It’s been a little over a week since the nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced. So I’m taking a look at some of the films and people who were overlooked by the Academy this year. This list is going to be based on my personal opinion, as well as what had heat in particular categories leading up to the nominations. Let me know what you think the biggest snubs were down in the comments.
Raw in Best Foreign Language Film – I cannot say that I’m shocked that the gory cannibal coming of age drama didn’t get nominated, but I still strongly believe that it should have. Julia Ducournau’s film is nothing short of a masterpiece and deserved to have gotten more recognition over awards season. I’m not familiar with the majority of the films that have been picked, but I cannot believe they made more of an impression than Raw.
No Japanese films in Best Animated Feature Film – I’m not certain about the eligibility of Your Name, but even if it wasn’t eligible then there were some brilliant animated films coming out of Japan in 2017, such as In This Corner of the World, Mary and the Witch’s Flower, and A Silent Voice. A Silent Voice in particular stands out to me as the big snub, as an incredibly powerful and moving coming of age drama tackling themes of bullying and depression. And it isn’t as though the category is full of incredible films. The Boss Baby and Ferdinand are hardly realistic contenders for the big award against something as powerful as Coco or as original as Loving Vincent. I guess the Academy just isn’t as interested in Japanese animated films that aren’t from Studio Ghibli.
Tom Hanks and James Franco in Best Actor – I don’t think anyone really expected Denzel Washington to get nominated for Roman J. Israel, Esq. Most conventional wisdom had James Franco making the list, and there is a strong argument to be made that he probably would have done if sexual misconduct accusations hadn’t surfaced during the voting. Whilst that certainly hasn’t helped his case it has always historically proved difficult for comedic performances to get award recognition from the Academy, so Franco may well not have been one of the front line picks anyway. Looking purely at his performance it’s certainly a snub, but one that may have been for the right reasons. What really does surprise me is that Tom Hanks wasn’t the fifth nominee. He is superb in The Post, a film that received Best Picture and Best Actress nominations, when Hanks at least matched Streep. I think if Franco wasn’t going to take that fifth spot then Hanks certainly should have.
Tiffany Haddish and Holly Hunter In Best Supporting Actress – Whilst the Best Actress category was fairly locked down, with four of the five essentially guaranteed, the big talking points were in Best Supporting Actress. Holly Hunter had been getting a fair amount of awards buzz for The Big Sick and I was incredibly surprised to see her missing out, especially to Lesley Manville, who hadn’t received many nominations for Phantom Thread, and Octavia Spencer who was good in The Shape of Water, but hardly stood out with her smaller part. What was truly sad is how little talk there was around Tiffany Haddish’s performance in Girl’s Trip. Comedic performances tend to get snubbed, and that was absolutely the case here, it would have been nice to see her getting a nomination, not just announcing them.
Michael Stuhlbarg and Armie Hammer In Best Supporting Actor – Call Me By Your Name just didn’t get enough love from the Academy this year, and although Timothée Chalamet did get nominated for best actor I still find it unbelievable that neither Stuhlbarg nor Hammer got nominated. Based on the general awards season Hammer seems like the bigger snub as he was getting a lot of the praise, however Stuhlbarg’s performance in Call Me By Your Name is one of the best performances of the year, across all the acting categories. There’s also the fact that he appeared in two other big award contenders, The Shape of Water and The Post. Michael Stuhlbarg had an incredible year, and deserved to be nominated, particularly as we had two nominees from Three Billboards, and Christopher Plumber for his ok last minute replacement turn in All The Money In The World.
Martin McDonagh and Luca Guadagnino In Best Director – It’s an uphill battle for a film to win the Best Picture award without a Best Director nomination. Argo did it in 2012, but that’s the only time this millennium, and only four have ever done it, meaning that two of the big players Three Billboards and Call Me By Your Name have suffered a major set back in main race. That said it’s nearly impossible to say who would be taken out of the Best Director category for either of these two, as all of the five are certainly worthy nominees. So despite both McDonagh and Guadagnino certainly having done outstanding jobs directing their films, it was an incredibly hard category for them to break into. It’s just interesting to see if it will affect their Best Picture ambitions.
Blade Runner 2049, Mudbound, and The Florida Project in Best Picture – It was a great year in The Best Picture race. There were a lot of films that were talked about for the big category, but ultimately these were three of the big ones that missed out. In particular I was shocked to see Darkest Hour make it, given that all the award buzz around it was for Gary Oldman, not the film, and there was still one slot open for a further nominee, something I’m shocked by with such praised options missing out.
Wind River and Wonder Woman completely – Two films that were completely ignored across all categories were Wind River and Wonder Woman. Writer Taylor Sheridan’s last film, Hell Or High Water, managed to receive writing and Best Picture nomination, so I was shocked not to see Wind River being talked about at all. Sheridan’s script and direction were superb, and the performances were fantastic across the board. As for Wonder Woman it should have been guaranteed nominations in some of the technical categories, the costumes and production design were both outstanding. Logan proved that a Superhero film could receive big award nominations, and Wonder Woman is arguably one with far greater cultural significance, so to it ignored completely was very disappointing.