No One Is Mentioning The Biggest Snub Of The Year

When watching a movie with Oscar aspirations, it’s easy to pinpoint the acting moment that’ll play at the ceremony to announce the nominees. These are generally huge, bring-down-the-house moments where a performer yells, weeps, or launches into a topical monologue. They’re big moments where someone watching goes, “Now that’s acting!” One can see this in this year’s crop of acting nominees, like Bradley Cooper’s bravado conducting sequence in “Maestro.” That’s not a dig at Cooper, as it’s excellent, but Zac Efron does something different in “The Iron Claw” that the Oscar voting body usually doesn’t go for.

Zac Efron embodies the suffering of losing the people he was closest to. That’s a kind of heartbreak few could understand. On top of it, he’s required to suppress those feelings due to the patriarchal oversight of his father. That’s likely the reason Efron was overlooked, as his performance is largely subdued. There are more nuanced layers to this role beyond getting into shouting matches with other characters, but that only makes it more affecting.

Perhaps the Academy overlooking Efron is to be expected. Unfortunately, outlets like The Washington Post and IndieWire failing to mention Efron on their snub lists is a bit more disconcerting. If nothing else, Oscar nominations and discussions of who was snubbed can help lead the general public into seeking out what movies to check out. “The Iron Claw” has been largely shut out of these conversations, which is a shame because it’s genuinely one of the best movies of 2023. 

Consider this your message to go see “The Iron Claw” if you haven’t already. Zac Efron gives the performance of a lifetime, and it deserves far more acclaim than it’s gotten. 

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