'Dreamgirls': Biggest Oscar Snubs #3c

Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Anika Noni Rose, Dreamgirls
Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Anika Noni Rose, Dreamgirls

Christopher Nolan - INCEPTION: Biggest Oscar Snubs #3b

In early 2007, Bill Condon's Dreamgirls suffered an Oscar fate similar to that of Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight two years later.

A musical based on the Broadway show inspired by the lives and loves of The Supremes' members Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard (later replaced by Cindy Birdsong), Dreamgirls, much like The Dark Knight, received nominations from the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild. Additionally, the film's cast – Beyoncé Knowles, Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Foxx, among others – was shortlisted in the Screen Actors Guild's Best Cast category.

Also like The Dark Knight, Dreamgirls went on to garner a total of 8 Oscar nominations. Not one of those was in the Best Picture, Best Director, or Best Screenwriting categories.

Now, some found the Dreamgirls omissions well-deserved. Others were outraged. (Condon's musical earned 86 percent approval rating among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics.) In fact, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was accused of harboring a cabal of misogynists and racists who hated the sound of (black female) music.

And here are a couple of other Best Picture/Best Director Oscar “snubs”:

Milos Forman's Ragtime (1981) received 8 nominations. Forman and the period drama were bypassed, but screenwriter Michael Weller was nominated for his adaptation of E. L. Doctorow's novel. Ragtime failed to win a single Oscar.

Produced by Walter Wanger and directed by Gone with the Wind's Victor Fleming, Joan of Arc (1948) was an expensive production that received a total of seven Oscar nominations. Producer Wanger and director Fleming, however, were bypassed.

Feeling Wanger's pain – a mix of bruised ego and financial losses – the Academy decided to hand him a Special Oscar “for distinguished service to the industry in adding to its moral stature in the world community by his production of the picture Joan of Arc.” Additionally, Joan of Arc won statuettes for Best Color Cinematography and Best Color Costume Design.

Note: The “Biggest Oscar Snubs” series isn't a reflection of my personal tastes. Instead, the “snubs” are listed according to the furor they generated at the time. Sometimes I agree with those who called the Academy nuts; other times I'm in full agreement with those Academy members who cast their vote for somebody else.

Photo: Dreamgirls (DreamWorks Pictures / Paramount)

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3 Comments to 'Dreamgirls': Biggest Oscar Snubs #3c

  1. Eugene Tan

    The Dark Knight was definitely snubbed. The two other commenters may not think so, but I think The Dark Knight is one of the Best Films of The Decade, along with another snubbed 2008 film, WALL-E. Both, unfortunately, belonged to snubbd genres (animation, superhero) and didn't stand a chance.

  2. Christopher Craig

    Regardless of the popular opinion, there is no snub for either of these films. Neither is all that great. DREAMGIRLS has a dazzling first half, but the focusing of the second half on Deanna seems twice as long as the first half and, despite the quick scene changes, seems to move at a glacial pace; you feel as if you're your trudging through muck to get through it. Her story is just not interesting, despite all the forced parallels to Diana Ross. It doesn't help that the vacant, lacking acting-talent and presence Beyonce (and she looks howlingly ridiculous in those 70s clothes and hairdos) plays Deanna. Nor does it help that Jennifer Hudson's Effie becomes a flat, uninteresting character that you wish would just go away. It deserved most of its nominations, and it was apt that it didn't receive a Best Picture nomination.

    THE DARK KNIGHT is simply horrible. It's a cruddy-looking movie; you want a shower when it's over. The whole thing is ineptly plotted, full of absurd twists, and supposedly intelligent characters doing supremely stupid things. And sorry folks, but Heath Ledger's highly acclaimed performance is all one-note, a monotony mistaken for vituosity. Again, no Best Picture nomination was deserved. I'm obviously in the minority in my opinion of this film, and I'll gladly remain there.

    If there has been a major snub for Best Picture (and there have been several), that honor goes to 1969's THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY? It had 9 nominations (more than either DREAMGIRLS or THE DARK KNIGHT), including one for Sydney Pollack, the director (neither DREAMGIRLS nor KNIGHT got a director nomination); one for its screenplay (again, the above two did not); one for Jane Fonda as Best Actress (the above two had no lead acting nominations); and two supporting nominations, one for Susannah York and one for Gig Young, who won (the above two pulled one supporting nomination and win each). This film is a true classic and a great film.

  3. kelemenmarc

    In off!!!! The Dark Knigh wasan't good ta all. It wasn't a snub, Into the Wild it was a big snub!!!!! TDK was a simple and averge action movie not more…