Each year, when it comes time for Academy Award nominations, the collective moviegoing audience braces for the inevitable snubs and surprises. You can’t honor everyone, but this year seems to have bred an unusually thick field of accomplished, beloved, sometimes controversial films would likely kick up an online hornet’s nest if they didn’t receive a single Oscar nod. Sure enough, Tuesday morning brought a couple gasp-worthy omissions that have already gotten folks talking.
In spite of a career-defining performance from Zac Efron, the prestige-y, ever-studly presence of The Bear star Jeremy Allen White, and an absolutely devastating story, A24 didn’t seem too invested in winning awards for this audience favorite. Although the movie’s lack of nominations is far from surprising, this flub will likely be remembered for years to come—at least in fans’ hearts.
A discourse firebomb, Saltburn was bound to get people arguing no matter what happened at this year’s nominations. Jacob Elordi’s swoon-worthy performance paired with Barry Keoghan’s kinky menace (and that grave scene) have been inescapable online conversation-starters for months. Alas, Emerald Fennell’s early aughts throwback apparently came up short. Predictably, the reactions on this one are, uh … mixed.
The Origin snub is sadly more expected than surprising. The Academy and other awards bodies have historically shared a less-than-stellar record when it comes to recognizing director Ava Duvernay and her work. In spite of her groundbreaking accomplishments—including making history with Origin as the first Black woman to helm a film in competition at Venice Film Festival—Duvernay still does not hold a Emmy, Oscar, or Golden Globe for directing. She’s never even been nominated.
Duvernay herself recently discussed this issue with Today. On one hand, as she wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in 2021, awards “matter to those who finance, greenlight, produce, distribute and market our projects.” On the other, she told Today earlier this month, they also don’t “get you up at four o’clock in the morning to go do something that on its face may or may not work. …You’re doing it because you’re an artist, and you must tell the story. You must say what you want to say. We must express ourselves.”
A deeply personal and devastating work with glorious performances from Andrew Scott, Paul Mescal, Claire Foy, and Jamie Bell, this one seemed like a shoo-in. (Also, did we mention that director Andrew Haigh shot this thing in his own childhood home?) The fact that this one did not receive a single nod feels like confirmation that the field is simply too stacked.
This one should come as a bit less of a surprise, given Oscar voters’ historic coolness toward Wes Anderson films—Grand Budapest Hotel notwithstanding. Critics weren’t wild about this one, and its summer release date also wouldn’t have worked in its favor. Still, diehard fans of Anderson’s droll, hyper-stylized oeuvre will likely chalk this one up to another unfair snub among many.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon might share an original screenplay Oscar for Good Will Hunting, but neither of them has ever won an acting award. Air seemed like a solid vehicle for Damon to try again for Best Actor after his Invictus and The Martian nominations, while Affleck’s shot for Best Supporting Actor always felt a little shakier. The snub that probably stings Affleck the most, however, is losing out once more on the chance to compete for best director after first being snubbed for 2012’s Argo, which went on to win best picture. And then there’s Viola Davis, whose portrayal of Deloris Jordan should have made her a serious contender for best supporting actress
I know my colleague Fletcher Peters, who already sang the praises of this underrated gem, is mourning its loss this morning. Was it the whole “this is a movie about periods” thing that put Academy voters off, or do they just hate sweet, deeply felt movies about female adolescence in general? Who’s to say? But know this: Judy Blume, the film’s crew, and certainly Rachel McAdams all deserved better than this.
A grounded look at a troublesome relationship, Priscilla won audiences over thanks to the sincerity of its central performances—Jacob Elordi as Elvis, and Cailee Spaeny as the wife who met her 10-years-older future husband when she was only 14. Director Sofia Coppola has long made tales of disrupted adolescence her specialty, but apparently, the Oscars don’t like this Elvis movie as much as the last one.
Director A.V. Rockwell could have made history as the first Black woman to be nominated for best director, but once again, the Academy has shunted the opportunity. Never mind that Rockwell already won the award for Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Awards, or that she also received a nod from the Directors Guild of America in the First Time Narrative Feature Film category. And never mind Teyana Taylor’s incredible performance as a woman who kidnaps her son from the foster care system after securing her release from Rikers Island. Apparently, none of that was enough.
The Daily Beast