Could Tom Cruise Be an Oscar Orphan?

01/06/2003 at 07:29 AM EST

Awards season is well underway, but one movie that the Golden Globe people -- as well as critics' associations -- have completely ignored is Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg's dark sci-fi thriller of last summer, "Minority Report."

And, as Variety reports, the moviemaker and the film's studio will not be a silent "Minority."

According to the trade paper, 20th Century Fox is mounting "an aggressive pursuit" of top Oscar nominations for the overlooked movie, says Fox chairman Tom Rothman.

"There has been a weird Academy bias against sci-fi," says Rothman. "There is that historical genre hurdle to cross. But I do feel it is as fine a movie as came out last year."

Variety points out that it isn't just an anti-sci-fi bias that the studio will have to overcome in wooing Academy voters, but the fact that "Minority Report" came out so early in the year.

According to statistics, 86 percent of all Best-Picture nominees in the past dozen years opened in the last half of the year, with most in November and December.

All told, "Minority Report" may have a tough time regaining momentum. The film already has been snubbed by the Golden Globes and most other critics' groups. Critic Roger Ebert, however, did make the film his top pick for 2002.

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