So, how’d the Academy do?
The nominees for the 91st annual Academy Awards were unveiled on Tuesday, with The Favourite and Roma walking away tied for most nominations of the year, with 10 each. But, by my estimation, there is a Bradley Cooper-sized hole missing from the Best Director race, while Emily Blunt’s Best Actress nomination is now in the place where the lost things go. Below, I sift through the nominations to pick out the most notable snubs and surprises.
SNUB: Bradley Cooper Left Out of Best Director. If someone was going to be bumped from the directing field, it wasn’t supposed to be the A Star Is Born director, who picked up dual nominations from the DGA earlier this month. Cold War helmer Pawel Pawlikowski’s unexpected inclusion here signaled a shakeup I wasn’t planning for, leaving Cooper in the cold and officially clearing Alfonso Cuarón’s road to the win.
SURPRISE: Marina de Tavira Makes Best Supporting Actress! While we were debating whether Claire Foy or Margot Robbie would take the fifth spot in this category, the Roma actress — who missed out at every major awards show leading up to the Oscars — scored an early pickup for the Netflix film, which the Academy clearly adores despite any qualms they have with the streaming giant. When de Tavira’s name was read, I knew that Yalitza Aparicio’s would be, too, for Best Actress.
SNUB: Emily Blunt Bumped From Best Actress. As thrilled as I was by Aparicio’s nomination, it meant that someone would get the chop, and that someone was Blunt, unfortunately. (It is criminal that Emily Blunt is still not a nominee.) The nod would have been practically perfect (in every way), considering Julie Andrews won for the same role 54 years earlier. Hopefully, we’ll still get a performance from Blunt, as Mary Poppins Returns‘ “The Place Where Lost Things Go” was nominated for Best Original Song, among a total of four nominations.
SURPRISE: Willem Dafoe Lands in Best Actor! The Academy went the way of the HFPA and opted for Dafoe’s performance in the Vincent van Gogh biopic At Eternity’s Gate over the SAG-nominated John David Washington (for BlacKkKlansman) or critics’ darling Ethan Hawke (First Reformed). His category partners remained as predicted, however: Bale, Cooper, Malek and Mortensen.
SNUB: Timothée Chalamet Misses Best Supporting Actor.Beautiful Boy left festival season missing any major awards season momentum — except for Chalamet’s fully committed performance, which was an early shoo-in for Best Supporting Actor. He earned all the prerequisite nominations that foretell Oscar’s favor. I hadn’t taken into account, though, exactly how much the Academy loooves Sam Rockwell, who won this award last year and who is nominated again for Vice.
SNUB: Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Shut Out of Best Documentary. The three non-Best Picture motion picture races went mostly as expected — Animated Film was right on and Foreign Film shook out almost as predicted, with the omission of South Korea’s Burning — with one very significant upset: The beloved Mister Rogers doc was nowhere to be found. (Less shockingly, neither was Three Identical Strangers, with Hale County This Morning, This Evening and Of Fathers and Sons filling their spots.)
SNUB: Burnham, Coogler and Krasinski Overlooked for Best Screenplay. We would have loved to hear Bo Burnham or John Krasinski’s names among the Original Screenplay nominees, but both Eighth Grade and A Quiet Place missed out. (The latter did pick up a Sound Editing nomination, though.) Instead, the fifth spot went to Paul Schrader’s First Reformed. Over in the Adapted Screenplay field, last year’s historic Logan nomination couldn’t be repeated, as Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole’s Black Panther script lost out to The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
(SORT OF) SNUB: First Man and If Beale Street Could Talk. Academy wunderkind Damien Chazelle has not had the easiest road to the Oscars with his latest film, and while it didn’t walk away empty-handed, with a total of four nominations in Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects, First Man missed out in two races it was primed for: Supporting Actress and Original Score, the latter of which Justin Hurwitz won at the Globes. Beale Street did get that Original Score nomination, along with a Supporting Actress nod for Regina King and Adapted Screenplay nomination for Barry Jenkins, but Jenkins couldn’t crack Best Director, and the film was excluded from an eight-nominee Best Picture race. At least the Academy faces no risk of a La La Land-Moonlight mix-up redux.