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Top-10 Oscar Snubs: 2023

For so many people, the Oscars is always a night of serious disappointment, and I don’t think this year was any different. I’m happy for Brendan Fraser, but it’s no secret Colin Ferrell was robbed, and that’s only one of the many injustices we saw on Oscar Sunday. All Quiet on the Western Front for Best International Film, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography and Best Original Score? That’s simply a lie. Personally, I found it to be an affront, hardly watchable—especially when you consider all the other amazing films that were released widely last year. I’m not saying the films listed below would have won the categories they excelled in, but I am saying they’re more deserving of acknowledgment than some of the official nominees. With that in mind, here are my top 10 Oscar snubs of 2023:

10. Great Freedom

I honestly thought Sebastian Meise’s tender, heart wrenching look at LGBTQ persecution in West Germany was a shoo-in for Best Cinematography. It is absolutely stunning to look at. There are some moments where I genuinely can’t think of a better lit movie. At the very least, this deserved a Best International Feature nom. Stream it on MUBI! Trailer

9. Pearl

It’s no secret that genre films, especially horror, are often overlooked in these types of settings; but, my god, what else could Mia Goth possibly have done for a Best Actress nom?! Her portrayal of a woman trying to escape farm life and be a star onstage is chilling and shockingly well-acted. There’s a monologue in here that was perhaps one of the best things I’ve seen ever, let alone last year. I also have to show some love to the editing, which definitely deserved a nod. It’s a crime this was so overlooked! Trailer

8. Bones and All

As I’ve said in a previous review: even I was skeptical of Luca Guadagnino’s cannibal coming of age love story; but it turned out to be one of the best things I saw at last year’s New York Film Festival. With some powerhouse performances from Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russel, along with some astounding shots, this film is a real cinematic achievement. Best Actor/Actress, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography; there were a ton of places where this movie could’ve won! Stream this on HBO Max!

7. After Yang

Kogonada’s first foray into sci-fi takes an approach that’s as intimate and tender as his more realist/naturalistic work. Centered around a family’s android companion dying, revealing fissures they didn’t even know were there, it’s a stunning offering that could’ve easily been in the conversation for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, Best Production Design, even Best Cinematography. Stream this on Paramount+, Hulu Premium, Showtime, and Prime Video! It’ll also have a limited theatrical re-release in about a week, so look for showings near you! Trailer

6. Lost Illusions

- Xavier Giannoli’s adaptation of Balzac’s novel is centered around a French peasant social climbing his way through a corrupt, narcissistic society. Sounds relevant? It is, and it’s so well done! Best Production Design, Best Supporting Actress, the list goes on. Stream it via Mubi or rent it on Prime Video! Trailer

5. Crimes of the Future

David Cronenberg’s return to the director’s chair won many critics’ awards, but was unsurprisingly left out when it came to the Oscars. Despite these risk-taking genre films keeping theaters afloat last year, there’s no room for these types of movies at black tie events, which is a real shame. The production design here is incredible, creating a world somewhere between dystopian future and hollowed-out past. On top of that, the acting from everyone is superb, and I was a big fan of the direction. Now on Hulu! Trailer

4. A Love Song

- In so many ways, this movie was stunning. Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor are two categories I could’ve seen this in, but there’s also something to be said about its original screenplay and the use of music throughout. It’s a quiet film, so I’m not surprised it was overlooked, but I do think it deserved a lot more praise. An achingly warm portrait of a love that could’ve been. Trailer

3. Nope

- Many say Keke Palmer was robbed of her Oscar nom for this film, and I definitely agree, but I also think Peele was unjustly ignored for his directing, and Johnnie Burn’s sound design not getting a nod was simply criminal. It’s a great look at spectacle, family and race—plus, who doesn’t like a good alien movie? Trailer

2. Till

- One of the more harrowing watches of New York Film Festival, I was astounded to learn Chinoye Chukwu’s biographical drama received a grand total of 0 nominations. Best Costuming/hair, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound Design, Best Score, it could have easily won any of these categories! Trailer

1. Decision to Leave

- Sadly, Park Chan-wook is no stranger to being shafted by the Academy; The Handmaiden (2016) continues to be one of the more scandalous snubs in recent memory, if you ask me. That being said, I was so certain his newest film would get something. It's a Hitchcockian thriller centered around a detective investigating a woman suspected of murdering her husband—but when he starts to fall for the suspect, lines are blurred and a chain of events is set in motion that'll have you on the edge of your seat until the breathtaking final shot. Best director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, what a miss! Stream in on Mubi! Trailer

I hope you find on this list something you haven’t yet seen, and I hope you watch it. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for The Chicano Film Shelf’s Patreon by clicking here! It helps pay the various fees that come with running a website, and keeps this blog ad-free and independent. There are also some cool benefits for those who choose to support the blog in this way!


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