From ‘She Said’ to ‘Nope,’ we’re surprised the Oscars overlooked these 2022 gems.
This year’s Academy Award nominations offered a lot to be excited about. In addition to masterful arthouse films like The Banshees of Inisherin and Tár getting their justified praise, the Oscars turned their eyes towards international cinema with Best Picture nominations for All Quiet On The Western Front and Triangle of Sadness. Many first time performers received their first recognition, such as rising stars like Paul Mescal and Stephanie Hsu, as well as long-denied veterans like Brendan Fraser, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Bill Nighy. However, this year also had its fair share of snubs, and some films were seemingly forgotten entirely.
The Academy Awards have evolved and embraced a larger voting body than ever before, but the infrastructure of the system still tends to hold certain stigmas that are hard to dismantle. While this year proved that the Oscars were willing to go for some seemingly offbeat selections in major categories, there were also many notable films that were shut out of the race completely. International genre films, personal indies, untraditional documentaries, horror films, and films spotlighting female empowerment were all shutout in a race that sadly confirms that the Academy Awards are still conforming to the same trends that they’ve always been guilty of.
Here are some of the best films of 2022 that received zero Oscar nominations.
Luca Guadagnino finally received some love from the Oscars for his heartbreaking romantic adaptation of Call Me By Your Name, but sadly his more experimental genre films have gone by without any recognition. After Suspiria and A Bigger Splash were seemingly forgotten, there was hope that Guadagnino’s offbeat cannibal love story Bones and All could at least receive nominations for its incredible makeup effects, gorgeous musical score, or sensitively written screenplay. Sadly, it appears that Guadagnino will have to make something less “weird” if he ever wants to return to the Oscars.
The Oscars have a notorious bias against horror films, so it was incredibly exciting when Jordan Peele managed to break these barriers with Get Out, earning himself a Best Original Screenplay win. While it’s exciting that Peele’s debut was honored, his follow up films have been just as original and worthy of examination, earning him a strong reputation among both casual audiences and veteran critics. Sadly, the incredible technical achievements in Nope, Peele’s layered screenplay that examined “spectacle,” and Keke Palmer’s emphatic performance were all denied.
Perhaps the Academy Awards will never give another Best Picture award to a medieval war film like Braveheart ever again, as that generation of epics seems to be at a standstill. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that films like The Northman deserve to be shut out in the craft categories; Robert Eggers’ Viking version of Hamlet contained some of the most astounding costumes, sets, cinematography, visuals, and grizzly makeup effects of the year, all of which were sadly passed over.
While the Oscars obviously recognized Bong Joon-ho and Parasite in the most significant way possible, they’ve consistently ignored the incredible work of many South Korean filmmakers and their innovations in genre storytelling over the past several decades. This year provided a great opportunity to recognize the legendary Park Chan-wook and his Hitchcock-inspired romantic murder mystery thriller Decision to Leave; it would have served as an homage to the career of one of today's greatest artists, but Decision to Leave failed to even crack the Best International Feature lineup.
Apple TV+ broke barriers last year when they acquired CODA at the Sundance Film Festival and carried it all the way to a Best Picture win, becoming the first streaming service to take home the top prize. It seemed like Apple had another chance to bring a Sundance hit to the Oscars after they acquired Cooper Raiff’s crowd pleasing dramedy Cha Cha Real Smooth at last year’s Sundance, but sadly the sensitive examination of arrested development and autism was largely forgotten after its summer release.
While Steven Spielberg was honored this year for telling an autobiographical story about his childhood with The Fabelmans, James Gray’s similarly reflective film about growing up in New York City in the 1980s was shut out entirely. Armageddon Time delicately examined the rise of aggressive capitalism and the effects of institutional oppression, and it was particularly disappointing to see the memorable performances from Anthony Hopkins, Anne Hathaway, and Jeremy Strong shut out.
Noah Baumbach has scored a few Oscar nominations in the past for The Squid and The Whale and Marriage Story, but the vast majority of his work has been passed up entirely. White Noise was certainly Baumbach’s biggest experiment yet, and even those hesitant about the film itself would have to recognize Adam Driver’s idiosyncratic performance and Danny Elfman’s haunting score as worthy; sadly, that’s not how the Oscars were thinking.
The aftermath of the #MeToo movement is the most significant news story in Hollywood in decades, and She Said is a film that tackles the issue head on. Not only is it a film that’s respectful to the victims of abuse that holds men in power responsible, but it works as an electrifying thriller about the power of good reporting and journalistic standards. The Oscars apparently didn’t want to tangle with these issues any more than they had to, and the snubs for She Said feel particularly egregious in a year when no women were nominated for Best Director.
Richard Linklater may have been rewarded for his live-action films such as Boyhood and Before Midnight, but sadly his equally impressive animated projects have been overlooked by the Best Animated Feature race. Linkalter’s creative, personal story of a child growing up in the summer of the moon landing would have made for a fun addition to the animation race, but unfortunately Apollo 10 ½ was snubbed.
It’s sad that one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time will seemingly never get his just due from the Academy Awards; given the extreme content of David Cronenberg’s films, it seems unlikely that the Oscars’ biases against science fiction and horror films will lift for any of his films to make it into the major categories. However, there was the possibility that the bizarre sci-fi horror film Crimes of the Future could make it into the Best Makeup and Hairstyling race after landing on the shortlist, but it failed to make the cut.
The Oscars are often receptive to documentary films about famous musicians (last year Summer of Soul took home the top prize), but Moonage Daydream is certainly not a standard biography. This experimental collage of David Bowie’s music and videos creates a vivid portrait of his impact on art, and did surprisingly well in its IMAX theatrical run. Sadly, the film was shut out of both the Best Documentary and Best Sound races.
As much as the Academy Awards have evolved, there are certain things that sadly stay the same. The Woman King was a critically acclaimed box office success that featured rousing setpieces that reminded audiences why they need to see movies on the big screen. Featuring some of the best production design, costumes, makeup, music, and direction of the year, The Woman King was seemingly guaranteed at least a nomination for Viola Davis’ inspiring performance. The fact that this story of black female empowerment that had been such a success story was passed up entirely is an eerie sign of the discriminatory nature of the Oscars.
Liam Gaughan is a film and TV writer at Collider. He has been writing film reviews and news coverage for eight years with bylines at Dallas Observer, About.com, Taste of Cinema, Dallas Morning News, Schmoes Know, Rebel Scum, and Central Track. He aims to get his spec scripts produced and currently writes short films and stage plays. He lives in McKinney, TX.