With the Academy Awards right around the corner, it's time to discuss the overlooked films and performances that The Academy, for whatever reason, just didn't feel deserved a nomination. This year, more than others in recent memory, had a lot of snubs and question marks which really make us, as the viewer and avid movie fan, really question the validity of The Oscars.
Channing Tatum for Foxcatcher: Best Lead Actor
Tatum gave the most unnerving, emotionally resonant performance of the year, and failed to be recognized for his transformation. Steve Carrell got nominated from Foxcatcher, even though he was a supporting character and his fake nose helped him with his transformation.
Tatum however, gave an unnerving, raw, emotionally powerful performance as an Olympic Wrestler who was a misfit off the mat. Tatum may not have said a lot of words, but we understood his emotions from his facial expressions, the way he acted and how he carried himself, and when he did speak it was emotionally powerful. Tatum gave a truly riveting performance, and it is truly a shame that Carrell took his spot in the best leading actor category.
Should have replaced: Steve Carrel
Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler: Best Lead Actor
Just like Tatum, it is baffling how someone like Gyllenhaal did not get recognized for his unrecognizable performance. If you want to see a man completely transform into a character, watch Nightcrawler. Trust me, you have never seen Gyllenhaal like this before.
Gyllenhaal's performance was unnerving, creepy and absolutely mesmerizing. This movie put us into this man's life and we got a front row seat, and Gyllenhaal sold this film. It was uncomfortable driving around Los Angelas with a man this detestable, yet it was fun at the same time. This film was deliciously demented, and it was all thanks to Gyllenhaal's performance.
Should have replaced: Bradley Cooper
David Oyelowo for Selma: Best Lead Actor
See a trend yet? I actually cannot remember the last time there were three snubs in the same category. Oyelowo was absolutely terrific as Dr. King, from the mannerisms to the cadence of the voice and everything else, Oyelowo transformed into this man, and it is an utter disappointment that he did not get recognized.
Because of this particular snub, the Oscars are the whitest Oscars that we have had in a long time. All twenty acting nominations are white, and Oyelowo, who deserved recognition, could have broken the trend.
Should have replaced: Benedict Cumberbatch
Now, I understand that I said that these are snubs that could have won their category, and yet I have listed 3 lead actor snubs, however, these three were three of the finest performances of the year, and each of them could have won the category... if they were awarded the opportunity to do so.
Ava Duvernay for Selma: Best Director
This, just like Oyelowo getting snubbed, was a shocker. Duverney took a small portion of Dr. King's life and made a cinematic masterpiece that made us feel like we were struggling with Dr. King and his people. Duverney made an emotionally moving film that will tug at your heartstrings while also making you want to change yourself and help change the world for the better.
Duverney also could have been the first African-American female director to be nominated, and The Academy blew it. From the raw, grittiness and the impact of the brutality to the quieter, more subdued scenes, Duverney painted King as a person, with as many flaws as the rest of us, and she did a masterful job.
Even though Linklater and Iñárritu are the favorites in this category, I feel like Duverney's film was more impactful, which is a credit to her work on it. Linklater accomplished an amazing feat by filming over twelve years, but the story wasn't very moving or touching, and it lagged in some areas. Birdman was shot in such a unique way, that Iñárritu deserves the Oscar if he is awarded the award, but Duverney's masterful work deserves as much credit as Iñárritu because of the way she filmed the film and the impact it left on the audience.
From the bigger, more brutal moments to the quieter scenes with his family and friends, Duverney deserves credit and recognition for her work on the film.
Should have replaced: Morten Tyldum (Imitation Game).
The Lego Movie: Best Animated Feature
This one seems obvious, right? I am not even a huge Lego Movie fan, but for it to not even get a nomination? Really academy? Snubs like this is why people question the credibility of The Oscar's, and it's why I've given up on the awards as a whole.
By The Lego Movie not even getting a nomination, it's basically saying that The Academy is too high brow to nominate a movie with talking Legos. After last year, and hearing about how some Academy members didn't even watch 12 Years a Slave but still nominated it, it seems like numerous members failed to watch this movie because of the concept, which is truly a shame. Many people were actually projecting this film to win the award, so for it to not even get recognized is truly a shame.
Should have replaced: The Boxtrolls
Birdman: Film Editing
It blows my mind that Birdman did not get nominated in this category. Maybe the academy got confused because the film was shot to look like one continuous shot, so maybe they thought there wasn't much editing involved. Whatever the case, Birdman was shot in such a unique way and edited together in a way that I don't think we've seen before, and it deserved recognition for that. Because of the way Birdman was filmed and edited together, it would have been my pick to win this category before the nominations were released.
Should have replaced: The Imitation Game
Nightcrawler: Best Picture
The Academy had the option of nominating ten movies... but they only went with 8, and one of the films left off was Nightcrawler. This was an atmospheric, chilling thriller with a protagonist that we found despicable, yet it was still fun to go with him on this journey. Nightcrawler to some people was the best film of the year, and for it to get left off just displays some of the faults of the academy. The films nominated for Best Picture were predictable and safe choices. Nightcrawler is an insane film that was just too off the wall for the academy to recognize, and again, it is why I put no weight into The Awards.
Should have replaced: Nobody, just added to the nominees.
Honorable Mention: Foxcatcher for Best Picture
This is an honorable mention because, even though I believe it was a top five film from last year, it didn't have a shot at winning the award and I don't think it deserved the award. However, Bennett Miller was nominated for Best Director, thus this film could have been nominated for Best Picture with no complaints. How is a Best Director nominated film not a best picture contender? This film was raw, unnerving and chilling to the bone, and it deserved this nomination.
Should have replaced: Nobody, just added to the nominees.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, and which other snubs do you wish got recognized by The Academy?