Weekend Binge: 8 movies (and performances) that should have been nominated for Oscars (but weren’t)
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Weekend Binge: 8 movies (and performances) that should have been nominated for Oscars (but weren’t)

While the nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were the least controversial in years, here are eight movies (and performances) that stood a realistic chance to be nominated, but were criminally ignored.

weekend binge Updated: Jan 27, 2018 09:10 IST
Rohan Naahar
Rohan Naahar
Hindustan Times
Weekend Binge,Oscars,Wonder Woman

There’s a reason to cheer this year. For the first time in a really long while, the Academy has made choices that aren’t... controversial. At least not for the wrong reasons. By and large, the nominations for the 90th Academy Awards, announced by Andy Serkis (and shamelessly butchered by Tiffany Haddish) on Tuesday, signal a new era in the history of the Oscars.

Several records were broken and new ones were set. The nominated filmmakers were diverse and for the first time in recent memory, four of the nine Best Picture nominees were a horror movie, a fantasy, a big-budget blockbuster and a rom-com.

That being said, it can never be perfect - and it would be foolish to expect perfection. So this gives us an ideal occasion to be unrealistic. Here are eight movies (and performances) that should have been nominated for Oscars, but weren’t.

The only qualification required for a movie to appear on this list is that it should not have scored a nomination in the category that we’re suggesting, but had realistic chances - based on trends, history, talent involved, buzz and other awards - for that to actually happen.

Wonder Woman - Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Costume Design, Best Editing

This is the most obvious choice on almost everyone’s lists. For months, Wonder Woman was seen as a sure-shot bet to nab a handful of nominations at the Oscars. Even some of the far-fetched ideas - Best Director for Patty Jenkins and Best Actress for Gal Gadot - once seemed in reach. Wonder Woman wasn’t simply a movie, it was a cultural event -- a historic movement that brought about change in a year that was defined by how we buried the past and embraced the future. Perhaps it was the film’s sub-par third act, or maybe the foul taste Justice League left in certain voters’ mouths, but nothing can explain the fact that Suicide Squad is an Oscar nominated film and Wonder Woman isn’t.

Robert Pattinson - Best Actor

Honestly, had more people seen Good Time, it would’ve been virtually impossible to ignore Pattinson’s live-wire performance in the film. And what a narrative that would have made. Imagine Robert Pattinson, once heartthrob, and now an actor who only does interesting films with renowned directors, arriving at the Academy Awards as a nominee for one of the strangest movies of 2017. But maybe it was this very fact that raised a flag in voters’ minds. Good Time is an unstoppable force of nature, a heist thriller set during the course of one manic night, that simply does not stop. It has the energy of a coked-up gangster armed with a gun and unlimited ammo. And Pattinson owns it.

Rooney Mara - Best Actress

A Ghost Story, for my money, is one of the most ambitious movies of the last five years - ironic because it’s largely set in one house, and has only two actors (one of whom dies early on and spends the rest of the film under a large white sheet). It’s also mostly silent, and very, very experimental. And then there’s the uncomfortable situation that Casey Affleck is involved. A Ghost Story didn’t have much going in its favour, but what it does have is one protracted scene that involves Rooney Mara demolishing a pie single-handedly. Unbeatable.

James Franco - Best Actor

It’s a crime that James Franco wasn’t nominated for the best performance of his career. As Tommy Wiseau in the Disaster Artist - a movie that Franco also directed - the highly prolific ‘artist’ is in incredible form, channelling some long-buried thirst to succeed, to prove the naysayers wrong, and to achieve the wildest dreams he has ever had. Of course, the reason for his shunning is rather obvious. So it’s a tricky situation.

The Florida Project - Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress

Kindly remove Darkest Hour from the list and include Sean Baker’s exquisite The Florida Project, please? How could a film this magnificent be nominated for just one Oscar (admittedly the one that it most deserved, Willem Dafoe as Best Supporting Actor)?

Blade Runner 2049 - Best Director, Best Score

True, expecting a Best Picture nod this late in the game seems unrealistic, even by the most optimistic standards, but here are the facts: Denis Villeneuve directed one of the finest sequels ever made, the sort of movie where every department was working at the height of its powers. It’s a movie that will be remembered long after some of the other nominated films are forgotten.

The Lost City of Z - Best Cinematography

No other movie of 2017 looked as stunning as James Gray’s sweeping historical epic, and a large part of that is the gorgeous work of Darius Khondji who used film stock and anamorphic lenses to achieve the almost surreal colours and the scope. Also worth pointing out, it was another film to have a tremendous Robert Pattinson performance in it.

mother! - Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Actress, Best Cinematography

Even the detractors would have to agree that there was no other film in 2017 that displayed uninhibited ambition that even came close to what Darren Aronofsky put on screen. And to think that they gave it a handful of Razzies instead when they should all be bowing down in reverence to the ephemeral magic of this movie. Give it a chance.

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The author tweets @RohanNaahar

First Published: Jan 27, 2018 09:09 IST