February 26, 2008 / 12:01 AM / 10 years ago

Oscar clips "Butterfly" wings

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hollywood turned its back on a man in a wheelchair and a woman in a Bob Dylan costume at the Academy Awards on Sunday.

<p>Best director Oscar nominee Julian Schnabel from the film "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," arrives with his wife, Olatz Lopez Garmendia, at the 80th annual Academy Awards, the Oscars, in Hollywood February 24, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>

With only 24 categories, and 21 films receiving multiple nominations, not every contender could expect to share in the Oscar glory. Some were lucky just to be nominated.

Even the night’s top winner, “No Country For Old Men,” got four prizes from eight nominations -- not exactly an Oscar sweep.

Among the high-profile losers was “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” the true story of a paralyzed stroke victim. The French-language drama was snubbed in all four categories in which it was nominated.

The film’s director, Julian Schnabel, had been given an outside chance, especially after he won a Golden Globe. But he was no match for the “No Country” juggernaut and directors Joel and Ethan Coen.

In fact, the Globes could be considered an Oscar loser.

The event, organized by journalists for foreign publications, is often described as an Oscar barometer. But the Globes picked “Atonement” for best drama, while the best picture Oscar went to “No Country.”

The Globes have not foretold the best picture Oscar winner for four years.

“Atonement” got seven Oscar nominations but ended up with just one prize, for original score. The British wartime drama had been an early Oscar favorite, long before its North American release in early December.

Another seven-time nominee, “Michael Clayton,” also ended up with one prize, a surprise statuette for Tilda Swinton’s supporting role as a crooked attorney.

Cate Blanchett had been considered the favorite for that category. The Australian actress won gushing raves for her striking turn as Bob Dylan in “I‘m Not There,” an innovative film about the tireless troubadour.

“Enchanted” also went home empty-handed, having received three nominations in the original song category.

As was the case last year, when three “Dreamgirls” music nominations canceled each other out, the cheery Disney tunes of “Enchanted” were drowned out by a tune from the Irish musical romance “Once.”

Editing by John O'Callaghan

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