The Oscars nominations were released last week to some shocks and even more snubs, so here is a conclusive – or not so much – list of other films/directors/actors who have lost out on the little gold man.
This year Nightcrawler, Wild, and Foxcatcher all lost out in the Best Picture category, while Angelina Jolie, Damien Chazelle and, more importantly, Selma director Ava DuVernay were snubbed for Best Director.
Jennifer Aniston missed out on a nomination for her turn in Cake and David Oyelowo was snubbed for his role as Martin Luther King Jr in Selma. The Lego Movie was surprisingly left out of the Best Animated Feature category, though it received some of the highest ratings for any movie of 2014.
Here are some of the most surprising Oscar snubs ever.
1. Brokeback Mountain
It was 2005 and Brokeback Mountain was the small-indie-flick-turned-awards-darling that no one could stop talking about. So it was a great surprise when Crash, a mediocre ensemble film beat out the cowboy drama for Best Picture. They tried to reconcile this snub with a Best Director award for Ang Lee. Some critics blamed the homophobia that is clearly rife in the Academy, but it’s clear who the real winner is.
Special recognition: The Dark Knight, whose lack of a nomination caused such an uproar in 2008 that the Academy made it possible for a maximum of ten pictures to be nominated in the Best Picture category.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
We’ve all seen the meme of Leo’s infamous crying face. Every year Leonardo stars in a film, journalists seem to think it’s his Oscar to lose – and he always does. DiCaprio has been nominated for four Oscars, three for Best Actor and one for Best Supporting Actor for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? He probably should have won that year but that’s neither here nor there. Leo has been unfortunate that he has been nominated every year there has been an outstanding performance by another acting powerhouse – such as losing out last year to Matthew McConaughey during the McConaissance. Only time will tell if he will always manage a near miss.
Special recognition: Anthony Perkins for Psycho, the character upon which most mentally deranged, mother-loving characters are based. The man wasn’t even nominated.
3. Peter O’Toole
Eight-time nominee Peter O’Toole never managed to pick up an Oscar, despite being considered one of the greatest ever film actors. The man was nominated seven, count ‘em SEVEN, times in the space of just 20 years and finally acquired an Honorary Award in 2003 because, really, they couldn’t not give him one.
Special recognition: Richard Burton, the honey-voiced Welshman who was nominated seven times and never received an award.
4. Glenn Close
Six-time nominee Glenn Close received five of those nominations in just six years, becoming the female drama actor of the 80s. Glorious in both television and film roles, when Close is in the running it’s usually her award to lose, and lose she has. It’s grand though, she’ll probably get an honorary award when she’s close to death, just like all of the others.
Special recognition: Judy Garland received a Juvenile Oscar for her role in The Wizard of Oz but never received another award, not even an honorary one. Snubbed for by the Oscars in A Star is Born and Judgment at Nuremberg
5. Alfred Hitchcock
Nominated for five Best Director awards, Hitchcock has never received one, not one. This is a mystery akin to ‘what’s in a black hole?’ and ‘how many shots can I afford this weekend?’ Hitchcock’s films have gone down in history as some of the most masterful, suspenseful and best-directed films ever, but the Academy never seemed to approve. With such a glaring omission, can we really say the award is even worth coveting?
Special recognition: Darren Aronofsky for Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan.
6. Sidney Poitier
Though Poitier became the first African-American winner of the Best Actor award in 1964, he was denied a nomination for two of his biggest roles in In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? while his white costars received nods for Oscars for their own portrayals. He received an Honorary Oscar in 2002 which seems too little too late.
Special recognition: Cary Grant. Though today considered one of the all-time biggest movie stars, Grant was another one to only ever win an Honorary Award.
7. Martin Scorsese
This is kind of a funny one as Scorsese is an Oscar winner – now. The director famously lost out on the Best Director award for such classics as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and The Last Temptation of Christ. Only to win for his less than brilliant The Departed, though a great film, it’s no Taxi Driver – he didn’t even receive a nomination for that one. Most figured his win in 2007 was somewhat of an apology for the number of snubs he received from the Academy. Sure what does he care, he got it in the end…
Special recognition: Stanley Kubrick is considered one of the best and most influential directors whose work ever graced our screens. However, we can already tell by now that the Academy doesn’t necessarily reward originality so Kubrick is without an Oscar to his name.
8. Do the Right Thing – Spike Lee
Spike Lee has never been nominated for Best Director, his films have never been nominated for Best Picture, which is surprising considering Do the Right Thing is thought of as one of the most hard-hitting and authentic films to ever be released.
Special Recognition: Federico Fellini, nominated for 12 Oscars and then only, again, received an Honorary one. The Honorary Oscar should really just be called The Sorry We Fucked Up Award.
9. The Shawshank Redemption
Nominated for seven Oscars in 1995, The Shawshank Redemption didn’t receive one award. It lost out in every category, though it is today considered – debatably – the greatest movie ever made. With masterful performances by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, it’s a Stephen King film unlike any other. It’s hopeful and beautifully made, which you would think would be perfect Oscar-bait material. It lost out to Forrest Gump.
Special Recognition: In the same year, Pulp Fiction was also nominated for seven Oscars but, again, lost out in all but one.
10. The Big Lebowski
Because it seems that the Academy hates anything that is in the least bit lighthearted, comedies famously lose out at almost every turn – rarely nominated for Best Picture. They aren’t Oscar-baity enough to actually Oscar-bait. So even though Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi gave stellar performances, they received little to no recognition, receiving not one nomination from the Academy.
Special recognition: Sideways, which should have earned Paul Giamatti a Best Actor nod, and perhaps a Best Direction/Picture nomination for the film.
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