David Fincher is an unmatchable director who’s created a name for himself in the psychological thriller genre. With thirty Oscar nominations under his belt, Fincher is often ranked as one of the most bankable filmmakers in Hollywood.
It’s shocking to know that such a remarkable filmmaker as he has never taken home the Oscar for Best Director. His Social Network loss from ten years ago is a wound that’s still fresh.
While movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo have won David Fincher Oscars, his Academy Awards journey has not been without its snubs.
Here are 7 David Fincher movies that totally deserved the gold statuette but either didn’t make it in the desired category or were entirely snubbed by the Oscars.
1. Seven (1995)
The plot of Seven is enough to get one to watch it. The film noir follows two detectives, David Mills (Brad Pitt) and William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), who are to track down a murderer (Kevin Spacey), who uses the seven deadly sins as motifs for his kills.
The film was a box-office success with Pitt, Freeman, and Spacey’s detailed performances receiving much appreciation. Yet, this David Fincher directorial only managed to be nominated under ‘Best Film Editing’ at the Oscars, and that too it lost to Tom Hanks‘ Apollo 13.
2. Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club is one film that leaves you with a hangover, and that explains why it was one of the most talked-about films of its year.
It sees Edward Norton play “The Narrator”, an insomniac who is fed up with his monotonous life and job. To make life interesting again, he forms a “fight club” with a salesman, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). But as you watch the movie, you realize that the story is not as simple as it sounds.
The movie didn’t do wonders at the box office but eventually became a cult classic. And yet, it didn’t fulfill David Fincher’s Oscars dream.
3. Zodiac (2007)
Another David Fincher Oscar snub you didn’t expect!
Zodiac narrated the story of a 1960s American serial murderer who went by “Zodiac Killer”. Even though most viewers already knew the story, Fincher, with his ability to build tension, still managed to keep them hooked at all times.
The film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr, received praise for its writing, acting, and direction but didn’t make it to the Academy Awards.
4. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Leave it to David Fincher to make movies out of the most unusual stories (and succeed at it). Another Fincher and Pitt collaboration, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, tells the story of a man who ages in reverse.
The movie hit a jackpot at the 81st Academy Awards. It won a total of 13 nominations, the most that year, with David Fincher receiving an Oscar nom for Best Director. However, it ended up picking only three accolades, and Fincher missed his Oscar by a whisker.
5. The Social Network (2010)
The biographical drama follows the journey of Mark Zuckerberg, the man behind Facebook, and his highs and lows. But instead of only presenting a rosy picture of the billionaire, Fincher also showed the downside of such fame and power.
The Social Network snagged eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Actor and Best Director. It won in three categories – Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Film Editing. This David Fincher Oscar snub truly hurt on another level.
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
Based on Stieg Larsson’s novel of the same name, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo sees Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who is bent on discovering what happened to the scion of a wealthy Swedish family 40 years ago. To unravel the mystery, he enlists the help of a computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).
The Girl with the Dragon featured some stellar performances and was in the running for five Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Mara. However, David Fincher didn’t make it to the Oscars nominations for this one.
7. Gone Girl (2014)
Suspicion mounts when it is discovered that Amy feared for her life staying with Nick. A lot of revelations are made through the course of the investigation, which make it difficult to judge who the real victim is.
With its twisted but impeccable storyline, Gone Girl became a commercial and critical success. But the film earned only one Oscar nomination, for Best Actress.
While thirty Oscar nominations are no small feat, a mere nomination doesn’t suffice for Fincher’s contribution to cinema. His films enjoy soaring popularity, and there’s an element of newness in each one of them, even when they’re all exploring the same themes of human darkness.
Perhaps Mank will break this streak of David Fincher Oscar snubs. Fingers crossed!