Christopher Nolan Oscar SnubHe has directed some of the most critically acclaimed, visually arresting movies of our time and has been celebrated by his colleagues, but this morning Christopher Nolan's name was a notable snub on the list of Best Director Oscar nominees.

Nolan -- a three-time Directors Guild of America nominee for 'Memento,' 'The Dark Knight' and 'Inception' -- has yet to be recognized in the director category by the Academy. Sure, his movies often score nominations galore; 'Inception,' for example, is up for eight awards this year, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. But for some reason, the Academy continues to ignore him as a directing contender. Now our friend from Moviefone, Sharon Knolle, dives deeper.

Could it be because his inventive movies are typically also enormous blockbusters? Doubtful. Enormous box-office success didn't prevent Steven Spielberg from joining the nominees' circle early in his career (for 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind,' 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' and 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,' all popcorn flicks). And it certainly hasn't hurt two-time-winner James Cameron.

The Academy does have something of a history of snubbing commercial directors. After all, despite his early nominations, it took Spielberg until 1993's 'Schindler's List' to actually win a directing Oscar, and wildly popular director Alfred Hitchcock never won an award in the category. However, it's still surprising that Nolan got the shaft with 'Inception.' It's not like he hasn't been racking up the kudos for the Leonardo DiCaprio film. First came a Golden Globe nomination, then one from Directors Guild of America; back home, the London-born Nolan also reeled in his first BAFTA nomination for Achievement in Direction. Yet no love from the Academy.