The Oscars are an event for recognizing the most talented artists working in film, but what if the most talented artists aren’t being recognized? Here are 10 different films and categories that were surprisingly ignored by the Academy in 2015.
10) Best Documentary Feature: Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
If not the best documentary of the year, Montage of Heck deserves a nod for being the most creative. The film mashes Kurt Cobain’s drawings and videos with his handwriting, music and voice recordings to build a testimonial, not just from his families or friends, but those of us watching.
9) Best Production Design: Crimson Peak
Three period pieces were nominated in this category, not one of them took on a life of its own the way Crimson Peak has, showcasing not only Guillermo del Toro’s eye for aesthetic flare but for creating worlds rife with atmosphere, romance and horror through sheer visual splendour alone.
8) Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin – Steve Jobs
Perhaps the most surprising snub in this category was Steve Jobs for writing, taking into account his Golden Globe win. Aaron Sorkin, who isn’t a stranger to the award—winning for The Social Network in 2010—had once again dominated the narrative landscape with his strong ear for compelling drama.
7) Best Cinematography: Luca Bigazzi – Youth
Luca Bigazzi is an Italian cinematographer with a skill to turn the most mundane images into works of art. Youth’s visual motifs are staggering, not only because they’re visually hypnotic but because they’re dramatic and emotional without any words. It isn’t the most surprising snub, but it’s a snub nevertheless.
6) Best Picture: Carol
2015 is continuing its designated eight nominated “Best Picture” nods, but seems to have forgotten to include a critical, decidedly Oscarworthy favorite — that of course being Carol. There’s not much to say on the matter, it hits the right notes, it’s critically acclaimed and socially progressive.
5) Best Original Score: Michael Giacchino – Inside Out
On my list of the year’s best scores, I chose Junkie XL for Mad Max: Fury Road as my favourite, but I also accept that aside from the film’s multiple nominations the score clearly doesn’t have the trappings of a typical Oscar favourite, making it an unlikely nominee. With that said, Inside Out does possess these features and Michael Giacchino’s snub baffles me.
4) Best Animated Feature: The Peanuts Movie
This year’s animated nominees were actually pleasantly surprising. But what about the most welcomed of the year’s many adaptations? The Peanuts Movie captured the core of the original show with an unusually inventive and glorious 3D animation, reminding us of the beauty of simplicity.
3) Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
While Steve Jobs is the most surprising snub, The Hateful Eight might be the biggest injustice. Not only is this Tarantino back to form — with a minimalist setting and dialogue driven narrative — it’s perhaps his most intelligent work, with a previous nod and a win, this snub came out of no where.
2) Best Actress: Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road
Oscar-winner Charlize Theron received stupendous support from critics, feminists and action diehards for her turn as the multilayered Furiosa. Like Sigourney Weaver whose own action-turn nabbed her a nod for Aliens, and accounting for Fury Road’s 10 nominations, this nomination should have been a no-brainer.
1) Best Supporting Actor: Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
All of us must have heard the backlash concerning the lack of racially diverse nominees. However, very little outrage is expressed on the underrecognized, mesmerizing performance of Idris Elba, playing a commander of child soldiers, or his bravery in putting a human face on a character so inhuman.