This is very serendipitous week on DVD. Because in the wake of Tuesday’s Oscar nominees, this week’s DVD releases give us a chance to analyze the contenders…that missed out on nominations. Yes, this week’s release calendar is filled with those movies that, in March, look like this year’s batch of Awards contenders but never quite fit the bill and end up as the prestige pictures that didn’t get any prestige.

So let’s take a look at what went wrong. Plus, as  a bonus, two insane sequels that you probably had no idea existed! Check it all out below…

Feature Films


Possible nominees: Best Actress (Hilary Swank), Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell)

What went wrong:

This was a result of the overall mediocre reviews for the film. The performances themselves were widely acclaimed – Swank notched a SAG nomination, and Rockwell picked up a handful of precursor nominations – but it takes a very special performance to overcome a small film that doesn’t earn overall raves.

Let Me In

Possible nominees: Best Supporting Actress: (Chloe Moretz), Best Adapted Screenplay

What went wrong:

There was a time, right before the precursors started, that conventional wisdom had Moretz as this year’s child actor awards bait. People pointed to both her performance in this film and Kick-Ass as an example of an overall year worth honoring. Well, that never quite happened, and I think the genre has a lot to blame. It’s extremely rare for a straight horror film to do anything worthwhile at the Oscars (even if you consider Black Swan to be such a film). Had she got the buzz, the film’s sharp screenplay could have gotten recognition as well. As it stands, this was an under-seen gem this year.

Never Let Me Go

Possible nominees: Best Picture, Best Actress (Carey Mulligan), Best Adapted Screenplay

What went wrong:

This was probably done in by its release date. It had the makings of an Oscar film from top-to-bottom: British, great book adaptation, pedigree up the line – but never quite caught on, and when it fell down early it was impossible for it to make any sort of a comeback. It had a shot when Mulligan picked up a few precursors, but she was too far behind to make a real impact.

The Tillman Story

Possible Nominees: Best Documentary Feature

What went wrong:

This one is extremely hard to figure. This film currently boasts an astonishing 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, and tackles an extremely relevant issue of how heroes are misused by the government. Maybe it was the fact that it had a sports tie (always looked down upon) or maybe it’s because the film came out a bit too far after everything happened with the great Pat Tillman. Either way, this is a documentary snub head-scratcher.

Welcome to the Riley’s

Possible Nominees: Best Supporting Actress (Kristen Stewart)

Want Went Wrong:

The role was actually played by Kristen Stewart.

And Just So You Know, These Sequels Exist…