Gillian Flynn breaks Record with Historic Snub, Remains Entirely Awesome while Doing So


The BAFTA pushed its date back to be before the Oscars in 2000. The USC Scripter began giving out their awards in 1997. The Golden Globes only has one category for screenplay, which includes original and adapted. Only the Critics Choice, the WGA and the BAFTA divide their categories. Since you could put all of those together, no writer has landed on all of those lists and not been nominated for the Oscar.

Had Flynn been nominated, she would have become the second female writer in Academy history to be nominated for adapting her own novel. But alas, they opted out of that opportunity.

Making matters worse, there’s a good chance she might have won. Or she could have been like Jason Reitman, who lost out in the final lap. But at least he had a nomination.  The closest you get to the Gone Girl snub is About Schmidt, which did not have a BAFTA nod but had everything else. Flynn, who should have been the frontrunner, was knocked out so the Academy could make room for Whiplash, which should have been in original anyway and now could win, unless Imitation Game barrels through.

At the beginning of the season my 16 year old daughter became a fan of Flynn’s when she read one of her short stories. She liked it so much she even drew character art for the short story.  Explaining why Flynn didn’t get a nomination was not one of the best moments for me as a mom. How do you explain institutional sexism to a 16 year-old who is about to take on the world? I think she gets the message loud and clear, though. I suspect she won’t be the only teenage girl out there who will come of age believing the Academy is way behind the times.

Sure, I know Amazing Amy made them feel like their balls were curling into tiny raisins but I figured hey would acknowledge a woman who wrote such a successful film – how could they not, especially when the script had already been vetted by BAFTA, WGA and Scripter. Here is a perfect example of the why the Academy needs the precursors to light their way.

Let us never forget how women got screwed in 2015’s Oscar. All 10 of the writing nominees are male. All 10. All five of the directing nominees are male.

My only hope is that the crowd of voters doesn’t diminish Flynn’s success because of the unforgivable Oscar snub. My hope is that she slays the season in a clean sweep. History tells me that they don’t vote that way. They don’t vote to show up the Academy. They like to vote to stand alongside the Academy proudly — on the side that’s winning.

Here are the charts…








  • Felipe

    I don’t know, Sasha. It seems to me pretty obvious that the Academy at large didn’t appreciate Gone Girl all that much, for whatever reason (They, of course, are allowed to like or dislike things differently than us). A nomination just because of gender would be condescending, no? I think it would be way more telling if Gone Girl had 10 noms, and writing was not one of them.
    I share your fight for more diversity in directing, writing, DP’ing. I want more voices telling stories as much as you do.

  • Ben

    Sasha is right. Its all about precedent. Yes, clearly the Academy was underwhelmed by Gone Girl, but they have 10 screenplay slots, with the 3 strongest films all in original this year (Boyhood, Birdman, Grand Budapest Hotel…for the record, GPH being the only of those 3 in my personal top 10 – and Gone Girl wasn’t either – this is NOT about what I like, or what any individual’s subjective preference). Every other film that had those precursors at least got nominated, and I’m sure many were not the Academy’s personal favorites. Clearly something more was going on, though I’d say they were being snobby about “Gone Girl” as a cultural phenom. But how does the script from the book by a woman become the first not nominated with those precursors? And yet, American Sniper is up for Picture, Screenplay and Actor with virtually no precursors, and without the big box office yet at the time of the nominations? Old white conservative membership loves their buddy Clint, supports him, while strong white woman with mega-seller highly acclaimed film ditched. And heavily favored black woman also ditched for top 5 per critics. The problem is, it virtually always goes that way, the minorities/women/open gays lose out. Too much evidence to say coincidence. The Oscars need to reform. Badly.

  • Andrea

    I see no evidence the Academy would have voted for Flynn over Imitation Game or Whiplash. The film was snubbed everywhere outside of Pike. They simply didn’t like it.

  • Felipe

    I would blame it as much in this status (fair or unfair) that Gone Girl came out of an “airport novel” as I would in Flynn’s gender. Probably more, to be honest.
    I may be wrong. Hell, I may very well be very wrong. But it’s almost a matter of Occam’s Razor for me to say what I’m saying.
    Honest question: how many films are released yearly that are directed by non-white heterosexual males? I have a feeling that’s the main reason that, as you point out, “the minorities/women/open gays lose out”. The change needs to start there, at the beggining of the line, not at the end.

  • Daveylow

    I have no idea why Gillian Flynn wasn’t nominated. But it could be some of the screenwriters of the Academy felt they should nominate screenwriters who weren’t getting so much attention and who hadn’t written a huge best-seller. Maybe they were a bit jealous. Or maybe they felt the screenplay was over the top.

  • Ryan Adams

    The change needs to start there, at the beggining of the line, not at the end.

    One of the smartest clearest truest sentences I’ve read on this topic all week.

    Thank you, Felipe.

  • Joseph,

    I agree but how long are we going to go on about the ills of the Academy?

    Can’t we just accept that some deserving people didn’t get nominated and move on? This happens every year.

    The Oscars can still be a fun show. We can still root for our favorites, or if our absolute favorites didn’t make it, our second or third favorites. I remember when you wrote a beautiful review about Boyhood when it came out, Sasha. So let’s be positive and celebrate the recognition of that film. Let’s celebrate Julianne Moore, and Marion’s nomination which proves that quality of performance can still sometimes trump campaigning and celebrity status.

    The folks who were snubbed will get over it, and so should we.

  • Sasha Stone

    I don’t know, Sasha. It seems to me pretty obvious that the Academy at large didn’t appreciate Gone Girl all that much, for whatever reason

    That isn’t the point. That’s stating the obvious. In fact, they HATED the movie to the point where they broke this historical record – it is worth pointing out both to show how disconnected the Academy are from the general public, the zeitgeist, and powerful upcoming female writers. So yeah, give me a break. Do not make excuses for their lack of good taste.

  • Felipe

    I was stating the obvious; that’s how I even started my sentence. I was not making excuses for anything; however, I don’t think that good taste is an absolute.
    Anyway, my intent was not to upset you, so I’ll just shut up now.

  • Edkargir

    I do not share the love for gonegirl but the adapted screenplay category is so bad gone girl should have gotten a nom but not for bp or bd.

  • Free

    So people think Whiplash could beat Imitation Game for Adapted Screenplay? Yeah, I don’t think so. They clearly loved TIG (directing and editing noms show that), and it’s not winning anywhere else.

  • akumax

    in 2011, and I don’t think the situation has changed a lot during the last 3 years, women made up 19% of the academy’s screenwriting branch, and the writers guild of America west stated something like 17% of film writers employment for women.
    the writers branch is less than 400 members, + other branch members who were nominated or won in the adapted or original screenplay category and consequently are allowed to vote for screenplay too ( one is Ben Affleck )
    The magic number needed to get a nom in the best screenplay is a little higher than 63, it really depends on how many members vote, so let’s say the number is between 63 and 80 at most.
    What I would like to point out is that the Academy in the writing branch seems to be a little more divers than the industry in terms of female presence and that theoretically if all the women in the writing branch (19% of 400 means 76) had voted for Gone Girl miss Flynn would have been nominated.
    I loved Gone Girl and I don’t know why the Academy didn’t celebrate this film with more nominations including best adapted screenplay but I really don’t understand why the reason has to be sexism perpetrated by the world famous all white men tyranny within the Academy. Why that conclusion without a doubt? Why it has to be “Sure, I know Amazing Amy made them feel like their balls were curling into tiny raisins..”?
    I personally know a lot of women that have a misogynist attitude, and reading reviews from all over the world and reactions to Gone Girl I can say that a lot of women didn’t like the movie. Why are you that sure it is about balls curling into tiny raisins?

  • Ryan Adams

    “theoretically if all the women in the writing branch (19% of 400 means 76) had voted for Gone Girl miss Flynn would have been nominated. ”

    ok but can we not set this up so all the girls vote for the girl movies and all the boys vote for the boy movies because I hated 4th grade and I would rather not go back there.

  • Ryan Adams

    “Why are you that sure it is about balls curling into tiny raisins?”

    Sasha has been around the world and seen a lot of curly raisin things that most of us can only hope we never have to see.

  • Chris

    Fannie Flagg for Fried Green Tomatoes is the first female novelist nominated for adapting her own work into a screenplay?

  • Kyle

    Question: Why is it so important that the novel is adapted? It feels like it undermines the female writers that have adapted that adapted their own plays and been nominated for an Oscar.

  • Glenn UK

    Felipe summed Gone Girl up perfectly. The book was an airport book ….. something to lie on the beach with. The movie was a popcorn flick, something to watch on the weekend and not really have to think too much about. The box office was through the roof because the book was an international best seller and people wanted to see the transfer to screen. Too much is being made of the Oscar snub in my opinion. Someone is trying to fit a non-Oscar movie into an Oscar movie box. You can’t fit a square into a round hole. Not every movie Mr Fincher creates has to be Oscar-worthy just as Mr Spielberg’s aren’t!! As for Selma, I haven’t seen it so cannot comment but I prefer to focus on who has been nominated and the race ahead rather than focus on what could have been and what is now not going to happen. It’s wasted energy and is going to change nothing. Something simply went wrong with the Selma Oscar campaign and it has been written many times, films rarely achieve Oscar success unless they have come our much earlier in the year or have played Telluride and Toronto. That’s how to play the game folk and the trick is not minding.

  • joe

    Its outrage that Gilligan Flynn was snubbed for adapted screenplay.

  • JulieF

    Why is Whiplash considered the number five that kept Gone Girl out? Just because it was a last minute category change? I think Sniper is probably the late-surging 5 that knocked out Gone Girl. I’m just musing, not arguing. Are you doing a podcast soon, Sasha? I can’t wait to hear from you.
    The Gone Girl snubs for score and screenplay were unfortunate. I thought it was in the mix to win. I don’t need the Academy to tell me what my favorite film of the year is, though, and Gone Girl definitely is that. Birdman was my second, I think Boyhood’s my third.
    I agree. “The trick is not minding.” I’m also mad they left out Split the Difference as a song from Boyhood, though maybe it was ineligible. Nah, they’re probably just dumb. It doesn’t matter because Selma’s winning anyway.

  • Sasha Stone

    Why is Whiplash considered the number five that kept Gone Girl out?

    By my calculations, all of the other four had their spot secured. It was only Whiplash that landed in adapted. Voters looked for it on original, saw it wasn’t there, dropped down to adapted needed to make room for Whiplash, dumped Gone Girl…why? You know why.

  • Chris Price

    In what world did Inherent Vice have its nomination secured? It wasn’t nominated for the WGA or the Globe or the BAFTA. It seems pretty obvious that Vice (not Whiplash, not Sniper) snuck in and took the spot from Flynn. But it also seems obvious you’d rather blame the snub on Whiplash since you liked Inherent Vice better.

  • Manuel

    I have started to think that the snubs are the best compliments the Academy could give Gone Girl. Apperently the subject matter is disturbing for the Academy because as Amy Poehler said so cleverly: I didn’t like Cone Girl. I go to the movies to escape, not to see myself up there

  • Zach

    Days later and I’m sure no one will see it, but I think Gone Girl missed out here for a couple of reasons. One, they avoid dark, twisted mainstream material like the plague. (Foxcatcher resurged under the banner of a prestige picture, while Nightcrawler was lucky that Selma’s script was publicly identified as a throwaway nomination.) The other reason is that the story is not THAT clever (or plausible) until the final scenes. Up until then it’s just a steamy potboiler you read in the airport. Audiences may have loved it, but it was not high art, and it wasn’t even that nuanced outside of Pike’s performance or that surprising outside of the lengths to which Amy went and Nick’s final (in)decision. I’m not trying to hate on the movie but just trying to see why they could find it too pulpy and contrived, not simply too dark or mainstream.

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