This year’s Oscar nominations left a lot to be desired. Mainly the talented performances we all kind of thought were deservant of the tiny gold statue in the past year. Which leads me to wonder if we were all watching the same movies this year? Here’s a list of some of the nominees we were missing from this year’s 87th Oscars.
1. Selma – Best Picture
The Oscar snub everyone’s talking about this year is also the most controversial (what with the year we’ve had, still struggling for equality). The Oakland Tribune‘s front page made no mistake to shine a light on this glaring oversight by the academy, not only for the movie particularly, but for any nominees of color in general. Apparently this is the whitest Oscars since the late 90s. Granted, the pickings were slim this year for actor’s of color, but it just goes to show that the disparity of representation of colored people in the media is still an issue being faced today. Even with last year’s supposed strides for Lupita Nyong’o and 12 Years a Slave, the only roles we’re seeing for black actors are still those of servants and civil rights activists. Where are all the normal people of color?
2. Lego Movie – Animated Feature Film
The Animation category is often usually a no brainer (last year’s Frozen was a pretty obvious pick) and this year, it seemed there was a pretty apparent contender with the release of the super meta-adult friendly Lego movie. From the effects to the storyline and message, it screamed Oscars. Yet it’s absolutely nowhere to be seen on the nominations list. Seriously?!
3. Lana Del Rey – (Big Eyes/Maleficent) – Best Original Song
Perhaps it’s due to her insane popularity, brooding good looks, and sultry voice (and this writer’s personal affinity for her) but both of Del Rey’s songs commissioned personally by two Hollywood big wigs (Angelina Jolie and Tim Burton) are nothing short of her hauntingly beautiful melodic aesthetic. Listen here.
4. Angelina Jolie – (Maleficent/Unbroken) – Best Actress/Directing
In the proverbial boys club that is the Best Picture and Directing categories, female directors haven’t really had their time in the sun… like ever. We get it, glass ceilings are a thing still. But with the derth of female representation, and one glimmering beacon of hope coming from Mrs. Jolie-Pitt herself, how in the world did this film get overlooked? I cried during the preview. She even managed to play up a hyper-masculine story line, going all Clint Eastwood on us (the kind of shit the Academy usually eats right up). Come on guys! And the Disney film that managed to turn the traditional fairytale model on it’s head? Angelina’s making all the right moves and getting no credit. What gives?
5. Big Eyes – Cinemtography
Maybe it was the setting (the film takes place in San Francisco and other NorCal destinations) or the nostalgic imagery or Tim Burton‘s name, but this film deserved so much more than a nod to Adams’ acting in the lead role (which was actually a departure from her usual bravadic bubbly roles we’re used to seeing her in; it was nice to see her pull in the reigns). The movie is about art for Christ’s sake! The cinematography deserved some recognition. I’m just saying.
6. The Hobbit – Visual Effects
Ok, I’m not even a fan of this film franchise but even I have to admit it probably should’ve had the Visual Effects category down. I mean, it’s about 70% of the film.
7. The Fault in Our Stars – Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Last year was the year of Shailene Woodley, with two ginormous roles in two vastly different genres (Divergent), she showed us she had the acting chops to take on any role and any script. So when Hank Green’s amazing YA novel was adapted for the big screen by himself, it was all anyone under the age of 22 could talk about for a few months. Granted it took me a while to give into the hype but after watching it, there’s no way this wryly written, gut wrenching tale of teen love-and-loss didn’t deserve at LEAST a Golden Globe, but it’s definitely Oscar worthy IMO. (Or maybe it’s just the 14 year old girl in me talking. WHATEVER! I may or may not have cried like 4 times. HOW IS THAT NOT ENOUGH HOLLYWOOD FOREIGN PRESS!?)
So maybe the Academy knows better than we do. And maybe they’re a group of old, out of touch white men who aren’t hip to the times. Whichever it is, this year’s Oscars will surely be missing something other than women, people of color and Ellen DeGeneres. We’re not really sure what it is, but maybe this is the sign that the Academy needs to change.