10 Oscar Snubs From The 2010s

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.

Love On The Shattered Lens: The Souvenir (dir by Joanna Hogg)

Well, here we are.  It’s the end of February and tomorrow, March begins.  That also means that it’s time to end Love on the Shattered Lens, our series of reviews of films about the wonders of love.  Tomorrow, it’ll be time to start reviewing films about Spring Break and paranoia, two topics that go together like Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson.  Perhaps Love on the Shattered Lens will return next February.  It’s always hard to say what the future will hold but, by this time, our regular readers should know how much I love tradition.

With all that in mind, our final entry in Love on the Shattered Lens is a film that I personally considered to be the best film to be released last year, The Souvenir.

Taking place in the early 1980s, this independent British film tells the story of Julie (Honor Swinton Byne, the daughter of Tilda Swinton) and Anthony (Tom Burke).  Julie is a film student who hopes to make a documentary about a family living in a slum.  She’s very idealistic and very much concerned about the state of the world.  Though it’s not obvious at first, she’s also extremely naive and rather innocent about the world that she wants to document.  For all of her desire to capture reality on film, there’s much that she had yet to experience.

Anthony is older than Julie, though not too much older.  He’s a handsome, charming man who is always well-dressed and who has what would appear to be an exciting and interesting job with the Foreign Office.  It’s not long after first meeting that Julie and Anthony become lovers.  After her roommates abandon her, Anthony even moves into Julie’s flat.  He seems like he’s perfect, even though observant viewers will automatically have some questions about him.  For instance, if he’s so successful, why is he so quick to move into Julie’s flat?  Why is he always so vague about the details of his job?  He disappears, for one week, to Paris and when he returns, he brings the gift of lingerie.  He claims to have purchased it for her in Paris but was that really where he was?  Later, when Julie notices some strange marks on his arms, Anthony is intentionally vague about what they are.  (Of course, most people people watching the movie will immediately realize that they’re a sign that Anthony is a heroin addict.)  When the flat is broken into and Julie’s jewelry is stolen, we know what’s actually happened even if Julie doesn’t.

Just reading the paragraph above, you’re probably imagining that it’s very easy to hate Anthony but that’s not the case.  Every sign tells Julie that she should get him out her life and yet, it’s not as easy as it seems.  Even after Julie learns the truth about him, she still finds it difficult to just push him aside.  For all of Anthony’s flaws, he’s got the addict’s gift for manipulation and, at times, his love for her does seem to be real, even if it will always be second to his addiction and his need to get a fix.  Much like Julie, the viewer find themselves occasionally falling into the trap of thinking, “If only Anthony wasn’t a drug addict, he would be the perfect for her.”  Of course, the point of the matter is that Anthony is a drug addict and no amount of wishful thinking or fantasizing is going to change that.

The Souvenir is a rather low-key film.  Whenever you expect the film to go for easy drama or a showy shouting match, The Souvenir surprises you by going the opposite direction.  Instead of being a traditional “drugs-are-bad” type of film, it’s a character study of two people dealing with their addictions.  Anthony is addicted to heroin and lying while Julie finds herself addicted not so much to Anthony but instead to the fantasy that Anthony sans drugs represents.  By the end of the film, Julie is sadder but she’s wiser and, if nothing else, she’s a better artist than she was at the start of things.  If nothing else, she’s been forced to start dealing with reality.  The film’s title comes from a painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard.  Julie thinks that the girl in the painting looks sad while Anthony says that she looks determined.  By the end of the film, Julie is both sad and determined, just like the subject of The Souvenir.

Director Joanna Hogg has described The Souvenir as being semi-autobiographical.  That said, you don’t have to be an aspiring filmmaker to relate to Julie.  Everyone has had the equivalent of an Anthony in their life, that one thing that you seemingly can’t give up even though you know that you should.  Tom Burke is both charming and heart-breaking as Anthony while Honor Swinton Byrne (in only her second film and her first starring role) gives a fearless performance as Julie.  At times, it seems like it’s impossible not to want Julie and Anthony to find some sort of happiness.  At other times, it seems like it’s just as impossible to forgive them for their flaws.  You get angry at Anthony when he falls back into his addictions and you also get angry at Julie for her inability to accept who Anthony truly is.  But, at the same time, you always feel empathy for them.  You always hope the best for them.  You always wish that they could have met under different circumstances, that things could have been different.

Though the film may be too low-key for some, the quietly powerful The Souvenir is my favorite film of 2019.

Lisa’s Marie’s Top 26 Films of 2019

And now, without further ado, I conclude my look back at 2019 with my 26 favorite films of the years.  Why 26?  Because Lisa doesn’t do odd numbers!

(Want to see my previous picks?  Click here for 2018, 2017, 20162015, 2014201320122011, and 2010!)

1. The Souvenir
2. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
3. Uncut Gems
4. Luce
5. The Irishman
6. Parasite
7. The Lighthouse
8. Crawl
9. Dragged Across Concrete
10. Doletmite Is My Name
11. Avengers: Endgame
12. 1917
13. Joker
14. The Two Popes
15. The Aeronauts
16. Hustlers
17. The Report
18. Brittany Runs A Marathon
19. Rocketman
20. The Last Black Man in San Francisco
21. Apollo 11
22. I Lost My Body
23. The Farewell
24. Us
25. Midsommar
26. Spider-Man: Far From Home

The National Board of Review Selects The Irishman and Adam Sandler

The National Board of Review, which is generally considered to be the first major precursors of the Awards Season, announced their picks for the best of 2019 earlier today and it was a good day for both The Irishman and Adam Sandler.

I haven’t seen Uncut Gems yet but, from a historical point of view, I’d love to see Adam Sandler pick up an Oscar nomination because that would seriously be the plot twist that, just a few months ago, no one saw coming.

Here are the National Board of Review’s selections!

  • Best Film:  THE IRISHMAN
  • Best Director:  Quentin Tarantino, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
  • Best Actor:  Adam Sandler, UNCUT GEMS
  • Best Actress: Renée Zellweger, JUDY
  • Best Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Kathy Bates, RICHARD JEWELL
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie, Ronald Bronstein, UNCUT GEMS
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Steven Zaillian, THE IRISHMAN
  • Breakthrough Performance: Paul Walter Hauser, RICHARD JEWELL
  • Best Directorial Debut:  Melina Matsoukas, QUEEN & SLIM
  • Best Foreign Language Film: PARASITE
  • Best Documentary:  MAIDEN
  • Best Ensemble:  KNIVES OUT
  • Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: Roger Deakins, 1917
  • NBR Icon Award: Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  FOR SAMA
  • NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  JUST MERCY

Top Films (in alphabetical order)

  • 1917
  • Dolemite is My Name
  • Ford v Ferrari
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Knives Out
  • Marriage Story
  • Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
  • Richard Jewell
  • Uncut Gems
  • Waves

Top 5 Foreign Language Films (in alphabetical order)

  • Atlantics
  • Invisible Life
  • Pain and Glory
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  • Transit

Top 5 Documentaries (in alphabetical order)

  • American Factory
  • Apollo 11
  • The Black Godfather
  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
  • Wrestle

Top 10 Independent Films (in alphabetical order)

  • The Farewell
  • Give Me Liberty
  • A Hidden Life
  • Judy
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • Midsommar
  • The Nightingale
  • The Peanut Butter Falcon
  • The Souvenir
  • Wild Rose