The only thing film fans love more than seeing which movies get nominated for Oscars is talking about how their favorite movie didn’t.
The 2024 Oscar nominations were what everyone was expecting. The huge Oscar-bait pictures of “Oppenheimer” and “Killers of the Flower Moon” received 13 and 10 nominations respectively. There were no surprise nominations, like if “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” had been nominated for best visual effects. While many of the nominees were predictable, some major names that were left out of each category shocked people.
Best Director: Greta Gerwig
While “Barbie” still received its fair share of nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Production Design, Greta Gerwig was robbed of a Best Director nomination. It makes no sense how “Barbie” was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay when it is her direction that elevates a very thin script. “Barbie” as a film was so close to being atrocious with both Amy Schumer and Gal Gadot at one point starring in the title role, but Gerwig saved this movie. She convinced Margot Robbie to play Barbie and Ryan Gosling to play Ken. These castings fit the toy icons so perfectly that Gosling is even nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
It is also Gerwig’s knowledge and love for the Barbie brand that brought these toys to life. The reason Margot Robbie floats down from the top of her dream house instead of taking the stairs is because Gerwig said that when people play with Barbie dolls, they just place them where they want. Almost everything in Barbie Land, including side characters, buildings and clothing, are all real-life Mattel products that Gerwig wanted to reference in her film.
This passion and these creative choices are what allowed this film to break as many records as it did. Grossing $1.44 billion, “Barbie” is the highest-grossing film of 2023. It is also not only the all-time highest-grossing Warner Bros. movie, but the highest-grossing film from a female director of all time domestically.
With all these accolades and accomplishments under the film’s belt due to Gerwig’s outstanding direction, it is shocking that she was not nominated for Best Director.
Best Actress: Margot Robbie
Margot Robbie is a powerhouse of an actress who is only getting better. There is no doubt that she will win her fair share of Oscars in the future, but the fact that she was not nominated for “Barbie” is staggering. Not only does Robbie look the part of Barbie, but her role imbued a plastic doll with such profound humanity. She managed to balance the characteristic happy-go-lucky optimism of Barbie with the complexity of a naive child discovering the hardships of life. Watching Robbie portray this doll that is learning to cry, love and live all while trying to discover what she is made for created a powerful and nuanced performance. The fact that this was not recognized by the academy is a shame.
Best Original Score: “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”
There was no way this film was going to be nominated for Best Picture, despite being one of the best films of the year. However, the fact that it was not nominated for Best Original Score is disrespectful. The score is not just a part of the film but its beating heart. Every song has its own liveliness that plays off and adds to the groundbreaking animation. The character themes utilize unique sounds that perfectly capture their personalities and emotions. This franchise of films is revolutionizing the way composers and audiences alike can view a film score. At the very least, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse” deserved a nomination.
Unfortunately, the list of Oscar snubs does not end here. The films “Air” and “Iron Claw” were both more than worthy of at least a screenplay nomination but were not recognized by the academy. While there are plenty more films and figures that could have made this list, the previously mentioned three were the major exclusions from their respective categories.
Featured image via hamara – stock.adobe.com