They Nominated That? A History of the Oscars’ Most Confounding Nominations

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Suicide Squad is just the tip of the iceberg.

There were a handful of surprises yesterday when this year’s Academy Awards were announced, perhaps the most confounding among them how Suicide Squad – a movie so bad not only did both critics and audiences loathe it, but also David Ayer, the film’s director, as recently as this week said he wished he “had a time machine” so he could go back and fix the many blaring problems – managed to snag a shot at Oscar gold in the Best Make-Up category.

It’s a bewildering selection for sure, especially when you consider a film like Deadpool, which was significantly more successful and well-received, and which made copious use of outstanding make-up, didn’t get a nod. But it’s far from the first time the Academy has nominated a film for one thing or another that the overwhelming majority of us thought was utter shit. Like when they nominated the Adam Sandler flick Click for Best Make-Up, or Kevin Costner’s Waterworld — one of the most epic film disasters of all-time – for Best Sound, or Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever – you know, the one that started the death of the first franchise? – for not one, not two, but three Oscars (Best Sound, Best Sound Editing, and Best Cinematography), the same as Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns combined.

For sure it’s a colorful and curious history the Academy has when it comes to nominations misfires, and here for the first time you can peruse them all yourself thanks to our friend Jacob T. Swinney, who made the following video for Fandor that explores one simple question: “they nominated that?” Take a minute to sit through this one and I promise you’ll feel better about that Suicide Squad nod, or at least you won’t feel quite as confused.

Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist