Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler

SNUB: Jake Gyllenhaal for Best Actor in Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal has recently done some of the best work of his career, and his character Lou Bloom in Nightcrawler will be remembered as one of his most special achievements. But the Academy did not see in Gyllenhaal’s work what others did, and he was passed over for a Best Actor nomination. (We can mention Robert Elswit here once again — surely his incredible pair of Los Angeles portraits was worth at least one Cinematography nomination?)

Interstellar - the best movie trailers of 2014

SURPRISE! Interstellar for Best Sound Mixing

One of the most frequently heard talking points around the release of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar related to the sound mix, which buried dialogue under music and sound effects. Nolan was adamant that the mix was exactly as he intended it, and that the concept of putting dialogue under music and effects was something of an experiment meant to push the craft of using sound in film. Audiences were sometimes (but not universally) put off by the mix, but the Academy evidently was not.

Force Majeure

SNUB: Force Majeure for Best Foreign Film

The marriage drama from Swedish director Ruben Östlund is an emotional disaster movie — the story of a damaged and potentially crumbling marriage wrapped in what seems at first to be the trappings of a disaster movie. In fact, Force Majeure is more than that — it is as often funny as it is very uncomfortable, and it is as a rule inquisitive and perceptive when it comes to the particular truths, lies, and manipulations that define a relationship.

jk simmons skull island story - whiplash

SURPRISE! Whiplash for Best Picture

Damien Chazelle made noise at Sundance last year with this story of an aspiring young jazz drummer and his often maliciously intense instructor. The movie is a performance tour de force that seems more suited to acting nominations, or for a director nod for Chazelle. Due perhaps to the vagaries of Best Picture nomination vote tallying, the good will towards the film landed it a strange slot in the Best Picture race.

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Continue Reading The 12 Biggest Oscar Snubs and Surprises of 2015

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