Hitlist takes a look at some of the best films of 2013 that were ignored by the Academy
Every year, hundreds of films vie for nods by the Academy and every year, a majority of them lose out in the race. No surprises there. The reason, of course, is neither asked for nor given. After all, the whole procedures of selection is too secretive to be discussed in the public. As a result, there are several movies that don't stand a chance at the ultimately glory. 2013 was no different. The quality of some of the films were unmistakable and yet they didn't make the cut. We point out some movies from last year that ended up without a single nomination to its credit...
Short Term 12
Director: Destin Cretton
WHY-Factor: A spectacular film revolving around children with emotional problems, the topic chosen is handled with intense maturity by not giving in to cinematic clichés. And throughout the film, Brie Larson shines in undoubtedly her finest performance till date. A nomination in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category would have made a lot of sense.
Director: Chan-wook Park
Y-Factor: A celebrated Korean filmmaker made his Hollywood debut with this psychological thriller (written by Wentworth Miller of Prison Break fame). And technically speaking, this film is a visual masterpiece of sorts, armed with powerful performances, crisp editing and breathtaking cinematography.
Director: Shane Carruth
WHY-Factor: The Academy is known to be biased against sci-fi — with no film from the genre ever winning the Best Picture — so this fantasy drama's maltreatment doesn't really come as a surprise. Having said that, it should have noted in the Original Screenplay and Sound Mixing and Recording category.
Ain't Them Bodies Saints
Director: David Lowery
WHY-Factor: Make a list of all the Hollywood love stories made in 2013 and try finding a one more wrenching than this — it'd be a tough task — thanks in parts to terrific work by Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara and Ben Foster. If not them, the least it could have garnered was a nod in the Original Screenplay.
Director: Lee Daniels
WHY-Factor: Academy Award-winning Forest Whitaker seemed destined to bag another nomination — and so did his co-star Oprah Winfrey — but none of that sort eventually happened. Despite the early buzz suggesting several nods in the long run, the biopic didn't manage to earn even a single nomination.
The Spectacular Now
Director: James Ponsoldt
WHY-Factor: If there was a category called the Best Overlook Film, this one would have had it. Centered on a boy and a girl who appear to be meant for each other, this heartwarming drama is to 2013 what The Perks of Being a Wallflower was to 2012. Both deserved a nod in the Best Adapted Screenplay.
Director: Jason Reitman
WHY-Factor: About a single mother who becomes prisoner in her own house just because she showed kindness, this peculiar drama has Kate Winslet at her all-time best. With Cate Blanchett the clear favourite to snatch the statuette tomorrow, it's not her fellow nominees' but Kate's loss.
World War Z
Director: Marc Foster
WHY-Factor: If you remember what happened to that futuristic ingenuity called Cloud Atlas in 2012, you'll get an idea what happened to this zombie adventure. Little to harp on the acting side, the USD 200 million extravaganza certainly merited a place in the Best Visual Effects category without a doubt.
Director: Nicole Holofcener
WHY-Factor: Over the years, heart-warming films have seldom been appreciated by the Academy members. However, allotting James Gandolfini a place in the Best Supporting Actor list for his brilliant act in this posthumously released comedy would have been an impressive gesture.
Only God Forgives
Director: Nicolas Winding Refn
WHY-Factor: Say what you may about this agonisingly slow film but one can't deny the quality of background score put into each frame. Besides, the production design — set up entirely in Bangkok — is unmistakably world-class. Also, Kristin Scott Thomas was mind-blowing.
Director: Ryan Coogler
WHY-Factor: In simple words, this biopic couldn't manage to replicate Beasts of the Southern Wild's incredible success in 2012. Both being indie endeavours, it's a rarity to see an independent flourish at the Oscars. In all probability, Fruitvale Station was one of the finest films to come out in 2013.
Director: Ron Howard
WHY-Factor: Other than top-notch technical aspects like editing, sound and makeup, this F1 thriller had an intriguing performance by the Spanish actor Daniel Brühl. His almost caricaturish portrayal of Niki Lauda is in sharp contrast to all the roles he has essayed so far in his career.
Director: Dan Scanlon
WHY-Factor: Imagining a Pixar production without an Oscar nod for Animation is like..well...imagining a Pixar production without an Oscar nod for Animation. The studio has won Best Animated Feature seven times since the category was introduced in 2002. And this venture seemed capable enough.
The Kings of Summer
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
WHY-Factor: If this very film were to be directed by someone with the stature of Wes Anderson, its fortune would have turned out differently. A coming-of-age film about three boy who want to break free from the society by building a house in the woods, it merits a peg in the writing category.
Director: Ridley Scott
WHY-Factor: With the recently released director's cut that adds 17 minutes to the screentime, this merciless thriller should be one of Scott's finest films in the recent past. Despite a stellar cast of Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz, it failed to notch even one nod.
Kill Your Darlings
Director: John Krokidas
WHY-Factor: With this film based on the Beat poets during the chaotic War World II era, Daniel 'Harry Potter' Radcliffe effectively surprises you as an actor. Simply put, he's not that child star anymore. Along with him, the meticulous production design and the costumes transport you on a time travel.
Director: Jon S. Baird
WHY-Factor: James McAvoy does a superb job as a bipolar cop who is stuck more on the stairs of delusions than in the alleys of reality. Undoubtedly his career-best performance and arguably the finest of all male onscreen outputs delivered last year. Just two of the reasons why the Oscars didn't notice.