Oscars 2012: Best Films That Received Zero Nominations


Due to interminable short-sightedness, the Oscars are fallible when it comes to selecting certain films that will eventually prove longevity. Some of their nominees will be forgotten a year later (“Extremely Loud,” anyone?), but here I supply a list of films that had ZERO nominations this year that will still be embraced for years to come.


Source Code – This thriller on a train has a heart-pounding excitement, possibly because on a continual 8-minute loop, the train explodes. It’s an ingenious, only-in-the-movies kind of thriller, but it’s also brainy sci-fi. Jake Gyllenhaal is an unwilling commuter, on a time travel circuit, who can change back time as long as if he can mitigate his mistakes. Nominations should have included Best Picture, Best Director Duncan Jones, Best Original Screenplay by Ben Ripley, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing.


A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg continues to be the best director in the world to never have been nominated for an Oscar (acknowledge omissions for “The Fly,” “Crash,” “eXistenZ,” “A History of Violence”). In the early 1900’s, Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) of Vienna is busy molding his intellectual ideas of psychology and the theory of the human sexual drive along with colleague Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). Taking a personal and professional risk, Jung has an affair with one of his former patients (Keira Knightley). Psychological studies, which have such major impact in our world today, might have been steered subtlely due to certain short-comings of these iconic men. Nominations should have included, Best Picture, Best Director David Cronenberg, Best Actor Michael Fassbender, Best Supporting Actress Keira Knightley, Best Adapted Screenplay by Christopher Hampton, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction.

Shame – The most haunting and disturbing movie of last year, but since we live in a society where sex addiction is not taken seriously, “Shame” has become all too important. This is the ugly side of sex where young professionals like Brandon (Michael Fassbender) fear emotional intimacy, find liaisons with a series of detached encounters, get off by internet porn, and find themselves acting out dangerously and compulsively in search of the next “high” tightrope act that never ends up satisfying anyway. Nominations should have included Best Director Steve McQueen, Best Actor Michael Fassbender, Best Film Editing.

Love Crime (France) – An unusual and highly stimulating thriller from France about office backstabbing. Kristen Scott Thomas is the boss Christine who takes credit for everything, Ludivine Sagnier is the protégé Isabelle who wants her acknowledgement for her work. These are highly educated rich girls with sociopathic instincts. Just when you think you’ve caught up to their schemes that they strike on each other, it turns out they are three moves ahead of you. Not that you can’t follow. With sly flashback editing, the past shot in black & white, you catch on the diabolical genius of Isabelle’s revenge tactics. Nominations should have included Best Director Alain Corneau, Best Actress Ludivine Sagnier, Best Supporting Actress Kristen Scott Thomas, Best Adapted Screenplay by Corneau and Nathalie Carter, Best Film Editing.

Cedar Rapids – An adult comedy that is a happy one. “The Hangover Part II” was the most disappointing movie of the year (how could it have possibly pleased anyone?) but under the radar was this little movie about a little insurance man, Tim Lippe, from Brown Valley played by Ed Helms. He goes to the BIG CITY (!) of Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a business convention. He has never met a black person before, he bashfully asks out a hooker for a cup of coffee, he doesn’t get that that a blonde colleague is trying to get him into bed, and rarely has he ever partied with alcohol. Then he meets John C. Reilly as client poacher Dean Ziegler, who drinks, dances disco-slam style, and speaks in intangible riddles that are little philosophical crackpots. Nominations should have included Best Supporting Actor John C. Reilly and Best Original Screenplay by Phil Johnston.

Melancholia – The end of the world art film was certainly a directorial vision by Lars von Trier, but key performances have also been overlooked. If there’s a reason why it will never have wide span connection with audiences is that it’s a look at rich and chronically unhappy people at the end of the world. Think about it. Watching happy and generous people face the proposition of planetary death would have been conventional. But to see von Trier’s perspective of unhappy people incapable of finding alleviating solace has a haunting sting to it – you’re glad you’re not them and figure if you had to reach your end, you’d at least do it with a little more grace.  It doesn’t have to be the end of the earth, though, it can stand in as an allegory of the end to anything that has ever run or controlled your life. Nominations should have included Best Director Lars von Trier, Best Actress Kirsten Dunst, Best Supporting Actor Kiefer Sutherland, Best Cinematography.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – One of the ultimate race against the clock thrillers, almost always giving you something fantastic to look at. The whizzy excitement never rests in what is easily the best of Tom Cruise’s “Mission: Impossible” movies. And it has a scene in Dubai at Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, where the movie deftly cuts back and forth between floors during simultaneous situations. Nominations should have included Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing.

We Need to Talk About Kevin – Simply one of the great acting performances in the art of despair. Tilda Swinton plays a mom who is eternally damned, having conceived the most impossibly evil child whom commits depraved acts from the age of four, already looking to make mom’s life hell. By 16, the kid is lethal. Nominations should have included Best Actress Tilda Swinton, Best Adapted Screenplay by Lynne Ramsay and Rory Stewart Kinnear.

Tabloid and Project Nim – Two of the most entertaining documentaries in years both failed to earn nominations in favor of other typical quasi-topical entries that sealed the deal. The former about the most outrageous scandal of a sex-crazed woman of 1977, the latter about an experiment in the 1970’s of a chimp living in a New York brownstone amongst humans learning advanced sign language. Two docs that you might actually be interested in seeing, as opposed to the Academy’s documentary branch whom are oblivious.


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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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