I am not sure if there has been an Academy Award ceremony that has been so criticised for playing safe with the movies or actors they chose to nominate as the 91st Academy Awards. In trying to win over the general audiences while also trying to maintain a high standard, the Academy award jury has gone for some very populist choices that have not gone down well with critics, movie buffs and film-makers. A lot has been said about the love poured for good but not great films like Black Panther, Green Book, A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody, even Vice, all of the five also competing for the Best Picture. Just when there were better candidates getting snubbed. Oscars 2019 Best Actor Winner Predictions: From Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody to Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born – Who Will Win the Trophy at 91st Academy Awards?
Sure, the nominations for The Favourite and BlacKkKlansman felt deserved, though latter's John David Washington being ignored for Best Actor award is purely insane. There were some good movies that got a couple of nominations, but should have got more and deserved to compete in the main categories. Like First Man (deserving nominations in Best Actor, Best Film and Best Director), Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Best Film, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay), A Quiet Place (Best Actress, Best Director), First Reformed (Best Actor), Avengers: Infinity War (Best Director) and so on. Oscars 2019 Full Nominations List in PDF: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture - More Category-Wise Nominees at 91st Academy Awards.
And there are other movies, totally deserving of some Oscar love but were completely missed out by the jury for any nominations. So if you were disappointed with the kind of fare being honoured by Oscars 2019, perhaps these films might enthral you (while also making you ask how could the jury be blind towards them!).
This coming-of-age teenage drama makes for an interesting watch purely because it was unusual. Why? Because Eighth Grade shows teens for what they are - awkward, rebellious with a curiosity of exploring sexuality. Elsie Fisher as the eighth grader is so natural that it really feels like we are having a peek into her life, while Josh Hamilton's character is that one dad everyone should ask for. A fine effort from director Bo Burnham,
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay
If you are in for cheap scares and spooks, then Hereditary is not for you. But if you want to see something different in the genre of horror, where the scares lie in the mingling tension, then Hereditary is a riveting watch. It also boasts of some excellent performances from the cast, especially Toni Collete (whose performance being snubbed is the most unforgivable sin by the Academy this year).
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actress
Jason Reitman returns to making films after a gap of four years directing his Young Adult lead actress Charlize Theron in this very likeable human drama. Theron plays a pregnant woman suffering from postpartum depression, and she brilliantly portrays underlying emotions that any pregnant lady goes through.
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress (Mackenzie Davis)
Alex Garland is a name to watch out for when it comes to science fiction, and his Ex Machina is easily one of the best in the genre. With Netflix's Annihilation, he blends a few genres to create an unusual sci-fi adventure film that doesn't hold back on the horrors and gore, while playing with some existential truths. Also, Natalie Portman is brilliant as always!
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress (Gina Rodriguez), Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Cinematography
The part CGI part live-action film was a warmer, more adorable entertainer that the first Paddington film. With a truly engaging storyline and featuring a roguishly charming performance from Hugh Grant, Paddington 2 was easily one of the best films of last year. Which is why, its snub by many award ceremonies caused a mini furore on social media.
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Grant), Best Film, Best Visual Effects, Best Adapted Screenplay
Steven McQueen (12 Years A Slave)'s films usually are loved by the Oscars, but his latest effort, the viscerally thrilling Widows, is given a miss by the jury this year. Perhaps the theme of the heist was felt too commercial to Academy Awards taste, but its snubs in the acting categories, especially Viola Davis' fantastic performance, can't be forgiven.
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Director, Best Actress (Viola Davis), Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall)
The remake of Italian filmmaker Dario Argento cult horror film, Suspiria, received a mixed response, mostly because some of the ideas felt too abstract and some scenes too queasy. Luca Guadagnino's take is not an easy watch, I agree, but it has some incredible visuals, a haunting score and brilliant performances from the cast, especially Tilda Swinton in three different roles!
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Supporting Actress (Tilda Swinton), Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Costume Design, Best Original Score
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
It is easy to scoff at the latest instalment of Mission: Impossible franchise as another action entertainer. However, Fallout is perhaps the best rethread of what makes the franchise tick, with a dedicated act by its lead man, Tom Cruise, who is willing to go to any lengths to get a stunt right. I am not saying that Fallout should be nominated in the main categories, but its ignorance in the technical ones is irredeemable. Imagine Solo: A Star Wars Story is an Oscar-nominated movie, but not this!
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Cinematogra[hy, Best Visual Effects, Best Editing, Best Sound Design, Best Director
Leave No Trace
A moving tale of a father, who suffers from PTSD and lives in a remote area with his teenage daughter. Leave No Trace is empowered by the powerful performances of both the lead stars, Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie, who deserve nominations under their name.
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Actress
Sorry to Bother You
Okay, Sorry To Bother You being snubbed by the jury is something I can understand. It doesn't mean that the movie didn't deserve to be nominated. It is just that this satirical sci-fi comedy is too quirky for some of the more conventional-loving jury members. However, a nod for its screenplay should have been given!
Should Have Been Nominated For: Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score
Other Honourable Mentions: The Death of Stalin (Best Adapted Screenplay), The Old Man & the Gun (Best Actor).
Well, it looks like all the Academy Awards enthusiasts will have to be happy with the fare being served (by no host, though). The show will telecast in India on February 25, at about 6.30 am.