The most egregious Oscars snubs of all time

From Barbie to Yentl.

The Oscars is the most hotly anticipated awards ceremony of the year. It sees some of the biggest names in Hollywood come together in style to celebrate the best of the best films. Whilst The Academy has honoured some of the best and brightest in Hollywood – they seemingly don’t always get it right.

Each year, cult-favourite movies, directors and actors are ‘snubbed’ by the prestigious selection committee which causes a stir among armchair film critics and fans alike. 

Here’s some of the most egregious snubs from the Oscars over the years.



Despite being the highest grossing film of 2023 and sparking the ‘Summer of Barbie’, when the Oscar nominees for 2024 were released in January, both Barbie‘s Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were snubbed in their respective categories. 

The decision to snub Greta in the Directing category and Margot in Actress in a Leading Role sparked instant outrage from fans, politicians and even the cast of the film.

Ryan Gosling, who was nominated for Actor in a Supporting Role, took to Instagram, writing: “To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement

“Their work should be recognised along with the other very deserving nominees.”

Hillary Clinton also took to Instagram to send her support to Margot and Robbie, writing: “While it can sting to win the box office but not take home the gold, your millions of fans love you.”

“You’re both so much more than Kenough,” the former presidential candidate added.

Greta Gerwig was similarly snubbed by The Academy off the back of her 2019 adaptation of Little Women. Though the film had a star-studded cast, excellent cinematography and gained a cult-like following – Greta was overlooked once again in the category of Best Director.


Alfred Hitchcock

English director Alfred Hitchcock was a pioneer in his own right. Through the eyes of ‘Master of Suspense’, we were given classic films like Psycho, Rear Window and The Birds. Despite leaving a significant legacy both in front of and behind the camera, Alfred did not win a single Academy Award for his work.

Cumulatively, Alfred’s films collected 46 Oscar nominations as well as five nominations for Best Director. Whilst he never actually took home the coveted statue, in 1968, he was awarded the Thalberg award by the Academy’s Board of Governors.


John Hughes

John Hughes was the wizard behind the lens that was responsible for some of the most beloved films in pop culture such as The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Sixteen Candles. However, like Alfred Hitchcock, John was never recognised by The Academy with an accolade for his prolific work.


The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is a film that is often touted as one of the best of all time. The spine-tingling prison drama nabbed seven nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor for Morgan Freeman. 

However, by the end of the night, the film had not managed to win a single award. Instead, Robert Zemeckis’ Forrest Gump starring Tom Hanks managed to beat out The Shawshank Redemption in just about every category.


Saving Private Ryan

The Oscars have seen some truly egregious snubs in its time – think La La Land or Brokeback Mountain. However, there is a general consensus amongst fans that one of the most shocking Oscars snubs – Steven Spielberg’s World War II blockbuster, Saving Private Ryan.

Despite rocking audiences and breaking records, Steven’s epic war flick lost out to the Harvey Weinstein produced rom com, Shakespeare in Love. Almost instantly, Shakespeare in Love’s win became marred with controversy after it was revealed that the film may not have nabbed its coveted awards purely on merit.  Harvey was playing a tawdry game of politics behind closed doors with members of The Academy.

Though Saving Private Ryan missed out on several big awards, the film did manage to nab Steven his second-ever Academy Award for Best Director after Schindler’s List.


Steven Spielberg

Before Leonardo Di Caprio became infamous for consistently losing out on a coveted gold statue, there was another unlucky A-Lister with an ‘Oscars Curse’ – Steven Spielberg. Despite churning out blockbuster hits one after another such as Jaws, ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven did consistently lost out on Best Director.

His breakthrough finally came through when in 1994, Steven was awarded Best Director for Schindler’s List – a sobering and shockingly realistic portrayal of the Holocaust.


Barbra Streisand

Like Greta Gerwig’s Oscars snubs, broadway powerhouse-turned-Hollywood icon, Barbra Streisand was also snubbed by The Academy in her directorial work. Barbra made history when in 1983, she became the first woman to star, direct, produce and write a feature film. Despite this, Yentl was largely snubbed at the Academy Awards and Barbra’s contributions were overlooked entirely. 

Barbra was snubbed once again in 1992 for her directorial work on The Prince of Tides. However, in the decades since, the singer has reflected on how her snub shone a light on the ‘boys club’ that The Academy was. 

“I didn’t mind it for one reason: It really showed sexism. I thought by not being nominated, I put a spotlight on the issue. I thought, ‘Wow. This is so transparent.’”

Oscars snubs

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