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Memorable Oscar snubs

Margot Robbie, ‘Vertigo’, and Other Memorable Oscar Snubs

Margot Robbie

When the 96th Academy Awards arrives on 10 March, Margot Robbie’s fans will likely still be reeling from the actor and producer’s absence from the nomination list despite her stellar performance in the blockbuster “Barbie”.

Although the movie was a record-breaking success in 2023, Robbie found herself snubbed by the Academy, prompting a reaction from Hillary Clinton and a statement from her “Barbie” co-star Ryan Gosling (who earned a Best Supporting Actor nod for his role as Ken).

At a recent SAG-AFTRA panel, Robbie gracefully acknowledged the privilege of bringing Mattel’s iconic doll to life as well as the exceptional work of her director, Greta Gerwig.

“There’s no way to feel sad when you know you’re this blessed,” Robbie, 33, said. “I think Greta should be nominated as a director, because what she did is a once-in-a-career, once-in-a-lifetime thing, what she pulled off, it really is. But it’s been an incredible year for all the films.”

The history of the Oscars is riddled with shocking oversights of actors, directors, and movies who didn’t get the recognition and praise they deserved.  

As the anticipation builds for this year’s ceremony, it’s worth revisiting some of the many outrage-inducing injustices that left audiences and critics alike baffled. These five past snubs serve as a reminder of the Oscars’ unpredictable nature and their occasional failure to recognise true cinematic excellence.

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense behind iconic films like “Psycho”, “Rear Window”, “Vertigo” and “The Birds,” never clinched the coveted Best Director Oscar despite five nominations.

Many believed that the legendary filmmaker was not recognised because the Academy historically favoured squeaky-clean Hollywood dramas and his brand of suspense painted outside the lines.

In 1968, the Academy attempted to rectify this ongoing snub by honouring Hitchcock with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. When he took to the stage, he had only five words to say: “Thank you… very much indeed.”


Alfred Hitchcock


Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece “Vertigo” is a frontrunner when it comes to history-making upsets.
The haunting story of obsession and betrayal is one of the most revered films of all time, but Academy voters only felt it worthy of a couple of nominations for art direction and sound. Unfortunately, it was left off the ballot at the 30th Academy Awards, winning none.


Glenn Close

Glenn Close 

In another notable Oscar injustice, Glenn Close, celebrated for her roles in films like “Fatal Attraction”, “Albert Nobbs” and “Dangerous Liaisons,” holds the record for the most nominations without a win by any actress in Academy Awards history.

Close, reflecting on the Oscar statuette evading her throughout her illustrious career in a 2021 interview, whilst expressing fulfilment in her work.
“It’s beyond me,” the 76-year-old star said told Pete Davidson for Variety’s annual Actors on Actors series. “I don’t know what to say about that. I just have to keep doing what’s good. You’re fulfilled by your work, and that’s the process to me. It’s what feeds my soul, but it really is nice when other people like it.”

‘Brokeback Mountain’

Ang Lee’s acclaimed drama “Brokeback Mountain” faced a surprising defeat in 2006 when the Best Picture award went to ensemble film “Crash.” The decision sparked controversy, with accusations of homophobia from Annie Proulx in an open letter titled “Blood on the Red Carpet”, published in The Guardian.

In a twist, “Crash” director Paul Haggis later admitted the undeserving nature of the win in 2015, praising the artistry of other films.
“For some reason that’s the film that touched people the most that year. So I guess that’s what they voted for, something that really touched them. And I’m very proud of the fact that “Crash” does touch you”, Haggis said in an interview with HitFix. “Is it a great film? I don’t know.”

‘Brokeback Mountain’
The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight’ 

Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight,” lauded as one of the greatest superhero films, received eight nominations at the 2009 Oscars but surprisingly missed out on any of the Big Five categories, notably Best Picture.

The snub led to the expansion of the Best Picture category from five to ten nominees, with Heath Ledger posthumously winning for his iconic portrayal of the Joker.

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