The Green Knight, In the Heights, and Titane walked away with zero noms between them.
Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by A24, Warner Bros. and NEON
When you write a weekly Oscar column, you tend to get a lot of similar questions every week: Why aren’t you mentioning [movie title]? The answer is usually simple — because I didn’t think they were likely to get nominated. Why a film doesn’t hit with the Academy can sometimes be a complicated topic. (My friends Chris Feil and Joe Reid have a whole podcast about it.) Still, in the wake of Tuesday’s nominations, I thought now was the right time to offer a brief overview of why a few of this year’s contenders were unable to collect even a single solitary nomination. The intent is not to spit on their awards-season graves but merely to offer an explanation to those less attuned to the ups and downs of the race why voters snubbed the films they loved.
In the Heights
As the writer Daniel Joyaux has noted, there was a double standard in how 2021’s muted box office affected the Oscar race. Films that came out early and underperformed wore the stench of that failure all season long. Once it became clear that Spider-Man: No Way Home was the only thing making money, late-season flops like Nightmare Alley were less affected, but those early-season films never got a reconsideration … even if, like In the Heights, they outgrossed all but two of the eventual Best Picture nominees! Furthermore, while I’m hesitant to ascribe too much to the colorism controversy, I do think it’s plausible the kerfuffle made Hollywood’s white liberals feel awkward about stumping for the musical.
The Green Knight
The Academy can go for arty and weird — hello, Spencer — but you need to lead them by the hand. And A24’s priority was always The Tragedy of Macbeth.
The Last Duel
See: In the Heights, box office. Critics might have been able to power Ben Affleck to supporting-actor consideration, but influential groups like the NYFCC flocked to Kodi Smit-McPhee instead, while Affleck himself pegged The Tender Bar as his awards play. Jodie Comer, too, was swimming …….