It happens every awards season: we make our lists ranking our favorite creators. We want to see them succeed and take home the big prize (an Oscar, a Golden Globe, you name it). Sadly, that doesn’t always work out. While only one person can win the final award, most artists will say it is just an honor to be nominated (which it is). The true heartbreak of awards season comes when our favorite films and creators don’t even get a nomination. There is no argument that the nomination and voting process of the Academy Awards are complicated, taking in members of the Academy regularly to cast votes and entertainers and production companies going on intense award campaigns. While it can feel like a tragedy to watch our favorites get snubbed at the Academy Awards, a noteworthy performance or story won’t simply lose its quality from a lack of red carpet exposure. This article is a love letter to the quality artists and projects that were snubbed by the Academy Awards, but still recognized by us here at TV Tea.
Whether a film is critically acclaimed, has garnered a cult following, or is just plain good, our favorite projects might not always get the most ideal attention when it comes to awards. There are a million reasons for a project or artist to get snubbed, including but not limited to implicit bias, finances or not being submitted for consideration. While we want to see our desert island movies get the recognition they deserve, it might not for a reason beyond a fan’s control. This year, there was no shortage of fine entertainment between new dramas, comedies and everything in between, so naturally some praised content wasn’t going to make the final cut in awards season.
One of the most talked about performances from this year came from Lady Gaga for Ridley Scott’s “House of Gucci.” Taking on the leading role of the real Patrizia Reggiani, Gaga gave a nuanced and skilled performance as the woman who plans to orchestrate the murder of her husband, Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver). Footage of the real Reggiani shows her distinct mannerisms and accent, both of which Lady Gaga inhibits successfully. Gaga has a massive fan base and has already won an Academy Award for the song “Shallow” from “A Star is Born” (for which she also received an Acting nomination). Given her fans were eagerly awaiting to see her win an Oscar for this performance, it was a big shock for many to see that she wasn’t even nominated.
A breakout leading performance of this year came from Rachel Zegler in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.” An adaptation of the musical of the same name, and remake of the classic 1961 film, “West Side Story” was a hit this year and has been nominated for seven Oscars including Best Picture, Best Achievement in Directing (Steven Spielberg) and Best Supporting Actress (Ariana DeBose for Anita). Rachel Zegler brought to life the leading role of María, a role that has been played by Natalie Wood (in the original 1961 adaptation) and countless skilled actresses on the stage. Zegler certainly had big shoes to fill in the new movie, but the young actress took the world by storm with her debut film as the lovestruck lead. Having recently taken home the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical, many speculated that Zegler would be a front runner for the Academy Award. Naturally, many were surprised to see that she didn’t even receive a nomination. Zegler is a young actress with a promising career ahead of her, so it is likely we’ll see her receive a well-deserved nomination in the near future.
While Marvel’s “The Eternals” was a polarizing film regarding its nontraditional approach for a superhero film, most can agree that it had stunning cinematography. Showcasing a pseudo family of super powered immortals throughout the history of Earth, Ben Davis had the challenge of serving as the director of photography for both the breathtaking battles and the quiet moments of the film, which represent the bonding of the characters. Academy Award winning director Chloe Zhao (who also deserved a Best Achievement in Directing nomination for this film) had a distinct vision for this project, which came to life in large part due to the picturesque imagery Davis contributed to the film.
One of the most popular films of the year was Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.” The film was both a critical and box office success. The sci-fi epic was a lead contender for the Academy Awards this year, raking in 10 total nominations including Best Picture, Best Achievement in Cinematography (Greig Fraser) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, and Eric Roth). Shockingly, this stunning picture received recognition for virtually every behind the scenes award except Best Achievement in Directing. Granted, Villeneuve is still nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. With such a successful outing and Academy Award campaign, Denis Villeneuve’s directing snub truly came out of left field.
It is always upsetting to see our favorite performances, works and projects not receive the attention they deserve, but recognition doesn’t only have to come from the Academy. With social media and other awards ceremonies throughout the year, our favorite forms of entertainment will still get recognized for the quality projects they are. We commend all the noteworthy works of film that have been released this past year.