Dances With Wolves was the runaway winner on the night of the 63rd Oscars, a sweeping epic, and hard to argue about many of the awards it took that night. Though many will debate that Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas not taking the big award was quite frankly criminal. A mere 20 year later The King’s Speech became another Best Picture winner acquiring something of a bad wrap – that it stole The Social Network’s thunder, that it was little more than a glorified theater production, that it was not the best movie of the year. Familiar story, right. Here are the next 5 that didn’t even make the nominees list:
Film Editing — Scott Pilgrim vs the World 2010 — Robin Write
What really shone out though was Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Scott Pilgrim vs the World. They were never going to be contenders in the acting categories, but this had little to do with the excellence of their work. It appears some of the terrific songs from the movie were not eligible, which is s shame – for example the stand-out Ramona performed by Beck which partly originated in the source material. Also, the direction by Edgar Wright is great, and the sound editing and cinematography are just spot-on. But the film editing is really how the energy of the picture is tied together, and ought really to have been recognized by the Academy.
Cinematography — Vittorio Storaro (The Sheltering Sky) 1990 — Steve Schweighofer
Considered one of the greatest cinematographers in the history of film, Storaro didn’t win an Oscar until his 24th film. His first nomination came twenty years into his career and, admittedly, although he has since won three times, his revolutionary work on classics like Last Tango in Paris, The Conformist and 1900 were completely ignored by Oscar. One of his greatest achievements was The Sheltering Sky in 1990, and the desert hasn’t looked that stunning since Lawrence of Arabia. His skill at capturing settings is always fresh completely original – it’s as though we have never seen what he is showing us. There are few cinematographers whose name in the credits is a draw for cinephiles, and Storaro’s name is at the top of the list.
Original Screenplay — Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) 2013 — Bianca Garner
Back in 2012 as a recently graduated twenty something, Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha spoke to me on a very personal level. Like Frances I was aimlessly wandering throughout my mid twenties, pining after my adolescence and trying to put off ‘adulting’ as best as I could. It was refreshing to see a character that I could so easily identify with and strangely it reassured me in an uncertain time. The screenplay is a gem, I’ve read it as many times as I have actually watched the film. It is a simple story which isn’t bogged down with plot twists and complications. To some, the word ‘’simple’’ may seem like an insult, but it’s not to be taken negatively. Life is made up of small ‘disasters’ and challenges which we are often ill equipped to deal with, whether it being breaking up with your boyfriend just after he’s asked you to move in or discovering your friend is moving to pursue her dream leaving you without your BFF and without a roof over your head. Frances Ha is cemented in reality, and there’s a lot of humour in the real world. Life isn’t always a serious drama, like Dallas Buyer Club (screenplay contender at 2013 Oscars). A film doesn’t always have a mentally unhinged character to be impactful (Blue Jasmine). Nor does a good screenplay have to be set in the near distant future, like Her which snatched up the Best Original Screenplay award. The strength of a good screenplay is that it captures an all too familiar story and presents in a new light. Simply put, whereas the nominees for 2013’s Best Screenplay were all strong pieces, they lacked the warmth and the charm of Frances Ha.
Supporting Actor / Leading Actor — Jacob Tremblay (Room) 2015 — Matt Fischer
Child actors usually get a raw deal when it comes to Oscar nominations and Jacob Tremblay is no exception. His breakout performance in Room was one of the best of 2015. Brie Larson did her part and won the Best Actress Oscar for it, but 9 year old Tremblay made the film the success that it was. When it comes to child actors, there is a sense that they need to pay their dues or they have plenty of time in their young lives to get an Oscar nomination. Tremblay’s phenomenal performance as a child held captive in a room with his mother felt as real as it gets. He is in almost every scene in the film and carries each one like a veteran. Its unfortunate that he had to pal around with his nominated co-star during awards season. All the while empty handed.
Supporting Actress — Susannah York (Tom Jones) 1963 — Robin Write
It’s not unusual for the Academy to go bonkers over a film that over time finds itself in the lower section of the all-time Best Picture winners rankings. AMPAS lavished a bucketload of nominations on Tony Richardson’s Tom Jones on its way to winning the big prizes. This included no fewer than three Best Supporting Actress nods, perhaps the more deserving of the film’s mentions with Diane Cilento, Edith Evans, and Joyce Redman all providing vibrant, albeit varied, performances. Nothing at all then, for the darling that is Susannah York, in a more integral, less sweeping, part of the film. Four nominations in one category would have been ludicrous, but York perhaps warranted the votes above her co-stars.
Throw some classic Oscar snubs our way in the comments below.