11 Indian Movies That Had A Better Shot At Winning An Oscar, But Were Overlooked

Hindi films is in the news recently mostly because of the wrong reasons. Be it the #BoycottBollywood trend or the never-ending debate on nepotism, new controversies come to light quite often. However, there’s one controversy that comes back every year with persistence. The controversy around Indian Movie’s official entry to the Oscars.

From Irrfan Khan’s highly acclaimed The Lunchbox to Anurag Kashyap’s gangster film Gangs of Wasseypur, these films stood out from the competition and oozed excellence in various aspects of filmmaking. Below, we round up the 11 Indian films that deserved an Oscar nomination but were overlooked.


Gangs of Wasseypur

This Anurag Kashyap directional two-part crime drama is a barbaric and ruthless portrayal of Dhanbad, Jharkhand’s coal mafia, and focuses on a destructive rivalry between three families. The film has everything- a tale of gang wars, dirty politics, betrayal, and vengeance. The film boasts a spectacular cast featuring Jaideep Ahlawat, Richa Chadda, Manoj Bajpayee, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Huma Qureshi, and others.

Many felt that a movie like Gangs Of Wasseypur offered a different side of India and had a better chance of winning the Oscar but that did not happen.

The Lunchbox

A blunder in lunch deliveries by a Mumbai dabbawala results in an unlikely friendship between Ila Singh (Nimrat Kaur) and a widower, Saajan Fernandes (Irrfan khan), in this heartfelt and cozy drama. However, when the moment arrives for them to finally meet, fate has other plans.


This was the film Irrfan Khan received immense praise from critics and viewers alike. The film triumphed at many film festivals, including the Viewer’s Choice Award at Cannes.


Vidya Balan plays a role of a pregnant software engineer searching for her missing husband in Kolkata during the Durga Pooja festivities. She receives aid from police officer Satyaki “Rana” Sinha (Parambrata Chatterjee), who helps her in her quest only to realize that the woman is not who she claims to be. The film, despite being a suspenseful story, highlights themes of feminism and motherhood in a patriarchal Indian society.

Paan Singh Tomar

This movie was also one of Irrfan Khan’s masterpieces that was released in 2012. The actor made it phenomenal and his performance was flawless and impeccable. Paan Singh Tomar was an intense movie that was based on real-life characters. This will be one of the most critically acclaimed movies in Bollywood at all times.



Tumbbad is a horror and fantasy film. Everything about this movie is impressive including the background music. Also, the graphics are done brilliantly. The storytelling is so exemplary that you will get hooked till the end. This masterpiece should have been sent to the Oscar nominations.

Ankhon Dekhi

A story colored with rich philosophical tones, Ankhon Dekhi takes you to a middle-class locality in New Delhi and presents you to Rajesh Bauji (Sanjay Mishra)—an ordinary man in his late 50s. After a minor incident involving his daughter and the man she’s dating, Bauji vows to only believe what he sees with his own eyes and nothing more. This is one of the most fascinating movies in Bollywood at all times.


A story against stereotypes, outdated norms, and oppression, Parched sheds light on the tragic lives of four ordinary women residing in a remote village in Gujarat. Loaded by the demons of patriarchy, Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), Lajjo (Radhika Apte), Janki (Lehar Khan), and Bijli (Surveen Chawla) bond over their respective sufferings.


Article 15

Based on the socio-political situation of India, the film talks about a country where discrimination is everywhere, whether related to race or caste, the officers embark on a journey of acceptance and change. A reputed police officer (Ayushmann Khurrana) launches an attack against the caste system after caste-based discrimination and other crimes are dismissed in rural India.

Article 15 is the film Ayushmann Khurrana received immense praise from critics and viewers alike.

The Kashmir Files

A heart-wrenching tale that shows the pain, suffering, and struggle of the Kashmiri Pandit community in 1990 and leads Krishna, a young college student, to set out on a quest to uncover the truth. The storytelling is so upright that you will get hooked till the end. This masterpiece should have been sent to the Oscar nominations.

Bombay Rose

This animated film comes from the brilliant mind of Gitanjali Rao, who has written, edited, designed, and directed it. The story is all about a Hindu flower seller, Kamala, who develops a romantic bond with Salim, a refugee from Kashmir. They both desire better lives and are forced to take arguable steps to make ends meet. Moreover, their religions are another obstacle they need to overcome if they hope to end up together in a city that doesn’t show anyone mercy.


The Tashkent Files

Another film from Vivek Agnihotri makes it to the list of movie that deserves an oscar. This is one of the underrated Bollywood movies released in 2019. The movie goes through all the questions one by one and makes us think about the answers. Also, the emotions captured were absolutely brilliant and a great effort by the entire team. This is one of the Indian movies which deserved to go for Oscar Nominations.