This year’s Oscars have already proven to be a major talking point. While almost everyone can agree that there is something missing from this year’s ballots, we thought we’d get specific and narrow it down by the major categories. Here are some of the most glaring snubs of the 2015 season. Disagree? Add your choices to the comments below.
LILY TOMLIN – GRANDMA
The Academy was hardly going to include two seniors in this category, so Charlotte Rampling, richly deserved (I know, I know, she’s problematic off-screen), took one of the top five spots. However, Tomlin, a perennial slapstick queen, toned it down significantly and performed her guts out in this sleeper indie dramedy.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN – CREED
Refusing to be overshadowed by Sylvester Stallone’s return to glory, Jordan held his own in this unlikely Oscar contender as the son of Rocky’s one-time rival Apollo Creed, in a pairing almost as unfathomable as his omission from the Best Actor race.
Best Supporting Actor
JACOB TREMBLAY – ROOM
Best Actress nominee Brie Larson is virtually alone in this film without her 8 year-old co-star, who acts eerily beyond his years in this horribly depressing, yet perfectly acted film based on the Canadian-penned bestseller.
Best Supporting Actress
KRISTEN STEWART – CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
This little-known European art-house gem is the perfect canvas for Stewart’s underrated talents, playing a sardonic, self-assured assistant to an aging actress (Juliette Binoche). Stewart won just about every critic’s best supporting actress award for this film, including France’s Cesar—the first ever by an American.
MYA TAYLOR – TANGERINE
As the savvy Alexandra, a starry-eyed lounge singer who accompanies her best friend on a mission to find the pimp who broke her heart, Taylor gives life to a beautifully flawed character. Magnolia Pictures actively campaigned for Taylor’s nomination, the first studio to do so for a transgendered performer.
AMY SCHUMER – TRAINWRECK
Dick jokes aside, Schumer has an uncanny talent for writing witty albeit uncomfortable satire with great aplomb. Her TV show, which gave birth to many of Trainwreck’s funnier running gags, has won multiple Emmys and a Peabody. If Kristen Wiig’s Bridesmaids screenplay was worthy of a 2012 nomination, then this one should be a winner.
AARON SORKIN – STEVE JOBS
Arguably the hottest, most in-demand screenwriter in Hollywood, this snub is baffling. Not only because of Sorkin’s Golden Globe win last month, or his win for The Social Network (or his six Emmys for writing The West Wing), but for the fact that his script about a guy the world knows everything and nothing about, is better than most of the film’s acting.
RIDLEY SCOTT – THE MARTIAN
The man is responsible for Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator and Black Hawk Down. Had Scott decided to shoot The Martian on expired, black and white Super-8 film, he still should’ve been picked over Adam McKay’s The Big Short.
SEAN BAKER – TANGERINE
Baker shot this entire feature length film on an iPhone 5S, seamlessly and effectively capturing the seedy underbelly of a single, gritty day in south central Los Angeles.
RYUICHI SAKAMOTO – THE REVENANT
Anyone who saw this icy nail-bitter knows that Sakamoto’s music, like Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography, was more or less a secondary character. The visionary Japanese composer, who won in 1988 for The Last Emperor with David Byrne, was rudely overlooked, despite the film capturing a whopping 12 nominations.
STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
For some asinine technical reason, the Academy couldn’t come up with ten nominees for best picture, instead settling on an oddly specific eight. Straight Outta Compton, like the two films below, probably didn’t fit the unwritten criteria (a.k.a. subject matter) of the Academy’s Best Picture coda. However, outstanding acting and an excellent (nominated) script make this omission particularly suspect, so much so that it played a considerable role in the #oscarsowhite movement.
Like Brokeback Mountain before it, many have speculated that the homosexual overtones in this beautiful, taboo tale of a clandestine relationship between two women in 1952 proved too much for stuffy Academy voters. Also, see above.
An incredible (!!!) movie about a computer programmer’s unique relationship with an alluring robot (played masterfully by Alicia Vikander in a missed opportunity for dual Best Supporting Actress nods), this British sci-fi indie was a hit with critics everywhere, even scoring screenplay and visual effects nominations. Apparently, it wasn’t deep enough (like Brooklyn) for the big one. Hmm…