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Cold shoulder for ‘Cold Mountain’ in Oscar nominations

One of the front-runners in this year’s Academy Award race has been dramatically snubbed in the nominations list.
‘Cold Mountain’, the lavish American Civil War epic, directed by Anthony Minghella, only picked up two major nominations – ‘Best Actor’ for Jude Law and ‘Best Supporting Actress’ nomination for Renee Zellweger. Law’s co-star, Nicole Kidman, widely regarded as a safe bet for an Oscar this year, failed to receive a nomination.
‘Lord Of The Rings’ has grabbed the lion’s share of the nominations, with the final installment in the trilogy, ‘The Return Of The King’ picking up 11 nominations, including nods for ‘Best Picture’ and ‘Best Director’ for Peter Jackson.
The strongest Oscar competition will come from: ‘Seabiscuit’, this feel good film about the iconic American racehorse has picked up seven nominations, including one for ‘Best Picture’; and 'Mystic River’, Clint Eastwood’s hard-hitting drama, which has six nominations, including ‘Best Picture’ and Eastwood for ‘Best Director’ and its stars Sean Penn and Tim Robbins in the ‘Best Actor’ and ‘Best Supporting Actor’ categories, respectively.
Despite the furore over the MPAA’s ban on ‘screener’ DVDs, which many insiders claimed would ruin the Oscar chances of smaller independent movies, Sofia Coppola’s ‘Lost In Translation’ still managed to collect four nominations, including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Actor’ for star, Bill Murray.
An outsider bet is Peter Weir’s naval epic, ‘Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World’, with nominations for ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Picture’, though star Russell Crowe is notably absent from the ‘Best Actor’ nominations.
There have been a few more surprises in this year’s nominations, with Johnny Depp garnering a surprise ‘Best Actor’ nomination for his role in Disney adventure, ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ and young Keisha Castle-Hughes winning a nomination in the ‘Best Actress’ category for her role in ‘Whale Rider’.
‘City of God’, hailed as ‘The Brazilian Goodfellas’ and lauded by many critics as their Number One movie of the year, lost out in a nomination in the ‘Best Picture’ category, but did get a nomination for director, Fernando Meirelles.
There was also disappointment for British actors. Paddy Considine missed out on a ‘Best Actor’ nod for ‘In America’, although his co-stars Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou were both nominated in the ‘Best Actress’ and ‘Best Supporting Actor’ categories, respectively. And Albert Finney missed out on a nod for ‘Big Fish’ and Bill Nighy failed to win a nomination for ‘Love Actually’. Helen Mirren and Julie Walters were also both overlooked, despite the phenomenal success of ‘Calendar Girls'.
The 76th Academy Awards will take place on February 29.

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