Oscar Snubs 2018: Great Films That Should Have Been Nominated for Best Picture
February 22nd, 2018
The Oscars are right around the corner. Before you throw on your tux or evening gown, you’d best make sure you’ve watched all of the nominated films. Last year, we gave you a rundown of the top nominated movies, but this year we’re going to do something a little different. Since 2009, the Academy has nominated 10 films for the coveted Best Picture spot each year--which makes it a bit surprising that only nine were nominated this year. Especially considering how many great films there were that would have perfectly filled that 10th spot. Stonehenge NYC is here to introduce you to three excellent films that should have been nominated for Best Picture, but weren’t. Were they criminally overlooked? Were the nominated movies more deserving? What was the Academy thinking!? We may never know, but we can at least give them a little love here. Strap in for Oscar Snubs 2018! If the story behind I, Tonya wasn’t true, there’s a good chance nobody would believe it. This dark but comedic biopic tells the tale of Tonya Harding, who’s successful career as a figure skater takes a dramatic turn. Tonya rises to fame as the first American woman to complete a triple axel, but she soon becomes infamous for something far more sinister. When her ex-husband conspires to injure a rival figure skater, she becomes an overnight target of worldwide hate. Margot Robbie shines in the role of Tonya, but the supporting cast is nothing to sneeze at either. Particularly noteworthy is Allison Janney’s performance as Tonya’s battleaxe mother. With a killer cast and excellent direction this fascinating film totally reinvents the biopic. Why the Snub? It’s worth noting that much of the cast and crew of this film (including Robbie) have been nominated. The films editor Tatiana S. Riegel has even been recognized. That said, the films mockumentary style and less-than-uplifting content may have turned off some audiences. Thought the film goes to great lengths to humanize a controversial figure, it seems like Tonya Harding still can’t catch a break. In his breakout film, Tangerine, director Sean Baker proved you could make a great film, even if you were only shooting with a cell phone. This year he used his deft eye and gritty filmmaking hand to show us a rundown hotel outside of Disney World. Our hero is Moonee, a precocious girl who spends her summer making trouble with her friends-- much to the chagrin of the hotel manager, played by the always-excellent Willem Dafoe. He does his best to impose a little necessary order in the life of his nomadic tenants, but develops a soft spot for many of them, especially the kids. All is not perfect in this strange little world. Moonee’s mother seems to have little interest in improving their life and can’t seem to hold onto a job. The other tenants face similar struggles. This slice of life film openly and honestly portrays the stories of people living on the fringes of society. The Florida Project cleverly tells this everyday tragedy of people locked in a cycle of hardship, through the eyes of a child. To the audience things might seem pretty bad, but to a careless kid it’s just another day. Why the Snub? While Sean Baker has undeniably created a fantastic film, it is possible that the ending of The Florida Project’s alienated many viewers. Without spoiling anything, it’s safe to say that the film avoids showing the ultimate consequences of this neo-bohemian lifestyle. Audiences are split on whether the ending is perfect or whether Baker pulled his punches a bit too much. Ultimately, the Academy favors films that make a statement and The Florida Project very specifically avoids doing so. Remember Robert Pattinson? That pretty boy actor from those sparkly vampire movies that everyone loved (or loved to hate)? He’s actually a fantastic actor and in Good Time he shows off his chops like never before. He practically melts into the role of Connie, a scummy small time NYC crook who’s handicapped brother ends up in prison after a heist goes awry. Connie sets out on a mission to rescue his brother from imprisonment before it’s too late. Good Time is a breakneck romp through the rough neighborhoods of New York City filled with unexpected characters and ridiculous encounters. This adventure is anything but predictable and undeniably gripping from start to finish. These are the people you avoid on the subway, and the kind of night you hope to never have. You’ve never seen this side of the city before. Why the Snub? The films greatest asset, Pattinson’s performance, may also be its greatest weakness. Connie is a brilliantly portrayed, through a thoroughly unlikeable protagonist. Though Good Time is filled with believable characters, they’re also undeniably awful people. Over the course of the film, audiences begin to question if there are any lines that Connie won’t cross to save his brother. With little to emotionally connect to, Good Time may have been no more than a wild ride for some Academy members.