Inside-Llewyn-Davis-cat

The Academy Awards are a time to celebrate and praise the best of the best in the filmmaking world. From the directors and producers, actors and actresses to costumers, editors and soundmixers, the Oscars are a chance to be recognized for extreme excellence in their craft – and in a field full of heavy hitters who may have done just as well, too.

But each year, it seems that the Academy tends to look over many noteworthy performances and contenders that rightly deserved to have a shot at taking home a golden statue. These Oscar snubs are not soon forgotten among the film community, or in the public in general; Michael Fassbender, who’s up for Best Supporting Actor this year for 12 Years a Slave, refused to campaign for his award after getting snubbed several years ago for his role in 12 Years director Steve McQueen’s Shame.

While Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a now a public favorite for the incredible fact that he has not yet won an Oscar, is finally nominated for Best Actor for The Wolf of Wall Street, there were still an inordinate amount of snubs this year.

Oprah Winfrey was at one point seen as a frontrunner in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role as Forest Whitaker’s wife in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Unfortunately, the Academy has a tendency to go for fare that comes out later in the year – The Butler hit theaters in August – and bypassed the film in all categories.

Robert Redford was widely praised for his work in the solo-starring All is Lost. Redford was predicted not just as a contender for Best Actor, but the winner of the whole race – only to not be nominated at all. The quiet, desolate drama may not have gone over well with screeners, but there’s no question it was masterful work from the legendary actor. Shockingly, Redford has only been nominated once – in 1973 for The Sting.

Tom Hanks also lost out in the Best Actor category for another film about catastrophe on the high seas. The powerful drama Captain Phillips had Hanks playing the title role of the captain of a cargo vessel infiltrated by Somali pirates. An emotional and brutal performance from the veteran actor was overlooked by the Academy; Hanks is a two-time winner but hasn’t been nominated in 13 years, and was also overlooked this year for Saving Mr. Banks.

Short Term 12 was a small movie about a group home for teenagers, starring Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. But was it ever a force of nature. The film was a heart-wrenching look at the lives of the teenagers who had to live at the house, and the toll it also took on the people who spent their time working there. It deserved recognition, if not for the film, then for leading lady Brie Larson.

The curious case of Inside Llewyn Davis is that the film writing community absolutely loved the Coen Brothers’ latest creation, the somber, and somehow still funny, tale of a sinking folk musician in the 1960s who’s just trying to figure out how not to give up. Leading man Oscar Isaac was nominated for the Golden Globe, but snubbed in the Oscars category – a shame, since he gave a breathtaking performance that also included his own singing and guitar skills. The film itself was not nominated for Best Picture, despite the fact that only nine out of 10 slots were filled in the category. What gives, Academy?