Oscar snub: Why 'Inception' director Christopher Nolan wasn't nominated

Is Hollywood just jealous of the critical and commercial success the young Nolan has already achieved? asks Chris Lee in The Daily Beast

Christopher Nolan (top, right), at a Oscar nominee lunch, failed to earn a Best Director nod for "Inception," which is in the running for Best Picture.
(Image credit: Getty)

The "biggest mystery of this year's Academy Awards" is how director Christopher Nolan, 40, garnered Best Picture and Best Original Screeplay nominations for his dreamy sci-fi hit, Inception, but failed to get a Best Director nod, says Chris Lee at The Daily Beast. The puzzling omission is a "slap in the face for a film-making wunderkind whose meteoric rise from art house auteur to Intelligent Action Ace has made him, arguably, the hottest director in town." One theory: Perhaps Nolan's peers failed to nominate him because they're jealous that he "enjoyed too much success too soon." But it's a bit more complicated, says Lee. Here, an excerpt from the Daily Beast:

"The directors have always been a persnickety branch, often going for a foreign language director over a mainstream filmmaker," the source said. "They don't seem to like to reward blockbuster directors. And they rarely award sci-fi or heavy special-effects films."

The whole situation harkens back to a similar fate that befell Steven Spielberg in 1976. The then-young filmmaker's Jaws had redefined the word blockbuster in the previous year, irrevocably opening Hollywood's eyes the kind of staggering revenue an unabashedly commercial film could generate for the studios. But Spielberg was famously passed over for a Best Director Oscar even though the film won a Best Picture nomination....

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

In the eyes of one awards season campaign veteran, though, Nolan's Oscar snub boils down to the primary knock against Inception. With its shoot 'em up action layered between dreams within dreams within dreams, the movie is, well, confusing.

Read the entire article at The Daily Beast.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.