Every year, ahead of the actual nominations for the Academy Awards, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences narrows down a few of the—and we mean this in the nicest way—more niche or focused Oscars category into what they call a “shortlist.” The films selected are not the official nominees, but they do comprise the pool that nominees will be chosen from. It’s not every category, and each one has separate and specific criteria, but not making the shortlist means you won’t get a nomination and having a good showing on multiple shortlists is usually a good indicator that you will at least get a nomination.
That means this is all a little deep in the weeds as far as awards season go, since—at most—it might mean something, but there is at least a relatively big snub in the shortlists this year: Cannes’ Palme d’Or winner Titane, a French film from Julia Ducouranu, did not make the Best International Feature shortlist, and neither did the Berlin Film Festival’s Golden Bear-winning Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn from Romania.
Deadline has some theories why, mostly based around the violence in Titane and the sexual content in both films. Deadline’s Pete Hammond even questions how many AMPAS voters made it through both films, hinting at the inherent fallibility of human-driven awards ceremonies, but surely you should make an honest effort to see these movies if you’re deciding whether or not they deserve an award.
Anyway, snubs aside, documentary film Flee from Denmark is on two shortlists: Best Documentary Feature and Best International Film, and if it can get nominations in those two and a nomination in Best Animated Feature (where it’s also eligible, though it’s not a shortlisted category) it will “set an Oscar record for that triple play.” Such is the advantage of being an animated documentary from another country. Throw in some original songs and it could’ve seriously cleaned up.
There are also a lot of big names on the shortlists, with both Spider-Man: No Way Home and The Matrix: Resurrections landing last-minute slots. Also, Billie Eilish is up in a couple of categories, both for her The World’s A Little Blurry documentary and for the title song in No Time To Die. Deadline also notes that Diane Warren is positioned to get a 13th nomination for her song from “Four Good Days.” You can see the full list of shortlisted films at Deadline.