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The best films not nominated at the Oscars
Community January 25 2024 by Sydney Film Festival Staff
The Oscar nominations are out, and we were pleased to see 10 SFF-screened films in the mix. However, the discerning tastes of fastidious film lovers always leave room for debate. And debate we shall. These are the SFF team’s top picks of films that weren’t nominated.

Nashen Moodley – Festival Director

I would loved to have seen a few of my favourite films of last year – Aki Kaurismäki’s tender and funny FALLEN LEAVES, Kore-eda Hirokazu’s intricate drama MONSTER, and Warwick Thornton’s astonishing THE NEW BOY – on the nominations list. The former two will be in Australian cinemas in the coming months, and THE NEW BOY is available to rent online, so do try to see them.

Jenny Neighbour – Head of Programs & Documentary Programmer

SMOKE, SAUNA, SISTERHOOD because it would just be amazing to see the film’s director Anna Hints, truly a force of nature, taking to the stage at the Oscars.

And along with Anna for SMOKE, SAUNA, SISTERHOOD, it would have been wonderful to see the winner of our 2023 Official Competition, Asmae El Moudir from THE MOTHER OF ALL LIES, on stage holding her ‘puppet grandmother’ high!

Joshua Forward – Head of Marketing

OF AN AGE is a small but mighty film that deserves more recognition. The brilliant cast, perfect script and magic direction elevate this intimate love story to another level – and on that level is lots of crying. Good crying though.

Dominic Ellis – Digital Marketing Manager

Only one film set in an atomic test site got a look in this year, and it wasn’t ASTEROID CITY. Too zany, maybe, for Oscar’s tastes, Wes Anderson’s meticulous latest didn’t even sneak into the design categories. It’s a wonderful film about grief, loneliness and aliens that deserved more love than it got.

Eden Tollis – Head of Philanthropy

The heart-wrenching ALL OF US STRANGERS was entirely overlooked by the Academy for reasons unclear. Andrew Scott’s performance was particularly stunning, he deserves the highest level of recognition.

Beatrix Brady – Festival Administrator

Nicolas Cage for DREAM SCENARIO. No one plays a loser like Nicolas Cage. And Michelle Williams for SHOWING UP, which was a very under-seen movie that deserved so much more attention!

Erin Westhoff – Philanthropy Manager

SCRAPPER. Shoutout for best performance by 12-year-old newcomer Lola Campbell, playing the sassy, independent Georgie. Such a brilliant feature debut from writer-director Charlotte Regan, the chemistry between the characters of Georgie and her father Jason, played by Harris Dickinson (we love!) will pull at your heartstrings. One of my favourite films of SFF 2023.

Julie Gilford – Assistant Accountant

FALLEN LEAVES should have been nominated for International Feature Film – it was funny, quirky, clever and the dog was so cute.

Celine Song deserved a nomination for Director for PAST LIVES – a great movie. It would have been wonderful to have two female director nominees.

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