What Films Top Your List of Movies that Didn't Receive Any Oscar Nominations?

Scott Feinberg at The Envelope has created a list of his "The top 25 movies of the past 10 years that got no Oscar love" and it's an interesting idea considering there has been so much hatred aimed at the Academy over The Dark Knight not getting a Best Picture nomination, but it did actually receive eight nominations, which is nothing to scoff at. We are talking about films that didn't receive any nominations, zero, zilch, nada. Any come to mind?

I had never considered the idea since it is a relatively hard thing to imagine that a favorite film of yours didn't receive any Oscar nominations -- wait, is that why general audiences aren't interested in the Oscars? -- but then I went back over my 2003-2008 Top Ten lists and found several that weren't nominated and put together a quick top ten and an example category I think they should have been nominated in.

  1. Zodiac [2007] (Director, David Fincher)
  2. Ballast [2008] (Film Editing)
  3. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [2008] (Director, Cristian Mungiu)
  4. I've Loved You So Long [2008] (Supporting Actress, Elsa Zylberstein)
  5. Inside Man [2006] (Original Screenplay, Russell Gewirtz)
  6. Jarhead [2005] (Cinematography, Roger Deakins)
  7. The Edge of Heaven [2008] (Foreign Language Film)
  8. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang [2005] (Adapted Screenplay, Shane Black)
  9. Things We Lost in the Fire [2007] (Actress, Halle Berry)
  10. Spanglish [2004] (Original Screenplay, James L. Brooks)

So that's my look at the last six years. Feinberg went back even further and created an even larger list, which reads as follows:

  1. Dogville (2003, d. Lars von Trier)
  2. Synecdoche, New York (2008, d. Charlie Kaufman)
  3. Thank You for Smoking (2006, d. Jason Reitman)
  4. The Virgin Suicides (1999, d. Sofia Coppola)
  5. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007, d. Sidney Lumet)
  6. The Company (2003, d. Robert Altman)
  7. The Upside of Anger (2005, d. Mike Binder)
  8. Three Kings (1999, d. David O. Russell)
  9. Gran Torino (2008, d. Clint Eastwood)
  10. The Station Agent (2003, d. Tom McCarthy)
  11. The Lookout (2007, d. Scott Frank)
  12. Hard Candy (2005, d. David Slade)
  13. World Trade Center (2006, d. Oliver Stone)
  14. Shattered Glass (2003, d. Billy Ray)
  15. The Door in the Floor (2004, d. Tod Williams)
  16. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005, d. Tommy Lee Jones)
  17. Shopgirl (2005, d. Anand Tucker)
  18. Bandits (2001, d. Barry Levinson)
  19. Elephant (2003, d. Gus Van Sant)
  20. Apocalypto (2006, d. Mel Gibson)
  21. Broken Flowers (2005, d. Jim Jarmusch)
  22. The Missing (2003, d. Ron Howard)
  23. Liberty Heights (1999, d. Barry Levinson)
  24. The Woodsman (2004, d. Nicole Kassell)
  25. Legally Blonde (2001, d. Robert Luketic)

Now it's your turn. What films do you think should have been nominated for at least one Oscar, but went home entirely empty? Don't worry about whether or not it was in the last 6-10 years, you have 81 years of Oscars to choose from.

  • frank

    I definately agree on Zodiac. In my opinion it's Fincher's best film to date. The directing, script, cinematography, acting, production design and soundtrack are brilliant (and I'm sure I forgot a few things). So many wonderful details.

    And I wish The Visitor would win an award. I love that movie. I believe Richard Jenkins is up for one, that he probably won't win. It's a shame.

  • PJ

    Nobody mentioned this film but "Humboldt County" is in my top five favorite films of this past year. Jeremy Stron gives a knock out performance in this indie film. Also, whatever happened to Michelle Williams's Oscar campaign? Hers was probably the best female lead I've seen this year.

  • Drew

    So glad he mentioned Synecdoche, New York. I really feel that Charile Kaufman outdid himself with that movie, and I was at least expecting a screenplay nod. Oh well, now it's free to top lists like this one.

  • Roger

    Why would that Feinberg dude put Legally Blonde?

    I agree with you Brad, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang was such an overlooked movie.

  • NackAttack

    I also agree on kiss kiss, bang bang. Robrert Downey, Jr. was better in that movie than he was in Iron Man. I think it's one of the most underrated films ever. It at least deserved a best adapted screenplay nod.

    Gran Torino getting completely shut out should be a crime. As well as Zodiac and World Trade Center. I personally really loved W. also and would have liked to see Brolin get a best actor nod, but I know I'm in the minority.

  • Dan Tralder

    Quite a few from all years, but for 2008 in particular, I've Loved You So Long (Best Actress, Supporting Actress) and Boy A (Best Actor, Cinematography) easily top my list

  • Tim

    Two I can think of right now are Reservoir Dogs and Revolutionary Road.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/blog/brad_brevet/ Brad Brevet

    @Tim: Revolutionary Road was nominated

  • Phil

    i was surprised that 'City Of Ember' wasn't nominated for set design..I know the movie bombed but they created an entire underground city and didn't get a nomination..so???

  • pockets O’tool

    Recently i was watching "The Count of Monte Cristo" which is one of my favorite films and said to myself "i know this got nominated..." only to find out it didn't get any award whatsoever form any organization.

    As for this year i believe "Blindness" should have been nominated for best cinematography, as always Fernando Meirelles delivers a visually stunning film but can see how it was overlooked due to how the subject matter was handled.

  • JM

    "The Fall" for Costume Design

  • William

    I'll say Zodiac...and to be honest, Thank You For Smoking "shrugs". Just my opinion

  • Leandro Dubost

    V for Vendetta. And Hairspray, I was shocked when that movie got no Oscar nomination, I mean it's a musical, the Academy LOVES musicals! I don't think Hairspray is 'oscar material' stuff, it's 'just' a damn good (and funny) musical, but I was surprised that the academy ignored.

    I mean, they nominated Dreamgirls for what, 10 awards? And Hairspray nada? Really?

  • lizer

    Speaking about British invasion, there are other great British films out there that is NOT Slumdog Millionaire. I can think of Steve McQueen's Hunger. Last year (2007) there was Anton Corbijn's Control.

  • Adriano

    I always felt that the Academy ignoring "The Ice Storm" (Ang Lee's best film in my opinion) was just absurd.
    And yeah, Claire Danes was completely overlooked for the stellar turn in "Shopgirl".

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/blog/brad_brevet/ Brad Brevet

    I'm tired of deleting comments because people can't stay on topic. Realize, this is for films that were NOT nominated. I am not asking you to think all that much.

  • joker47

    Che (Best Actor-Benincio del Toro, Orignal Score)
    Knocked Up (Best Orignal Screenplay)
    Speed Racer (Visual Effects)
    The Simpsons Movie (Best Animated Feature)
    Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 (Best Picture, Best Actress-Uma Thurman, Orignal Screenplay)
    The 40 Year Old Virgin (Best Orignal Screenplay)
    Walk Hard (Best Actor-John C. Reilly, Orignal Song)
    Candy (Best Actor-Heath Ledger)
    Remember the Titans (Best Actor-Denzel Washington)
    300 (Orignal Score, Visual Effects, Art Direction)

  • Jakob

    THE SIMPSONS MOVIE! that was a huge shocker in my mind

  • kat


    just for the facts/to correct, Anton Corbijn is Dutch, not British, but still I agree.

    and yeah..gran torino!! loved that one
    but, maybe because it got released a day after the Golden Globe nominations were announced, it wasnt nominated? (as for why G.T didnt get a GG nomination then..and Oscars tend to copy GG.. )

  • babak

    Apocalypto has 3oscar nomination!!!

    beside ur list,i would say lord of war & in old movies the good,the bad & the ugly

  • NJW


    It's a list of "Great Films That Weren't Nominated For A Single Academy Award". Just some of the movies on that list:
    The Big Sleep (1946)
    Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    City Lights (1931)
    The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
    Duck Soup (1933)
    Frankenstein (1931)
    Freaks (1933)
    Gun Crazy (1949)
    Gunga Din (1939)
    His Girl Friday (1940)
    King Kong (1933)
    Medium Cool (1969)
    Modern Times (1936)
    My Darling Clementine (1946)
    Night of the Hunter (1955)
    Out of the Past (1947)
    Paths of Glory (1957)
    The Searchers (1956)
    Sullivan's Travels (1942)
    Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
    Touch of Evil (1958)
    Trouble in Paradise (1932)
    The Wind (1928)
    The Women (1939)

    BTW, each of the movies I listed has been inducted into the National Film Registry set up by the Library of Congress.

  • Allan

    I am still angry and disappointed that Clint Eastwood didn't get nominated for best actor and the title song for Gran Torino wasn't nominated for best original song.

  • Bill Navarro

    Punch-Drunk Love
    Drop Dead Gorgeous

    those are 3 movies that should have gotten at least ONE nomination.
    I think Punch-Drunk Love and Drop Dead Gorgeous for writing and Grindhouse for directing (either Tarantino or Rodriguez)

  • Matt Hassler

    MAN ON THE MOON!!! best picture. best adapted screenplay. definitely definitely definitely best actor for Jim Carrey.
    come on people. he was a better kaufman than kaufman was. perfect.

  • Matt Hassler

    here's my real pet peeve. before the devil knows you're dead.... Phillip Seymour Hoffman. His performance in this film should be broadcast across the nation. this is the actor of our generation. P.S.H, its an abomination that you didn't get that one.

  • mellix

    "Smoke" [1995] one of my all time favourite films... should have been nominated for best [adapted?] screenplay (Paul Auster) and best director (Wayne Wang)

    and of course there are a lot of films i think should have been nominated for Best Foreign Film, but i guess that's not the point of this article, so i will only say that "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" [1997] should have been submitted by Germany for consideration instead of "Jenseits der Stille" (Beyond Silence)

  • Quake82

    GRAN TORINO!! I was completely shocked that this film didn't garner a single nomination.

    Kill Bill Vol. 2 (Best Actress, Uma Thurman & Best Supp. Actor, David Carradine)
    Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Best Supp. Actor, Val Kilmer)
    The 40-Year-Old Virgin (Best Actor, Steve Carrell)

    and, while it did receive a single nomination (for Best Makeup), I was quite shocked that "The Passion of the Christ" wasn't nominated for Best Picture.

  • Josh

    "Brokedown Palace" I think the movie wasn't all that great but Claire Danes was!
    Also, this is a korean movie but "My Father" was astounding, best actor for Daniel Henney.
    oh, yeah....and "The Wackness"

  • Andy

    Running with Scissors (Best Actress-Annette Bening)
    New York, New York (Best...anything really)

    I know that NY, NY wasn't very well received at the time since people only wanted realism from Martin Scorsese, but it is an incredibly crafted film. And I'm still unsure how it's theme song was passed up for the Best Song Oscar.

    And Annette Bening was excellent in that movie. So underrated.

  • JamesN

    I only have to look back to last year... Traitor. Particularly for its screenplay.

  • Shawn

    Gran Torino (Best Lead Actor, Best Original Song)
    Zodiac (Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay)
    Inside Man (Best Screenplay)
    Love Actually (Best Screenplay)
    Miller's Crossing (Best Picture, Best Cinematography)
    Burn After Reading (Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor)
    Before the Devil Knows Your Dead (Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography)
    Kazaam (Best Lead Actor - Shaquille Oneal Am I joking....?)
    Hairspray (Best Art/Set Direction, Best Costume Design)
    Jarhead (Best Cinematography)

  • Mark

    I'm still pissed about The Simpsons Movie.

    Apparently someone alerted Feinberg to his Apocalypto screw-up because its gone and the list now has Punch-Drunk Love on it at number 25.

  • leo wang

    come on, the Academy had completely shut down Christian Bale for American Psycho, Rescue Dawn and The Mechanist. and also
    Thank you for smoking ( best actor Aaron Eckhart, Best original script, best director)
    Sunshine (best visual effect, cinematography, best art direction, best original script)
    300 ( visual effect, original score, cinematography)
    The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada ( best actor, tommy lee jones)

  • Ross

    This is all fine and good for conversation sake, however, the question in itself is not being answered completly.
    Feinberg's list has 2 directors from 2001 who "should" have been nominated. What's missing is who loses the the nomination to make room?
    It could be as simple as saying, "Crash was not worthy" but what replaces it? (in this case the answer is easy, Walk the Line has 2 acting nominations and a win it clearly deserved the spot more. Or if Walk the Line wasnt your bag, how about A History of Viloence?)
    So my question here is: do you really want the guy who directed Legally Blonde knocking out one of these people?
    Ron Howard for "A Beautiful Mind"(Winner) Ridley Scott for "Black Hawk Down," Robert Altman for "Gosford Park," Peter Jackson for "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," David Lynch for "Mulholland Drive"

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/blog/brad_brevet/ Brad Brevet

    @Ross: I actually had to bump a few I would have added for this when I wrote the article for that reason. The ten I listed I felt could easily slide into the place of others.

    As for Feinberg's list, I don't think he was actually saying the directors should be getting the nod as much as saying the film itself should get at least one nom for any of the available categories. He was just listing the directors for the sake of doing so.

  • RJ

    Eve's Bayou (1997) - Such a beautiful piece of film making, that is tragically underrated (except by Roger Ebert, who chose it as his best film of 1997). This film should have gotten nods for Kasi Lemmons (Best Director/Original Screenplay), Jurnee Smollett (Best Actress...yes she was extremely young, but she handled the material effortlessly), Debbi Morgan & Lynn Whitfield (Best Supporting Actress), and Samuel L. Jackson (Best Actor).
    Black Snake Moan (2006) - Christina Ricci (Best Actress) and Samuel L. Jackson (Best Actor).
    Fresh (1994) - Samuel L. Jackson (Best Supporting Actor)
    Stranger Than Fiction (2006) - Will Ferrell (Best Actor)
    The Good Girl (2002) - Jennifer Aniston (Best Actress)
    Zodiac (2007) - David Fincher (Best Director) and Robert Downey Jr. (Best Supporting Actor)
    Snow Angels (2007) - Sam Rockwell (Best Actor), Kate Beckinsale (Best Actress) and David Gordon Green (Best Director)
    The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005) - Steve Carrell (Best Actor/Best Original Screenplay) and Judd Apatow (Original Screenplay)
    A Prairie Home Companion (2006) - Robert Altman (Best Director)
    Hard Candy (2005) - Ellen Page (Best Actress)
    Undertow (2004) - Jamie Bell (Best Actor), Josh Lucas (Best Supporting Actor), David Gordon Green (Best Director)
    The Lookout (2007) - Joseph Gordon Levitt (Best Actor)
    Brick (2005) - Rian Johnson (Best Director/Original Screenplay)
    Waitress (2007) - Keri Russel (Best Actress) and Adrienne Shelly (Best Original Screenplay)
    Birth (2004) - Nicole Kidman (Best Actress)
    The Others (2001) - Nicole Kidman (Best Actress) and Fionnula Flanagan (Best Supporting Actress)
    School Daze (1988) - Spike Lee (Best Director/Original Screenplay), "Straight & Nappy" and "Be Alone Tonight" (Best Original Song...don't know who wrote them)
    Serenity (2005) - Joss Whedon (Best Original Screenplay)
    Bug (2006) - Ashley Judd (Best Actress), Michael Shannon (Best Actor) and William Friedkin (Best Director)
    Margot at the Wedding (2007) - Nicole Kidman (Best Actress) amd Jennifer Jason Leigh (Best Supporting Actress)
    Romance & Cigarettes (2005) - Kate Winslet (Best Supporting Actress)
    Dan In Real Life (2007) - Steve Carrell (Best Actor)
    Things We Lost in the Fire (2007) - Halle Berry (Best Actress) and Benecio Del Toro (Best Actor)
    Burn After Reading (2008) - Brad Pitt (Best Supporting Actor)
    Crooklyn (1994) - Alfre Woodard (Best Actress) and Spike Lee (Best Director)
    Legally Blonde (2001) - Reese Witherspoon (Best Actress)
    Inland Empire (2006) - Laura Dern (Best Actress)
    To Die For (1995) - Nicole Kidman (Best Actress) and Gus Van Sant (Best Director)
    Jacob's Ladder (1990) - Adrian Lyne (Best Director) and Tim Robbins (Best Actor)
    Akeelah and the Bee (2006) - Keke Palmer (Best Actress), Angela Bassett (Best Supporting Actress) and Laurence Fishburne (Best Supporting Actor)
    Talk to Me (2006) - Don Cheadle (Best Actor)
    ...I think I'm done. lol

  • RJ

    Oh and I forgot to mention:
    The Upside of Anger (2005) - Joan Allen (Best Actress) and Mike Binder (Best Original Screenplay)

  • Denny

    Twilight,Jumper and Speed Racer were definetly overlooked for their Visual Effects

  • Michael

    MOVIES that got no award nominations and should have WON!

    1. Michael Mann's HEAT - should have nominated for everything, why it wasn't is beyond me

    2. Sean Penn's INTO THE WILD - undoubtedly the best film of last year

    3. Michael Mann's LAST OF THE MOHICANS

    4. Jim Sheridan's THE BOXER


    6. Richard Linklater's BEFORE SUNRISE

    7. Brian DePalma's CARLITO'S WAY

    8. Costa Gavaras MISSING

    9. Terrence Malick's THE NEW WORLD

    10. Wong Kar Wai's IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE

  • David Lormans

    @Michael: Frank, you have several award-winners on your list. Into The Wild got 2 nominations, Last of the Mochicans won for Best Sound, Missing won for Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress, and The New World was nominated for cinematography!

  • davo

    Zodiac, Sin City, 3:10 To Yuma and Taken all deserved major Oscar Nominations. Christian Bale and Russell Crowe should have got Nominations for Yuma, Mickey Rourke for Sin City, Gyllenhaal for Zodiac and LIam Neeson for Taken

  • Dadic

    a macabre masterpiece yet zero nominations:
    Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man ( 1995 )

  • coketown

    Anyone here about 'The Fall' by Tarsem Singh? Its a shame its so obscure, it should've been nominated for something.

  • LorD

    I think Benicio Del Toro deserved a nominee for "Things we lost in the fire", more than the beautiful Halle Berry.

    And I think Revolutionary Road is the best drama of this year.

    Then, why so few people talk about "Before the Devil Knows Your Dead" ?? Scared by it's crude depiction of real life?

    Oh... and please, spare me all the rattle about INTO THE WILD ... it's such an ovverrated example of cinematographic mediocrity built upon an interesting theme...

  • Slam

    1. Citizen Ruth ... Best Actress-Laura Dern, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay
    2. The Ice Storm ... one of the best films of the 90s, tones of American Beauty but made 2 years earlier, superb acting from the entire cast-most notably Sigourney Weaver who should've been nominated for Supporting Actress that year
    3. The Ring ... Visual Effects and Cinematography
    4. Control ... it's like a moving photograph, such a beautiful film and incredible supporting performance by Samantha Morton
    5. Rescue Dawn ... great performances, inspiring story
    6. Tigerland ... great suspense film, too small to get any real recognition probably but Colin Farrell was fantastic
    7. Grindhouse ... silly and non-typical Oscar film, but how did the Death Proof segment NOT get nominated and WIN for Best Editing?
    8. To Die For ... in my opinion Nicole Kidman's absolute best performance, and a really great/funny screenplay

  • http://facebook.com Jacob Hayman

    'Control', the Ian Curtis Biopic from last year, 'Rescue Dawn' from last year, and of course 'Bringing Up Baby'

  • http://facebook.com Jacob Hayman

    @NJW: A damn fine list, Paths of Glory has to be Kubrick's best film after Dr. Strangelove. City Lights and The Day the Earth Stood Still, too are a couple of examples of the best of their respective genres.

  • Scott P

    The Station Agent (screenplay, Dinklage, Clarkson, Cannavale)
    Brick (screenplay & Levitt)
    The Fall (cinematography, art direction, costume design)
    Synecdoche, NY
    The Science of Sleep
    Punch-Drunk Love
    Donnie Darko (screenplay & Gyllenhall)
    2 Days in Paris
    Stranger Than Fiction (screenplay & Ferrell)

    And a special shout-out to Jim Carrey for his lifetime snub by the Academy snobs. He was absolutely brilliant in Eternal Sunshine, The Truman Show & Man on the Moon but the Academy has shunned him every time. Can you imagine ANY other actor succeeding in any of those roles?

  • Wendy K

    Across the Universe (Best Original Screenplay) 2007. sorry it's a boomer thing but once more people see this movie, by word of mouth, they will agree, it was well done, and deserved recognition from the Academy.

  • Zack Solomon

    Number 1 could be MEAN STREETS or HAROLD AND MAUDE
    others I can think of:
    In A Lonely Place
    The Good The Bad and The Ugly
    Once Upon A Time in the West
    The Magnificent Ambersons(?)
    Before The Devil Knows Your Dead
    Synecdoche, New York
    Chunking Express
    Amores Perros(?)
    4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days

    IDK, that's all I can come up with

  • Eduardo

    I think Steve McQueens "Hunger" is a completely overlooked masterpiece. Should have gotten Direction and acting for Michael Fassbender

  • Cody

    Yes Dogville deserved many nominations! It was brilliant and creative. Kidman's best performance.
    Bjork should've been nominated for best actress in Dancer in the Dark
    Ellen Burstyn should have WON best actress for Requiem for a Dream...damn Julia Roberts.

  • Damien

    NICOLE KIDMAN in To Die For. An unforgettable performance which the Academy forgot. Trule igrnored and horrrendoulsy in every category.....Even Screenplay.

  • Damien

    @Cody: Yes,......Kidman was awesome in that. Dogville was brilliant

  • Antony Hearmon

    Judi Dench- Shipping News
    Kristin Scott Thomas- I've love loved you so long
    Maggie Smith - The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne
    Wooday Allen- screenplay Vicky Cristina Barcelona
    Sally Hawkins/ Eddie Marsen- Happy Go Lucky
    Jermey Irons- Dead Ringers
    John Gielgud- Plenty
    Joan Allen- Pleasantville
    Ang Lee- director- Sense and Sensiibility
    Richard Curtis/Emma Thompson - screenplay/supporting actress - Love Actulally

  • Antony Hearmon

    Bruno Ganz- Downfall

  • Norman

    Not only did Nicole Kidman not get nominated for Best Actress for Dogville but she should have won hands down. Plus she should have gotten a Medal of Honor for putting herself though that. A gross unjustice.

  • Cadictsfan

    The Fountain
    World Trade Center
    Stranger than Fiction
    High Fidelity
    25th Hour
    Knocked Up
    The Lookout
    Resevoir Dogs