Oscars 2023: Eight movies which were snubbed this year
Representational Image Credit: Image: Oscar

This year’s Academy Award nominations were announced by Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams on January 24. The nominations were led by ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’, ‘All Quiet On the Western Front’, ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’, ‘Tár’ and ‘Avatar: The Way of the Water’. It was mostly a good mixture of crowd-pleasers and critic favourites. 

But there were some noticeable omissions that caused journalists and film buffs alike to sharpen their pencils and make lists (myself included) of the neglected titles. Meanwhile, other snubs caused public outrage (like the shirking of Danielle Deadwyler and ‘Till’, possibly overlooked thanks to misogynoir)

So here’s my list of eight Hollywood films that deserved Oscar attention, but was surprised to see them completely forsaken. The 95th Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, March 12 and be televised live on ABC.


Keke Palmer as Emerald Haywood and Daniel Kaluuya as her brother and protagonist OJ

The Best Supporting Actress category this year is stacked with mesmerising performances by Jamie Lee Curtis, Stephanie Hsu and Angela Bassett. But one glaring omission was the incredible Keke Palmer. Everyone who left the theatre after watching ‘Nope’ had great things to say about Palmer, who plays OJ’s feisty sister, Emerald.

29-year-old Palmer was a firecracker who displayed authentic chemistry with her onscreen sibling (Daniel Kaluuya). She expertly delivered her jokes and one-liners and made us laugh until our stomachs hurt. And she did all this in a horror movie…. about aliens killing people. Amazing.

Let’s also give props to Jordan Peele for his expectedly outstanding work in directing and writing an original screenplay for ‘Nope’. The sci-fi wouldn’t be as bone-chilling, existential, socially acute and funny if it wasn’t for Peele’s expertise in writing comedy and his knowledge of horror classics. 

Bones and All

Lovers on the run: Taylor Russell and Timothée Chalamet as Maren and Lee

Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell are both phenomenal actors who both deserved acting nominations for their lead performances in ‘Bones and All’. The duo speaks very little, mostly stealing glances at each other or gazing with longing. But that’s enough for us to feel the intense chemistry between them. The fact that these two made us swoon more than any other conventional romance in 2022 means that they deserved an Oscar nod.

Chalamet and director Luca Guadagnino are a powerful duo who make magic every time they collaborate on a project. We saw it with ‘Call Me Your Name’ and now with the beautifully tragic ‘Bones and All’. The film, about two young cannibals on the run, has beautiful cinematography (by Arseni Khachaturan) as well as a tight screenplay adapted by David Kajganich from Camille DeAngelis’ novel. 

Honestly? The film deserved nominations for all of them: acting, directing, adapted screenplay, cinematography, and finally, Best Supporting Actor for Mark Rylance’s show-stealing interpretation of the mysterious Sully. 


Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till and Whoopi Goldberg as her mother, Alma

Actor Danielle Deadwyler took our breath away with her rendition of Mamie Till. Mamie Till was an American Civil Rights icon who was hurtled to the forefront of the movement after her son, Emmett Till, was abducted and brutally killed by White supremacists.

Deadwyler had a lot riding on her shoulders because of the historical reality and real-life people being depicted, and being the face of a film that could easily have been a highly sensationalised melodrama that squeezes the audience for each drop of emotion. But Deadwyler took on the responsibility to play Mamie with an assured strength and calmness which could only be possible after working in film and theatre for 14+ years.

The uproar is valid and welcome.


Mia Goth plays the double role of Maxine and octogenarian villainess Pearl

British actor Mia Goth delivered an exceptional performance in the Ti West-directed slasher ‘X’. Goth plays two characters: upcoming softcore star Maxine and the eighty-something-year-old Pearl, who wreaks havoc on Maxine and her friends. Twenty-nine-year-old Goth is sweet and sultry as Maxine, nailing her Southern US accent. But it is her performance as the elderly Pearl that takes the cake. The actress astounds us as a past-her-prime dancer, an aging lady whose body is breaking down and who’s helpless about it. We feel Pearl’s sorrow even though Goth plays her with restrained emotions and slow movements. 

So imagine the outrage that should’ve been there (but wasn’t due to the film’s low profile) when Goth didn’t get nominated Best Actress for her double role. Another nomination ‘X’ deserved was for Makeup and Hairstyling. Makeup artist Sarah Rubano absolutely warrants recognition for Goth’s physical transformation into the creepy and unrecognisable Pearl.


Another point for Ti West! His sequel to ‘X’ is ‘Pearl’ which was released just a few months afterwards. Mia Goth once again steals our hearts in this film, this time by showing us the younger and hopeful side of a woman who becomes a killer. Her portrayal of a repressed daughter who slowly turns deranged has layers to it. Goth is everything: funny, sad, childish, romantic, and terrifying as the eponymous murderess. She switches perfectly between different scenes and situations. And lastly, her monologue in the latter half is to die for (pun unintended). It’s a speech that many women (even men) will surely memorise for their acting auditions. 

If ‘X’ wasn’t great enough (which it is) for Goth to earn an acting nomination, then surely ‘Pearl’ should have convinced the Academy to give her a nom? Please! She’s a star!

The Woman King

The Agojie is a historical all-female army led by the fictional Nanisca (Viola Davis, centre).

‘The Woman King’ was chock-full of strong performances by its female-dominated cast. Viola Davis, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim and Thuso Mbedu all helped carry this by-the-numbers drama through the awards season. John Boyega was also dashing as King Ghezo.

The historical drama, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, is a revisionist story about a fierce all-woman army named the Agojie who are employed to protect the African kingdom of Dahomey in the turn of the 19th century. The warriors must fight the obnoxious Oyo Empire and free enslaved people while evading the growing influence of the Portuguese slave traders.


When the trailer for ‘Prey’ first dropped last year, many trolled it for being “unrealistic” because it depicted an 18th-century young woman fighting eye-to-eye with an advanced alien who has futuristic technology at his disposal. They thought it would be another “woke” film about a girl boss Mary Sue (there are many problems with this statement but we won’t be discussing it).

But these doubts were waved away with the arrival of the sci-fi horror which is the latest addition to the ‘Predator’ franchise. In addition to being well-acted and tension-filled, the 20th Century Studios film is highly impressive with its sound design, art design, VFX and Makeup/Hairstyling. And its stunt choreography is on another level. ‘Prey’ should have swept the technical nominations this year.

Glass Onion

‘Glass Onion’ is Rian Johnson’s sequel to 2019’s ‘Knives Out’. The crime caper and mystery is just as deliciously entertaining as the prequel. It’s proven by how quickly it shot up to #1 on the day it dropped on Netflix. 

The film deserved nominations for any of the talented actors in its ensemble cast, not least Kate Hudson, Edward Norton and Janelle Monae. And why on Earth did it not have a Best Original Screenplay nomination fall on its pearl-laden, velvet-wearing lap? 

Usually, such big-budget Hollywood productions are first and centre in the Oscars race. In spite of being so engaging, taut and hilarious, and full of twists and turns, there was no ‘Glass Onion’ screenplay nomination on the Oscars reveal. Why? It’s truly a mystery.

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