10 Best Movies With No Oscar Nominations, From ‘Red Rocket’ to ‘Zola’

As long as it’s 94 years old, the idea that the Oscars reward the “best” of everything is a mistake.

It’s not just a malarkey spat out by a veteran Best Actress-winning performer trying to feign humility while clutching the trophy she’d rather use as a blunt weapon than give up. It’s a reflection of the fact that Oscar nominations, let alone winners, are more the product of politics, campaigning, timing, laziness and, too often, seeming chance than they are. are a reputable survey of the best films of a year. had to offer.

Of course, sometimes great art succeeds, often to the surprise of skeptical critics. This year has seen a slew of names for international features drive my car and The worst person in the world that experts were certain would be ignored in traditional historically xenophobic categories. At the same time, he also saw the word “Best” used in front of nominees like Coming 2 America and the legendary cinematic masterpiece free guy.

So, in honor of the seemingly absurd quirks of the Oscars – I’ll never understand why one little independent film is adopted by the Academy, but not another – let’s pay tribute to the films of the past year that deserve to be called the “Best” but received no nominations Tuesday morning. And, fun fact: you can rent or buy almost all of them for less than the price of a movie ticket, and some are already streaming for free.

“Red Rocket”

Sean Baker’s film about a stranded porn star trying to make his way through his ex’s life and a few quick bucks was a loud showcase for the year’s biggest returning star, Simon Rex. It’s insightful. It’s dirty. There are several tracks set to NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” soundtrack. This is delicious.

Now available for rental or purchase.

“Come on”

After winning the Oscar for her outrageous performance in Joker, Joaquin Phoenix provides a transformative follow-up as a kind-hearted uncle who reconnects with his estranged nephew, learning surprisingly poignant lessons about family, masculinity, and himself. Mike Mills wrote and directed – in black and white! – and the result is one of the most beautiful and sober films of the year.

Now available for rental or purchase.

“In the Heights”

Music fans are no doubt delighted that West Side Story and Tick, tick… Boom! were welcomed by the Academy. But it’s a shame that Jon Chu’s revealing version of the movie’s musical, In the Heights, was completely ignored. It’s as dazzling a cinematic experience as it gets, with standout performances from Anthony Ramos and Olga Merediz.

Now available to rent or buy, and streaming on HBO Max.

“Zola”

“You all wanna hear a story about why me and this bitch here fell over?” The start of the viral Twitter thread that inspired the outrageous and inventive dark comedy thriller could refer to someone’s relationship with the Academy, after the Sundance hit failed to garner nods. How did you get to see the performance of Colman Domingo and not think, “This guy should be nominated for Best Supporting Actor?”

Now available to rent or buy, and streaming on Showtime Anytime.

“Mass”

This is where the capricious taste of the Academy becomes infuriating. Find everyone who watched the movie Mass this year – a devastating chronicle of two sets of parents speaking for the first time after a tragic school shooting – and ask them to tell you how star Ann Dowd’s acting, off the beaten track, superlative and higher, Martha Plimpton, Jason Isaacs and Reed Birney were. All four should be nominated.

Now available for rental or purchase.

“Humans”

Based on the Tony Award-winning play, often considered the best of the past decade, Humans stunned critics at film festivals with how debut director Stephen Karam’s cinematic and visceral translation was from stage to screen. Mesmerizing performances from Jayne Houdyshell and Richard Jenkins seemed like obvious contenders, while Amy Schumer’s telltale turn was a dark horse. But after a bizarre exit strategy and a failed buzz, he’s been largely overlooked all season.

Now available on Showtime Anytime.

“A hero”

Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes winner was tipped to be a shoo-in for Best International Feature and a possibility in the director and screenplay categories. It’s made Barack Obama’s best movies list, not to mention countless movie critics’ lists. His exclusion from the International Feature Film category was one of the biggest shocks of the nomination morning.

Now streaming on Amazon Prime.

“Who passed”

Speaking of one of the biggest shocks, the fact that Ruth Negga missed out on the Best Supporting Actress nomination for her work in Who passed was a huge disappointment. She’s stunning opposite Tessa Thompson as a black woman in 1929 who could flit between two worlds because her fair skin “passes” for being white. Written and directed by actress Rebecca Hall, it’s one of the most exciting filmmaking debuts of the year.

Now streaming on Netflix.

“The Green Knight”

Everyone was so concerned about Spider-Man: No Coming Home carrying the stick of crowd-pleasing action representation in Oscar’s major categories, that the artistically superior The green knight has been largely left out of the equation. Director David Lowery delivered something that was visually stunning and powerful, yet still fresh. A new kind of hero story.

Now available for rental or purchase.

“The More They Fall”

A blast, with a cast that includes Idris Elba, Regina King, Jonathan Majors and Zazie Beetz in the rare black-centric western. The ensemble received several group accolades from critics and guilds over the fall and winter, and an original song by Jay-Z and Kid Cudi was tipped for a nomination. But in the end, the film was completely ignored.

Now streaming on Netflix.

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