The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their Oscar nominations yesterday. Once again, films from the Sunshine Jen Studios (SJS) were sadly neglected.
‘I don't know why the Academy continues to snub us. We make very high quality pictures for many different audiences to great critical acclaim.' said Brad Laser, head of the studio.
‘However, we are happy for the success our films have had in the market place and hope to continue to entertain and enlighten audiences for years to come.' Laser said as he glanced over at a poster for the sleeper hit, Zebras Without Stripes.
‘Maybe it's because the title begins with Z, so it's too far back in the alphabet.' Laser mused. This year, one best picture nominee begins with B, two with C, one with G, and one with M, and many have noted the snub of Walk the Line (which begins with W) for a best picture nomination.
Zebras Without Stripes is an epic love story which begins in the German city of Munich at the end of World War II. Two American soldiers fall passionately in love. Although they can not be together after the war, they stay in touch through the years. One becomes a best selling novelist who becomes obsessed with a brutal murder in the American heartland. The other becomes a television journalist who goes after McCarthy. The two eventually move to Los Angeles as that city becomes a cauldron of racial tension and ethnic division. Brad Laser requested we not reveal the ending which is sad.
Another nomination that many feel should have happened was for Pauline Berrywine for her amazing performance in G'day as a young maid who goes to Australia in the 1860s and eventually marries a cattle farmer. In the course of the film, Berrywine ages from 18 to 48. This was especially amazing because this film was shot over a thirty year period, so the actress actually aged with the character.
‘Yikes, these Australians, one year they're hotter than burnt toast, next year, it's like whatever.' Laser said.
When it was pointed out that Heath Ledger is Australian, Laser held his hand up and would hear no more.
‘He didn't play Australian.' He said. This reporter decided not to point out that Nicole Kidman won for playing a British character and Russell Crowe won for playing a Spanish/Roman gladiator.
Pauline Berrywine could not be reached for comment for her non-nomination. Apparently, she is on a three-day surfing trip.
Another snub was the critically acclaimed documentary, Squirrels in the Trees, about the lives and mating habits of squirrels in New York City's Central Park. The film was shot under extreme conditions since the Gates were being erected during the shooting and the squirrels were especially irritable.
‘Damn those penguins. Squirrels are way cuter.' was all Laser would say about that snub.
For Laser, the most heartbreaking snub was Pop for animated short subject. Pop is a stop-motion animated film made completely with popsicle sticks. The film was a labor of love for filmmaker Hans Ikbrickskater who spent ten years mastering his techniques.
‘It's the greatest piece of animated filmmaking since Fantasia. It deserves to be recognized.' Laser said.
Ikbrickskater did not answer phone calls at his summer house in Risor, Norway.
Meanwhile, Brad Laser is looking ahead to his slate of films coming out in 2006. He is especially excited about Uncles and Ants, a romantic comedy about an Entomologist who falls in love with a Cheerleader. And what will he be doing on Oscar night?
‘I will be watching just like everyone else, and I'll be dreaming of the night when my name is part of a list of names thanked in the rush of a sixty second speech. Someday it will happen. I have faith.'