×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Saluting the Movie Heroes of 2016 That Were Snubbed by Oscars

When Academy Award winners are announced Feb. 26, about four-fifths of the contenders will go home empty-handed. Though they might feel bad for a while, they’ll always be identified as Oscar nominees. But what about all those people who turned in great work and didn’t even get that far?

As the long Oscar season winds down, let’s give a salute to a few un-nominated heroes of 2016. That list ranges from Clint Eastwood to Taraji P. Henson, from Pablo Larraín to Ralph Fiennes.

Take Stephen Frears. When “Florence Foster Jenkins” opened, there was appropriate buzz about the performances and the design work, but almost none for him. Frears takes tricky material and succeeds, but maybe he makes it look too easy.

In the four acting races, everyone nominated deserves to be there. But with only five slots, there are also other deserving people. Aside from Amy Adams in “Arrival,” the list includes Sally Field, “Hello, My Name Is Doris”; Jake Gyllenhaal, terrific in “Nocturnal Animals”; Issei Ogata, “Silence”; and a trio from “Hidden Figures,” Kevin Costner, Janelle Monáe and Henson.

There are also actors who appear in nominated films, but alas, they didn’t stir up the awards buzz that they deserved, including Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek in “Toni Erdmann”; Chris Pine, “Hell or High Water”; and Vince Vaughn and Hugo Weaving, “Hacksaw Ridge.”

Then there is Ralph Fiennes, memorable in both “A Bigger Splash” and “Hail Caesar!”; in the latter, he plays a director trying to give a line reading to cowboy star Alden Ehrenreich (“Would that it were so simple”) and it’s one of the funniest scenes of the year.

Speaking of comedy: Andrea Martin in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” and Andy Samberg in “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” probably never entertained fantasies about winning an Oscar for their work, but both are pretty darn terrific. And how about Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson, costume designers of “The Dressmaker”? The Australian film starring Kate Winslet may not have been seen by enough voters. But it’s a rare film in which the clothes help drive the narrative and Boyce and Wilson met the challenge.

And a big pat on the back to composers Michael Giacchino for “Rogue One” and Alexandre Desplat, “The Light Between Oceans.” Aside from Frears, other directors did spectacular work, including Clint Eastwood with “Sully”; Pablo Larraín, with both “Jackie” and “Neruda”; and documentary helmers Ava DuVernay with “13th” and Roger Ross Williams, “Life, Animated.”

And finally, a special word for Martin Scorsese and “Silence.” Sometimes a director makes a personal film that is an immediate hit, like Steven Spielberg with “Schindler’s List.” But sometimes not. When Alfred Hitchcock’s very personal “Vertigo” debuted, immediate audience reaction was bewilderment: “This isn’t what I expected.” But time changes perspectives. “Silence,” like “Vertigo,” will undoubtedly be re-evaluated and appreciated more as the years go by. It’s a story of spirituality, but it’s also a metaphor for anyone who goes to a foreign country with good intentions — whether it’s the clergy, the military, or commercial enterprises — only to be confronted with hosts who don’t want their “improvements.” Scorsese’s film works on many levels.

This is not to take anything away from those who were nominated or those who will win. It’s a reminder that life is quirky and sometimes great work is appreciated but not given awards. So give yourself a pat on the back and have fun Feb. 26.

More Film

  • Aquaman

    China Box Office: ‘Aquaman’ Sinks All Challengers With $94 Million Opening

    The decision to release “Aquaman” in China two weeks prior to its North American outing paid off handsomely. The DC Comics adaptation achieved a massive $94.1 million opening in three days, according to data from Asian entertainment consultancy Artisan Gateway. The early release meant that the film played against weak opposition – tired Hollywood and [...]

  • Alfonso Cuarón, Emmanuel Lubezki Discuss the

    Alfonso Cuarón Details 'Roma' Cinematography With 'Gravity' DP Emmanuel Lubezki

    As part of an overall push to bring Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” to awards season voters, Netflix’s “‘Roma’ Experience'” played host to guild and Academy members Sunday in Hollywood. The all-day event featured panels focused on the film’s crafts and an audio-visual installation akin to the streamer’s FYSee initiative for Emmy contenders, featuring costumes and art [...]

  • IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for

    IFFAM: Erik Matti Hatches Plans for ‘On The Job’ Franchise

    Filipino director Erik Matti is known for his eclectic body of work that includes “Honor Thy Father” and “Seklusyon.” His 2013 effort, “On The Job” travelled widely and won several awards including two at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival, and was nominated for an SACD Prize at the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Matti is at [...]

  • Joan Chen attends the season premiere

    Joan Chen Talks Diversity in Hollywood, Welcomes #MeToo

    Chinese-American actress, writer and director Joan Chen says that she was flattered when Time magazine described her as the “Elizabeth Taylor of China.” When asked at an in-conversation event in Singapore on Saturday whether she paved the way for Chinese actresses to follow in Hollywood, Chen said, “We never go to work because we want [...]

  • Kyzza Terrazas Joins Garcia Bernal, Diego

    Kyzza Terrazas Joins Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna’s La Corriente del Golfo (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Launching their new production house, La Corriente de Golfo, last April, Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna have tapped Mexican writer-director Kyzza Terrazas as the company’s head of development. The appointment will certainly help build the company appointing an old-rounder capable of overseeing and implementing development, writing and directing, and a longtime [...]

  • IFFAM Actress in Focus: Yao Chen

    IFFAM Actress in Focus: Yao Chen Talks Performing, Producing and Public Pressure

    Macao’s Actress in Focus is a woman who has trained as a boxer, likes British actors, especially Benedict Cumberbatch and Jeremy Irons, and is now setting out her stall as a producer. Yao Chen has built a career over 20 years thanks to TV shows including “My Own Swordsman,” and films including “If You Are [...]

  • Bradley Liew's 'Motel Acacia' Shoots After

    Cautionary Tale, 'Motel Acacia' Under Way After Four Years of Development

    Production has begun on Malaysian director Bradley Liew’s upscale horror film “Motel Acacia.” With a clearly topical message, the film features a hotel bed that eats immigrants. Actor, JC Santos called it: “A cautionary tale of what’s going to happen in the future.” Indonesian star, Nicholas Saputra said the he agreed to the role “because [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content