The Top Five Best Picture Oscar Snubs
Written by Cameron Galvin
Complied By Cameron Galvin and Brionna Raum
The Oscars are right around the corner and we are getting excited for the drama. In this edition of the Phoenix Film Festivals ‘Top Five,’ a look at some of the best films to not get nominated for best picture. These films were deserving of a nod because of how iconic or different they were. During our decision making process we set the rule that this would be a list of the pictures not nominated for best picture, but may have been nominated for other categories. Films that didn’t receive any nominations were a whole other list entirely. As always there are some that don’t crack the top five; The Town, The big Lebowski, Scarface, and Interstellar.
5. Memento (2000)
One of the more unique film ever made, follows a man with short-term memory loss attempting to track down his wife’s murderer. This film has two story lines, one moving forward in time, while the other tells the story backwards revealing more each time. Just Nolan’s second movie ever directed, it was one that many people might have not understood for the time it came out. Aside from the different story technique, this movie features great performances, great cinematography, and good music throughout. A movie, which should have gotten a nomination for how influential it was.
4. Requiem for a Dream (2000)
The same year as Memento, we believed this was another film that deserved the nod. Probably one of the toughest films ever made, follows four individuals living in Coney Island with big aspirations. The problem is drug addictions holding them back. Features graphic drug use and sexuality, along with language make this a hard film to watch. However, it has a lot of truths to it, which makes it so iconic and a must see. The ending will leave you speechless and will never forget. The drug-induced utopia of these four that is shattered because the addiction runs two deep is a scary life lesson this film tackles.
3. The Dark Knight (2008)
Nominated for 8 and won 2, this film still did not get the best picture nomination. Christopher Nolan’s second Batman movie definitely lived up to the hype around it. Set within a year of Batman begins; they set out to clean the streets of Gotham until the sadistic criminal mastermind known as the Joker shows up. This film really has it all, the amazing performances of Christian Bale and Heath Ledger, who did win the Oscar for best supporting actor. The score brings it all together and the cinematography, a nice mix of special effects and real shots. This is much more than a superhero movie. A piece that looks at the basic concept of good vs. evil, but also digs into the psychological issues of the characters.
2. American Gangster (2007)
A biographical feature that examines the stories of two very different people. The rise of Frank Lucas, an African American that establishes himself as one of the biggest heroin dealers in New York City. Because of his unique style it allows him to beat out the competition and anger them. The other storyline follows dedicated and honest policeman Richie Roberts. In a time with dirty cops all around Richie is devoted to bringing the cops and drug dealers down, including Frank Lucas. The performances of the two were worthy of Oscar nominations as well. The film has great music and the production value makes it feel like you aren’t even watching a movie. What makes this feature so iconic is the story of an iconic African American rising up to power in a world not used to it. A must see gangster film that should have gotten the nomination.
1. Se7en (1995)
A film that should be at the top of most lists follows two crime detectives’ desperate hunt for a serial killer who justifies his crimes for the world’s ignorance of the Seven Deadly Sins. A film that was probably ahead of its time, is now considered a classic and favorite to most. The emotion of the two cops is real as the younger cop (Brad Pitt) focuses on trying to get in the mind of a serial killer in order to catch their own. While the older wiser cop (Morgan Freeman) researches the Seven Deadly Sins to understand the killer’s motives. Finally the killer reveals himself (Kevin Spacey) to show off his final victim, which happens to be Pitt’s wife. An ending that throws everyone for a loop and an iconic line that is quoted in movies or shows all the time “What’s in the box?” Helped pave the way for the style David Fincher uses in all of his films.