Of all the movies ignored by the Academy this year, there’s certainly a case to be made that wrestling biopic The Iron Claw, starring Zac Efron, is the most high-profile snub.
It was a lockout that certainly got film fans on social media talking and, now, director Sean Durkin has responded to not being part of the Oscars 2024 nominations list.
"It’s not why you do it, but it is disappointing when you have such a great performance [like Zac’s]," Durkin told GamesRadar+.
"But, look, the film has been out in the States for a month and it’s just done so well and audiences are responding to it. The box office has been great. That’s what it’s about – it’s about connecting with people and it’s doing that."
Efron, who some had tipped for a Best Actor nomination thanks to his tender portrayal of Kevin Von Erich at the centre of a family tinged by tragedy, feels similarly in his appraisal of the so-called snub.
"That’s the real takeaway, man: the people that are responding to it. [I’m] just incredibly grateful for that and proud of it, proud of the achievement."
Even without Efron, the Leading Actor category at this year’s Oscars is stacked: frontrunner Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer) is joined by Bradley Cooper (Maestro), Colman Domingo (Rustin), Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers), and Jeffrey Wright (American Fiction).
The Iron Claw is out in UK cinemas on February 9.
For more on what’s coming to theaters this year, be sure to scroll through the complete movie release dates calendar. Then hear from Best Actor nominee Jeffrey Wright in our interview with the American Fiction star.