Let me start off by saying that “snub” is a pretty harsh word for most of these. I would also accept “oversights” or “tough calls.” With that said, here are five of my initial thoughts on films/directors/actors who I thought deserved a little more love from this year’s list of Oscar nominations.
5. Best Animated Feature
Boss Baby? Really? This is the “best” of the year. Now, I know I am being a little cynical because I never even saw the film and did hear it was, “Better than you’d think…” but that is hardly a ringing endorsement for Best Animated Feature. I am not sure what the Academy has against the LEGO franchise, but The LEGO Batman Movie was an incredibly clever and well-crafted animated film that was a blast for kids and even more rewarding for adults. Striking that balance is pretty difficult and The LEGO Batman Movie does it all while delivering a reasonably sound thematic message.
4. Best Supporting Actor
It’s nice to see that the Academy is acknowledging Logan for the truly great film it is. Hopefully we can award another comic book movie with an Oscar so Suicide Squad isn’t the only Oscar-winning superhero movie (ugh…). But, in this case, it is astounding to see no love given to Patrick Stewart for his reprisal of the Professor Xavier role. Without it, we would likely not have been so moved by Logan in the first place. I would gladly give him Woody Harrelson’s spot (though I love Harrelson, in general) as his turn in Three Billboards was good-but-not-great.
3. Best Actress
I assume I will get a lot of pushback on this one for who I’d drop more than who I’d include. I have already beat the drum loudly for one of 2018’s most criminally under-seen films, Personal Shopper. I doubt there was even much of a push for her, but again, Kristen Stewart surprised me by proving she’s so, so much more than the Twilight franchise. She basically carries this, literally, haunting film. I would give her Frances McDormand’s spot because— and hear me out— while I thought she did a great job with what she was given, I don’t think she was given enough to really take her character to the next level.
2. Best Director
I guess I should first point out that it’s great to see at least one woman nominated in this category. I would almost take this opportunity to argue that Dee Rees deserves the nod as well for Mudbound, but, criticism aside, this is an incredibly strong set of nominees. My one change, however, would be the addition of Denis Villeneuve for Blade Runner 2049. I know it was nominated for some technical awards, but with his “snub,” I am beginning to think we are taking his talent as the best current sci-fi director on the planet for granted. Please feel free to disagree in the comments, but I would give him Nolan’s spot because, honestly, I am tired of watching Nolan direct films with idea stand-ins taking the place of actual, human characters that I can connect to.
1. Best Picture
I could pitch a few here. I think I, Tonya is a really strong film and, with it’s exclusion, Blade Runner 2049 now makes two years in a row that the film that I think was the very best was not even recognized as such by the Academy (last year failing to garner a nomination for Scorsese’s Silence). With that said, I think that Mudbound should definitely have found its way on this list. Unless there is a quota on race-related films, then Mudbound is the incredibly insightful and powerful film that a nominated film like Three Billboards thinks it is. Everything that Mudbound is proves that, while Martin McDonagh may understand anger, his grasp of the complicated workings of racism in America is not currently in his wheelhouse. This may be the most controversial as Three Billboards seems to be winning Best Picture in a lot of awards circles and I am campaigning for it to not even be nominated.
What about you guys? What were your biggest snubs— or oversights? Let us know!