It’s February which means it’s almost time for the yearly Acadamy Awards. It’s almost time for what many consider as the most prestigious movie awards ceremony as it seems to carry the most meaning. To say a film/actor/crew member is Oscar-nominated is one of the highest levels of fame in the industry. Usually, there are a few snubs, but this year seemed to be full of snubs.
Hey everyone, I’m Andy and today I’m going to countdown the top 10 Oscar snubs of 2019. From actors to film scores, these are the biggest snubs of the year.
As always I have some honourable mentions to give out before getting into the top 10. These are some big snubs, and some/most of these could easily replace some of the current nominations. Also, there are some movies I still haven’t seen (Paddington 2 and Won’t You Be My Neighbor are a couple of notable ones), so if there are some snubs that I didn’t include, it may be because I didn’t get to see the film.
Best Actress – Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade): Elsie Fisher proved why this generation of child actors is the best yet with an incredibly heartwarming (and heartbreaking) performance as Kayla. I’m keen to see what she does next!
Best Original Score – Jóhann Jóhannsson (Mandy): This incredible score from the wonderful composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, who tragically died in early 2018, transformed Mandy into one of the most beautiful and hypnotic films of the year. The score is insanely beautiful.
Best Supporting Actress – Claire Foy (First Man): As much as I loved Ryan Gosling’s performance as Neil Armstrong, it was Claire Foy as Janet Armstrong who stole every scene she was in. A truly breathtaking performance that made First Man a masterpiece.
Best Editing – Walter Fasano (Suspiria): I’m not even going to drag this one out as Walter Fasano did the best editing of 2018 and he didn’t get nominated. The definition of a snub.
Best Director – Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk): Barry Jenkins improved upon his direction for Moonlight with this, and the result is a heartbreaking and beautiful cinematic experience.
Best Supporting Actor – Steven Yeun (Burning): Steven Yeun has had an incredible couple of years since The Walking Dead, and his mysterious and captivating performance is his best yet.
Best Actor – Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here): I could have listed any of Joaquin’s three significant roles from 2018 as a snub, but it was his detached and angry performance as a hitman that blew my breath away. But damn can we give him an award? He’s incredible in basically everything he does.
Best Documentary Feature – Three Identical Strangers: I haven’t seen Won’t You Be My Neighbor yet (which I’ve heard was the best doco of 2018), but this is one of the most insane and captivating documentaries I’ve ever seen, and you need to watch it.
Best Original Screenplay – Ari Aster (Hereditary): Hereditary was the best horror movie of 2018 (followed very closely by Suspiria), and the screenplay was one of the most original and unpredictable I’ve seen in the genre. I think the Academy doesn’t like horror movies unless Jordan Peele is behind one.
Best Picture – Blindspotting: This directorial debut from Carlos López Estrada deserved at least five nominations, and it got none. There are ten nomination spots for Best Picture so why not put Blindspotting in? It’s leagues better than Bohemian Rhapsody (and now I wait for some backlash from the BoRhap lovers).
Best Visual Effects – Annihilation: For a Netflix original, this has some of the best visual effects I’ve ever seen! That bear alone should’ve gotten the visual effects department a nomination.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling – Suspiria: Tilda Swinton played three characters (including an old man, whose penis you do see), and many people didn’t even realise. TILDA SWINTON PLAYED AN OLD MAN, AND THE ACADEMY DIDN’T EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THE INCREDIBLE MAKEUP!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, let’s begin!
10. Best Original Score – Suspiria: Thom Yorke
Kicking off this list is a snub I couldn’t (and still can’t) comprehend. Thom Yorke is one of the greatest musicians of our time, and he crafted one of the greatest film scores of all time for Luca Guadagnino’s masterful remake of the Italian 1977 horror classic Suspiria.
Thom Yorke had a near-impossible task of creating a score that would be able to stand on its own, considering how masterful Goblin’s incredibly hypnotic score for the original was, and he nailed it. The whole soundtrack goes into different musical genres, and it even seems to play around with stereotypical horror scores. Yorke composed a mixture of peaceful and stressful piano ballads, death metal, synthesised epics, baroque style pieces, and of course some typical Radiohead style songs. Suspirium is easily the standout track, and I also think it should have been nominated for Best Original Song. It’s a haunting piece with Yorke’s falsetto approach, and it definitely suits the tone of Suspiria. Thom Yorke’s Suspiria is a beautiful soundtrack, and it deserves more love.
9. Best Original Screenplay – Eighth Grade: Bo Burnham
Bo Burnham’s directorial/writing debut is one of the most realistic and heartwarming coming-of-age movies of all time. As I said in my honourable mentions, the lead performance from Elsie Fisher is one of 2018’s best, and she brings the awkward and relatable character of Kayla to life. But it’s Bo Burnham’s writing that is the real star of Eighth Grade.
Burnham has written a realistic and relatable film experience that transports you into the awkward and puberty filled days of eighth grade. Every character feels real, and Burnham writes in just about every type of person you would’ve known when you were that young. There are the girls who bitch about everyone behind their backs, the shy yet sweet kids, parents who are out of touch and of course teachers/adults trying to be hip (cue in THAT Steve Buscemi scene from 30 Rock). It’s incredibly cringy, but it’s real. Burnham writes in realistic dialogue, relatable characters and problems that everyone has faced in their lives, and that’s why Eighth Grade is brilliant.
8. Best Director – Lynne Ramsay: You Were Never Really Here
Yet again, the Best Director category had no female nominees, which shocked a lot of people. There were some fantastic female directors in 2018 with Debra Granik’s Leave No Trace, Josephine Decker’s Madeline’s Madeline, and my personal favourite, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here.
You Were Never Really Here is a dark, sombre and anticlimactic film that works all because of Lynne Ramsay’s direction (and Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliant performance of course). Ramsay directs the s### out of this film with a vision that takes its time and isn’t afraid to leave you in the deep end. By focusing on the film’s troubled and broken protagonist who is suffering a severe case of PTSD, Ramsay allows for a unique viewing experience that is slow and dreamlike at times. Yes, for a movie about a violent man, we don’t see much violence, but that’s why I love the film and Ramsay’s direction. Instead, we get a realistic approach to the nature of violence and how life is anticlimactic. Nothing ever goes to plan, and the world doesn’t centre around you.
7. Best Foreign Film – Burning
2018 was a fantastic year for foreign films, with Alfonso Cuarón’s personal masterpiece Roma being a frontrunner for the Best Picture category (that win would make history). But to my surprise, there was another excellent foreign film from South Korea that came out in 2018 to critical and commercial praise, but it was sadly snubbed.
Burning is a South Korean film which is made up of several different genres. It goes from being a romance/drama, to psychological mystery/thriller in such a subtle way that you may not even notice it for minutes. Director Lee Chang-dong’s work here is thrilling to watch. The story (that I don’t want to get into as it will tread on spoiler territory quickly) is unique and original, the performances from the main three (Yoo Ah-in, Jeon Jong-seo, and Steven Yeun) are incredible, and each of them deserve acting nominations, the cinematography is gorgeous, and it’s not afraid to leave a few questions unanswered. Burning is a challenging and long film, but it’s worth experiencing more than once.
6. Best Director – Bradley Cooper: A Star Is Born
If you know me, then you know that I love Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, A Star Is Born. Yes, it may be a remake of a remake, but it’s an excellent and powerful one. It got quite a few nominations at this year’s Oscars with a Best Original Song nom (it’s definitely going to win) for Shallow, acting noms and a best picture nom. But how come Bradley Cooper didn’t get a director nom for his incredible direction?
Bradley Cooper did a fantastic job as a first time director with A Star Is Born. He made a film that works on so many different levels, thanks to his love and passion for the project. The cast and crew of A Star Is Born have said that Cooper was an amazing and caring director to work with and you can tell by watching the finished product. Cooper has crafted two of the most complex characters of 2018 (the chemistry between Cooper and Lady Gaga is incredible), and I hope he continues to make films similar to this as he knows how to connect with the audience.
5. Best Supporting Actor – Timothée Chalamet: Beautiful Boy
Timothée Chalamet is one of the best young working actors today and if you don’t know who he is, are you even a fan of movies? After his mesmerising breakout role as Elio in Call Me By Your Name (my favourite performance of 2017 and easily one of my favourite romantic/coming-of-age movies of all time), he has appeared everywhere. Considering he was getting a lot of attention for his performance as a real-life meth addict, many like myself were shocked by his Oscar snub.
Timothée Chalamet is incredible in this true story of a family struggling to cope with their son’s meth addiction. He gives it his all as a character that you hate at times, but can also sympathise with. The fact that he is able to perform as amazingly as Steve Carell blows my mind. He is able to pull off being an addict with this raw and powerful performance, and it’s one that you won’t forget for a very long time.
4. Best Picture – If Beale Street Could Talk
Yeah, this one had to be included on the list as this is a snub that doesn’t need to be a snub. Before I go into why Barry Jenkin’s near-perfect follow-up to his previous best picture winner Moonlight two year ago is so good, I want to talk about the category itself. Almost ten years ago, the Academy opened up the category to be able to include ten nominations. They’ve only used the ten slots once and this year is when they should’ve used them all again. You could also take out Bohemian Rhapsody and put this in there, and many, including myself, would be very happy.
Now, If Beale Street Could Talk is a powerful and poignant cinematic experience that deserves a Best Picture nom. Barry Jenkins has crafted one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen with this timeless story about a young African American couple in 1970s Harlem struggling with racial issues and are brought together by their love for each other. Jenkin’s raw direction, mixed with the powerful performances, incredible soundtrack and beautiful cinematography, make If Beale Street Could Talk one of 2018’s best and a film that deserved a Best Picture nomination.
3. Best Actor – Ethan Hawke: First Reformed
This one is a snub that I was expecting, but damn it still saddens me. Ethan Hawke is an actor who I’ve adored ever since first seeing him in Dead Poets Society. Then there are his incredible performances in the Before Trilogy, Boyhood, Training Day, Gattaca, and the underrated horror film Daybreakers (a movie that I want to talk about one day). The man is an incredible actor. He has won a lot of awards from other little award shows for his career-best performance here in First Reformed. Yet again, the Academy shows no love.
I don’t want to talk much about First Reformed and Hawke’s character as it will approach spoiler territory, but I’ll say a couple of non-spoiler things. First Reformed is like a modern-day Taxi Driver, and Ethan Hawke’s character is a modern Travis Bickle. He suffers from PTSD and other mental issues and watching his character go down this path is incredibly captivating to watch. Hawke completely transforms into the complex priest, and the final product makes for my favourite male performance of 2018.
2. Best Original Score – First Man: Justin Hurwitz
At number two, we have a snub that actually made me yell out “what the f###?” Justin Hurwitz has proved himself to be one of the greatest working composers today with his incredible work on Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, Whiplash and La La Land. He somehow managed to top those three movies with his best score yet! He has won the Golden Globe, Satellite and Critics’ Choice Awards for this breathtaking score and of course the Academy turns their eyes (or should I say ears?) away from Hurwitz.
If you haven’t already, go and watch First Man and listen to Hurwitz’s score. It helped make First Man my favourite movie of 2018 (which was also sadly snubbed for a Best Picture nom). Anyway, Justin Hurwitz is at his best with this original score that is heavily influenced by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and of course his prior compositions. One of the things I love about the score is his use of the theremin. The theremin is an electronic instrument that is controlled without physical contact. It results in these hypnotic and hauntingly beautiful sounds that appear throughout his score. I could keep going on about other aspects I love but I’ll stop here and say that it’s one of my favourite movie scores of all time and it deserves your love.
1. Best Actress – Toni Collette: Hereditary
This has to be my number one right? This is yet another snub that made me realise that the Academy doesn’t think of horror movies as “Oscar-worthy” unless Jordan Peele is behind them. My favourite performance of 2018 was in one of my favourite movies of the year, which also happens to be one of my favourite horror movies of all time. I just said the word favourite so many times that Rachel Weisz almost popped up and threaten to kick me as much as she could until I left the room (if you don’t get that reference, you obviously haven’t seen my personal pick to win this year’s Best Picture category).
Anyway, Hereditary is a fantastic and terrifying horror movie with one of my favourite performances of all time. Toni Collette is no longer the innocent Muriel we all once knew. Here she is flooded with grief, trauma and other things I don’t want to spoil. Thanks to the writing from Ari Aster and Toni Collette’s performance, the character of Annie Graham is brought to life in one of the most captivating pieces of cinema I’ve ever seen. For the first thirty minutes of Hereditary, it seems as though Collette’s performance is good, but not memorable. Then THAT scene happens and oh my god! She transforms into this bitter and grief-ridden woman who steals every scene.
That scream she lets out is one of the most haunting things I’ve ever heard/seen, and the dinner table scene proves that she gave the best performance of the year. But of course the Acadamy had to snub her, and that’s why she has the number one spot on this list. If you want to see one of the greatest performances of all time, please go and watch Hereditary and you’ll know why I believe she was the biggest snub of the Oscars for 2019.
There you go, my top 10 Oscar snubs of 2019 done and dusted. I hope you all enjoyed it and as always, if there were some snubs that you thought deserved a nomination that I didn’t mention, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!