The beginning of every year is a hectic few months for film fans as they try to make sense of what will be nominated or cast aside when it comes to Academy Awards nominations. Last year was very different for movies since there were more independent films rather than tent-pole blockbuster films.

With that being said, there were a handful of titles that have gained some award buzz within the past few months. Movies like “Nomadland,” “The Trial of the Chicago 7,” “Minari,” “Mank” and others have all received their fair number of recognition from critics and audience members alike. 

My thoughts from this year’s award nominations varied from indifferent to unsurprised. While I am glad plenty of films received the attention they deserved, there are others I think should not have. 

There were no real surprise nominations other than Danish filmmaker, Thomas Vinterberg, receiving a “Best Director” nomination for his latest film, “Another Round,” which was rightfully deserved. However, they had me thinking of the movies or certain aspects of films from last year that were cast aside and could fill one of the spots in the nomination list. 

Ludwig Göransson for “Best Score for TENET” 

In my honest opinion, I think Christopher Nolan’s “TENET” is his magnum opus and my favorite from last year. But of course, I was not surprised when it was not nominated for any major awards. However, if there is one thing that stood out to me as “Oscar-worthy,” it is the music by Ludwig Göransson. It delivered one of the best scores ever to be brought into the blockbuster medium, changing different rhythms of tracks that still are implemented into my mind. It could have easily taken one of the other nominee’s such as the score for “News of the World,” as that score felt unspecial and did not leave a lasting impression on me upon listening. 

Mads Mikkelsen for “Best Actor for Another Round”

If there was one movie I could not get enough of in 2020, it was Thomas Vinterberg’s “Another Round.” It was clever, funny, original and a wonderful satire on the modern era’s drinking culture. The film was carried by a career-best performance by Mads Mikkelsen, who played Martin, which makes it a shame that the Academy did not recognize that. He was truly terrific, as he brought in some of the most memorable scenes of the year. I think if you replaced Gary Oldman in “Mank” with Mikkelsen, the nominees would be very competitive. 

Da 5 Bloods” for “Best Picture,” “Best Actor” (Delroy Lindo/Chadwick Boseman) and “Best Director” (Spike Lee)

Right off the heels of Lee’s critic hit “BlacKkKlansman,” many were wondering what Spike Lee’s next project would be. What we got was a somber look on brotherhood, memory, age and mental health that was critically praised upon the flick’s release on Netflix. The film has an awe-inspiring performance by Paul (Delroy Lindo) and a wonderful performance by Chadwick Boseman who plays Stormin. In Boseman’s case, I think he was nominated for the wrong role. In Lindo’s case, I do not understand how the Academy turned a blind eye at his performance that sent goosebumps down my spine. Not only that, but Spike Lee had some of the best directing of last year since it was released at a perfect time, and said so much in one film. It is one of his best productions. So you’d think the Academy would nominate this film, right? Nope!

The Oscars are just a marketing gimmick if we are all being completely honest. The title of “Best Picture” is just for people to buy the film on DVD/Blu-Ray or VOD, but it is great when the movies that deserve to win, actually win. “Parasite,” for example, was a brilliant film, and I will stand by its “Best Picture” win in 2020. 

I’ve slowly gained less interest in the Oscars every year, but it’s fun to look back on the what-if nominations. 

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