And now, we reach the present day! A lot has changed over the past few decades but one thing has remained consistent. No matter how hard the Academy tries, some good movies and performances are always going to get snubbed. Here are ten snubs from the previous decade.
2011: Shame Is Totally Ignored
Despite being critically acclaimed and receiving nominations from other groups, Steve McQueen’s Shame was totally ignored by the Academy. My theory is a lot of people looked at Michael Fassbender playing an emotionally detached, self-destructive sex addict and they basically saw aspects of themselves that they didn’t want to acknowledge. Shame caused too much shame amongst the voters.
2012: The Master Is Not Nominates For Best Picture
When The Master was first released, a lot of people didn’t really know what to make of Paul Thomas Anderson’s barely disguised portrait of Scientology. The film received only three nominations, for Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. It deserved quite a bit more but, in 2012, I imagine the film’s portrait of a charismatic cult leader taking advantage of his wealthy followers seemed a bit too familiar to some voters.
2013: Tom Hanks Is Not Nominated For Best Actor For Captain Phillips
Looking over today’s list of snubs, a recurring theme seems to be actors who were not nominated because the Academy took them and their talent for granted. That’s the only possible reason that I can come up with for the Academy to have not nominated Tom Hanks for his outstanding lead performance in Captain Phillips. Just consider the scene at the end of the film, when the shellshocked and exhausted Captain Phillips is examined by a nurse and he can’t stop talking about the blood on his clothes. It’s a devastating scene, largely because the audience doesn’t feel as if they’re watching Tom Hanks give a performance. At that moment, they feel that they are watching a man who has just been through the worst experience of his life and who, even though he is now safe, will be forever haunted by what he has witnessed.
2014: Guardians of the Galaxy Is Not Nominated For Best Picture
Seriously, if any MCU film deserved to be nominated for Best Picture, it was Guardians of the Galaxy. It was a fun movie with a charismatic cast and, despite what some critics claimed, it actually did have something to say about the importance of tolerance and individual freedom. It even holds up well to repeat viewings, which is not exactly something that you can say about a few of the other MCU film.
2016: Amy Adams Is Not Nominated For Best Actress For Arrival
Much as they did with Tom Hanks and his performance in Captain Phillips, the Academy took Amy Adams for granted and failed to nominate her for Arrival, despite the fact that it was her best performance to date. At this point, if I’m Amy Adams, I would be wondering just what it is that I’m going to have to do to finally get my Oscar.
2017: Ethan Hawke Is Not Nominates For Best Actor For First Reformed
This is another snub that I can’t get my head around. Ethan Hawke has been nominated in the past. The Academy is obviously not resistant to honoring Ethan Hawke. So how was it that one of his best performances went unnominated? For that matter, how is it that First Reformed itself only received one Oscar nomination?
2019: The Souvenir Is Ignored
Despite being one of the best films of the past ten years, The Souvenir was ignored by Academy. The things that made the film work, like its low-key but honest performances and its refusal to pass easy judgment on its characters, are probably the same things that caused the Academy to overlook it.
2020: The Assistant Is Ignored
This was a powerful film and it featured an award-worthy performance from Julia Garner. It was also about Harvey Weinstein so I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked that the Academy snubbed it. The Assistant is a film that probably hit too close to home for many members of the Academy.
2021: Val Is Not Nominated For Best Documentary Feature
Val is one of the most affecting documentaries that I’ve ever seen but the Documentary Branch failed to even give it a nomination. Maybe, like The Assistant, Val just hit too close to home for some of the voters.
2021: Mass Is Ignored
Again, I will never understand how the Academy can fail to give even one nomination to a film as good as Mass. As with The Souvenir, I can only guess that the Academy did not know how to react to Mass’s honest approach to its subject matter. Mass worked because it avoided easy judgments and solutions. That’s probably the same thing that led to the Academy ignoring both the film and its outstanding cast.
Agree? Disagree? Do you have any bigger Oscar snub that you’d like to mention? Let us know in the comments!
And now, get ready to enjoy the show! And, if you don’t care about the Oscars, fear not! My review of The Black Godfather will be posting in an hour.