The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards have been revealed, and once again Oscar voters mostly stuck to major contenders like “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and left deserving indie films out to dry. The complete lack of nominations for “The Beguiled,” “Good Time,” and more especially hurt this year.
Click through the gallery for our list of 17 must-see movies without a single Oscar nomination in 2018.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Lobster” managed to earn a surprise Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay in 2017, but his latest film “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” didn’t make the cut this year. We’re guessing this brutal story of a young sociopath’s revenge mission on a doctor and his innocent family was just too bleak for Oscar voters’ tastes. Regardless, Barry Keoghan’s unsettling work deserved to be in the conversation.
The Safdie Brothers have yet to break into the Oscar race despite their rising status as two of the most exciting young directors working today. “Good Time” deserved to be their first Oscar nominee, if only to honor Robert Pattinson’s career-best work in the lead role.
Sofia Coppola may have won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, but her gentle thriller “The Beguiled” was completely shut out of the Oscars. It’s a damn crime considering what a triumphant showcase the film is for cinematography, costume design, and production design. IndieWire named “The Beguiled” the year’s best shot movie, but the Academy wasn’t paying attention.
David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story” was always going to be a bit too cerebral for general Oscar voters’ tastes, but it’s hardy to deny the film’s power when it comes to editing and original score. The final 20 minutes in particular are an editing masterwork that should’ve made Lowery a contender.
Florence Pugh’s breakout performance in William Oldroyd’s “Lady Macbeth” should’ve been a Best Actress threat all season long. Ditto for Alice Birch’s scorcher of a screenplay, adapted from the short story “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District” by Nikolai Leskov.
Todd Haynes’ “Wonderstruck” may not have been one of his most beloved releases, but it was home to reliably excellent work from cinematographer Ed Lachman and composer Carter Burwell. The latter’s musical contributions were essential to the film’s experience, especially in its black-and-white silent sections.
In a perfect world, Kogonada’s beloved indie directorial debut “Columbus” would’ve been a major contender in the best director and best cinematography races. Stars Haley Lu Richardson and John Cho would’ve also been threats for actor prizes for their soulful lead roles.
Kristen Stewart is still waiting for her first acting nomination (we’re still not over the supporting actress snub for “Clouds of Sils Maria”), and it’s a damn shame her career-best work in Olivier Assayas’ “Personal Shopper” couldn’t do the trick. Never has Stewart been such an internal firecracker as she is in this haunting ghost story.
Darren Aronofsky’s allegory was far too polarizing to stand a chance in the best picture and best director races, but Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Pfeiffer’s knockout performances deserved at least an underdog chance in the acting races. More importantly, Matthew Libatique’s disorienting and immersive cinematography and Craig Henighan’s bone-crunching sound design were two of the year’s best in their respective fields.
If Noah Baumbach managed to earn a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination for “The Squid and the Whale,” then his script for “The Meyerowitz Stories” should’ve been a no-brainer this year. The screenplay was perhaps Baumbach’s funniest and most human work to date. Adam Sandler will always be a long shot for acting awards, but he turned in a performance to rival that of “Punch-Drunk Love.”
The closest “Okja” got to the Oscars this year was a nomination for Best Visual Effects, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. Bong Joon Ho is still waiting for his best director nomination as well, and the dynamic and exhilarating action scenes in “Okja” should’ve made him a much bigger contender.
David Gordon Green’s “Stronger” was an acting powerhouse that could’ve made any of its performers a nominee this year, from Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role to Tatiana Maslany and Miranda Richardson.
Kathryn Bigelow is still the only female filmmaker to win the Oscar for Best Director, but she’s been left out of the race both times for “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Detroit” following her win for “The Hurt Locker.” Screenwriter Mark Boal was also a winner for “The Hurt Locker” that couldn’t repeat with Oscar voters for “Detroit.” For a time Algee Smith and Will Poulter seemed like acting dark horses, but Annapurna’s campaign never caught on.
Taylor Sheridan’s “Wind River” marked his transition from Oscar-nominated screenwriter to first-time director, but apparently he couldn’t win over Oscar voters once again. Sheridan’s script for “Hell or High Water” was a favorite on the 2016-17 awards circuit, but “Wind River” couldn’t garner the same attention.
The fact Robin Campillo’s AIDS activist drama “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” did not make the short list for Best Foreign Language Film will remain one of the biggest snubs of the 90th Academy Awards. Don’t even get us started on voters not even considering the remarkable lead performances from Nahuel Pérez Biscayart and Arnaud Valois.
Tiffany Haddish should’ve been a no-brainer to earn her first Oscar nomination for her breakout turn in “Girls Trip,” but she’ll just have to settle on her New York Film Critics Circle win for now.
James Gray is rejected by the Oscars every year he has a new movie in contention, so it’s not necessarily surprising “The Lost City of Z” failed to make a splash among Oscar voters. And yet anyone paying attention to movies last year would know Darius Khondji’s jaw-dropping cinematography should’ve been in the conversation at the very least.