This year, as always, there were a wide range of films that were nominated for several categories at the Academy Awards that become increasingly hard to win within, especially when the film industry is becoming more adaptive and innovative year in and year out.

Some films, like Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design. The film had a total of 13 nominations.

So, there seems to be much inquiry about what surrounds the success of these films’ winners, and what categorizes the others as non-award winning films if they were so eloquently cinematic that they were nominated in the first place.

Perhaps nothing. Sure, that doesn’t seem like a good answer, but maybe to find one out, there must be analyses of other films that were nominated for categories that were beat out by other award-sweeping movies.

Take Lady Bird for example. A delightfully, ever-confusing relationship between a teenager and her mother—the tie between the two of them is typical, but in other ways it isn’t. Saoirse Ronan plays the character nicknamed Lady Bird, whose real name is Christine McPherson. Dealing with her teenage life in Sacramento, California, she can’t solve math problems but she’s a martyr to the arts.

As a high school senior, she’s both sensitive about her feelings but hilariously self-confident—that mix seems like an odd combination for a girl who wants to get along with her high-strung mother, go to college, and figure out her wonderfully, coming-of-age self. Is this not at all relatable? Shouldn’t an Oscar be won based on how well people respond to it, and how much it reflects the lives that we live?

Then, there were films that won one or two Oscars but not as many as hoped. This includes Jordan Peele’s Get Out, which didn’t win as heavily, and it was thought that it could have filled a basket full of awards that night. Winning for Best Original Screenplay, the film went home that night with at least some reassurance about their work, not that they needed any in the first place.

A film like Get Out, however, has some achievements within their film that they probably thought would have won them top spots within categories that night. Good social commentary, racial tensions, and an all-star cast are key aspects within most Oscar films. People like a movie that says something about the way they’re living—it triggers a sense of wanting to change their morals and values.

There are films that make the cut, and there are others that don’t—and with that cut being the Oscars ceremony, there are features of certain films that make them more appealing than others. Maybe that’s the way things are, but we certainly shouldn’t tear down the ones that aren’t deemed worthy of a small golden man.

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