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The 12 Oscar Snubs Making Us *Scream*

What do you call it when you're so happy and so angry at the same time?

Gina Prince-Bythewood directs Viola Davis in The Woman King

There’s a reason people say that it’s an honor just to be nominated. Year after year, awards season culminates with the year’s Oscar nominations and so many good films, filmmakers, and performers don’t even make the list. Here are some notable 2023 Academy Award snubs that should have at least been nominated this year. With all of the thrills, like Stephanie Hsu’s nomination for Everything Everywhere All At Once and Paul Mescal getting nominated for his first-ever leading role in Aftersun, comes more than a few disappointments.

Did your favorite films get nominated for Oscars this year? What about your favorite performances? Overall, the nominees hit a decent balance between populist hits like Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water and more esoteric films like Tár and The Banshees of Inisherin. But we wouldn’t be here if there weren’t a few snubs.

Best Picture, Actress, Director & More: The Woman King

This is ridiculous. To me, this film is the biggest snub of the Oscar season. Gina Prince-Bythewood is long overdue for a directing nomination. This should have been Viola Davis’ fifth nomination. It could and should have been in the conversation for screenplay, cinematography, costumes and editing as well. This was one of the best movies of the year! What more can I say?

Best Supporting Actress: Lashana Lynch

The nominations honored a few people who have shown incredible range this year, including Colin Farrell (nominated for The Banshees of Inisherin, also excellent in The Batman and After Yang), Bryan Tyree Henry (nominated for Causeway, also excellent in Bullet Train), Hong Chau (nominated for The Whale, also excellent in The Menu) and Andrea Riseborough (nominated after a suss grassroots campaign for To Leslie, also excellent in Matilda). Left out of this conversation is Lashana Lynch, who gave two stellar and disparate supporting performances in Matilda and The Woman King and was also in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In another timeline, this was her year.

Best Actress: Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Deadwyler was nominated for a BAFTA, a SAG award, a Critics Choice award, and over 20 critics associations awards … but not the Academy Award? That’s embarrassing for them.

Best Director: Sarah Polley, Women Talking

Sarah Polley was nominated, but for Best Adapted Screenplay. After two historic wins for women back to back, Best Director is back on its all-male nominee bullsh*t. I’m not surprised that Women Talking didn’t receive any acting nominations. There are so many excellent and surprising performances in that ensemble that it’s difficult to single one out. Know what that’s a sign of, though? Good direction.

All too often, women directors are snubbed for Best Director but nominated in the applicable screenwriting category. To quote Jo March in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, an example of this very phenomenon, I’m so sick of it! Other examples include Siân Heder for CODA, Dee Rees for Mudbound, Debra Granik for Winter’s Bone, Polley again for Away From Her, Agnieszka Holland for Europa Europa, Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right, and Courtney Hunt for Frozen River.

Sofia Coppola and Emerald Fennell were both nominated for their films Lost in Translation and Promising Young Woman respectively, but both won Best Original Screenplay only. That felt like progress at the time, but turns out it wasn’t. Honorable mention to 2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which was written by a nominated woman and directed by a snubbed woman, but not the same woman.

Related: 2022’s Sight & Sound Top 100 Movies Poll Demonstrates Film Culture Is Online Culture on The Escapist

Best Editing: Aftersun

I’m thrilled that Paul Mescal gets to represent Charlotte Wells’ dizzying debut feature at the Academy Awards, but I wish it had been up for more. Wells’ is the third directing snub IMHO. The editing was a work of art, and IMHO it should have gotten a Best Picture nod as well. (Would that there was a choreography category, too. Maybe one day!)

Best International Film: Decision To Leave

This South Korean mystery romance was beloved by critics, won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival and was included in the National Board of Review’s Top 10 films of the year. But it was totally shut out of the Oscars. What gives? Even the Golden Globes nominated this film. That’s embarrassing.

Best Picture: Nope

I would have loved it if Keke Palmer was nominated for Best Supporting Actress as well. But in a year of “love letters to movies,” Nope actually had something interesting to say about Hollywood and the lengths we go to for spectacle and I wish it was recognized. It’s also entertaining as heck! Nope should easily be getting the same amount of love as Top Gun: Maverick.

Best Visual Effects: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

I didn’t love this movie, but I do think the visual effects are the MCU’s best of the year.

Best Original Song: “Nobody Like U,” Turning Red

We could have had 4*TOWN perform at the Oscars. Never forget what they took from us.

Best Score: Michael Giacchino, The Batman

This category’s nominees are also notably white and male, so forgive me for noting this snub. Others include Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch (Living), who was snubbed from the short list, as well as Michael Abels (Nope), Chanda Dancy (Devotion), and Hildur Guðnadóttir (Women Talking). Sure, it’s cool that John Williams is nominated for the 53rd time and broke his own record, but I listened to The Batman and Nope the most this year.

Best Animated Feature: Wendell & Wild

Henry Selick, who also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Coraline, has only ever been nominated for Best Animated Feature once. This was a weird year for animated movies. It feels like Pixar’s Turning Red barely got in there, and Disney’s Strange Worlds was completely ignored. But Wendell & Wild had some great IYKYK buzz so this sucks to see.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Joel Kim Booster, Fire Island

I know, I know, I know. Never in a million years would this have happened. It was a small little summer romance that wasn’t released in theaters and would have been up against some heavy hitters. But so was To Leslie it should have been released in theaters and it should have gotten that nomination!!!!!!

(featured image: Sony Pictures)

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Leah is 50% Southerner, 50% New Englander, and 100% fangirl over everything from Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter to stage lighting and Marvel comics about teenagers. She used to test toys for Hasbro (true story).