Check out the top five Oscar surprises. Sure, Julianne Moore got a double nomination, but where are the nods for Dennis Quaid and Madonna? asks Dave Karger
Julianne Moore
Credit: Julianne Moore: Jeff Vespa/

Check out the top five Oscar surprises

As always, this year’s Oscar nominations included their fair share of sure things and surprises. Here are the top five of each.


THE DOMINANCE OF ”CHICAGO” Can’t we just give the movie the award already? The Golden Globe-winning film racked up 13 nominations — tying ”Mary Poppins”’ record for most nods for a musical. Four of its cast members (Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah, and John C. Reilly) also made the cut.

RUNNER-UP STATUS FOR ”THE HOURS” AND ”GANGS OF NEW YORK” Several prognosticators predicted that one or both of these films could fall victim to some harsh reviews. Instead, ”Gangs” won 10 nominations and ”Hours” got nine, including Best Picture for each. Of course: They’re both lavish productions featuring prestigious casts.

MERYL’S NEW RECORD Streep’s Supporting Actress nod for ”Adaptation” is her 13th nomination, making her the most recognized performer in the history of the Oscars. Now let’s see if she can win one again. Her snub for lead actress for ”The Hours” may actually work in her favor. Which brings us to…

THE DOUBLE NOMINEE We knew someone would walk away with two acting nominations today. But instead of Streep, it turned out to be Julianne Moore, who earned citations for Best Actress (”Far From Heaven”) and Best Supporting Actress (”The Hours”). In the space of five minutes, she doubled her career Oscar tally from two to four.

OSCAR NOMINEE NIA VARDALOS Okay, so it didn’t make the final five for Best Picture. But ”My Big Fat Greek Wedding” did, as expected, earn a Best Original Screenplay nod for writer/star Vardalos, putting her up against the likes of Todd Haynes and Pedro Almodóvar. Give the lady an ”Opa!”


PEDRO ALMODÓVAR FOR DIRECTOR The Best Picture and Director nominees rarely line up perfectly, and this year’s wild card was the ”Talk to Her” filmmaker. Perhaps voters used this category to express their disappointment that Spain neglected to submit it as its entry for Foreign Film. (Added pleasure: Spain’s choice, ”Mondays in the Sun,” wasn’t even nominated.)

DENNIS QUAID’S SNUB The biggest bummer of the day has to be Quaid’s omission from the Best Supporting Actor category despite his gut-wrenching performance in ”Far From Heaven.” Instead, ”Chicago”’s deserving John C. Reilly snagged his slot. It obviously helps to costar in the top-nominated film of the year.

MADONNA’S SNUB Looks like the Academy agreed with Elton John, who called ”Die Another Day” the worst Bond song ever. Though fellow pop stars Eminem and U2 were nominated, Madonna lost out on her first career nod.

”ABOUT SCHMIDT”’S SCREENPLAY SNUB Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor’s script wins the Golden Globe, only to miss out on an Oscar nomination. In fact, the movie only earned two nods in total. Suddenly, Jack Nicholson’s Best Actor victory isn’t such a sure thing.

”TREASURE PLANET”??? One of the biggest flops of the year is now an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Film. Couldn’t the Academy have just nominated three movies like last year? Hey, at least it’s made more money than the favorite to win, ”Spirited Away.”