The question on many people's mind the morning after the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced its nominations is whether the screener ban somehow adversely affected the voting.
HFPA president Lorenzo Soria told Variety Friday that the organization was happy the screener controversy had been resolved but "it is not reflected in our voting. The vote is on artistic merit only.
Soria said that members were seeing four or five films a day in the days leading up to the Dec. 15 ballot deadline, but added that this is typical for this time of year--screener ban in effect or not. "This happens every year. Starting mid-October, our schedules become pretty absurd."
But as Variety's Timothy M. Gray points out, some nominations were surprisingly absent from the roster, including screenplay nods for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Finding Nemo and The Station Agent.
Directors noticeably out off the nominee list were Vadim Perelman (House of Sand and Fog), Jim Sheridan (In America), Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai), Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), Gary Ross (Seabiscuit), Tim Burton (Big Fish), Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich (Finding Nemo), and Richard Curtis (Love Actually).
Also absent, according to Gray, were Paul Bettany (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World), Jennifer Connelly and Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog), Gwyneth Paltrow (Sylvia), Will Ferrell (Elf) and Sean Astin (Return of the King).