Though the 2018 Oscar nominations included some pleasant surprises, there were plenty of films unfairly snubbed — particularly some strong movies with right-of-center themes.
While there are always flicks overlooked over by the highly political Academy Awards, this year was particularly disappointing because of the strong conservative-themed contenders.
Here’s a look at three conservative movies overlooked by the 2018 Academy Awards.
1.) “Wind River.” This was one of the strongest movies of 2017, and it was also one of the few box-office success stories from one of Hollywood’s rockiest years.
Teaming a young FBI agent (played by Elizabeth Olsen) with a wildlife tracker (played by Jeremy Renner) as they navigate the politics of a land connected to an Indian reservation, “Wind River” was a powerful and original piece of storytelling. It was a gut-punch peppered with unforgettable performances from everyone in the cast.
As with Sheridan’s previous works, “Wind River” was an authentic look at a piece of America Hollywood often ignores or openly mocks. At its heart, this was a film about the mental and physical stability and fortitude still needed to survive in some parts of the country.
Renner and Olsen deserved acting nods, while the snowy landscapes captured on film deserved to earn the movie a few technical award nominations. Sheridan also made one of the strongest directorial debuts in years, and his film deserved recognition for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.
2.) “Only the Brave.” A salute to first responders and some of the bravest firefighters this country has ever seen, “Only the Brave” was a powerful film headlined by Josh Brolin and Miles Teller.
Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, “Brave” was a visually stunning and refreshing look at the extreme conditions some first responders need to endure in order to keep the rest of us safe.
The movie was surprisingly not politically driven, and it put character and story first. It was the film these brave men deserved.
The film’s visuals at least deserved to be recognized by the Academy, but Brolin and Teller were also standouts in a stellar ensemble.
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3.) “Thank You for Your Service.” Jason Hall, the screenwriter behind “American Sniper,” broke down the experience of returning combat veterans in “Thank You for Your Service” in a more honest and clear fashion than any filmmaker has in years.
Again starring Miles Teller, “Thank You for Your Service” was based on a nonfiction book by David Finkel. Using real people to guide its story, “Service” was a gripping and unflinching look at the bureaucratic mess soldiers are thrown into when they return home and seek help.
It’s also a film that nails the unshakable bond among men and women who wear the same uniform.
“Thank You for Your Service” easily deserved a nod for Best Adapted Screenplay, and Teller, 30, nailed his lead performance, again proving he’s one of the more talented actors of his generation.
Unfortunately, something like 1 percent of the U.S. population today actively serves in the armed services — which means many of the issues these folks face are more easily snubbed by Americans who have no relationship to military service or service members.
Celebrities like Gary Sinise and others, however, have proven what good successful artists can do in the area of veteran support. It would be incredible to see more celebs focus their attention on this often overlooked area of American struggle.
PopZette editor Zachary Leeman can be reached at [email protected].