Every year when the Academy Award nominations are revealed there are always bound to be a handful of snubs, its just inevitable. Sometimes a film may pick up a handful of nominations but miss out on a few choice categories (this year’s Best Director pass for Argo’s Ben Affleck is one of the most controversial), or an actor who thinks they are headed for the podium may miss out on their nomination all together (Leonardo DiCaprio nabbing the gold for Django Unchained seemed like a sure thing before January 10th).  But sometimes the Academy completely misses the mark and fails to nominate a great film in ANY category. How can a group of people who take pride in saying they honor the best in film fail to miss recognizing so many great films?

With the Oscars just a few short weeks away, we have compiled some of the greatest cinematic achievements that were very deserving of multiple Oscar nominations, if not wins, that the Academy completely missed recognizing.

10. Donnie Darko (2001)

donnie darko

Richard Kelly’s stunning and confident directorial debut Donnie Darko was poorly overlooked by both audiences and the Academy in 2001. The film was a low budget masterpiece that few got the opportunity to discover when it was initially released. The film, which contains a plot device featuring an airplane crash, was released a month and a half after the September 11th attacks, so it naturally found a tough time finding an audience. It wasn’t until the subsequent DVD release that the film got the exposure it needed, sadly this was too little too late in getting it to Academy members to discover.

Had Donnie Darko been given a better opportunity for exposure there is no doubt Kelly’s richly complex and masterful screenplay would have been nominated in the Best Original Screenplay category, a category the Academy historically reserves for more edgier and profound work (Citizen Kane, Pulp Fiction).

Write about Film and GET PAID. To find out more about the perks of being a Film contributor at, click here.

In this post:

This article was first posted on February 6, 2013