Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture – what’s new and old in entertainment.
Awards season has hit its home stretch, as the Oscar nominations have been out for a couple of weeks and the Academy Awards telecast is just around the corner, scheduled for February 9. As always, the nominations were hotly debated, especially with zero female directors being nominated in the Best Director category and just one minority actor, Cynthia Erivo, being nominated in any of the four acting categories. So yes, there are some egregious decisions. So instead of discussing the nominations, let’s discuss some of the movies that were shut out of the Oscars but are definitely still worth celebrating (see full nominees list).
Lulu Wang’s film, The Farewell, tells the story of an American woman struggling with her Chinese family’s decision not to tell her grandmother that she is terminally ill. The Farewell explores the turbulence of feeling divided between two cultures and tells the incredibly intimate story of a young woman’s love for her grandmother.
Uncut Gems from the Safdie brothers stars Adam Sandler as a degenerate gambler caught in a complex web of lies. The anxiety-inducing movie serves as both a thriller and a comedy, and will keep you riveted for its entire runtime.
Additionally, Hustlers was completely shut out of the Oscars, including its presumptive nomination for Jennifer Lopez’s supporting role. Still, it’s a true crime heist movie worth checking out. Finally, the documentary, Apollo 11 uses archival footage to bring audiences along on its titular mission to the moon. The documentary is a history nerd’s dream and features plenty of awe-inspiring camerawork that will truly leave you breathless.
The joy of the Oscars is celebrating deserving films and learning of great works you may have missed. In that spirit, it’s also important to remember that movies left out of the conversation can be just as great, and can be completely deserving of your time. The Farewell, Uncut Gems, Hustlers and Apollo 11 are among the plethora of titles from 2019 left out of the conversation that many of us will remember for years to come.
I’m Evan Rook.