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Along with every analysis of the Academy Awards race comes the inevitable look at the snubs. With a finite amount of nominations handed out in every category (although the recent expanding of the Best Picture field allows for a little bit of the controversies to die down) those five coveted slots in the other major categories are absolute gold – pun completely attended.

That’s not a lot of room for lot of deserving nominees, and this year – in particular – it’s sparked a furor, especially when all twenty of the acting nominees are as white as the driven snow. The boycott talk has started to snowball, and there’s even pressure on Chris Rock to bail on hosting the ceremony. Oh, and trust us, some of those very deserving minority snubs are right here in our list of the ten biggest Oscar snubs.


Best Picture; Best Director (Ryan Coogler); Best Actor (Michael B. Jordan); Best Supporting Actress (Tessa Thompson)


The relative shutout of Creed (it only garnered one major nomination, for Sylvester Stallone’s world-weary portrait of a breaking-down Rocky Balboa) has been one of the flashpoints of criticism for this year’s lily-white Oscars. Is the scorn justified? To a degree, it very well may be; it would have been nice to see the vibrant Creed among the Best Picture nominees, and for Ryan Coogler’s steady direction to have been acknowledged. It’s less of a slam-dunk for its shut out acting nominees – Jordan and co-star Thompson are great, but Stallone’s wounded Rocky is what sticks with you. It’s not a new generation’s franchise, not quite yet.

Beasts of No Nation

Best Supporting Actor (Idris Elba)


This one’s just a flat-out whiff. Anyone who saw Elba’s terrifying, towering performance in the harrowing African child-soldier film could have pegged him for at least a nomination for the Netflix-distributed Beasts of No Nation (and it’s not like the Academy voters wouldn’t have access to that service). Stunning as it may seem, Elba never received an Emmy nomination for The Wire, or an Oscar nomination. Look for them to deliver a nice make-up nomination for him for the next high-profile role he receives.

The Martian

Best Director (Ridley Scott)


Here’s the strange thing about Scott’s snub – if he had been nominated, he’d probably be the favorite now. Despite Scott’s sterling career (Alien, Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, loads of others), he’s never taken home an Oscar. A nomination for his deft work in The Martian could have easily put him in the lead, over Thomas McCarthy of Spotlight (not really a directing showcase) and the just-honored Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant. Sir Ridley will have to wait for next year. Lenny Abrahamson (of the terrific Room) likely took his place.


Best Supporting Actor (Jacob Tremblay)


It’s an incredibly fine line childhood actors have to tread, especially in heavy roles – to be emotional and real without slipping into annoyance or coming off as cloying. Tremblay absolutely nails it in Room, delivering a staggering performance that’s key to the movie; without it, the film (which filters its harrowing story through his eyes) would fall apart. Brie Larson will win a well-deserved Oscar for her role as Tremblay’s mother, but it would have been nice to see Tremblay up on stage with her.

Ex Machina 

Best Picture, Best Director (Alex Garland), Best Supporting Actor (Oscar Isaac)


It’s always nice to be on the right side of history. In a decade, odds are that Alex Garland’s wonderfully constructed Ex Machina will be remembered as a sci-fi classic on the level of Blade Runner, The Matrix or Alien. Neither of those were nominated for Best Picture, either, so at least they’ll have something in common. It wasn’t shut out – Garland got a Screenplay nomination – but nods for his direction, Best Picture and Oscar Isaac’s tremendously memorable bro-genius programmer performance would have been nice to see.


Best Actor (Will Smith)


Part III of the racial controversy. Concussion, as a picture itself, seemed to lose a lot of steam as it came into awards season, but there wasn’t any shortage of accolades for Smith’s heartfelt performance as Dr. Bennet Omalu. If nothing else, his performance could have knocked out Eddie Redmayne’s showy turn in The Danish Girl.


7 thoughts on “The Biggest 11 Oscar Snubs of 2016 Leave a comment

  1. I’m sorry but Creed is not a snub. It’s a nice movie but there’s no way the direction, or acting deserved noms. Sly getting nominated led to the snubs of Elba and Tremblay so if anything, this film did more harm than good with the one nomination it DID get!

    Will Smith was great but the film was mediocre and he wasn’t better than Sam Jackson in The Hateful Eight who I’d have subbed in over Matt Damon.

    The Martian is a nice popcorn movie but in reality, it’s not a BEST PICTURE. It’s not even a best comedy (#GoldenGlobes). And what Abrahamson, McKay, Miller, and Innaritu did was far superior. I don’t think McCarthy should have been nominated either – Spotlight is a nice movie, but Best Direction? This movie lives and dies on the acting. I’d have gone with F. Gary Gray for Straight Outta Compton which was a much harder task to pull off. And I’m not even trying to be PC here. I loved the direction of that film. The fact that this article doesn’t even mention Straight Outta Compton is a SNUB in of itself. Haha.

    And man, did I love Ex-Machina, but I understand why Garland was overlooked. Though he did an amazing job. I wish Ex-Machina was on the Best Picture list and Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander definitely should have been nominated. Liked her in this more than The Danish Girl and Isaac was definitely ALSO better than Sly. Heck, I thought Harrison Ford was better in Star Wars than Sly was in Creed, so if you’re gonna give someone the Obi Wan Kenobi vote, it should have been for Han Solo (who shot first multiple times in TFA mind you).

  2. No, the biggest snub was Inside Out. All of these films and performances are great and I would put them on a top 10 list but the Oscars is not a top list. Those nominated are contenders for #1. There is no need to be nominated unless you have a legitimate shot at being #1.

  3. Just because a movie has a big actor in it, does not mean it has to have a Oscar! I was not impressed with with Creed, or Concussion or Beasts of no name. So it has nothing to do with color, race or how well they could mimic an accent . It had to do with how well they entertained, did the movie stand out ? Was it on everyone’s mind during the Oscars? Those that impressed me the most were the New Star Wars, Mad Maxx , Jurassic world and Mission Impossible and Terminator Mockingjay and Chappie . I did enjoy the Martin but it was not Oscar worthy~ Sorry.

  4. I thought biggest snub was no Peanuts Movie for best animated film. That film was not only very sweet but also had a new visual style we haven’t seen before except in shorts.

  5. Agreed with all comments on here. I saw 120 movies this year in theaters and Creed was #49 in terms of best (for a complete list of my favs look here: ). Good, not great. I know snubbing has a lot to do with Oscar buzz leading up to nominations, but the films I would have like to have seen nominated was Ex Machina, Dope, Straight Outta Compton, Youth, Clouds of Sils Maria & Sleepinh with Other People. Sly didn’t need a nomination. Would have much rather Shameik Moore (Dope) or Harvey Keitel (Youth) be nominated. I haven’t seen Beasts of no Nation yet so I don’t know about Elba.

  6. I believe Beast of No Nation wasn’t snubbed. It just didn’t qualify for consideration due to how it was released/distributed. There are certain criteria for a films release that it has to meet in order for it to be eligible by the academy . “Beasts” did not meet them.

  7. Don’t forget Paul Giamatti in either Straight Outta Compton or Love and Mercy. Or Paul Dano and John Cusack in the latter.

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