Total Recall: Surprising Oscar Nominations and Snubs

Summary

Watching the Academy Awards is a perfectly fine way to spend an evening, but let's face it: Half the fun of the Oscars is trying to predict who'll win, and the other half is bellyaching about who wasn't even nominated. It's in that spirit that we assembled this week's list -- looking back over the last few decades of Oscardom, plenty of worthy films have been honored, but just as many (if not more) have seen their contributions to cinema unfairly overlooked in favor of some rather questionable nominations. Obviously, this is meant to be a conversation starter rather than a complete list, but hey -- that's what the comments are for. Let's Total Recall! Back to Article

Comments

Branden Mata

Branden Mata

Meryl Streep winning for the Iron Lady was so stupid. I feel Michelle Williams should have won, but either Mara or Davis should have took it over Streep as well imo. Most generic performance its crazy.

Feb 20 - 11:57 PM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

I read that book and saw that movie, I disagree. I thought the book was a great tribute to Kurt Vonnegut and the movie a great tribute to hollywoods ridiculous interpretation of 9-11 tragedies no different than Remember me and the absolutely absurd World Trade Center.

Feb 21 - 12:02 AM

Emily Kane

Emily Kane

Kurt Vonnegut didn't write that book

Feb 21 - 04:42 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

"tribute" it was a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut you know since it ripped off so much of Slaughter House V. "tribute"

Feb 21 - 09:47 AM

infernaldude

Infernal Dude

Ya, the lack of Moonrise Kingdom is fucked. I enjoyed it why more than Pi, Beasts, and/or (especially) Les Mis. It had all the art and craft of those films plus the ensemble. It should've been Oscar gold.

Feb 21 - 01:07 AM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

Exactly.

Feb 21 - 12:17 PM

TJ S.

TJ Seher

This list is completely unfair. Yeah it's a travesty some phenomenal films were snubbed, but that doesn't suggest that some awful films didn't deserve nominations in certain technical categories. Yes Waterworld sucked, but if it was one of the best of the year in Sound Mixing, than it deserves that nomination. PERIOD.

Feb 21 - 01:27 AM

Patrickman Orquia

Patrickman Orquia

No nominations for Cloud Atlas. NONE. I think it's the best movie of 2012 and the best movie that I've seen in recent years and the Oscars just snubbed it.

Feb 21 - 01:55 AM

Mark Angelini

Mark Angelini

I don't really get the love for that film. We essentially had the same type of movie in 2011 with The Tree of Life, which was much better and far less bloated (not to mention shorter, much shorter). Cloud Atlas was good, but very flawed and certainly didn't deserve to be nominated for any major awards

Feb 21 - 05:34 AM

Freddie Hoareau

Freddie Hoareau

I don't even know where to begin on how The Tree of Life is not the same type of film as Cloud Atlas, The Tree of Life is a masterpiece btw, but I certainly enjoyed Cloud Atlas

Mar 15 - 03:52 PM

Andrew Targaryen

Andrew Targaryen

The most it should have gotten was Makeup, maybe Sound or Visuals. It wasn't THAT great.

Feb 22 - 01:03 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Thank you, Mark: THE TREE OF LIFE > CLOUD ATLAS

Feb 23 - 04:27 PM

Patrickman Orquia

Patrickman Orquia

have you seen it? Stanley Tucci was awesome in that, methinks.

Feb 21 - 01:59 AM

timmyelliot

Tim Elliot

I agree. The movie might not have been good, but Stanley Tucci did a good job.

Feb 24 - 03:29 PM

Patrickman Orquia

Patrickman Orquia

i agree.

Feb 21 - 01:59 AM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

The greatest Oscar snub in history will always be Anthony Perkins being ignored as Norman Bates.

Feb 21 - 02:35 AM

Dave M.

Dave Mart

Sorry, Malcolm McDowell would be a completely different actor if he had gotten a much deserved recognition for ''A Clockwork Orange''. To me, the greatest snub ever is not nominating ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' or ''Dr. Strangelove'' to Best Picture category.

Feb 21 - 05:43 AM

Zane B

Chum Chum

The constant Kubrick and Scorsese snubs proves that the Academy's opinion is worthless

Feb 21 - 07:49 AM

Dave M.

Dave Mart

Now we're getting somewhere.

Feb 21 - 07:50 AM

Mark Angelini

Mark Angelini

We've got a Kubrick fag here! Haha, I'm joking. I agree with you that 2001 and Strangelove should've been nominated for Best Picture in their respective years. Perkins is still the biggest Oscar snub of all time though

Feb 21 - 10:00 AM

Dave M.

Dave Mart

It should then be open to discussion whether or not an acting career for itself is more important to cinema than one of its greatest filmmakers.

Feb 21 - 12:14 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

2001 not getting a Best Picture nomination is the 2nd biggest Oscar snub in my book, so BOOYAH!

Feb 21 - 12:20 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

"Strangelove" was nominated for Best Picture (lost to "My Fair Lady"). Hitchcock never won a directing Oscar either.

Feb 21 - 01:02 PM

Dave M.

Dave Mart

Worth knowing fact :) thnx

Feb 21 - 01:12 PM

timmyelliot

Tim Elliot

But Hitchcock was nominated 5 times.

His losses were not too shabby, considering they were also legendary directors: John Ford, Leo McCarey, Elia Kazan and Billy Wilder.

Feb 24 - 03:55 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

How is ANNIE HALL, the greatest romantic comedy of all time, not as good as STAR WARS, an outer space opus which was (literally) saved in editing? Also I think ORDINARY PEOPLE is better than RAGING BULL, so suck it; technically speaking, they are both superior films, but I gave a shit about the characters in the former.

Feb 21 - 02:45 AM

dggrhm

Doug Graham

Because it (Star Wars) had a larger cultural impact. Don't get me wrong, I think Annie Hall is a great movie, but Star Wars changed movies; for good or ill it changed movies. That it was saved in editing is true but it goes to show how important editing is.

Feb 21 - 03:38 PM

Dick Travis

Mick Travis

Well said!

Feb 21 - 09:31 PM

Jayson Moseley

Jayson Moseley

"Star Wars" changed movies the same way "The Abyss" did, mostly in the special effects world. It didn't really offer much in narrative, and it certainly didn't invent or even possess any epic story-telling. I mean, the parts of the saga that resonate the most with fans (including myself) are really quite silly... a magical force called "The Force," or swords of light called "light sabers?" When you actually arrest your nostalgic feelings about the film and look at it objectively, the amount of laziness and lack of depth is profound. We weren't as impressed the second time around, which is why the prequels are viewed by many as pathetic.

Feb 28 - 04:41 PM

Jacklord Alan Keen

Jacklord Alan Keen

Reservoir dogs,heat and groundhog day should have been nominated.

Feb 21 - 03:21 AM

King  S.

King Simba

No offense, but I find this list kind of poorly done. These critically panned films did not get the nomination over the acclaimed films you mentioned, they got their nominations in secondary categories. For example, yes Groundhog Day deserved a nomination for best original screenplay, but how does that conflict with Beethoven's 2nd's nomination for best original song? Also, as other users have mentioned, just because the film as a whole sucks doesn't mean there wasn't a single component of it that didn't work. Transformers 2 was a bad film, but it certainly deserved its technical nominations, which were easily the best thing about it.

A better list would be to mention the snubs and the films you feel they should have been nominated over. For example, last year Winnie the Pooh in my opinion deserved a nomination for best animated feature over any of the other films that got nominated, while Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close did not deserve the best picture nomination over the likes of Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Muppets and heck even Bridesmaids (speaking of which has a raunchy comedy ever gotten nominated for best picture? All the comedies I can think of that got a best pic nomination were more on the lines of dramedies).

Feb 21 - 03:23 AM

Bigbrother

Big Brother

Agree, it's crazy looking back that Groundhog Day didn't get any noms. It completely changed the meaning of what people think of when you say Groundhog Day. Very widespread societal impact.

Feb 21 - 03:19 PM

Pattie

Pattie Bessette

Agree Big Bro, and Harold Ramis, has been often overlooked, he also wrote the song 'Weatherman' for 'Groundhog Day', and the screenplays for Ghostbusters, of course, Analyze This and That, and his influence on comedy can't be ignored. But wait, it has!

Feb 22 - 11:38 AM

timmyelliot

Tim Elliot

"It Happened One Night" was, for its time, was a raunchy comedy. In 30s Depression Era, Gable's shirtless scene is legendary. And there's another scene where Cobert showed up the Gable character by using her legs to stop a car.

Feb 24 - 03:00 PM

Saim Cheeda

Saim Cheeda

I boycotted the oscars last year because Harry Potter wasnt nominated!

Feb 21 - 03:38 AM

Valmordas

Val Mordas

The last three Harry Potters sucked...

Feb 21 - 05:39 AM

Dave M.

Dave Mart

Finally!

Feb 21 - 01:11 PM

Matt Behr

Matt Behr

yeah I'm sorry but none of the Harry Potters should have been nominated for Best Picture. The Lord of the Ring's series (excluding the hobbit) was more epic and derserving of its wins/nominations

Feb 22 - 12:07 PM

Don Drzal

Don Drzal

You guys are so wrong! Yes! The best Francise of all time Harry Potter which made almost 8 Billion dollars at the theater (as a franchise). Every Movie made over 750 million. If that many people is willing to watch Harry Potter can't you give credit to where credit is due! Or are you guys like the .5% that actually watch the oscar nominated films that nobody wants to see or their charcaters are unforgettable.!

Feb 23 - 09:16 AM

Mac

Joe Jarosz

Listen, I support films that aren't afraid to push boundaries and stand up for what they believe in. But to say the last 3 HP's sucked....hardly. They were very well done, very well adapted and the acting was great. HP and LOTR will live on forever...

Feb 24 - 01:54 PM

Tre Oates

Tre Oates

Don, I understand that money really does matter, but the fact of the matter is: It shouldn't. Not at all. An award should be given on merit of the films achievements, thematically, visualy, sound, acting, directing etc etc. The fact that the Harry Potter series has made a boatload of cash should be no basis for an award of any kind. Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed the HP movies for what they were and towards the end they got better, put HP against LOTR and there is no competition whatsoever. Not to mention the fact that the "Acadamy" has snubbed and given the middle finger to so many deserving films (short, feature length, all genres) that the concept of an "Acadamy Award" is laughable. :/

May 24 - 07:43 AM

Tre Oates

Tre Oates

And, if your argument is to be believed, then the Twilight series should also be a high ranking contender, and that alone is enough for me to stop listening.

May 24 - 07:45 AM

Zeke Teke

Zeke Teke

Harry Potter in general is good, not great. Just because you love something doesn't mean it is better than other movies out there.

Feb 21 - 08:23 AM

MisterVile

Mister Vile

Amen. People need to read and understand that statement.

Feb 21 - 12:53 PM

Jason Lalljee

Jason Lalljee

Hello? Are you not reading your own contradiction? WHY do you think that people love these movies so much? BECAUSE they feel they are so good. You can't feel sentimentality over something without the love in the first place... by snubbing the films the Academy failed to recognize the contribution of a series of films to the industry, and therefore lost all relevance.

Feb 21 - 02:20 PM

Dan M.

Dan Maclester

Haha @Jason Lalljee what a silly response. Zeke didn't say Harry Potter wasn't good, he said it wasn't great. Also if we apply your brilliant logic across the board we'd have to give Twilight an oscar too...many people love many awful movies (Harry Potter is not awful but you get the point)

Feb 21 - 03:13 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Children and their choice of best movies, sheesh!

Feb 21 - 04:25 PM

King  S.

King Simba

"Children and their choice of best movies, sheesh!"

So you'll passionately defend someone who likes Die Hard 5 and yet as soon as someone says they think Harry Potter are great movies you call them children?

Feb 21 - 11:19 PM

Susan Pfleiderer

Susan Pfleiderer

Harry Potter was great many people think so. I just saw Midnight in Paris. And while cute, there was a LOT wrong and sloppy with that movie. Potter definitely deserved that nom. slot.

Feb 22 - 08:12 AM

King  S.

King Simba

Where on earth did I say Die Hard 5 deserved an award?

Regardless, it's not just children who think some of the Harry Potter films are great. They've all scored really high both with critics and audiences.

Feb 22 - 03:00 PM

Dave J

Dave J

Excuse me, no one is suggesting "Die Hard 5" should get any type of award except you! Now just because some people liked the movie- it's nothing more than 'guilty pleasure', can you say the same with the movies that you like as well!

Feb 22 - 03:01 PM

Gage Kent

Gage Kent

Idiot.

Feb 21 - 12:16 PM

Barry McCockener

Bard The Bowman

Deathly Hallows Part 2 was definitely the best entry in the groundbreaking series, and AT THE VERY LEAST it should have been nominated for Best Visual Effects. It also had a 96% tomato-meter score, which is extremely high for a big budget movie like that

Feb 21 - 10:01 PM

timmyelliot

Tim Elliot

Your comment is stupid and misinformed.

It WAS nominated for Best Visual Effects.

Feb 23 - 07:54 PM

timmyelliot

Tim Elliot

Sorry, "stupid" wasn't the right word.

Feb 23 - 08:02 PM

Pattie

Pattie Bessette

Never boycott but if I did, that would have been my reason as well! Thanks for saying so!

Feb 22 - 09:38 AM

Ben Venidos

Ben Venidos

Zero nominations for The Dark Knight Rises, The Hunger Games, or The Amazing Spider-Man.
Meanwhile, Mirror Mirror is nominated for Best Costume Design.
Oscars logic.

Feb 21 - 04:10 AM

Jason B.

Jason Black

I don't think Amazing Spider-man deserves any kind of a nomination.

Feb 21 - 03:37 PM

timmyelliot

Tim Elliot

Seriously?! While Mirror, Mirror might not have been the best film, Eiko Ishioka costume designs are brilliant! She's arguably the best Japanese designer, and Mirror Mirror was her last film before dying of cancer.

Feb 24 - 04:15 PM

Ben Venidos

Ben Venidos

Also, why didn't Jim Carrey get nominated for Best Actor for The Truman Show in 1999?

Feb 21 - 04:13 AM

Matt Behr

Matt Behr

he got the golden globe nod but i dont think the Academy was ready to put Jim Carrey on the same stage as they put Robin WIlliams as a comedian/actor. and 1999 featured a lot of unforgettable performances. Fight club didn't get nominated for any prominent Academy awards that year and it is a hell of a movie.

Feb 22 - 12:04 PM

timmyelliot

Tim Elliot

Sure, Jim Carrey did good, but I don't think he deserved the nomination more than any of the other real nominees: Benigni (Life is Beautiful), Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan), Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters)... and... I can't remember the rest, but the list was strong.

Feb 24 - 04:18 PM

Emily Kane

Emily Kane

Kurt Vonnegut didn't write that book

Feb 21 - 04:42 AM

Brad and Netflix

Bradly Martin

"tribute" it was a tribute to Kurt Vonnegut you know since it ripped off so much of Slaughter House V. "tribute"

Feb 21 - 09:47 AM

Bill Edmunds

Bill Edmunds

This article is seriously flawed. Technical nominations should have nothing to do with the quality of the film itself. Clan of the Cave Bear was a bad movie but it deserved to be nominated for makeup. Transformers is a lousy movie buy the visual effects are excellent.

Feb 21 - 05:25 AM

Dave M.

Dave Mart

I agree completely. The point is obviously Oscar acknowledgements are conventionally determined by partial technical quality. The major categories are more tarnishable and subject to manipulation than those whose criterion is determined by technical experts on the matter. We can all complain that some actor was snubbed after giving a memorable performance because it was of obvious recognition, but then only people with insightful knowledge in the technical aspects of filmmaking would discern sound editing from sound mixing.

Feb 21 - 06:03 AM

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