The 8 "Best" Movies of 2013 Didn't Get Oscar Nominations (Spring Break Forever!)

Say what you will about the Oscar nominations, but you must admit that 2013 was an excellent year for film. That mega actors Tom Hanks and Robert Redford didn't automatically snatch up Best Actor nominations is a testament to the sheer number of bananas-good movies/performances that are out there. THE TOM HANKS AND THE ROBERT REDFORD WERE EDGED OUT!!! But I reckon surprises like that are bound to happen when the competition is stacked. So stacked, that I didn't even try to guess which actors/movies would end up nominated. I might as well draw names and movie titles out of a hat, I thought. Because it really is anyone's game.  However, I did have an inkling as to which great movies/performances wouldn't be recognized by the Academy. 

I don't want to brag about my future-seeing skills, but I totally predicted that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson wouldn't receive a Best Actor nomination. No, not because I didn't like Pain & Gain or his performance. Au contraire! I loved the movie and everyone in it. I had a goddamned blast. But I could sense that the movie wasn't going to receive any recognition come awards season. 

I wouldn't say Pain & Gain was snubbed. That'd be dramatic. But I will say that I wish someone would hand out "THANKS FOR BEING A MOVIE" awards. Because there are some movies/performances out there that I'm just glad happened. And I've created a list of said movies/performances.  

The following movies and performances satisfy two tenants: 1) They were some of my personal favorites from the year, and 2) they didn't stand a chance at being nominated for Academy Awards.

Image: Paramount Pictures

'Pain & Gain'

I couldn’t get enough of this movie. At times it’s silly, and other times it is very dark. That being said, it remains incredibly self-aware throughout. But also? THE ROCK.


Image: Paramount Pictures

Sam Rockwell in 'The Way Way Back'

His performance received some buzz, but it’s fallen to the wayside this awards season. Such a shame, because Sam Rockwell is an absolute delight as Owen the water park manager. 

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures

'Spring Breakers'

The movie has been divisive, to say the least. Me? I’ve pitched a permanent tent in the “LOVED IT” camp. Yes, the movie’s ick factor is high, but it is a brutal yet brilliant social commentary. I never wanted to stop talking about it. However, it isn’t exactly Oscar-friendly. And though I frequently praised James Franco’s performance (and was excited that A24 put out a “For Your Consideration” campaign), I had a feeling he wouldn’t be nominated. 

Image: A24

Tye Sheridan in 'Mud'

That kid is so good in Mud. SO GOOD. I think it’s safe to expect more great performances from Tye Sheridan. 

Image: Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

Jena Malone in 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

JENA MALONE RULES.

Image: Lionsgate

'The World's End'

A fun take on the “You can’t go home again” adage, a group of friends return to their hometown only to realize nothing is as it once was. Because the town is full of robots. The screenplay is hysterical and smart, and the acting is the perfect mix of campy and grounded. 

Image: Universal Pictures/Focus Features

'The East'

The combo of Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s gripping screenplay and the great ensemble cast resulted in a movie that I couldn’t stop thinking about. Team Batmajnglij/Marling’s creative voice is unlike anyone else’s. 

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures


'Frances Ha'

I was ecstatic when Greta Gerwig received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in Frances Ha, but I anticipated (with a heavy heart) that neither she nor the movie would receive any Oscar love. Bah! What a bummer. Frances Ha gave us one of the year’s best characters AND some absolutely stunning cinematography.

Image: IFC Films