All 12 Neon Movies Nominated for an Oscar


Industry leaders Tom Quinn and Tim League formed Neon in 2017, hitting the ground running by winning Best Picture within two years of becoming established. In seven years, they have reached the upper echelons of the entertainment industry, being nominated twenty-five times with five wins. With films like I, Tonya, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and Pig, Neon has always sought after unique stories, whether in the realm of fantasy, history, or sports.

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They appeal to those under forty-five who are not afraid of violence, foreign languages, and non-fiction stories. Dedicated to telling stories of the human experience, Neon has received countless wins on the indie festival circuit, like TIFF, SXSW, Sundance, and Cannes. The films here all provide different perspectives, one unique from the other. However, Neon’s movies have also received multiple Oscar nominations, with a few even achieving major wins at the industry’s top ceremony.

12 ‘I, Tonya’ (2017)

Director: Craig Gillespie

Image via Neon

Margot Robbie stars as Tonya Harding, the former national figure skater, in Craig Gillespie‘s 2017 black comedy biopic I, Tonya. Delving into her career and infamous incident with rival Nancy Kerrigan while attending the 1994 Winter Olympics, the film chronicles Harding’s life and her struggles to earn recognition in a traditionally elitist sport. The film gives a satirical, dark comedy take on the events, especially in the portrayal of her upbringing.

The film’s structure led to the actors’ strong performances as the filmmakers implemented a mockumentary-style narrative with confessionals from the characters. I, Tonya was nominated for Best Editing, while Margot Robbie and Allison Janney earned nominations for their performances. Janney won Best Supporting Actress at the 2018 ceremony, making I, Tonya the first Neon film to win an Oscar.

I Tonya Film Poster

I, Tonya
Release Date
January 19, 2018

Runtime
119 minutes

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11 ‘Honeyland’ (2019)

Directors: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov

A bee keeper using a container to work with the bees in the film Honeyland.
Image via Neon

Neon has been praised for its documentaries, and Honeyland is a wildly poetic and engaging story about a lonely beekeeper, Hatidže Muratova, who spends her time taking care of her shut-in mother and the bees she sells at a market. When a nomadic family shows up on her land, they disturb their ecological equilibrium. She does all she can to restore the natural balance, showing the beauty of a simple life.

Honeyland was nominated for Best Documentary and Best International Feature, making it one of the few documentaries to earn Oscar recognition outside its designated category. The filmmakers spent three years with Hatidže, getting over 400 hours of footage. Unable to understand Hatidže’s native Turkish allowed them to craft the film unorthodox, editing on mute and only using visuals. Creating a fly-on-the-wall perspective into this woman’s life that opens up philosophical conversations about climate change, biodiversity loss, and the exploitation of our natural resources.

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10 ‘Border’ (2018)

Director: Ali Abbasi

Two men talking in a cold forest at night in the film Border.
Image via Neon 

Border is a Swedish fantasy film about a customs officer who has the unusual ability to smell human emotions. After becoming curious when the officer encounters a mysterious man whose smell confounds her, she starts to discover unsettling truths about herself. Border is one of the most profound films from Neon, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, primarily due to its exceptional work in transforming the appearance of the lead actress, Eva Melander.

The Academy tends to recognize films that demonstrate exceptional skill in makeup and hairstyling when they involve significant transformations that enhance the overall storytelling. Border’s team played a crucial role in bringing the fantasy elements of the film to life, especially in creating the unique and otherworldly look for the character Tina. Melander’s physical transformation for the role involved the application of intricate prosthetics that contributed to the believability of the overall film.

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9 ‘Parasite’ (2019)

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Cho Yeo-jeong emerging from a staircase looking startled in 'Parasite'
Image via NEON

The film that turned Neon into a juggernaut in the industry was the Korean thriller Parasite. A commentary on greed and class discrimination, Parasite’s nuance and depth intrigued a universal audience. The story focuses on a brother and sister who infiltrate an upper-class family, who, in turn, keep a menacing secret. The film was a refreshing surprise, bringing in over $200 million at the box office.

Bong Joon-ho racked up nicely with three awards for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture, turning an instant icon when he made the two of them kiss. Parasite became the first foreign-language movie to win Best Picture on top of Best International Feature and was nominated for Editing and Production Design, too. Blending comedy and drama to create an engaging cinematic experience, Parasite made history for Neon, the Academy Awards, and cinema itself.

Parasite Poster

Parasite
Release Date
May 8, 2019

Cast
Seo Joon Park , Kang-ho Song , Seon-gyun Lee , Yeo-Jeong Jo , Woo-sik Choi , Hye-jin Jang

Runtime
132 minutes

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8 ‘The Worst Person in the World’ (2021)

Director: Joachim Trier

Julie looking to the distance in 'The Worst Person in the World'
Image via Neon

Norway’s bid for the 2022 Academy Awards was a romantic comedy chronicling four years in the life of young medical student Julie. A woman on the verge of an existential crisis dealing with her love life and career, Julie struggles to find fulfillment. Exploring the complexities of discovering oneself while in relationships, The Worst Person in the World gives an honest look at the portrayal of Julie’s journey.

The Worst Person in the World was nominated for Best International Feature, as well as Joachim Trier’s original screenplay. The film has relatable and nuanced characters, tangible and authentic in how they present their insecurities and inner traumas. The way Trier juxtaposes the personalities of his characters with surrealist images and animated sequences helps create an emotional depth to it all. A retrospective film that urges viewers to take agency in the future, The Worst Person in the World is a triumph of comedy and drama.

worst-person-in-the-world-poster

The Worst Person in the World
Release Date
July 8, 2021

Cast
Renate Reinsve , Anders Danielsen Lie , Herbert Nordrum

Runtime
128

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7 ‘Flee’ (2021)

Director: Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Two men kissing on the kitchen in the film Flee.
Image via Neon

The 2021 animated documentary Flee was nominated for three Oscars: Best Documentary Feature, Best Animated Feature, and Best International Feature. It tells the story of Amin Nawabi, an African refugee, sharing his experiences of fleeing his home country due to political conflicts. The documentary points out the challenges refugees face and the effects of feeling displaced without an identity.

Acclaimed for its use of animation and narration to relive this story, Flee brings an eye-opening account of what the trauma of being displaced does to people. The use of animation conveys the intensity and complexity of his journey, offering a new perspective on the struggles of refugees. Flee is among the few animated movies to have received major Oscar recognition outside the Animated Feature category, cementing its place as one of the best modern efforts from this vibrant medium.

flee-poster-image

Flee
Release Date
December 3, 2021

Director
Jonas Poher Rasmussen

Runtime
1 hr 30 min

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6 ‘Spencer’ (2021)

Director: Pablo Larraín

Princess Diana looking to a window in 'Spencer'
Image via Neon

Spencer is a biographical drama that focuses on a specific period in the life of Princess Diana. Starring Kristen Stewart as the People’s Princess, the narrative unfolds over a weekend in the early 1990s during the Christmas holidays at Sandringham Estate. As Diana comes to terms with her marriage to Prince Charles, she begins entertaining the idea of breaking away from the Royal Family and starting a new life away from protocol.

Stewart’s performance earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, with many considering her the frontrunner due to the numerous critical awards she won for her portrayal. Stewart brings a haunting depiction of Diana, expertly capturing her anxiety and discomfort. Her work in Spencer was widely recognized for capturing the emotional depth and complexity of Diana, conveying the vulnerabilities of a mother and a woman put in impossible circumstances.

Spencer
Release Date
November 5, 2021

Runtime
111

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5 ‘Fire of Love’ (2022)

Director: Sara Dosa

A person walking with a wall of lava in the background in the documentary Fire of Love.
Image via Neon

From National Geographic is a visually stunning story of two scientists who spent their lives devoted to studying volcanoes. Husband and wife volcanologist duo Katia and Maurice Krafft film themselves and their work, leaving behind a fairy tale love story like no other. Revealing the dangers of the natural world and the lengths people will go for their passions, Fire of Love makes a case for people living more dangerously.

Showing the relationship of the Kraffts as they display unwavering loyalty to each other, Fire of Love received acclaim and an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature. The film’s narrative uses recovered footage, giving viewers first-hand accounts and narration from Katia and Maurice as their journey unfolds. Going to the end of the world for each other, Fire of Love is romantic with a haunting eeriness that is always present as audiences know the fatal nature that is to come.

fire of love poster

Fire of Love
Release Date
July 6, 2022

Cast
Miranda July

Runtime
1 hr 33 min

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4 ‘All the Beauty and the Bloodshed’ (2022)

Director: Laura Poitras

A woman looks at the camera while another looks in the mirror in All The Beauty And The Bloodshed.
Image via NEON

Laura Poitras takes a look into artist Nan Goldin’s life, creating a portrait far beyond just a photographer but an activist. The main focus in All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is the take-down of the Slacker family’s political ties as they are held under fire for their part in the opioid epidemic. Along with Goldin’s work in the LGBTQ+ community and HIV/AIDS, she emphasizes the need to take action against those who hide behind credentials.

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed received a nomination for Best Documentary Feature. The majority of the film and photography was shot by Goldin herself. Like the issues she handles, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed feels raw, much like Goldin’s artwork. Showcasing the world through her lens makes the audience take a look at the institutions the public is supposed to trust. As she points attention to the pernicious effects of these companies’ actions and business practices, viewers see a new depth to the world they live in.

all the beauty and the bloodshed poster

All The Beauty And The Bloodshed
Release Date
November 23, 2023

Runtime
122 minutes

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3 ‘Triangle of Sadness’ (2022)

Director: Ruben Östlund

Image via NEON
 

In the era of eat-the-rich stories in cinema, Triangle of Sadness may be one of the most amusing. The satirical dark comedy follows a celebrity couple on a cruise with wealthy guests. When they become stranded on a desert island, they begin fighting for their survival, taking jabs at each other and displaying their true natures.

It is no wonder Triangle of Sadness was nominated for three Oscars, including Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture. This ostentatious world of greed brings the film to the same levels as Renoir’s Rules of the Game. Taking place over a series of disasters, the scenarios presented bring out the characters’ idiosyncrasies, showing their egotistical arrogance come to life. Through the wit of the writing, the absurdity plays into the class dynamics perfectly, creating a terrifying reality in the process.

Triangle of Sadness Poster

Triangle of Sadness
Release Date
September 18, 2022

Cast
Thobias Thorwid , Harris Dickinson , Charlbi Dean , Vicki Berlin

Runtime
147 minutes

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2 ‘Perfect Days’ (2023)

Director: Wim Wenders

Kôji Yakusho and Arisa Nakano in Perfect Days
Image via Neon

No one would’ve ever thought that a movie about cleaning toilets could be so riveting, yet here is Wim Wenders’s poetic film Perfect Days. A co-production between Japan and Germany combines four short stories that stars Kōji Yakusho in the role of a toilet cleaner, a dedicated man who gives as much attention to cleaning toilets as he does the plants in his small apartment.

Perfect Days is an incisive film that strides on the mundane and takes the little things into consideration, showing a minimalist life as extraordinary instead of drab. Picking up a nomination for Best International Feature Film, Perfect Days is among 2023’s most underappreciated gems, a work of delicate genius from a remarkably consistent creative mind. Taking what looks like isolation and portraying it as a fulfilling life of discipline and precision allows viewers to reflect as they watch.

Perfect Days poster

Perfect Days
Cast
Kôji Yakusho

Runtime
123 minutes

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1 ‘Anatomy of a Fall’ (2023)

Director: Justine Triet

Sandra Hüller as Sandra Voyter, standing in court looking solemn in Anatomy of a Fall.
Image via Neon

Already one of 2023’s most beloved films, and it’s not just because of Messi, the dog’s, performance. Anatomy of a Fall takes a look at the family dynamics between a mother and her son after they face a trial alleging she killed the father. Making her blind son the only witness only raises moral and ethical questions in an already complex procedure. An unconventional courtroom drama, Anatomy of a Fall doesn’t just focus on legal jargon but also on the characters caught up in the act.

Anatomy of a Fall has been nominated for five Oscars: Editing, Original Screenplay, Lead Actress, Director, and Best Picture. Triet’s riveting narrative is wonderfully crafted to make the audience continuously guess as the trial unfolds. It shows the drama of an imperfect relationship and how, when put under a microscope, as justice systems do, allegations can be motivated by influences that don’t have a full context.

Anatomy of a Fall Film Poster

Anatomy of a Fall
Release Date
August 23, 2023

Cast
Sandra Hüller , Swann Arlaud , Antoine Reinartz , Samuel Theis

Runtime
150 minutes

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NEXT: 10 Movies To Watch if You Loved ‘Anatomy of a Fall’

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