Many missing in nomville

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Call them the Oscar M.I.A.s -- filmmakers and performers whose work had been touted but who failed to get an Academy wake-up call.

Sean Penn's direction of "Into the Wild" earned him a DGA nom, but the Academy's directors branch broke ranks with the DGA and instead nominated Jason Reitman for his sophomore feature, "Juno."

Meanwhile, the Academy at large gave "Atonement" a big best picture thumbs-up nom, but its director Joe Wright saw his directing slot go to "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly's" Julian Schnabel.

Schnabel was stunned by Penn's omission, saying, "Sean Penn's movie was great before the awards, and he is great after the awards. He created a place where Hal Holbrook and Emile Hirsch and Catherine Keener and other people could give us some humanity."

But then while SAG nominated all three actors individually and also gave "Wild" an ensemble nom, the selective Academy recognized only Holbrook. Similarly, when it looked at "No Country for Old Men," it nominated Javier Bardem but not Josh Brolin or Tommy Lee Jones -- though Jones was nominated for "In the Valley of Elah."

"Atonement" nabbed seven noms, but its two stars, Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, weren't included. Previous Oscar winners who didn't make the cut included Denzel Washington ("American Gangster"), Jodie Foster ("The Brave One") and Angelina Jolie ("A Mighty Heart").

And while the voters admired Cate Blanchett's transvestite role as a Bob Dylan doppelganger in "I'm Not There," they drew the line at applauding John Travolta for donning a dress in "Hairspray."

Homer Simpson won't be walking the red carpet, either. "The Simpsons Movie" failed to register despite a worldwide gross of more than$700 million.


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