7 Great Films Snubbed at the 95th Academy Awards

This year’s Academy Awards was a controversy-free celebration. Many of the awards handed out went to deserved winners, there were feel-good moments as Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Fraser accepted their awards after years away from the spotlight and there was no doubt that Everything Everywhere All At Once’s historic 7 wins were warranted. But, like all years at the Oscars, there are some omissions that deserved to be included. While we think this year’s winners were a wonderful collection of films, it would be remiss of us if we didn’t talk about some of the great films that were barely included. 

1. Decision to Leave

Director: Park Chan-wook | Crime, Drama | Language: Korean

Arguably one of the best film’s from 2022, Chan-wook’s unique Crime Drama solidifies why he’s one of the most distinct Directors working today. The zippy pace and attention to detail are what hook you to Decision to Leave but the Director’s approach to storytelling is wholly unique – even when compared to the films nominated at this year’s Oscars. 

Park Chan-wook’s storytelling is akin to that of Paul Thomas Anderson, while they are both dramatically different in style both filmmakers often tell their stories with an enigmatic quality that, although you’re not sure how or why, you are left completely in awe of the talent on show. Decision to Leave may not be as groundbreaking as Oldboy or as pitch-perfect as The Handmaiden, but it still stands head and shoulders above a lot of films released in the same year and while it’s been nominated numerous times over the award season, it feels like a shame not to see it honoured on the big night. 

2. The Northman

Director: Robert Eggers | Action, Drama

The only logical reason that Robert Egger’s Viking epic could have been snubbed entirely for this year’s Academy Awards is that it was released so early in the year that it slipped everyone’s minds come voting season. Whether it was the striking score, beautifully constructed sets shot with stunning cinematography, captivating performances not only from the lead Alexander Skarsgard but Nicole Kidman, Anya Taylor-Joy, Ethan Hawke and Willem Dafoe, to the bold and inventive directing, there’s so much worthy of high praise.

Arguably the only aspect lacking compared to Egger’s previous outings is a uniqueness that something like The Lighthouse held – but it’s no excuse for excluding one of the best films of the year from the Oscars, especially when there is so much across the film’s production to celebrate.

3. Nope

Director: Jordan Peele | Horror, Sci-Fi

It’s difficult to pinpoint where exactly Jordan Peele’s newest film fits into the Oscars, potentially for its enigmatic screenplay, wonderful creature design or even for the scene stealing performance by Keke Palmer. But, regardless of where it fits, it seems a shame not to honour such a unique film. 

The natural response to seeing one of his films is to compare it to Get Out, the film that won Peele his Oscar and became one of the most important films of the 21st Century. While Nope doesn’t feel as instant in its quality there is good reason to believe that in a few years, audiences will relish Nope for its singularity and also for Peele’s aptitude for storytelling. This is a wonderfully complex, funny and incredibly tense film that despite being snubbed for a lot of awards, will hopefully gather an audience for years to come.

4. The Woman King

Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood | Action, Drama, History | Languages: English, Portuguese

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s historical tale got two nominations at the BAFTAs, one for star Viola Davis’ powerhouse performance and also a nod for the Director herself, leaving to wonder just why it was left out at the Oscars. Davis’ performance, while commanding, was up against a number of fantastic Leading Actress performances this year. But, Bythewood’s lack of nomination seems to be a misstep from the Academy. 

2470911 – THE WOMAN KING

There is an argument that structurally The Woman King isn’t much different from a number of action films we’ve seen but what’s more important is the representation and celebration it’s giving to it’s story. In recent years the world has been imploring Hollywood to create more diverse and dynamic roles instead of changing old ones and The Woman King does exactly that. It’s just a shame the Academy wouldn’t celebrate the film as much as we did.

5. Broker

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda | Comedy, Drama, Crime | Languages: Korean

Many people have compared Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest film to his 2018 drama Shoplifters. In some ways it’s a spiritual successor (Kore-eda himself calling it a companion piece), skirting some of the same themes of class structure and social standings, as well as the functionalities of family and what makes a ‘traditional’ family. Broker manages to talk about these same issues as well as infusing discussions of parental responsibility whilst keeping the mood light and fun – no easy feat.

Alongside this, Kore-eda somehow manages to make you sympathise with human traffickers – not the most malicious or intelligent, but pursued by the police for their crimes nonetheless. It might not be the home run Shoplifters was, but Broker still manages to inject some incredibly human and joyous moments in a strange tale of selling a child, all in his non-native language of Korean, not missing a step in cultural references either. Whether it was for Best International Film, Original Screenplay, or even an argument can be made for Best Director, the Academy missed a gem of a film this year.

6. Aftersun

Director: Charlotte Wells | Drama

Charlotte Wells’ nostalgic drama is less of a snub due to Paul Mescal’s touching performance getting a nomination, but the film’s quality lies in much more than its performances. At the BAFTAs the director accepted the award for Outstanding Debut and described the film as a eulogy to her Father – something that she achieves with a visceral and subtle reflection of watching someone you love suffer in silence.

As a distinctly British product it’s understandable that this film didn’t shake the Academy voters as much as the BAFTAs, but the film’s gorgeously told story is one of the best of the year. Many films that tell a ‘personal’ story rarely achieve the emotional connection that Aftersun achieves, and while it was a shame not to see more limelight shed on the film as a whole, there is no doubt that everyone will be eagerly awaiting what Wells does next.

7. Bones and All

Director: Luca Guadagino | Drama, Horror, Romance

The most obvious reason for not including Luca Guadagino’s latest film could be the fact it’s a love story road trip about cannibals – but it’s for that same reason it seems like a missed opportunity to open up the wonderfully weird story to the mainstream. With films like Everything, Everywhere All at Once making waves it seems like the Academy are changing their tone to quirky independent cinema, branching into the originality out there.

Whilst it might not have won many awards the performances from Timothee Chalamet, and more notably Taylor Russell and Mark Rylance, are enticing and exciting, bringing a grounded and relatable edge to a story that could have easily been disconnected and unrelatable. Guadagnino balances David Kajganich’s script with ease and a certain aesthetic beauty that many people first noticed in Call Me by Your Name – despite being in an unusual narrative, comes together in an intoxicating (and sometimes terrifying) coming of age tale.


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