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Oscars ‘Daily Bite’: ‘The Martian,’ starring Matt Damon, unlikely best-picture winner

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) finds himself stranded

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) finds himself stranded and alone on Mars in "The Martian." Credit: Twentieth Century Fox

The box-office hit “The Martian” racked up seven Oscar nominations, including one for best picture. But despite the movie achieving both critical and commercial success, the odds of it taking the top award Sunday night may be as distant as the red planet.

A key factor is the lack of recognition for the movie’s director Ridley Scott, who has been nominated on three previous occasions — for “Thelma and Louise” (1991), “Gladiator” (2000) and “Black Hawk Down” (2001). Ever since the Academy Awards were first handed out 87 years ago, there have only been four cases in which a film won the best picture award even though its director hadn’t been nominated — William A. Wellman’s “Wings” (1927), Edmund Goulding’s “Grand Hotel” (1932), Bruce Beresford’s “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989) and Ben Affleck’s “Argo” (2012).

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