Oscar Snub – 10 Great Movies Not Nominated For The Best Picture: ‘Tis the season of awards, winners and losers, trials and tribulations, drama and unbearable excitement, heartbreak, and unthinkable joy. It is a time in the life of artists when they truly find their worth. There is no greater form of validation than an Academy Award.
Not because of the award itself but how extensively it is covered across the world. Oscars have become the golden standard to peruse those films that are just a little bit better than the other ones. No matter how much the winner on stage tries to play it cool, it is a big deal. Those who do not exhibit excitement, barring rare exceptions like Joe Pesci and Joaquin Phoenix, are most certainly lying.
The year 2022 has brought another enticing lineup. The ten nominees are a healthy mix of blockbuster and indie, of different genres, and unique voices in the business, both established and up-and-coming. This is one of the first times we see not one but two commercial biggies – Top Gun: Maverick and Avatar: The Way of Water – competing for the award.
Tom Cruise’s exciting return to the big screen as Maverick broke all box office records. Some much-needed closure accompanied by stunning IMAX shot camera wizardry in actual F-11s loaned from the US Air Force were the film’s highlights.
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James Cameron’s first directorial effort after the first Avatar film was well worth the wait. It brought back spectators in throngs to the theatres, marking the start of a new mega-franchise. Steven Spielberg’s most personal story to date, The Fabelmans, stands as the favorite to win the Best Picture award this time.
The Banshees of Isherin got everyone talking about Barry Keoghan and how Martin McDonagh exercised his authenticity over the subject material, bringing the erstwhile stars of his previous hit, In Bruges, together.
But the year truly belonged to Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. The A24 production became a sensation. Its offerings of multi-verse madness and a deeply observant story about love and family touched all its viewers. It was a cinematic spectacle needed for the masses to fall in love with cinema all over again.
This piece by us is deeply rooted in tradition and the festive spirit. Here, we list ten great movies from 2022 that were not nominated (Oscar snubs) for the Best Picture Oscar.
10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
Daniel Craig saying “menagerie” and a whole lot of other stuff in that butter tongue-molasses accent felt too good. Benoit Blanc was back to the forefront, and for the first half of Glass Onion, the viewer was criminally led to believe that Blanc got involved unwittingly.
The most outstanding part of his brevity comes out in an extended monologue when the “reveal” part of the story takes shape. But till that moment, director Rian Johnson sets us up to fail beautifully. He fully galvanizes the impact of technological developments and changing world ideologies in his characters.
Each one of them gets a chance to partly manifest Johnson’s social commentary without disrupting the flow of the story. Essentially, Glass Onion is still a thrilling murder mystery. But its characterization is so colorful, vibrant, and contemporary that it had to make this list.
One thing that is most endearing to see in Japanese films is Japanese protagonists. Unlike many films from other countries, the leading Japanese man is not unassailable. He is shown to face the brunt of living an unfair life, ridden with debt, distancing him from the family. Shinzo Katayama’s Santoshi evokes compassion from the viewer not because he has done something; but because he cannot.
Katayama weaponizes his helplessness – not in an exploitative way – to fuel the taut storytelling in Missing. His disappearance after claiming to track down an infamous Japanese serial killer compels his daughter to look for him. And in the process, he discovers the troubling secrets of his personal life.
Despite the seriousness of the subject, we get a story that constantly unfolds. Katayama mindfully placates the viewer with unexpected twists and jarring timeline shifts. There are several moments in Missing where you might never want that scene to end. In fact, it is difficult to describe the essence of Missing’s narrative without giving away its most precious offering.
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8. The Eternal Daughter
To be very honest, Joanna Hogg’s lyrical experimentation has a lot of pitfalls. It is not quite there when one compares it to similarly tempered films like David Lowery’s A Ghost Story or Ildikó Enyedi’s On Body and Soul. The poignant questions of grief, love, and how time evolves relationships compensate for Hogg’s inability to create mood and atmosphere.
The characterization of the setting is wholly unsatisfactory. This is one space where Hogg could take lessons from someone like Rian Johnson, who extracts every last bit from his sets. Quite reminiscent of old Hammer films from the sixties and early seventies, the film opens with a foggy country street and a lonely taxi.
It was a good choice to set the main action in an old country mansion turned hotel. Likewise, the somewhat unfriendly receptionist/waitress/housekeeper is a highlight of the movie, raising a lot of questions in the viewer’s mind.
In addition to the mother-daughter conflict being handled very subtly, the absence of other guests becomes quite disconcerting the longer they stay at the hotel. However, even the calmest person in a lonely hotel would get tense, and we cannot expect to hear or see anything unusual for someone who is going through a difficult time in her life.
‘X’ took us back to the good old days of 1990s slasher cinema and the 1970s Technicolor evolution, with a rural, isolated setting. In such an overdone film trope, filmmaker Ti West carved out a special story with gore and blood that is as tempting as it is unique. His passion project greatly benefited from a fantastic and truly shocking dual performance from Mia Goth.
It was only after the end that many of us would have gone to look for the actress playing Pearl, but without ever expecting Goth’s name to pop up there. As far as slasher films go, X provides a fresh twist on the setup. West’s sensibilities and vision give a unique color to the protagonist and how her discovery of herself in another person turned Pearl violent.
The point of difference and appreciation also comes from the way West gives the viewer time to get to know Pearl. It is not just some random realization that strikes her. We have the benefit of hindsight; of how the feelings and emotions evoked this side in her.
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6. Return to Seoul
Park Ji-min’s central performance in Return to Seoul can be counted among those that did not make the final cut for the awards. There are shades of Julie from The Worst Person in the World, although the exposition and treatment are less enthusiastic. Ji-min internalizes the burden of not knowing a place by heart and yet reminiscing how she would have fared with her borrowed sensibilities.
Return to Seoul shows that Davy Chou’s conviction in some of the choices was not complete. But despite that, he was able to maneuver those decisions well in the existential components of the storytelling, aided foremostly by Ji-min.
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Ikiru is one of my favorite films of all time. Perhaps it is the morbidity and melancholy of the story that draws me in. It perfectly encapsulates what cinema ought to be; subtle, existential, and impactful. Living is the British equivalent of Ikiru with the sensibilities of the country’s culture and modernism.
Bill Nighy plays the simple-minded, jaded public servant who discovers his terminal illness very late in his life. But when he learns he does not have the courage to end his life, he takes it to his chin and runs into a happy coincidence that changes the rest of his life.
Oliver Hermanus has a reputation for molding these heady dramas in the true spirit of the art form while also giving the impression of sanguinity. It is a difficult marriage in general but especially given Living’s setting. Hermanus has a rich history of evoking emotion in his viewer without showing it on screen.
Living manages to do that on multiple occasions. It is the kind of quintessential drama that one needs to water down commercial, mainstream cinema to reinvigorate the essence of cinema.
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4. The Quiet Girl
The Quiet Girl follows the story of little Cait. She is sent away from home owing to her pregnant mother to a residence of strangers disguised as relatives. Cait must adjust to her new intimidating world and discover her role in order to survive what feels like a battle.
If one could not appreciate the beauty of rural Ireland in Belfast last year, The Quiet girl has some brilliant moments of striking visuals. The portraits are beautifully captured and come as jarring moments of relief from the troubling drama. Catherine Clinch, as Cait, does most of the heavy lifting.
Cait looked completely at home and assured. She is so composed and understated in the closeups that her seniors of many decades would bow in embarrassment when they see her. The Quiet Girl is not just about Cait’s coming of age. It also offers a haunting portrayal of what it feels like to be isolated and abandoned.
When you do not have anyone by your side, the world looks a lot bigger and impossible to deal with. Somehow, your own emptiness becomes a weapon against the emptiness of other people. The Quiet Girl manifests that beautifully in arguably the most compelling story of the year.
Aftersun was another fleeting, tender cinematic experience like C’mon C’mon. Even though the former is more streamlined and contained, the pair of films belong to the same echelon. They generally feel like spiritual partners that share human feelings and cinematic authenticity. But Charlotte Wells’ film is her own and makes an indelible impact. Aftersun is based on the impenetrable citadel of memory.
Sophie remembers every aspect of the time she spent with her father that characterized their relationship while reconciling the memory with the reality of the aftermath. We frequently recall specific moments in our life through a single mental image.
That picture is powerful enough to sculpt and safeguard its good elements, regardless of what occurs. You end up gripping your teeth and refusing to let go. Aftersun is partly about that sensation. Wells deserves credit for producing a subtle and symmetrical image of a richly played father-daughter combo.
She demonstrates assurance and confidence in handling two timeframes with the same cast of characters. Aftersun seems like a profoundly intimate secret kept hidden from the rest of the world. Even as the story unfolds, there is a reluctance to share the specifics with the audience.
Sophie’s reluctance to share the wealth of her recollections stems from her actions in the present. Anyway, A24 appears to have outdone itself once more by providing us with another young filmmaker’s gem of a debut. An extremely moving experience.
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2. The Menu
Cinema has often made fun of the moneyed class. Modern filmmakers have expressed a strong interest in this new consciousness. Triangle of Sadness, Parasite, and Glass Onion is among the most successful recent films. The Menu by Mark Mylod is possibly the most avant-garde, darkly comic, and wildly serious film on the list.
Despite Mylod’s unusual location and circumstances, every frame, statement, and effect in his film is meticulously created. With the depth and polish of the storyline, you’d swear you’re eating one of Chef Slowik’s specialties.
Is this done on purpose? Hawthorne is a secluded, high-end, exclusive building of exploitation that, like all great horror movies, invites the characters in The Menu. The restaurant is beautifully situated on a private island, and world-renowned Chef Slowik will prepare the dishes. Some select people will dine at the restaurant that night, including Margot (Anna Taylor-Joy) and Tyler (Nicholas Hoult). Of course, there is a catch. It’s tough to write about that catch without giving away the plot of the film.
Like Slowik’s dishes, Mylod’s ocean of ideas and beliefs is perfectly arranged to startle you one after the other. The most capable mixture that authors aim to produce these days is tragedy mixed with satire and drama. That is precisely what the Menu does.
The Menu is a confusing, confrontational masterwork that every movie fan must watch. It’s got a snappy running time, great set design, and inspired performances led by Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor Joy.
1. Decision to Leave
Park Chan-wook has a unique ability to entice the audience without extending anything tangible. His storytelling style dazzles with a distinct knack for humor, serious-minded drama, and a weird need that reaches out to you. The masterful craft flares once again to generate another outstanding effort.
‘Decision to Leave’ begins with an unusual coupling: a married insomniac detective and a beautiful and shrewd murder suspect. On the surface, the combination suggests twisted perversity. A recently widowed lady and the detective who is investigating her for murder falling in love with each other? You understand what I mean.
But beneath the surface, the catch runs deep. There is a hint of remorse yet stronger and more meaningful emotions of deceit, manipulation, and love. Titillating probably best describes the mood.
The most appealing aspect of the story is its noir themes. They have traditionally served as a prelude to a more significant revelation. The mechanics of the process are at work to generate slow-burning, enticing drama that draws you in and then surprises you with a shocking twist.
Chan-wook is leery about overusing those priceless pictures that reveal a half-truth while allowing the other half to wear you ragged. They are ephemeral and defy the model aesthetic. A rhythmic background soundtrack enhances the film’s environment, which provides charm and a magical depth while keeping a sense of familiarity at bay.
In his work, Chan-wook has always been preoccupied with aesthetics. He has created a visual template with a distinct color palette that, although starting from the exterior, exudes an interior warmth that the observer may interpret as comical. His walled-off heroes are so convincingly performed that you may mistake them for actual people.
They are also composites of years of movie tradition and heritage, to the point that we may perceive shadows in real life. Tang Wei is unquestionably the show’s star, far outshining her male counterpart, Park Hae-il. She exudes fascinating energy in her character that is unlike anything we’ve seen before. Even if Decision to Leave did not get a Best Picture nomination, its cinematic merit cannot be denied.
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