The Oscar nominations were announced earlier today, and there was plenty for Netflix and Fox Searchlight Pictures to be happy about as Roma and The Favourite both netted 10 nominations, including Best Picture. But as much as there is a cause for celebration, there were also a few snubs that needs to be brought to attention, like Bradley Cooper and Ryan Coogler being left out of the Best Director category.
Luckily, there are also a few delightful surprises that need to be acknowledged, like Roma‘s Marina de Tavira nabbing a Best Supporting Actress nomination. Check out some of the biggest snubs and surprises from this morning’s announcement below.
Snub: Best Director
Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Ryan Coogler – Black Panther
Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
Female directors in general.
For all of the nominations that A Star is Born earned, Bradley Cooper did not get recognized for his directorial debut. Which is unfortunate considering how the DGA and Golden Globes saw what he was capable of. Again, while winning or being nominated for those guilds’ awards or Golden Globes are likely to increase your chances of being nominated, it in no way guarantees you one.
Ryan Coogler’s lack of a nomination was also very surprising. Like A Star is Born, Black Panther is also up for Best Picture. And like A Star is Born, this isn’t the first time that there has been a Best Picture nomination that wasn’t accompanied by a Best Director nomination. Still, given what Coogler has done in the past and Black Panther‘s overwhelming success, it’s a bit disappointing to see that the Academy could not give one to Coogler.
Likewise for Barry Jenkins. The If Beale Street Could Talk director captured what love looks like between two black people, and how their devotion to each other remained strong even in the most dire of circumstances. It’s a rare depiction that was beautifully realized on screen.
And it it’s going to be another year with no female directors. Which is very unfortunate given how many are calling for more female director representation in this category. And a year after Greta Gerwig earned a nomination for her directing effort in Ladybird. Additionally, how can you not recognize films like Leave No Trace, directed by Debra Granik; You Were Never Really Here, directed by Lynne Ramsay; Can You Ever Forgive Me?, directed by Marielle Heller; and Private Life, directed by Tamara Jenkins? Especially when they themselves have won awards and earned high praise.
Surprise: Best Supporting Actress
Marina de Tavira – Roma
There was no doubt in my mind that Yalitza Aparicio‘s quiet and soulful performance in Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma was most assuredly deserving of a Best Actress nomination. But what took me by surprise is that Marina de Tavira also got a Best Supporting Actress nomination. The actress who plays Sofía, a middle class mother of four, seemed like she was going to be overlooked. Especially since the film largely focused on Aparicio. But I am glad that there is more widespread diversity in this category and that she wasn’t overlooked.
Snub: Crazy Rich Asians
For a film to earn $238.5 million worldwide, multiple Golden Globes, SAG nominations, and PGA nominations, it was very disappointing to see that Crazy Rich Asians did not earn more nominations, especially in Adaptive Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, and Best Picture. While I am more than happy to see that Roma and Black Panther are getting the acknowledgment, it’s almost sad to see that for a film that helped pave the way for Asian representation on screen be largely ignored.
Surprise: Black Panther
Black Panther is the first ever superhero film to be nominated for a Best Picture film. Although a few before it have come very close, like The Dark Knight, it was Marvel Studios’ first black ensemble pic to get that recognition. The film was able to blend social commentary into a superhero world, and it worked. The film’s campaign and push garnered multiple awards and nominations around different guilds and societies, which of course helped it achieve the impossible. Who would have thought we would ever see a superhero film be nominated?
Snub: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Fred Rodgers had a profound impact on everyone’s lives. As the person who taught us all how to be human on Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the highly praised documentary was shut out of the Best Documentary category by the Academy. Which is a bit perplexing to say the least given its huge success. Given how much of a success it was, it was thought that it could at least earn itself a nod alongside other films like RGB and Free Solo. Alas, it wasn’t to be.
Surprise: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Like Roma, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a feature that can be seen exclusively on Netflix. While it may have not earned as many nominations, it did take some slots away from other films. Not that Ethan Coen and Joel Coen‘s film didn’t deserve it. Let’s just say I was caught off guard that Netflix’s funny and quirky western got the Academy’s attention.
Snub: Mary Poppins Returns
Nothing for Emily Blunt, whose performance as Mary Poppins, was one of the best things about Mary Poppins Returns. She wasn’t trying to capture the spirit of Julie Andrews’ performance or trying to imitate it. Instead, she made it her own. Additionally, some of the songs like “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” did not get recognized. And if you saw that musical sequence on screen, you’d agree, that it at least deserved a nomination.
Surprise (or Snub depending on how you look at it): Peter Farrelly – Green Book
I am going to categorize this as a surprise. Given all the love that Green Book has been getting as of late – something of which I am a little bit confused by – it does come as a bit of a surprise that Peter Farrelly did not get the Best Director nomination. I do understand how some people might like or love the film, and it’s fine to me, but it’s something that feels like we’ve all seen before. That being said, he and Nick Vallelonga and Brian Hayes Currie were honored with a Best Original Screenplay nomination. That nomination also goes along with Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Film Editing.
Snub: First Man
Damien Chazelle latest First Man was the early odds on favorite to win many awards before it was released. Then it was released to very mixed reactions and a less than stellar box office. Although the film did earn nods for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Design, and Best Cinematography — which isn’t at all surprising considering that a large part of the film made it feel as though audiences were in there with all the metal rattling and rocket repulsion — it failed to gain a nomination for many of the top awards like Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Picture. Though the young Chazelle has captured the Academy’s attention with some of his previous efforts like Whiplash and La La Land, First Man is something that will be left grounded.
Surprise: Spike Lee
BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee finally earned his first Oscar nomination. This surprise is more about how long it took to hand Lee a Best Director nomination than it is anything else. After being overlooked for the past 35 years, it’s great to finally see that Lee can be recognized for his efforts. After films like Do the Right Thing, Malcolm X, and 25th Hour, I guess this falls into the category of “better late than never.” Sadly, the same cannot be said for John David Washington, who was clearly robbed of a Best Actor nomination.
Snub: Mission: Impossible – Fallout
So no nominations for a film like Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Christopher McQuarrie‘s film was a bit of a long shot for Best Picture, but all of the technical efforts helped make the film the huge success that it is now. The visual effects that it took to digitally replace the Abu Dhabi desert with France for the HALO jump sequence went largely ignored. How and why seems difficult to understand, especially when everybody was talking about all the practical stunt work that went into this film.
Other snubs include Bryan Tyree Henry, who appeared in not one, not two, but three awards contenders this year. First as the villainous politician Jamal Manning in Widows. Then as Daniel Carty in If Beale Street Could Talk. Both efforts were minimal, but very effective. He also voiced Jefferson Davis in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Toni Collette was also snubbed for her much talked about performance in the deeply upsetting Hereditary.
The 91st Academy Awards will be held on February 24, 2019.