Another year has passed and again we find ourselves pining for recognition for films that should have been in the race, yet found themselves on the outside looking in. This is certainly not a new development, sometimes the films not nominated receive most of the attention after the news breaks, but it is easily one of the more entertaining aspects of covering the awards circuit.
As we scour over today’s Academy Award nominations let us take a look at a six of the most notable snubs in Oscar history.
The Searchers (1956) – Best Director
John Ford was the last candidate imagined to tell the dark tale of a Civil War Veteran who exorcises his demons in violent revenge, but The Searchers inevitably became one of the true treasures of its genre. John Wayne would never give a better performance, nor have a better director to pull it out of him.
Some Like It Hot (1959) – Best Picture
Two men in drag on the lamb from the mob may seem like a bad screenplay, but in the hands of Billy Wilder, this film became a classic. One of the most treasured comedies of all-time went home with an Oscar for only costume design. A shame that cannot even be measured in words. The AFI selected Best Comedy deserved better. Much better.
Jaws (1975) – Best Director
Steven Spielberg has been known for years as a director of “popcorn movies”, but if anything Jaws was his most impressive job. Turning a mechanical shark named Bruce into a reason to avoid the ocean for millions of beach going filmgoers.
Fight Club (1999) – Best Picture
No film defined the time it came out more than David Fincher’s piece on adult angst in a consumer world. When we have no purpose and infinite amounts of things to define ourselves with, it seems the only resort we have left is to beat the hell out of each other. It’s hard to imagine what Hollywood saw in American Beauty that wasn’t more recognizable and less watered down in Fight Club.
Zodiac/The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2008) – Best Picture
2007 was an embarrassment of riches when it came to the five best picture nominees (There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Atonement, Juno), so these two mentions were less a snub than just victims of when the category was five slots only. The examination of celebrity and idolatry told within the legend of Jesse James, and David Fincher’s taut portrayal of obsession in its many forms were both critical favorites, but time has allowed for audiences to judge these two films as the excellent dramas they are.
The Dark Knight (2008) – Best Picture
The Dark Knight rule anyone? 2008 was an admittedly bad year for nominees as Slumdog Millionaire, and The Reader topped the list for Best Picture, but what made the snub so much worse was all the great films they could have nominated instead: The Wrestler, In Bruges, Doubt, Hunger, Wall-E, and Man On Wire. Christopher Nolan’s genre revolutionizing tale of one man’s crusade against crime would have been nominated any other year if only Batman didn’t wear a cape.
With those films mentioned, what are some of your most obvious Oscar snubs? Share them below in the comments section.