Snubs and surprises underscore virtually all Hollywood awards races, and Tuesday's Oscar nominations proved no exception. Among the notable oversights: "Into the Wild" and "Atonement," each considered acting and directing showcases.
Kiera Knightly missed out on an Oscar nom for her starring role in "Atonement."
In the best-picture category, full of high-profile films, one that was thought to be a shoo-in apparently wasn't.
Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" was thought to be an Oscar shoo-in.
"The snubs were tremendous for 'Into the Wild,' says blogger Scott Feinberg of andthewinneris.blog.com. "At one time, this was considered a favorite."
Director Sean Penn and star Emile Hirsch also were not nominated.
"The academy had shown a penchant for nominating actors as directors," says Andy Scott of Everythingoscar.com. "And ('Into the Wild') was one movie everyone assumed would get in. That was the biggest surprise of the day."
One of the two nominations for the picture went to supporting actor Hal Holbrook, who called Hirsch's absence a "terrible disappointment."
Hal Holbrook lamented the abscene of Emile Hirsch, his "Into the Wild" co-star, among the nominees.
"The role he had demanded so much more of an actor than just about any other role I can think of," Holbrook says. "He did such a gorgeous job. He's a natural. Not to be recognized is very hard for me to understand. Not to mention the film itself. It's a daring and beautiful film."
"Atonement" picked up seven Oscar nominations, including best picture. Yet director Joe Wright and lead actors James McAvoy and Keira Knightley were overlooked.
The academy didn't recognize James McAvoy for his part in "Atonement."
"A Mighty Heart's" Angelina Jolie also was considered a contender in the actress category.
Despite going outside her usual scope of films to portray widow Marianne Pearl in "A Mighty Heart," Angelina Jolie didn't get an Oscar nomination.
The surprises who ousted them:
Jason Reitman's recognition for "Juno's" direction. A "shock," says David Poland of Movie City News.
Tommy Lee Jones' actor nomination for "In the Valley of Elah." "I'm totally confused about (Jones') nomination, but it's an interesting one nonetheless," Scott says. "Did anybody see it coming?"
Laura Linney, who was nominated in the actress category for her role in "The Savages." She "was completely off the radar," Scott says.
The dynamic in the actress category overall is intriguing, Feinberg says. "We knew Angelina was a fringe contender, and Keira wasn't nominated last year for a bigger role in "Pride & Prejudice." And now with "Juno's" Ellen Page, Cate Blanchett and Julie Christie contending, "this category is going to be the most fascinating."
Contributing: The Associated Press.