Oscar Snubs for Michael Fassbender and Tilda Swinton Spark British Frenzy

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LONDON – Tilda Swinton and Michael Fassbender, no shows on this year’s Oscar best actress and best actor nomination rosters respectively, were among the only “snubs and shocks” for the British media as this year’s Academy award nominations were announced.

Swinton, an Oscar winner for Michael Clayton in 2008, had been heavily-tipped for an Academy best actress berth by pundits and industry observers alike here for her role in We Need To Talk About Kevin.

Several commentators took to the web describing Swinton’s absence as a notable absence after her turn in Kevin, directed by Lynne Ramsay.

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And Fassbender’s omission from the final five best actor nominations -- whose portrayal as a sex addict in SteveMcQueen's Shame though billed as “controversial” in several broadsheets because of full frontal nudity and explicit scenes had nonetheless garnered praise for the actor’s bravery – also set twitter a-twittering.

While most Twitter users opted to joke about Fassbender’s “physical” performance, his absence from the best actor list was deemed a snub of sorts on the BBCFilm2012, The Times and The Telegraph websites.

Both Fassbender and Swinton secured places on the Orange British Academy Film Awards’ nominations list last week, had a tilt at the Golden Globes in their respective categories and had found themselves on lesser award season winner lists prior to the Oscar announcement Tuesday.

And while Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy failed to match its British Academy nominations tally of 11 nominations including those for best film and best director for Tomas Alfredson, the inclusion of Gary Oldman was greeted with delight.

Oldman, in the running for best actor for his turn as George Smiley in Tinker and Kenneth Branagh’s listing on the best supporting actor list for his performance as Sir Laurence Olivier in Marilyn Monroe biopic My Week With Marilyn matched the pair’s British Academy’s nomination success.

But otherwise, British pundits, the press and industry observers alike, celebrated the inclusion of British accents across the Oscar nomination categories.

Certainly British crews will be celebrating with War Horse, Tinker Tailor and Hugo all spending much of their respective shoots on British soil.

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The Guardian newspaper noted that the final installment in the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2, picked up "a better-than-expected" trio of nominations, including tips for make-up, art direction and visual effects.

But industry insiders said it fell short of ambitions to secure a best picture nomination slot to mark the end of a glittering franchise that has seen much of the British acting great and good pass through the halls of Hogwarts.

London Film Critics’ Circle chairman and film reviewer and commentator Jason Solomons, appearing as a talking head expert on the BBC, said the one to beat in the best picture category is likely to be The Artist while George Clooney is the red hot favorite to pick up the best actor Oscar for his turn in The Descendants.

He also said the other actresses nominated for this year’s best actress award alongside Meryl Streep, might as well “not bother to turn up.”

However Solomons did note that while Streep has been nominated 17 times, it has been “a long time” since she won one.

Streep, nominated for her Golden Globe winning role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, last won an Oscar for her turn in Sophie’s Choice in 1982.

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