Tuesday, January 24, 2017

10 Biggest Oscar Snubs of 2017

There are only so many spots in each category on the Oscar ballot: 10 possibilities for Best Picture, 3 for Makeup and Hair, and 5 for the rest. Oscars are voted on by an Academy of about ~6000 showbiz professionals, and typically celebrate the "best" in movies each year voted on by the people that actually make them - but every year certain movies or performances get swept under the rug. Here, I present what I consider the top ten "rug swept" Oscar snubs of 2017!

10. Supporting Actor Snub: John Goodman for 10 Cloverfield Lane

Dev Patel is nominated for Supporting Actor for Lion, which is ridiculous because he plays the lead character in the film. If that fifth slot opened up, I'd like to believe that John Goodman would've had a shot at being nominated for his fantastic and terrifying performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane. He's never been nominated for an Oscar, and I was crossing my fingers he'd slip in there. Unfortunately the Academy only makes rare exceptions for genre flicks like this!

9. Adapted Screenplay Snub: Deadpool

Deadpool shocked awards-trackers everywhere when both the Writers Guild and Producers Guild nominated it for adapted screenplay and picture, respectively. Although the movies nominated by those guilds are typically good predictors for the Oscar nominees, Deadpool ended up nominated for zilch.

8. Animated Feature Snub: Finding Dory

While Toy Story marks an exception, the Academy usually dismisses animated sequels or prequels. I was a big fan of Finding Dory, which beautifully renders a complicated character suffering with a disability, all while being a fun adventure flick. I thought a decent enough chunk of voters would have appreciated it too, but unfortunately it was such a great year for animated films that Dory (and the lesser seen but critically renowned Your Name) was the victim of the chopping block.

7. Leading Actor Snub: Tom Hanks for Sully

I think in the Leading Actor category, both Tom Hanks and Joel Edgerton were the victims of subtle performances. As a golden rule for predicting the Oscars, voters usually go for the "most" in each category: the most sound, the most production design, the most acting. Like in Captain Phillips (also a snub), Hanks' role in Sully was able to intimately capture the portrait of a real person without being boring or over-dramatic.

6. Leading Actress Snub: Amy Adams for Arrival

Amy Adams: nominated for six Oscars, but still hasn't won. At least this year she (and fellow frequent loser Annette Benning for 20th Century Women) can rest easy knowing she at least won't lose again! Between Arrival and Nocturnal Animals, Amy Adams was on fire this past year, and it's a shame she wasn't recognized!

5. Original Score Snub: Nocturnal Animals

This one may just be personal because I just loved this score so much, it blinded me to the actual possibility of it being nominated. Abel Korzeniowski (say that name ten times fast) created a lush, beautiful work here that's definitely going to be a go-to on my "movie scores" playlist for years to come, blending tension and romance in a very Hitchcockian way.

4. Director Snub: Martin Scorsese for Silence

This one is more surprising for me than disappointing. It's known in Hollywood Scorsese has tried to get this passion project made for 25 years or so, and making a slow-building, 3-hour religious-themed epic is definitely a risk-taking move I would've thought the Academy would recognize. I'm very surprised the controversial Mel Gibson was forgiven by the Academy in place of Scorsese!

3. Original Song Snub: Sing Street

This one feels personal as well. Sing Street is so criminally under-seen, and I was hoping an Oscar nomination might get more eyes on this charming, fun, emotional coming-of-age musical, but surprisingly not one of its many 80s-influenced original songs were nominated! I know the Academy loved La La Land, but with two nominations in that category, I think the wealth could have been spread a little. (...category hog...cough, cough...)

2. Visual Effects Snub: Arrival

I honestly thought this had a chance to win the category, especially after last year's surprise win for the low budget Ex Machina. The visual effects in Arrival were elegantly simple and beautiful in a way that reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey (which itself won this category back in 1968). But, again, the Academy likes the "most" of something, and Arrival's sparing visuals weren't nearly as complicated as The Jungle Book or Rogue One, though I'd argue they were more artfully used.

1. Feature Documentary Snub: Weiner

As much as I loved OJ: Made in America, I kind of consider that more of a TV mini-series than a feature film. I know it had a theatrical-qualifying run, but it's seven hours long, separated by distinct episodes, and most people watched it over ESPN streaming networks! In its place I'd imagine Weiner, the amazingly intimate portrait of a political campaign gone horribly wrong, might have taken its place. This movie is the "fly on the wall" documentary of this generation, and I'm shocked it didn't make the nominations list!

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While it may be disappointing when some of your favorite movies or performances aren't honored at the Oscars, I still think it's fun to dive head-first into predicting them like a Vegas gambler betting it all on red. The Oscars will be airing February 26th, and in the meantime I'll be honing my "official" predictions for all categories which I'll share with you all in a future blog post. Anyway - thanks for reading, as always, and let me know in the comments about any snubs I may have missed!

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