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The Hollywood Insider Oscar Snubs 2024

Every year, the Academy Awards are held in sunny Los Angeles to honor outstanding achievements in filmmaking. The biggest names in the business line the red carpet with acceptance speeches tucked into their pockets, but many will leave empty-handed. 

Some key actors, directors and films were overlooked during the nominations for the 96th Academy Awards ceremony this year. While it’s certainly impossible to nominate all deserving parties, these snubs shocked the film community the most.

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Oscar Snubs 2024

Best Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio and Zac Efron

While Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone both scored nominations for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” Leonardo DiCaprio was left out of the Best Actor race. DiCaprio played the irredeemable American hitman Ernest Burkhart in the film, who participated in the Oklahoma Osage Indian murders. 

DiCaprio’s performance was one of the most dark and versatile of his career, with the character showing tenderness to his wife, Mollie (Gladstone), while also slowly poisoning her and brutally killing her friends and family. He disappeared into the role, and it almost doesn’t make sense to recognize De Niro and Gladstone without him.

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Even more disappointing of a snub than DiCaprio was Zac Efron as the world famous wrestler Kevin Von Erich in “The Iron Claw.” This might be explained by studio A24’s December release date for the film, giving Academy members barely a month to sit with the film before nominations were announced. 

Efron gave the performance of his career in the gut-wrenching film, dominating in the wrestling ring with a pumped up physique while also remaining kind-hearted towards his younger brothers. Hopefully Efron continues to tackle challenging roles in the future to get a second chance at a nomination.

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Best Actress- Margot Robbie

The Academy might not have truly understood the message of “Barbie,” since they nominated Ken for an Oscar and left Barbie in the dust. While the Best Actress race is certainly tight this year, Margot Robbie put a unique spin on the classic character that has been a major inspiration for young girls, and she deserved to be nominated for it.

While Barbie may start off happy and naive in her idealistic world, her journey of growth and self-exploration sheds a light on how it feels to mature as a woman. Self-doubt can easily creep in, but “Barbie” proves what happens when women support each other and believe in themselves.

Robbie’s comedic line delivery accompanied by moments of raw emotion create the performance of a lifetime, and it’s sad to see her go unrecognized.

Best Supporting Actor – Charles Melton 

“Riverdale” alum Charles Melton made waves in the film community with his role as Joe Yoo in Todd Haynes’s “May December,” which tells a story rooted in truth. Scandal erupted when a 13-year-old Joe was caught in a compromising position with Gracie Atherton (Julianne Moore), a woman 23 years his senior. Gracie was sent to prison pregnant, and 20 years later lives a domestic life with Joe and their three children.

The subject material of this movie is hard to swallow, and Melton’s performance gives it a gripping nuance that never lets up. Melton acts beside two industry giants — Moore and Natalie Portman, who plays an actress studying to play Gracie in an upcoming film, and somehow his performance outshines them both. Joe is still clearly emotionally underdeveloped from having his childhood ripped away from him, and even though Melton may have missed out on an Oscar nomination this year, he will likely be back in the future.

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Best Animated Feature – “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem”

The stigma behind animated films being made solely for children needs to end, especially after the rave reviews for “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem.” Sometimes, animated films are filled with the most heart out of any of the Oscar nominees, and provide a break from some of the darker, more serious material. “Mutant Mayhem” is a wild ride from beginning to end supported by stunning animation and a laugh-out-loud script.

A star-studded voice cast led by Jackie Chan and Ayo Edebiri backed the newcomers playing the turtles, all of which had impressive chemistry and sold the brotherhood of the group. In a year with films geared towards positive female role models, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” was a sweet way to honor the challenges young boys go through as they try to find their way and advocate for good in the world. 

Best Original Screenplay – “Saltburn”

It’s no secret that “Saltburn” was one of the most talked-about films of 2023, for both positive and negative reasons. Many people enjoyed Emerald Fennell’s twisted tale of power and greed, but some found it too outlandish for mainstream media. Regardless, the script is witty and brilliantly leaves each character’s desires out in the open — while also keeping certain things hidden until the perfect shocking moment.

Rosamund Pike’s character Elspeth had some of the best lines in the film, delivering deadpan one-liners like “She’d do anything for attention,” after learning of a friend’s suicide. “Saltburn” being completely overlooked by the Academy is not surprising, yet still disappointing.

Best Adapted Screenplay – “All of Us Strangers”

“All of Us Strangers” was adapted by director Andrew Haigh and based on the 1987 novel “Strangers” by Taichi Yamada. Similar to “Saltburn,” the romantic drama film starts in a seemingly ordinary way but quickly veers off the path as it progresses, and transforms into something much more sinister. 

Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal star as lonely neighbors-turned-lovers as they try to navigate a lonely, seemingly dystopian world. Both Scott and Mescal are seasoned dramatic actors that know how to make an audience cry, and by the end of the film deliver the most heartbreaking lines of the year. Many people were shocked that neither actor got a nod from the Academy, but the screenplay is the true beating heart of “All of Us Strangers.”

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Best Picture – “The Iron Claw”

While films like “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” got the most attention this year in both the box office and awards season, “The Iron Claw” should have been right up there with them. Efron was joined by Jeremy Allen White, Harris Dickinson, Holt McCallany and Lily James who all gave masterclass acting performances while telling the true story of the Von Erich wrestling dynasty and tragedy. 

The film’s razor sharp edge is the Von Erich brothers’ father, Fritz (McCallany), who treated them more as money makers than sons. Every one of them is pushed to the limit physically and mentally, which is where the Von Erich “curse” sets in and is extremely painful to watch. “The Iron Claw” receiving no recognition on this awards circuit is absolutely the worst snub of them all, especially since it was one of the best films of the year. 

By Kaitlyn Murphy

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”

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