The nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning, and while some of our faves such as Regina King, Spike Lee, Mahershala Ali and Black Panther were nominated, we are left unsatisfied at the list of films that were not included.
Here is our list for the Oscar nominations that could have been:
The Hate U Give
We’re left scratching our heads as to why The Hate U Give is being left out of the awards conversation since many critics have deemed it one of the best films of the year. Its snub in the Best Picture category is egregious.
Led by a powerhouse performance by Viola Davis, Widows was glaringly left out of the Best Picture category despite its critical acclaim and a cast that includes Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Liam Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya and Brian Tyree Henry.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Of all the snubs, this one hurts. As one of the most critically acclaimed romance films of the decade, its snub is surprising.
Sorry to Bother You
Sorry to Bother You was a Sundance favorite and emerged as a sleeper hit this summer. Led by performances from Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson and Steven Yeun, the film was one of the better-received indie films of the year.
Blindspotting’s clever take on gentrification and race was overlooked this season. The film also starred Daveed Diggs in an acclaimed lead performance that was largely overlooked.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was hailed as one of the most critically acclaimed animated movies of all time, one of the best superhero films of all time and the best Spider-Man film of all time. The film was snubbed for Best Picture, exacerbating the Academy’s unjustified bias toward animation.
Regina Hall for Support the Girls
The New York Film Critics Circle agrees that Hall’s performance in this comedy was award-worthy. The organization awarded her Best Actress for her role as Lisa Conroy, making her the first Black actress to win the award. Hall also earned notice from the Independent Spirit Awards and Gotham Independent Film Awards.
Viola Davis for Widows
Given her Oscar pedigree and the unanimous praise surrounding her performance as Veronica Rawlings in Widows, a silver lining emerged late in awards season when Davis was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Leading Actress. However, the Oscars did not take note.
KiKi Layne for If Beale Street Could Talk
It’s hard to believe If Beale Street Could Talk is KiKi Layne’s first film. It’s even harder that Layne was snubbed for Best Actress. Hopefully, Layne’s performance as Tish Rivers will catch the attention of Marvel, as the actress has expressed interest in playing Storm in the soon-to-be-revamped X-Men franchise.
Amandla Stenberg for The Hate U Give
Don’t be fooled! The Hate U Give was Amandla Stenberg’s film. As Starr Carter, it is Stenberg who carries the nearly two-hour movie on her shoulders.
John David Washington for BlacKkKlansman
The lead of BlacKkKlansman (and son of Denzel and Pauletta Washington) earned a SAG Award nomination and Golden Globe nomination for his role as Ron Stallworth. Given these honors, his snub in the Best Actor category is all the more surprising.
Stephan James for If Beale Street Could Talk
As Alonzo “Fonny” Hunt, Stephan James’ performance has been largely overlooked this season. This is a surprise, considering his narrative arc alongside Kiki Layne is a crucial reason for the film’s acclaim.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Daniel Kaluuya for Widows
After Get Out, Kaluuya appeared in Widows as the scariest film villain in recent memory. His scene-stealing turn as Jatemme Manning is permanently etched into the memory of those who watched the Viola Davis-led crime drama.
Michael B. Jordan for Black Panther
MBJ earned a nod for Best Supporting Actor at the Critics Choice Awards. His role as Erik Killmonger, one of the most complex villains in recent memory, was Black Panther’s best bet at earning nods in the acting category.
Brian Tyree Henry for Widows and If Beale Street Could Talk
Ten years from now, we’re going to look back at Brian Tyree Henry’s performances in Widows and If Beale Street Could Talk and question why he was overlooked. The Yale alum delivers a 10-minute monologue in the latter about the state of the American justice system that is among the film’s most riveting moments.
Russell Hornsby for The Hate U Give
As Maverick Carter, Hornsby’s performance in The Hate U Give was seen as a standout. However, the Lincoln Heights star was snubbed in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Ryan Coogler for Black Panther
The Creed filmmaker was the architect behind the magical Black Panther and deserves to be credited as such.
Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins was nominated for Best Director and won Best Picture at the 2017 Academy Awards for his film Moonlight.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn for Widows
Steve McQueen and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn wrote the script for Widows. Despite its acclaim and its depiction of Chicago, the film was snubbed in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.