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Tag: Nominated for Nothing (1-10 of 28)

Nominated for Nothing: 'Life Itself'

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Blackfish — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. Before the ceremony, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The film: Directed by Hoop Dreams‘ Steve James, Life Itself looks at film critic Roger Ebert’s life from his early days in the newspaper business to his final days in the hospital. The documentary uses interviews with Ebert himself, narration taken from Ebert’s memoir (also titled Life Itself), and interviews with his friends and colleagues to create a varied picture of the critic’s storied career.
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Nominated For Nothing: 'Obvious Child'

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Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Blackfish — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. Before the ceremony, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The film: The feature-length debut for director Gillian Robespierre, based on her 2009 short film of the same name, Obvious Child follows struggling twentysomething comedian Donna (Jenny Slate) living in the flannel-and-irony-drenched Williamsburg. After getting “dumped up with” and having a bona fide breakdown, Donna drunkenly hooks up with the clean-shaven, so-not-her-type Max (Jake Lacy). Fast forward a few weeks, and she finds out—whoops—she’s pregnant. She decides to have an abortion—and follows through with her decision. And (spoiler!), instead of it ruining her life, everything turns out kind of all right. READ FULL STORY

Nominated for Nothing: 'Snowpiercer'

snowpiercer

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Blackfish — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. Before the ceremony, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The film: Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer is the story of mankind’s devolution after a plan to counteract global warming backfires, transforming the entire planet into a deadly Arctic tundra. Before all was lost, a billionaire named Wilfred built a behemoth of a train to save the remainders of humanity—and quite literally compartmentalize them by class. The suffering 99 percent is held like cattle in the back of the train—nearly starved, worked to the bone, completely dehumanized, and told to shut up and be grateful, or pay dearly for their insubordination. Meanwhile, the elite one percent luxuriate in their vast front-of-the-train libraries, gourmet sushi restaurants, and plush jazz bars.

Curtis (Chris Evans) and company, with nothing to lose after 17 years of oppression, are sparked by acts of cruelty to revolt by attempting to make their way to the train’s engine. The film’s all-star cast also features Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner and South Korean star Kang-ho Song. READ FULL STORY

Nominated For Nothing: 'The Immigrant'

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Blackfish — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. Before the ceremony, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The film: James Gray (Two Lovers, We Own The Night) deep-dives into 1920s New York with the story of a Polish woman named Ewa Cybulska (Marion Cotillard), who comes to America with her ailing sister, Magda (Angela Sarafyan). Due to Magda’s illness, the two are separated at Ellis Island, leaving Ewa on her own. She’s taken in by the seemingly charming Bruno (Joaquin Phoenix)—only to be forced into a life of prostitution. Desperate to get away, Ewa falls in with Bruno’s magician cousin, Orlando (Jeremy Renner), believing he can save her.

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Nominated for Nothing: 'The Babadook'

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Blackfish — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. Before the ceremony, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The film: The Babadook, a scary movie about an exhausted single mom, her exhausting son, and the scariest pop-up book ever. The debut of Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent, The Babadook was already a minor legend among horror fans before its late November release, after the film spent 2014 tearing up the festival circuit and winning a smattering of hipper-than-Oscar awards (including a “Best First Film” award from the New York Film Critics Circle). READ FULL STORY

The best movies that didn't get nominated for any Oscars this year

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Lots of great movies don’t get Oscar nominations. You could generously point out that the Academy only has room for so many  movies. You could less generously complain that the Academy has historically had a difficult time finding room for science-fiction movies, action films, fantasy epics not directed by Peter Jackson, independent movies your mom hasn’t heard of, any movie specifically designed to scare you, and any movie specifically designed to make you laugh.

So each year, plenty of great movies get nominated for nothing. Over the next few weeks, we’ll take a closer look at some of the essential NOscar NOminees as part of our Nominated for Nothing series—but for right now, here’s your essential list of the best films of 2014 that couldn’t even earn a measly technical nomination. (They’re in good company.) READ FULL STORY

Nominated for Nothing: 'Spring Breakers'

The film: Four lady-friends are bored with their town. They do what any bored college student would do: Rob a diner and use that money to go down to Florida for their spring break. Once in the state of Florida, the girls get into some trouble and are bailed out by Alien (James Franco), a self-described “gangster with a heart of gold.” Both Alien and the girls share a love of being total weirdos and going on violent power trips, and we see how far some of them will go to have fun. READ FULL STORY

Nominated for Nothing: 'Pacific Rim'

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Shame – the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The Film: Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro’s movie about giant robots that fight giant monsters.

Why it Wasn’t Nominated: The prospect of an Oscar-nominated filmmaker delivering a mega-budgeted action movie could have resulted in the rare blockbuster that earns Academy attention. (See: Christopher Nolan, Inception.) But Del Toro is not your typical Oscar-nominated filmmaker. The man who made the multiple Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth also made two of the best superhero-movie sequels ever, and Pacific Rim finds Del Toro indulging all his geekiest fascinations. Even some die-hard Del Toro fans felt like Pacific Rim was a departure for the director, with Del Toro shedding much of the outré weirdness of the Hellboy movies for a story filled with stalwart heroes and wacky sidekicks. READ FULL STORY

Nominated for Nothing: 'The Way, Way Back'

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Shame — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The Film: The directorial debut from The Descendants writing team of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash told the story of 14-year-old Duncan’s (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, her new boyfriend, and said boyfriend’s daughter. Always the misfit, Duncan tries to find a way to enjoy his summer, a mission that eventually leads him to Water Wizz, the local water park. There, he’s introduced to a father-figure/friend who’s life will force Duncan to change how he sees himself.

Why it Wasn’t Nominated: Once again, an amazing film fell victim to the July release date. It sounds funny to say, considering that summer is a great time for movies to come out budget-wise, but in terms of the Oscars, if the film is released before November, its chances of being recognized might as well be cut in half. However, other than the bad timing, it’s a bit of a mystery why this one got overlooked.
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Nominated for Nothing: 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'

Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Shame — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. This year, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The Film: Lee Daniels’ The Butler, a film about White House butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), who witnesses the entire history of the last several decades of race relations from inside the hallways of power. Also, John Cusack plays Richard Nixon.

Why It Wasn’t Nominated: Lee Daniels earned a raft of nominations for 2009’s Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire. That film — though generally praised — was dogged by allegations of self-indulgence. Daniels may have taken that as a challenge. He followed up Precious with The Paperboy, still the only movie in history featuring Nicole Kidman urinating on Zac Efron. And although The Butler tackles a whole host of Academy-friendly Big Themes, it’s the precise opposite of the delicate Big Theme biopics that tend to get nominations. This ain’t Lincoln: The film is dense with cameos that run the gamut from ridiculous (Robin Williams as Eisenhower) to more ridiculous (Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan) to transcendently ridiculous (Jane Fonda as Nancy Regan). READ FULL STORY

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