The Mandatory List of Oscar Nominee Snubs: Pandemic Edition
In many ways, Hollywood has a short memory. But if it were to stretch its gorgeous brain way back in time, approximately 93 years into the past, there’d be a unanimous squelch that 2020 was the weirdest goddamn year on record. With movie theaters completely shut down for most of the slog (and popcorn sales hitting a dismal low) the pandemic brought Tinseltown down to earth. And while it did hamstring production, it didn’t stop movies from limping to the finish line (with some damn good limping at that).
Enter awards season 2021: Red carpets, movie stars, glitz, glam, and live-streaming acceptance speeches from your dungeonesque home office in a comfy sweater and/or completely stoned off your gourd. Okay, it’s been a touch bizarre thus far, we admit, which is why the Academy Awards moved their presentation to April 25 in the hopes that this year’s Oscar party hoopla will have the timing of movie magic.
But before we watch the curtains lift on that grand production, let’s discuss the 2021 Oscar nominations. They’re in and the reviews are mixed. While the Academy did make history for nominating the most female directors of any year, they (maybe) forgot about Regina King. But what’s awards season without a few snubs? After all, this is the Oscars we’re talking about.
From Best Picture to Best Actor we’ve got all the major snubs right here, with a few all-time burns thrown in at the end as a reminder that this isn’t the first time a great flick has gotten dissed by Hollywood. Hey, after 93 years, it’s basically tradition.
Cover Photo: Sundance Institute
No Best Picture Nomination For 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' or 'One Night In Miami'
Two incredible films, filled with gorgeous music, performances, and themes on black culture in America. Yet neither film received a Best Picture nomination despite the Academy only nominating eight films - conspicuously leaving two slots empty.
'Da 5 Bloods'
Spike Lee's latest joint went up in flames during awards season. One of the year's best, released directly to Netflix to help us cope with the closure of theaters, didn't get so much as a sniff from the Academy. While it's no surprise for Lee, who's always been ignored by the Oscars, it's a shame for the actors involved who put in some of the most moving performances of the year.
No Best Director For Aaron Sorkin or Regina King
The year of the pandemic was also the year of the historical drama, which suited 2020's forced timeout perfectly. Two great films in this genre were overlooked by voters. And it could be a case of stay-in-your-lane-itis. Actress Regina King (One Night in Miami) and wordsmith Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7) may need to prove themselves a few more times in the director's chair before they snag the attention of the Oscars.
'Judas and the Black Messiah'
Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya turned in riveting performances in this historical drama about Black Panther Fred Hampton and the FBI informant who betrayed him. And while both men were rightly nominated for acting Oscars, they were both nominated in the Supporting Actor category. Like, can't a black man in an all-black production not be relegated to a support role, please? Ehem, Oscars?
No Best Screenplay For 'Mank'
For a film about the complexities and sacrifices of writing a screenplay, it's curious that Mank didn't get a nod for Best Screenplay. The story behind the Mank script is almost as epic as the downfall of Herman Mankiewicz itself. Showing zero love for its narrative power is no doubt a missed opportunity by the Academy.
'Citizen Cane' Lost Best Picture
Now let's hop in our time machine and take a look at Oscar snubs of the past. How does the best movie of all-time not win Best Picture of the year? In 1941, this debut film from Welles lost out to How Green Was My Valley. The answer to that question: Pretty damn green. The latter made a million dollars more than the box office flop that would forever pit Mr. Hearst against Mr. Welles but leave the rest of us with a bonafide masterpiece.
'Crash' Won Best Picture Over 'Brokeback Mountain' and 'Capote'
This moment in 2006 was a disaster for film lovers everywhere. How could such a trite piece of work wend its way to the top of Hollywood glory whilst simultaneously snubbing far better films? It's a moment that will live in infamy.
Neither Alfred Hitchcock Nor Stanley Kubrick Ever Won Best Director
Hello? What's that? Every single living director owes something to these two legends. Alone, they could be considered the most important director of all-time but combined, there's a gravitational pull created by these two auteurs that the entire film universe orbits. In some ways then, getting snubbed by the Oscars is filmmaking's greatest honor. Can't wait to see who they snub next.
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