Deserving films that were overlooked by the Oscar panel this year
The Academy snubbed some of the most promising names this year leading to outrages - both online and offline
It's that time of the year when we discuss the film nominations and guess who's going to win what during the awards season. However, 2015 seems a bit off the beaten track because those who weren't even nominated — as opposed to the ones who were — are being discussed fiercely.
The reason is pretty obvious: the Academy's idea of surprising us is awkward; to say the least. After all, a majority of the categories — there are 24 in total — witnessed some level of haphazard shift from what was expected.
In fact, some of the snubs were so criminal that they led to intriguing outbursts on social media. hitlist points out many such obvious and not-so-obvious acts of ignorance by the anonymous Hollywood voters who decide who gets the nod and who doesn't:
Lowdown: David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' not acquiring a nomination in the Best Director category is understandable, but its inability to score one in the Best Adapted Screenplay category isn't. The author of the bestseller adapted the book for the film and had she been nominated for her efforts, she'd have been the first woman to do so in over eight decades.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Lowdown: There's a scene in the climax of 'A Most Wanted Man' where Hoffman is so frustrated that he screams out the F-word almost reluctantly. A similar reaction can be attributed to his omission from the Best Supporting Actor category. It'd be a gross understatement to claim that the late actor's swansong is worth a nod.
Lowdown: Chastain's role in 'A Most Violent Year' was good enough for a nod from Golden Globes this year but the Academy thought otherwise. The twice Oscar-nominated actress is having a dry run during the ongoing award season in spite of registering a remarkable 2014. She also had a minor but effective role in 'Interstellar'.
Lowdown: If one were to list the top five onscreen performances of 2014, Gyllenhaal's meticulous yet creepy act in 'Nightcrawler' would easily make it. Regardless, this emaciated-for-the-role actor was omitted while bloated-for-the-role Bradley Cooper managed to earn his third straight Oscar nod thanks to his work in 'American Sniper'.
Lowdown: One of the finest actresses of her time. Swinton delivered three back-to-back heavyweight performances in 'Snowpiercer', 'Only Lovers Left Alive' and 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. While none of them impressed the Academy jurors, she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for 'Michael Clayton' (2007).
Lowdown: Once a TV star always a TV star? At least that's what the attitude seems to be when it comes to the former 'F.R.I.E.N.D.S' star. Despite her convincing efforts in 'Cake', Aniston couldn't make the cut as Felicity Jones earned her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her portrayal in 'The Theory of Everything'.
Lowdown: One of the downsides of releasing a film at the end of the year is it fails to catch steam during the award season. Something similar happened with 'Big Eyes'. Adams, who has been nominated five times by Oscar so far without a win, missed out for Best Actress this year. However, she won a Golden Globe for the same role.
Lowdown: 'American Sniper' marks the first time that one of Clint Eastwood's directorial ventures is getting a nomination for Best Picture but not assuring him a nod for Best Director. So much so that his omission and Bennett Miller's nomination for directing 'Foxcatcher' have already set a thousand tongues wagging on a so-called conspiracy.
Lowdown: This eccentric actor has never been in the good books of those who control the 'total bull**t' — his words, not ours — called Oscars. However, to the Academy's credit, they nominated him last year in the Best Actor for his work in 'Her' but didn't include him this time around for his pivotal role in 'Inherent Vice'.
Lowdown: Wes Anderson's 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' earned nine nods but none in the acting category. Which is also why Fiennes' omission makes it so obvious a bait for the critics. Besides, the Brit actor delivered one of 2014's most memorable performances in a leading role.
Lowdown: 2015 is the first time since 1998 that none of the actors nominated are non-white and not a single woman has been given a nod in the non-acting categories. Two of the factors that made Selma's exclusion resoundingly annoying. Actor David Oyelowo and director Ava DuVernay merited better.
Lowdown: 'Noah' might have rattled the religious groups for its Biblical interpretation but it's no excuse for the film's omission from the Best Visual Effects; especially when far lesser challenging films have been nominated in the same category.
'The Lego Movie'
Lowdown: 'The Lego Movie' doesn't really need an Oscar if one considers the commercial angle. The animation project not only won audiences' and critics' hearts but also made moolah. Nonetheless, it's still a surprise that it doesn't figure in Best Animated Feature. As a consolation, it has a nod in the Best Original Song list.
Lowdown: Interstellar scored nominations in five different technical categories but it got a blank in the sound mixing category. Oscar has witnessed the nomination of 527 films for the honour of Best Picture. For some inexplicable reason, one of the greatest films of 2014 didn't win this honour this year.
Lowdown: When a major part of an entire film is set inside a moving train, the production design is going to be its most sought out aspect. This international film deserved a Best Production Design nomination as the Czech production designer Ondrej Nekvasil did a tremendous job, earning him instant acclaim.
2015 won't be the first time in Oscar's history when the annual ceremony is under the radar for all the wrong reasons. There have been instances in the past when befitting personalities were simply...err...overlooked!
> Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick never won an Academy Award for directing a film.
Charlie Chaplin has won two honorary Oscar awards
> Peter O'Toole had eight Oscar nominations but fell short of grabbing even one golden statuette.
> Despite all the brouhaha surrounding Jack Nicholson's performance in 'The Shining' (1980), he didn't even receive a nod.
> The Shawshank Redemption, IMDb's #1 movie for over a decade now, won none from its seven nominations.
Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption
> Martin Scorsese's only directorial triumph comes from the official remake of a Hong Kong film: 'The Departed' (2006).
Raging Bull marked Scorsese's Oscar nod debut
> Leonardo DiCaprio has five nominations without any win. The only good thing about him not having a release in 2014 is he can't possibly be snubbed for the sixth time.
Found and lost
The Best Foreign Language category too experienced an interesting miss as the French-Canadian film 'Mommy' and the Turkish endeavour 'Winter Sleep' — both award winners at Cannes, among other film festivals — were absent from the top-10 list, forget the final cut.
The Best Documentary (Feature) saw two obvious choices; one being Jodorowsky's 'Dune' and another being 'Life Itself'. Both the documentaries earned acclaim on the film festival circuit but lost to not-so-exposed contenders at Oscar.