It’s that time of year again: Awards season. Love it or hate it, it is impossible to ignore the discourse surrounding which movies (dare we say, films) are worthy of claiming hardware. The McGill Tribune is here to add to that discourse, presenting movies that we believe have been wrongfully left off of the ballots.
The Lighthouse for Best Screenplay
Given the controversies that inevitably arise throughout the season, it is tempting to renounce the Oscars altogether. After last year’s egregiousness, The Tribune came close to ignoring all awards shows. That is, until The Lighthouse got snubbed. Indie-darling studio A24 does not have the money to lobby for all their great films, resulting in a single nomination this year for cinematography. Their contribution is The Lighthouse, the best film of the year and a movie more deserving of the Best Screenplay Oscar than any of the other nominees. Alas, the Academy does not know what a good screenplay is until you cook them a big juicy lobster first.
Men in Black: International for Best International Feature Film
The criteria for the international feature film category require that the film be produced outside of the US and that at least half the dialogue be in a language other than English. While The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences may not believe that Men in Black: International meets these criteria, Chris Hemsworth’s confusing fake British accent should be counted as non-English dialogue. Furthermore, the majority of scenes were filmed in England, Morocco, and Italy, adding to the international filmmaking that the Academy aims to highlight in this category.
Midsommar for Best Costume Design
One of the most deserving costume designers of the year is Andrea Flesch for her work on the beautifully horrific Midsommar. In the movie, a small Swedish village celebrates the summer solstice, wearing white dresses and tunics with intricate, unique embroidery. The attention to detail on display in these handmade garments is especially impressive considering the number of extras in the movie, but the most iconic outfit comes at the end: Florence Pugh’s May Queen robe and headdress, in which Pugh is covered from head-to-toe in flowers. Midsommar’s outfits are instantly iconic and memorable, inspiring Halloween costumes for years to come.
The Farewell for Best Picture
It is truly a shame that Lulu Wang’s poignant family drama, The Farewell, was left out of the Best Picture race. Sure, East Asian people can rep Parasite as some meagre representation in the ballot, but that’s no excuse to ignore Wang’s triumphant film. It is bonkers that 1917, which is essentially a B-version of Dunkirk, can get a nomination, but The Farewell cannot. It seems like the Academy is more comfortable with retreading the familiar ground of war propaganda, rather than considering new, vibrant stories.
Julia Fox in Uncut Gems for Best Supporting Actress
Preceding the Oscars’ nominations announcement, A24 launched an unsuccessful lobbying campaign for Adam Sandler, the star of their thriller Uncut Gems. Sandler’s portrayal of Howard Ratner was worthy of consideration, but the Oscars’ greatest snub was Julia Fox, who plays Howard’s mistress, Julia. Showcasing a masterful range in her first acting role, Fox is responsible for Uncut Gems’ funniest moments while subverting the expectations often given to mistress roles. She becomes the film’s singular redeeming character and the only person Howard can trust. Unfortunately, like Howard, A24’s social media team did not recognize Fox’s standout performance until it was too late.