By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 25, 2013 at 11:50AM
007 film "Skyfall" (which won two awards) was notable for having a number of bridesmaids, so to speak, among its crew. Roger Deakins' nod was his tenth without a win, composer Thomas Newman was on eleven nods with, again, no victory, and Greg P. Russell, up for Sound Mixing, had a whopping sixteen nominations without being asked up on stage. And yet, despite the success of "Skyfall" elsewhere in the evening, all three lost out. Part of the reason is probably down to the Oscar ballots, which list the film, rather than the nominee (even for Best Director, interestingly enough). So even if the voters knew who Deakins was (and it's entirely possible that many don't), they're still going to be more inclined to go for the film that they thought was prettiest, in this case "Life of Pi."
Not every film that poured millions into their awards campaigns justified the expense. "Zero Dark Thirty," an early front-runner thanks to critical plaudits, picked up only a single award, for Best Sound Editing (and even that proved to be a tie). The writing had been on the wall for a while, but it still has to be disappointing (especially as it was the best of the nominated films). Meanwhile, "Silver Linings Playbook," which some had touted as having the potential for some major upsets, also took only the single prize from its eight nods, Jennifer Lawrence's Best Actress trophy. Not a disaster, but Harvey must be feeling the sting this morning. Finally, Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," the most nominated film, won only two prizes from twelve nods. It's not quite "The Color Purple" (which went 0 for 11 back in the day), but for a film that many had assumed ahead of release could be a beast, it's not a happy result.
"Argo" winning Best Picture was hardly a surprise, but it did mark the second time that Ang Lee has won Best Director without the film itself taking Best Picture (Lee's victory for "Brokeback Mountain" was trumped by "Crash" wining the big prize). It's hardly a "snub" we suppose; Lee joins a fairly exclusive club of people who've won Best Director twice. But one wonders what it'll take for a Lee-directed film to win Best Picture. Perhaps his mooted "Cleopatra" with Angelina Jolie?