The 96th Academy Awards Ceremony will take place at 11pm on 10th March 2024Mirko Fabian / Unsplash /

Welcome to the Grinch’s cave. The Oscars are my Super Bowl and what follows is a list of deserving people who I feel haven’t gotten their flowers this awards season. I saw the nominations while in the Mainsbury’s egg aisle and I don’t know what hurt me more: no eggs or no Charles Melton.

Any snubs article this year is supposedly incomplete without Barbie. However, I believe that all the nominated directors produced better work than Gerwig, and that Robbie deserved the producer nomination that she campaigned for and received. It’s time to celebrate some films that have spent less time in the limelight.

Past Lives

  • Best Actor - Greta Lee
  • Best Supporting Actor - Teo Yoo

Lee and Yoo play childhood friends from South Korea who meet decades later after Lee’s character has married and moved to America. Graceful performances from both actors facilitate the film’s warm exploration of intimacy. Yoo expertly walks the tightrope between a man searching for a lost love and an adult seeking to reconnect with a childhood friend. As the axis that the film spins on, Lee proves equally adept at evoking the comfort of marriage and the wistfulness of a what-if.

May December

  • Best Supporting Actor - Charles Melton, Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore
  • Best Picture
May December is a pulsing, hilarious portrait of an unsettling marriageYouTube (Rotten Tomatoes Trailers)

Whilst I understand that May December was perhaps too bright and sharp to seduce multiple nominations out of the Academy Awards, the film was nonetheless undoubtedly wronged. Portman plays an actress shadowing a couple (Moore and Melton) who were involved in a scandal regarding their age difference. The trio of actors at the centre of May December provide a pulsing, hilarious portrait of an unsettling marriage. Melton, especially, is stunning and heartbreaking as the man caught in the middle of it all, cruelly arrested in his development and forever regretting.

Anatomy of a Fall

  • Best Supporting Actor - Milo Machado-Graner

Machado-Graner is central to this acclaimed film, and his lack of nominations throughout this awards season has left me baffled but not surprised. Child actors are rarely spotlighted, but Machado-Graner’s portrayal of a grieving child thrust into a messy, posthumous legal battle is just as good – if not better – than many of his older contemporaries.

Asteroid City

  • Best Picture
  • Best Original Screenplay
  • Best Production Design
Asteroid City has suffered from its director's popularity this awards seasonYouTube (Focus Features)

Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, like so many of his works, relies heavily on setting. Adam Stockhausen’s charmed, precise production design transports the spectator to an American desert town where the atom bomb is never far away. In my view, the film has suffered from its director’s popularity this awards season. Criticisms that it excessively focuses on aesthetics over storyline are overblown: if you can’t appreciate Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola’s exploration of a writer grieving his world within a military camp, you might need to consider your internal faults.

Killers of the Flower Moon

  • Best Adapted Screenplay

In Killers of the Flower Moon, Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Eric Roth shift the focus of David Grann’s book from the FBI to the Burkharts, chiselling out a personal, familial story that compounds the sorrow of the events while giving more space to Mollie (and Lily Gladstone’s towering performance). A film about the massacre of Osage Indians in 1920s America required a deft hand to avoid centring the killers. While it is debatable whether Roth and Scorsese were the perfect people for the job, the respectful and unflinching nature of the film is not.

The Taste of Things

  • Best International Film
The Taste of Things is a love letter to the close bonds that can marinate between chefs in the kitchenYouTube (Rotten Tomatoes Indie)

Trần Anh Hùng’s love letter to the close bonds that can marinate between chefs in the kitchen is a perfect period piece born out of a deep reverence for the beginnings of French gastronomy. A rewarding, melancholy, simmeringly sexy work.


  • Best Production Design
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Sofia Coppola’s meditation on the ravages a celebrity can enact upon an impressionable individual is heightened by how Elvis dresses Priscilla, and the engulfing grandeur of a Graceland faithfully reconstructed.


  • Best Supporting Actor - Penelope Cruz
Penelope Cruz's performance in Ferrari adds a deep emotional core to the movieYouTube (IGN Movie Trailers)

Here is a rare example of a performance that provides a deep emotional core to a movie which, without it, might have spun off into ludicrousness and vapidity. Cruz in fighting form is magnificent, as always.


  • Best Supporting Actor - Ben Whishaw
  • Best Costume Design


Mountain View

The TikTok-ification of film and TV

The treatment of Ben Whishaw this awards season has been plain unfair. In Passages, he plays a man trapped by his cheating husband’s lust for excess. His character is wronged, beautiful, messy and, by the end, finally free. He’s a quiet man dealing with emotional devastation: what’s not to like? Costume designer Khadija Zeggaï dresses him in soft knits that clash beautifully with his partner’s more fashionable styling. You can tell why they don’t work together just from their wardrobes.

John Wick: Chapter 4

  • Best Cinematography

John Wick: Chapter 4 is stunning. It’s Sisyphus failing against the boulder, the other shoe finally dropping. It’s neon and kinetic and has an overhead tracking shot of John moving through a building as he kills several assassins. It’ll make you believe in life again.