Great films that didn’t get nominated

While ‘The Artist’ and ‘Hugo’ stole the show with 5 awards each, the Oscars ignored a lot of good work. Here is our list of films that deserved a nomination

The Academy has always rigidly awarded a certain type. A type that confirms to the jury’s checklist. Moving-tick, social message-tick, racially democratic-tick etc. But every year (including this one), there are some cinematic gems that offer something more and beyond, even if it doesn’t score with the ticks. So, here we attempt to draw up a list of such films that deserve a mention, regardless of whom the Academy decides to crown.

Kill List

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The first thing about this striking British thriller is that it’s incomprehensible without subtitles for the cockney accent. Because when the Irish gargle out English, it really doesn’t speak volumes of how close Ireland is from England, geographically. But looking beyond that, it offers a nail-biting shocker to remember. What opens and continues to be, for the large part, a straight out action flick, progressively develops into a dark cult classic. Not suitable for the faint-hearted, this one.


17 Girls

Inspired from a true life story, this French coming-of-age drama is about a group of high school girls who pre-meditate their pregnancy and the series of events that follow. Director-sisters Delphine and Muriel Coulin have treated the topic and story sensitively and maturely, something very few debutants manage these days. Apart from being a heart-warming story of learning from circumstances, it also makes for a light-hearted chick-flick that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.


Sleeping Beauty

This Aussie erotic drama is edgy and dark, right from the point when the film begins to roll. While the film explores the various sexual fetishes enjoyed by the wealthy and obnoxious, it leaves you singularly unsettled just by the manner in which it has been portrayed, if not by the basic premise of the movie. Loosely depicted from the childhood fairytale, the original fantasy story has been used metaphorically and tweaked deliciously to ensure appropriate thrill that would keep you guessing and hoping impatiently throughout.


Sunny (Korean)

After getting accolades and praises at international festivals in New York, London, Osaka and Mumbai, Sunny doesn’t need an Oscar nomination to second its merit. This Korean drama explores many emotions through a story that essentially based on nostalgia. The lead cast include a group of girlfriends who were thick as thieves in high school and how they change over the years. Unlike most films that reminisce the past, this one strays away from sappy melodrama and opts for a soulful approach to highly emotional situations. What is also particularly endearing is how quickly and easily the characters manage to engage and involve you as a viewer into their lives. A pure drop of sunshine, this.


Drive

One of the reasons why Ryan Gosling is Hollywood’s favourite boy today happens to be this movie. Adapted from the 2005 novel by James Sallis of the same name, this neo-noir film had the critics drooling over completely. While the basic premise of the story features a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a getaway driver, the overall treatment and tone of the movie sets it apart from many others who’ve explored this genre. Danish director Nicholas Winding Refn needs to be particularly credited for his brilliance in narrating this story with just the right amount of tension and thrill that can keep the audience begging for more.


Miss Bala (Mexican)

This riveting film is loosely based on a true incident where a beauty pageant contestant was arrested in suspicion of her association with certain gang members in 2008 in Jalisco. Miss Bala is adorable for its realism and certain parts of the film seem as believable as if it were a documentary. The film’s story is about a young woman you wants to become a beauty queen in Mexico and the challenges she experiences in realizing her dream. While you will find yourself hoping for her best, you will be shredded in to pieces as suffers beyond imagination in attempting to score a simple and pure goal.

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (Documentary)

While documentaries of the type have surfaced and vanished without much notice, very few have managed to get close to the Michael Moores of the world. This one is a twisted take on how endorsements and product placements have a higher regard in films today. And while documentaries try to be distinctly preachy in order to be more impactful, this one plays its plain and simple. The filmmaker in question tries to accumulate as many sponsors as he can to fund his movie. 

We need to talk about Kevin

This movie is clearly the more irreverent among the others in the list. Carefuly crafty, this painful thriller about a school massacre will leave you positively disturbed for days after you watch it. Based on the premise of a mother who strives hard to love her dysfunctional child, this film explores the dark and often unspoken feelings that a parent can feel towards his/her own child, when pushed against the wall. Notable performances include that of the lead cast comprising Tilda Swinton and John C Reilly.

Phone call to the bar (Japanese)

While Japanese action-thrillers are usually synonymous with gore and violence, this one manages to add a tinge of humour and intelligent twists that enable it to make this list. Based on a novel by Naomi Azuma, this revenge story has managed to create as much stir in Japan and in the international festival circuit that a sequel is actually being considered. Essentially a detective story, the humour element in the film gives it a refreshing take and makes for a pleasant watch.

Wake Wood

While this one could be high on the creep quotient, it can give other movies on reincarnation a run for their box office money. This British and Irish collaborate production has earned 4/5 from Guardian and ranks very high on the absurdity parameter. Dealing with an occult subject, the story proposes an alternative method of reincarnation practiced in a tiny village which functions like a cult. While the movie may not be as scary as classical horror films and it doesn’t subscribe to techniques used to evoke fear, it has some scenes which would be enough to raise hell.

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