Just as a film receiving an Oscar nomination does not necessarily make it good, films that do not receive an Oscar nomination do not become any less. Over the years, we’ve witnessed great gem of films being brutally snubbed at the Oscars and here are some of them.
1. Sardar Udham (2021)
Sardar Udham, a real, biographical account of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre and an unsung freedom fighter was not selected to be India’s official entry into the Oscars because it ‘projected our hatred towards the British.’ Oh, but what a loss it is for Oscars!
2. American Psycho (2000)
Mary Harron’s adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel, in which Christian Bale plays the psychopathic Patrick Bateman, received not a single nomination.
3. The Big Heat (1953)
This thriller, starring Glenn Ford, Lee Marvin, and Gloria Grahame, was one of Fritz Lang’s films that was missed by the Academy.
4. Before Sunrise (1995)
While the film that introduced the world to future married couple Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) received screenplay nominations, the film that introduced the world to future married couple Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) was shamefully neglected. Before trilogy deserved better.
5. Blow Out (1981)
Brian De Palma doesn’t produce movies with the hopes of winning awards, but his political thriller, based on Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up, deserves every Oscar, it was nominated for.
6. Breathless (1960)
The Oscars can’t be trusted, as seen by Breathless‘ lack of a nomination. Despite being one of the world’s most studied films, Jean Luc-French Godard’s masterpiece has received no Academy Award nominations.
7. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Many classic screwball comedies were recognised by the Academy, but this Howard Hawks-directed classic starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn – who would go on to hold the record for most awards – wasn’t one among them.
8. Don’t Look Now (1973)
Nicolas Roeg, who directed this thriller set in Venice, is one of the most underappreciated filmmakers in Oscar history.
9. Donnie Darko (2004)
When it first came out in 2004, Richard Kelly’s science-fiction mind-bender, which made Jake Gyllenhaal a celebrity, was a festival favourite. Many wished a screenplay nomination for the same .
10. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Western films did not gain popularity with the Academy until the 1990s. It was, unfortunately, owing to Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, a film directed by him and starring him in Sergio Leone’s film that many believe to be the genre’s zenith.
11. La haine or Hate (1995)
Hate, a black-and-white drama directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, following three teenage friends as they try to make ends meet in the Paris suburbs.
12. Halloween (1978)
The Academy may not be intending to nominate horror films, but they have in the past, thus John Carpenter’s influential Halloween is a notable negligence.
13. Harold and Maude (1971)
This unique love drama was a critical and commercial failure when it was released, which explains why it received no Oscar nominations. Its cult following, on the other hand, guarantees that it remains popular among audiences today.
14. His Girl Friday (1940)
Another Howard Hawks screwball comedy starring Cary Grant that went unnoticed by the Oscar’s jury.
15. Insomnia (2002)
While it didn’t quite measure up to Christopher Nolan’s greatest work, the modest drama Insomnia included enough good performances (Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hilary Swank) to earn actor nominations. Unfortunately, it did not receive any.
16. Margaret (2011)
Kenneth Lonergan would go on to win an Oscar for Manchester by the Sea, but Margaret, his three-hour drama starring Anna Paquin, received no nominations.
17. The King of Comedy (1982)
Despite the fact that it took him decades to win an Oscar, the Academy has seldom refused to nominate Martin Scorsese films, particularly those starring Robert De Niro. The King of Comedy, on the other hand, was an exception.
18. Melancholia (2011)
There has never been a Best Picture nomination for a Lars von Trier film, but Dancer in the Dark came close as it settled for a Best Original Song nomination. Melancholia got close, but the drama didn’t work out in the end.
19. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
It’s hard to believe Sergio Leone’s gangster epic, starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, received no Oscar nominations. When trimming the film’s long running time for its American distribution, Warner Bros. unintentionally deleted the composer’s name from the opening credits, disqualifying the film’s music from nomination.
20. Paterson (2016)
Paterson, directed by Jim Jarmusch, was expected to be a shoo-in for Oscars, especially in the Best Actor category, owing to a quietly superb performance by Adam Driver, but no such fortune.
21. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Reservoir Dogs may not be Quentin Tarantino’s greatest, but it’s still surprising that the director’s first film was overlooked in the screenplay category.
22. The Rider (2018)
Chloé Zhao’s drama, which portrays a real-life rodeo cowboy and his family, seems to be the most unjustly overlooked of all the 2018 Oscar nominees.
23. Still Walking (2008)
The Academy’s glaring oversight was Japanese filmmaker Hirokazo Kore-picture eda’s of a family spanning nearly 24 hours as they grieve the death of the eldest son.
24. Three Kings (1999)
The Academy nominated Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, but not David O Russell’s Three Kings, which is still considered one of his best films.
25. Tyrannosaur (2011)
Olivia Colman may be up for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars, but her failure to receive a nomination (or a Bafta) for her portrayal in Paddy Considine’s hard-hitting thriller Tyrannosaur is one of the most heinous exclusions in awards history.
26. You Were Never Really Here (2018)
Put it down to poor luck, but Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, starring Joaquin Phoenix, is a fantastic film that deserves to be acknowledged.
27. Zodiac (2007)
Three years later, for The Social Network, David Fincher would face off against Tom Hooper, who directed The King Speech. Zodiac, a serial killer drama, is actually just as fantastic as the Facebook drama.
28. Uncut Gems (2019)
Uncut Gems has become one of the year’s most well-received and commercially secure indies, yet the Academy nonetheless passed it by in favour of the season’s more established competitors.
29. The Farewell (2019)
Wang was a front-runner for an Oscar nomination in the same category, but his script was passed over in favour of other filmmakers’ works.
30. The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)
It wasn’t unreasonable to expect Last Black Man to garner at least one Oscar nomination, thanks to Talbot’s colourful directing, Jonathan Majors’ soulful supporting performance, and Adam Newport Berra’s cinematography.
31. Hustlers (2019)
Jennifer Lopez’s absence from the Best Supporting Actress category for her lauded performance in Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers is easily one of the biggest Oscar snubs of 2020.
32. Booksmart (2019)
The Academy utterly ignored Olivia Wilde’s instant classic comedy Booksmart which is especially sad given Billie Lourd’s status as one of the year’s top supporting actresses.
33. Midsommar (2019)
It beyond belief when Ari Aster’s Midsommar received no Oscar nominations, not one for cinematography or production design. The film festival favourite was unsettling, gory, and unlike anything else seen before.
34. Queen & Slim (2019)
When the film failed to receive a single Academy Award nomination, I was disappointed. The body’s long-standing image as ‘so white’ might potentially be a factor in why a film on systematic racism and power dynamics was not included.
35. The Report (2019)
Even though it was a no-nonsense account of a very real investigation, it was definitely surprising that it did not win a single nomination.
36. A Hidden Life (2019)
A Hidden Life was not nominated for an Oscar nominations for Best Picture. With mainstream audiences and voters, A Hidden Life failed to elicit any Oscar hype or box office interest.
37. Her Smell (2019)
Elisabeth Moss should have been the most obvious choice for Best Actress at the Oscars in 2020, but she wasn’t considered.
38. Apollo 11 (2019)
Although Neon’s superb documentary Honeyland was nominated for both Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film the studio’s other outstanding documentary Apollo 11 was shut down.
39. Dolemite Is My Name (2019)
Murphy’s tumultuous relations with the Academy might be one factor in his failure to receive a nomination.
40. Atlantics (2019)
The New York Film Critics Circle called Atlantics the finest first film of the year, however it was left out of the Best International Feature Film competition.
Do add these gems in your watclist!