Every year the Academy get things wrong. Sometimes they get things really wrong – #OscarsSoWhite – but, on the whole, their awards are still considered the barometer of filmmaking excellence in the English speaking West. Nab a ‘Best Picture’ nomination and you’re bound for excellence, but spend a heap of cash trying to reel in voters with some Oscar-fodder and fail? Well, that’s a death-nail to many a coffin, including some of the all-time great filmmakers and stars of the art-form. Even so, each year’s list of nominees is notable for its absence of particular films or names, and 2017 was no different. Whether they were overlooked or simply forgotten, these are the six best films not nominated for an Oscar in 2017.
6 – Deadpool
It’s rare that a superhero film of any kind is nominated for an Oscar. It’s especially rare that one is nominated for ‘Best Picture’. But, with nominations at almost every awards show in the build-up to the Oscars, and especially at Oscar-related awards shows such as the Directors Guild of America Awards, it seemed like Deadpool was the most likely of surprise inclusions on this year’s Best Picture list.
It seems unbelievable that the much less critically and commercially successful outings of Doctor Strange and particularly Suicide Squad were able to pick up nominations when Tim Miller, Ryan Reynolds and company were not.
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) 24 January 2017
5 – It’s Only the End of the World
For whatever reason, the Oscars just don’t get Xavier Dolan and his auteur model of french-language Canadian filmmaking. The young director was in the headlines 2 years ago when his Cannes Jury Prize winning effort, Mommy (2014), didn’t even make it into the final 9 in the ‘foreign language’ category and, despite surpassing that landmark in 2017, the screenwriter-director’s latest picture It’s Only the End of the World has yet again been snubbed by the USA’s most glamorous awards. Based upon a play and starring critically acclaimed darlings like Vincent Cassel, Marion Cotillard and Léa Seydoux, it seemed a given that this outing would land the red-hot filmmaker a huge nod of approval, but it was not to be.
4 – The Nice Guys
Okay, so The Nice Guys is hardly your typical awards fare. It’s a buddy cop movie with a bunch of bad language and tongue-in-cheek-ness. It is, however, sensationally written and well envisioned by its screenwriter-director Shane Black, superbly performed by its stellar cast led by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, and seamlessly presented by its cinematographer and set designers. Set in the 1970s, it made for a good choice with regard to the costume/hair and make-up categories, which would have been a nice sign of appreciation for one of the year’s better films, but ultimately it was ignored entirely because of what we can only assume is a case of it being good overall but not necessarily excelling enough in any of the carefully designated categories the Academy votes upon.
3 – Sing Street
Undoubtedly one of the surprise hits of 2016, Sing Street captured the true sense of growing up through its musical journey that was, above all else, uplifting. Happy to its core, John Carney’s film had one particularly useful tool up its sleeve to work your emotions into overdrive: it’s music. It was fantastic! There were at least 2 or 3 potential Original Song nominees in its midst, so how it didn’t get nominated for anything at all seems rather odd, but I guess we’re getting used to that by now…
2 – The Handmaiden
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, how did the Academy miss this? The Handmaiden was perhaps the most respected foreign language film in the English speaking world in 2016, owing to its supremely beautiful visual presentation. A Foreign Language nomination was a must, but some were even calling for it to infiltrate more mainstream categories so often reserved for American productions, so how it got so lost in the shuffle is a mystery.
1 – I, Daniel Blake
Perhaps the most politically effective piece of art in 2016, I, Daniel Blake was always fighting from underneath to be included in any way at the Oscars in 2017. Its significance as a film was felt largely in Europe, particularly France and the UK, with large elements of its story being far removed from that of the American way of life. However, with a host of EFA nominations, BIFA nominations, and BAFTA nominations, I, Daniel Blake seemed like it could just squeeze into a category or two – most likely Best Original Screenplay. How is it possible for so much of the world, a lot of it English speaking, to celebrate this film when Hollywood’s most prestigious does not?
So there you have it… 6 films that have wrongly been omitted from the Oscars in 2017. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!