13 films that should get Oscar nominations this year '“ but won't

By The Newsroom
Monday, 15 January, 2018, 13:04

The 2018 Oscar nominations are announced next week (23 January).

But while the usual biopics and melodramas are set to dominate, a whole host of brilliant, entertaining and innovative films from the previous 12 months are likely to miss out.

Here are 13 films that should be Oscar-nominated this year. But (probably) won't be.

A Ghost Story

Rooney Mara with Casey Affleck in 'A Ghost Story'

Should be nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress

David Lowery's extraordinary, original foray into grief, love and the passing of time could be accused of pretentiousness, if it wasn't so heart-breakingly great. Rooney Mara is brilliant as the bereaved woman haunted by Casey Affleck's bereft, sheet-wearing phantom. The movie's nostalgic evoking of home video footage, meanwhile, is both mesmerising and profoundly unique.

Split

Superb performance: James McAvoy has personality to spare in a gift of a role

Should be nominated for: Best Actor

As a disturbed kidnapper with more than 20 distinct 'personalities', James McAvoy excels in M Night Shyamalan's sparkling return to thriller form. Investing himself earnestly in a role that requires almost ridiculous range and variety, it is both the sheer committed energy and nuance of his performance that impresses. Unnerving, entertaining and utterly riveting.

Okja

Mija and her best friend Okja (Photo: Netflix)

Should be nominated for: Best Original Screenplay

While a Best Visual Effects nod is possible (it's on the shortlist), Netflix's surprise blend of quirky comedy, scathing satire and tense thriller really merits recognition for its highly distinctive script. The screenplay from director Bong Joon-ho and lover of all things offbeat Jon Ronson crafts a tale that is Studio Ghibli by the way of Wes Anderson, with Brazil or Delicatessen thrown in. Unsettling, charming and thought-provoking all at once.

I Don't Feel At Home In This World Anymore

Melanie Lynskey's life takes a violent turn in I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore (Photo: Netflix)

Should be nominated for: Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay

Writer/director Macon Blair's darkly comic drama is the perfect platform for Melanie Lynskey - so often a supporting player - to shine in the lead role. Her world-weary nurse snaps after a burglary at her home, resulting in a chaotic series of events that are part vigilante thriller, and part laugh-out-loud farce. Its writing and central performance are superb.

Brigsby Bear

Should be nominated for: Best Supporting Actor, Best Production Design

Those championing Mark Hamill's talents in The Last Jedi as Oscar-worthy are putting their energy in the wrong place. Clearly, it is Brigsby Bear that was the actor's stand-out turn of 2017.

Hamill is brilliant as a kidnapper who created a fake children's TV programme for the son he stole. The movie also merits recognition for its incredible production design, which boasts an almost unfathomable level of detail.

The Death Of Stalin

The Death of Stalin sees several prominent figures of the Soviet Union wrestle for power following their leader's death (Photo: Entertainment One Films)

Should be nominated for: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor

A few nominations at the BAFTAs may have slightly raised hopes, but lofty recognition Stateside seems more unlikely for this amazing comedy creation. Armando Iannucci's deeply clever satire marries disturbing historical drama with utter farce, to hilarious and provocative effect. An ensemble cast are all on top form, but Jason Isaacs steals the show as no-nonsense general Zhukov - complete with Yorkshire accent.

The Big Sick

The Big Sick is emotional, warm - and careful not to overdo the stereotypes

Should be nominated for: Best Original Screenplay

Based on their own personal experiences as a couple, Kumail Nanjiani and his wife Emily Gordon crafted one of the most funny and surprising romantic comedies in years. The Big Sick is both an honest take on interracial relationships and a cliché-avoiding treat in general.

Mudbound

A timely and resonant race relations drama (Photo: Netflix)

Should be nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor

The third Netflix Original film on this list - and the third likely to get short shrift at the Oscars. It seems Hollywood still isn't ready to embrace the online streaming giant during red carpet season just yet. A Golden Globes nod for Mary J Blige suggests some recognition may be due - but director Dees Rees, and the extraordinary central friendship explored by Garett Hedlund and Jason Mitchell, also merit award nominations.

Raw

Those faint of stomach need not apply

Should be nominated for: Best Foreign-Language Picture

Julia Ducournau's French-language horror flick is so accomplished it's hard to believe it's the writer-director's debut feature. Released last year in the UK and US, the tale of a student vet who develops a taste for human flesh is about a lot more than just cannibalism. It's a wry commentary on issues facing young modern women.

Good Time

Should be nominated for: Best Actor, Best Original Score

Now on Netflix if you're interested, Robert Pattinson is magnetic as a low-life criminal who embarks on a desperate bid to secure bail money for his mentally handicapped brother over one frantic night. Oneohtrix Point Never's distinctive soundtrack is also worthy of praise - veering between Drive-esque retro synth and relentless, chaotic compositions.

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Nicole Kidman is on career-best form (Photo: Element Pictures)

Should be nominated for: Best Actress, Best Cinematography

One of the most visually striking movies of 2017, there are shades of Kubrick about this fresh slice of darkly funny weirdness from the man who brought us The Lobster. Colin Farrell impresses, but it is Nicole Kidman who really embraces the creepy, outlandish material, with one of her finest performances to date.

Baby Driver

Living life in the fast lane: Baby Driver

Should be nominated for: Best Director

Edgar Wright's filmmaking achievements here are quite incredible. Master-minding gripping chase sequences where the pulsating soundtrack syncs perfectly with the on-screen actions down to the smallest details, the results are exhilarating. One tracking shot in particular is also a witty, ingenious delight.

Logan

Hugh Jackman is sensational as an older, more violent Wolverine in Logan

Should be nominated for: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay

For your consideration? A searing, suspenseful and almost unbearably poignant post-apocalyptic character drama/chase movie. Complete with breathtaking set-pieces, and hinging on two powerhouse performances from Hugh Jackman as the world-weary Wolverine, and a heart-breaking Patrick Stewart as a dementia-wracked Professor X.