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Satellite Awards snub 'Benjamin Button' and 'The Dark Knight' for best picture!

November 30, 2008 |  8:16 pm

Uh-oh! Kate Winslet's vote-splitting has officially begun! The Satellite Awards just nominated Kate Winslet in the best-actress race for "The Reader" instead of "Revolutionary Road," thus ignoring her campaign to put the "Reader" role in supporting. However, both films are up for best drama picture, but there are several, big curious omissions in that race: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Doubt" and "The Dark Knight." The latter snub is especially bizarre considering Christopher Nolan is up for best director.


The other contenders for best drama pic: "Slumdog Millionaire," "Frost/Nixon," "Milk" and — surprise — "Frozen River." The pix up for best comedy/musical: "Happy-Go-Lucky," "Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist," "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," "Tropic Thunder," "In Bruges," "Choke." Notable snubs: "Burn After Reading," "Mamma Mia!" and "High School Musical 3," which all could rally at the Golden Globes.

None of the helmers of those comedies got a bid for best director. In addition to Nolan, the nominees for that race: Thomas McCarthy ("The Visitor"), Ron Howard ("Frost/Nixon"), Gus Van Sant ("Milk"), Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight"), Danny Boyle ("Slumdog Millionaire") and Stephen Daldry ("The Reader"). The snub of Sam Mendes ("Revolutionary Road") is surprising.

There are lots of other peculiarities in this year's list. "Australia" has nine nominations, but none for best picture. Penelope Cruz is considered to be a front-runner at the Oscars in the supporting race, but she isn't nominated by the Satellites for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," which is up for best comedy. She did score a bid for "Elegy," though. "Benjamin Button" is based upon a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, but it's nommed in the category for original screenplays.

The Satellites are bestowed by a rebel group of foreign journos who broke off from the Golden Globes back in the early 1990s. Often their tastes reflect the views of their foreign colleagues, who in turn mirror the outcome of the Oscars. But often the views of the Satellites can also seem like they're beamed in from the planet Neptune.

Last year they nominated only two of Oscar's five best-picture contenders: "Juno" and "No Country for Old Men." At least they managed to include the winner. Last year's Oscar champ as best actor, Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood"), wasn't nominated, but the film was probably absent from all races because voters didn't see the late-year release in time. (The same is probably true this year for "Gran Torino," which is snubbed.) In fact, the Satellites forecast only two of Oscar's best-actor finalists: Viggo Mortensen ("Eastern Promises") and Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah"). However, they did tap all best-actress contenders.

How do the Satellites compare to the Globes? Just as often as they agree, they seem to disagree — drastically. Last year the Satellites for best picture went to "No Country for Old Men" and "Juno." Globers preferred "Atonement" and "Sweeney Todd." In 2007, the two awards agreed again on best comedy/musical ("Dreamgirls"), but the Globes chose "Babel" for best picture while the Satellites opted for "The Departed." The previous year both kudos picked "Brokeback Mountain" and "Walk the Line." In 2004, they split: Both chose "Sideways" as best comedy/musical pic, but the Satellites opted for "Hotel Rwanda" as best drama and the Globes went for "The Aviator."

Below is a partial list of nominees. See full list at the Satellites' website. The awards will be bestoed on Dec. 14 at the Century City InterContinental Hotel.

"The Reader "
"Slumdog Millionaire "
"Revolutionary Road "
"Frost/Nixon "
"Milk "
"Frozen River "

"Happy-Go-Lucky "
"Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist "
"Vicky Cristina Barcelona "
"Tropic Thunder "
"In Bruges "
"Choke "

Thomas McCarthy, "The Visitor"
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Gus Van Sant, "Milk"
Christopher Nolan, "The Dark Knight"
Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"

Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler "
Mark Ruffalo, "What Doesn't Kill You "
Richard Jenkins, "The Visitor "
Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon "
Leonardo Dicaprio, "Revolutionary Road "
Sean Penn, "Milk "

Melissa Leo, "Frozen River "
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling "
Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married "
Kristin Scott Thomas, "I've Loved You So Long "
Meryl Streep, "Doubt "
Kate Winslet, "The Reader "

Ricky Gervais, "Ghost Town "
Sam Rockwell, "Choke "
Josh Brolin, "W. "
Michael Cera, "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist "
Brendan Gleeson, "In Bruges "
Michael Cera, "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist "
Mark Ruffalo, "The Brothers Bloom "

Sally Hawkins, "Happy-Go-Lucky "
Meryl Streep, "Mamma Mia! "
Lisa Kudrow, "Kabluey "
Kat Dennings, "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist "
Catherine Deneuve, "A Christmas Tale "
Debra Messing, "Nothing Like the Holidays "

Photos: Universal, Focus Features, Weinstein Co., Fox Searchlight