged killer Anton Chigurh (with the catchphrase: "Call it") in No Country for Old Men.
The other Best Supporting Actor nominees were:
- 32 year-old Casey Affleck (with his first nomination) as the tormented, creepy and shifty Jesse James killer Robert Ford in director Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (with two nominations, including Best Cinematography)
- 82 year-old Hal Halbrook (with his first nomination after 66 years in the business), the oldest Best Supporting Actor nominee in Oscar history, as lonely, aging and philosophical widower Ron Franz who helped the film's disillusioned wanderer in director Sean Penn's Into the Wild (with two nominations, including Best Editing) based upon Jon Krakauer's nonfiction book
- 40 year-old Philip Seymour Hoffman (with his second nomination, following a Best Actor nomination for Capote (2005)) as rogue, short-fused Middle East CIA operative Gust Avrakatos in director Mike Nichol’s dramedy Charlie Wilson's War (the film's sole nomination) about helping the Afghanis defend themselves during the Soviet War in Afghanistan in the 1980s
- 58 year-old British actor Tom Wilkinson (with his second nomination, following a Best Actor nomination for In the Bedroom (2001)) as the firm's mentally-troubled top liability litigator/attorney Arthur Edens accusing his agro-chemical company of poisoning people in Michael Clayton
The Best Supporting Actress winner was a surprise upset for 47 year-old British actress Tilda Swinton (with her first nomination and Oscar win) as the chemical company's chief in-house counsel Karen Crowder - an ambitious, fiendish, but insecure and neurotic litigating rival of Michael Clayton (George Clooney) in Michael Clayton.
The other Best Supporting Actress nominees were:
- 38 year-old Cate Blanchett (with her third Best Supporting Actress nomination and fourth/fifth career nomination) for her gender-switched, mid-60s Bob Dylan personification (as Jude Quinn) in writer/director Todd Haynes' refracted biopic I'm Not There (the film's sole nomination)
[Note: Cate Blanchett received two Best Actress nominations for Elizabeth (1998) and for Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007). She already won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Aviator (2004) and was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Notes on a Scandal (2006). With this nomination, she joined a handful of other actresses and actors who were nominated for lead and supporting Oscars for different films in the same year.]
- 83 year-old Ruby Dee (with her first nomination) in her very brief role as Frank Lucas' mother Mama Lucas in director Ridley Scott's American Gangster (with two nominations, including Best Art Direction) [Note: This was Ruby Dee's first nomination, although she had been in films for five decades, in such films as A Raisin in the Sun (1961) and Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing (1989).]
- 13 year-old Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (with her first nomination) as calculating, aspiring writer Briony Tallis, not aware of the consequences of her actions upon her sister Cecilia (Keira Knightley) after reporting her first view of sex in Atonement
- 38 year-old Amy Ryan (with her first nomination) for her harrowing portrayal of drug-addicted, vulgar and horrid coke-snorting Boston mother Helene McCready who lost her 4 year-old girl by kidnapping in Ben Affleck's directorial debut feature film, the crime drama Gone Baby Gone (the film's sole nomination)
Oscar Snubs and Omissions:
Sean Penn's fourth directorial feature Into the Wild received only two nominations, and he was denied a nomination as Best Director. And director Ridley Scott's American Gangster also received only two nominations. Although Sweeney Todd had three nominations overall (and won only for Best Art Direction), its director Tim Burton (who has never been nominated as Best Director) was overlooked, as was director David Fincher for Zodiac, longtime Oscar-snubbed director David Cronenberg for Eastern Promises, and 83 year-old Sidney Lumet for his best directorial work since The Verdict (1982) with Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.
Three of the big-budgeted studio productions of the year with large marketing campaigns were denied Writing, Directing, and Best Picture nominations:
- Universal Pictures' American Gangster
- Universal's Charlie Wilson's War
- DreamWorks' Sweeney Todd
Director Andrew Dominik for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (with two nominations) and Sarah Polley for Away from Her (with only two nominations) were also denied Best Picture/Best Director nominations. Another major Best Picture snub was for the universally-praised, untraditional musical and sleeper film from Irish writer/director John Carney titled Once (with only one nomination, a win for Best Original Song Falling Slowly), which drew comparisons to Brief Encounter (1946).
Director Adam Shankman's musical Hairspray, about a chubby girl named Tracy (Nikki Blonsky in her screen debut) who racially-integrated a 1960s TV dance show through her participation - and with John Travlota (in drag in a dress) and Christopher Walken as her parents, received multiple nominations and awards - but no Oscar recognition. Also, The Simpsons Movie was missing from the short list in the Best Animated Feature Film category. Writer/director Garth Jennings' coming-of-age comedy-drama Son of Rambow (2008, UK) about two English schoolboys recreating the Rambo film First Blood was neglected.
Two of the most highly-regarded foreign films of the year were not among the five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film:
- writer-director Cristian Mungiu's harrowing look at a secret illegal abortion in Ceausescu's oppressive totalitarian Romania in the late 1980's, in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania) (winner of the Palme d'Or)
- the mostly B/W animated film Persepolis (France), based upon Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel about growing up Iranian during the fall of the Shah and the rise of the fundamentalist Islamic state (although it was a Best Animated Feature nominee)
Other possible nominees might have been Silent Light (Mexico) and Secret Sunshine (Korea).
Snubs for Best Actor included Philip Seymour Hoffman as squabbling sibling Jon Savage in The Savages and as older scheming brother Andy Hanson in Sidney Lumet's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, but he was nominated instead for his supporting role in Charlie Wilson's War. Other snubs were for Emile Hirsch as the adventurous young student Christopher McCandless who embarked on a two-year odyssey that ended tragically in the Alaskan wilderness in Denali National Park in 1992 in Into the Wild, James McAvoy as doomed suitor Robbie Turner (for Keira Knightley as Cecilia Tallis) in Atonement, Casey Affleck as private investigator Patrick Kenzie searching for a missing girl in Boston in Gone Baby Gone, Ryan Gosling as introverted, sex doll-loving computer geek Lars Lindstrom, similar to Jimmy Stewart's Harvey, in Lars and the Real Girl, Denzel Washington as 1970s Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas and heroin smuggler (in coffins of Vietnam war victims) in American Gangster and as real-life 1930s small-town Texas Wiley College professor Melvin B. Tolson, the charismatic leader of the school's debate team in his own directed film The Great Debaters, Mathieu Amalric as paralyzed real-life editor of French magazine Elle Jean-Dominque Bauby who suffered a stroke at the age of 43 in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Frank Langella as reclusive author Leonard Schiller in writer/director Andrew Wagner's Starting Out in the Evening, Josh Brolin as ruthlessly-pursued hunter Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men, Jack Nicholson as adventurous terminally-ill patient Edward Cole in director Rob Reiner's The Bucket List, Brad Pitt as outlaw Jesse James in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Russell Crowe as outlaw Ben Wade in director James Mangold's 3:10 to Yuma (the remake of the 1957 western), Tom Hanks as renegade 1980s Texas politician Rep. Charlie Wilson who used his post on an intelligence committee to wage a war against the Sovets in Afghanistan in Charlie Wilson's War, Benicio del Toro as Jerry Sunborne in Susanne Bier's domestic drama Things We Lost in the Fire, John Cusack as Iraqi war widower Stanley Philipps in James Strouse's Grace is Gone, Christian Bale as real-life German-born American fighter pilot and 1960s Laos POW Dieter Dengler in Rescue Dawn and as rancher Dan Evans in 3:10 to Yuma, Don Cheadle as real-life ex-con-turned-radio talk show host and 1960s community activist Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene Jr. in Kasi Lemmons' biopic Talk to Me, Tony Leung Chiu Wai as Japanese collaborator Mr. Yee in director Ang Lee's Chinese-language, WWII-era Shanghai sexy NC-17 rated spy thriller Lust, Caution (with no nominations), Khalid Abdalla as expatriate Afghani Amir who returned to his ravaged homeland in director Marc Forster's The Kite Runner, and Steve Carell as sensitive, widowed father Dan Burns of three in love with his younger brother Mitch's (Dane Cook) girlfriend Marie (Juliette Binoche) in director Peter Hedges' Dan in Real Life.
Snubs for Best Supporting Actor included Tommy Lee Jones as weary Sheriff Ed Tom Bell searching for good ol' boy hunter Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) targeted by drug dealers for stealing $2 million of drug money in No Country for Old Men, although he did receive a Best Actor nomination for In the Valley of Elah, Jack Black as unemployed artist Malcolm (Jennifer Jason Leigh's fiancee) in Noah Baumbach's Margot at the Wedding, Philip Bosco as ailing father Lenny Savage in The Savages, Vincent Cassel as enforcer Kirill in Eastern Promises, Russell Crowe as detective Richie Roberts in American Gangster, Tom Cruise as Senator Jasper Irving in Lions for Lambs, Paul Dano as religious figure Eli Sunday in There Will Be Blood, Robert Downey, Jr. as Paul Avery in Zodiac, Chiewetel Ejiofor as radio program director Dewey Hughes in Talk to Me, Ben Foster as Charlie Prince in 3:10 to Yuma, Albert Finney as victimized parent Charles Hanson in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Andy Griffith as Old Joe in Adrienne Shelly's Waitress, Ed Harris as Det. Remy Bressant in Gone Baby Gone, Ethan Hawke as younger brother Hank Hanson in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Heath Ledger as young NY actor Robbie Clark in I'm Not There, Omar Metwally as Egyptian terrorism suspect Anwar El-Ibrahimi who went missing in Rendition, Sydney Pollack as the firm's co-founder Marty Bach in Michael Clayton, Robert Redford as Professor Stephen Malley in Lions for Lambs, Max von Sydow as widower father Papinou in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, John Travolta as Tracy's mother Edna Turnblad in Hairspray, and Forest Whitaker as Dr. James Farmer, Sr. in The Great Debaters.
Snubs for Best Actress included Angelina Jolie for her performance as Mariane Pearl, the French wife of an American journalist brutally killed in Pakistan in A Mighty Heart, Keira Knightley for her role as Cecilia Tallis, the older conflicted sister of her accusing sibling in Atonement, Helena Bonham Carter (director Burton's wife) as London pie seller Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Amy Adams as fairy tale princess Giselle who was banished by evil Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) from her animated kingdom and reappeared vulnerable and clueless in modern-day Manhattan in Enchanted, Jodie Foster as vengeful assaulted woman Erica Bain in The Brave One, Czech actress Marketa Irglova as a Czech émigré in the low-budget Irish film Once, Keri Russell (in her first lead role) as small Southern diner waitress Jenna in Waitress, and newcomer Tang Wei as Mr. Yee's seductive Mata Hari mistress Wong Chia Chi/Mrs. Mak in Ang Lee's Lust, Caution.
Snubs for Best Supporting Actress included Jennifer Jason Leigh (never nominated!) as engaged, free-spirited fiancee Pauline in a dysfunctional family ruled by her opinionated and hateful sister Margot (Nicole Kidman) in Margot at the Wedding, Marie-Josee Croze as Henriette Durand in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jennifer Garner as 'perfect' adoptive parent Vanessa Loring in Juno, Catherine Keener as modern day hippie Jan Burres in Into the Wild, Queen Latifah as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray, Olympia Dukakis as Alzheimer's 'widow' Marian in Away From Her, Susan Sarandon as distraught wife and mother Joan Deerfield in In the Valley of Elah, Fernanda Montenegro as maternal Alzheimer's sufferer Tránsito Ariza in Love in the Time of Cholera, Meryl Streep as experienced reporter Janine Roth in Lions for Lambs, Emily Mortimer as sister-in-law Karin Lindstrom in the offbeat comedy Lars and the Real Girl, Julia Roberts as Communist-hating Texas socialite Joanne Herring promoting the funding of a secret war in Afghanistan in the 1980s in Charlie Wilson's War, Emmanuelle Seigner as paralyzed Elle French magazine editor Jean-Dominque Bauby's ex-wife Céline Desmoulins in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Kate Winslet as foul-mouthed harlot Tula in director John Turturro's musical Romance & Cigarettes.