The Oscars always come with big surprises and broken hearts on the day of their nominations despite awards specialists trying to mitigate them with their predictions. But the shortlist for the 95th Academy Awards is full of strong emotions, good and bad.
Here are some of the biggest surprises and slights that left Hollywood talking Tuesday morning.
ANGELA BASSETT GIVES MARVEL IMPETUS
There are 30 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and no actor has been nominated for their performance in any of them until today, when Angela Bassett broke the pattern by being nominated for best supporting actress for playing the mourning mother and queen of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (“Black Panther: Wakanda forever”). Bassett has been nominated for an Oscar before, in 1994 for playing Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It” (“Tina”), and is now one of a small group of black women who have received multiple Academy Award nominations. for their performances, which also includes Whoopi Goldberg, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis.
“THE WOMAN KING” DETHRONED
Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King” was completely blown out in Oscar nominations, a bewildering result for a well-reviewed hit that, at one point, had many predicting that Viola Davis would receive a best actress nomination for her portrayal of the staunch leader of the agojie tribe, plus she would be nominated for best picture and best directing. No black woman has ever been nominated for best director, a dismal statistic that unfortunately hasn’t changed this year.
NO WOMEN DIRECTORS
Perhaps not surprising after the directors’ and producers’ unions selected only films directed by men, but the Academy has a different makeup. There was hope that members would recognize some of this year’s extraordinary films with women behind the scenes, especially after two consecutive years in which women won the award, Jane Campion for “The Power of the Dog” of the Dog”) and Chloé Zhao for “Nomadland.” They could be nominated Prince-Bythewood, Sarah Polley for “Women Talking” (“They speak”) and Charlotte Wells for “Aftersun”. Nor does it seem like many expected Ruben Östlund from “Triangle of Sadness” to be nominated for Best Director over James Cameron from “Avatar: The Way of Water” ”), Baz Luhrmann from “Elvis” or Joseph Kosinski from “Top Gun: Maverick”.
THE ANDREA RISEBOROUGH CAMPAIGN
This year was a reminder that actors often appreciate performance outside of, or even despite, the film in which it takes place. Movie campaigners and campaign strategists work all year to close the playing field for nominees, but this year there was a last-minute twist, a celebrity-backed campaign on social media to endorse Andrea Riseborough for her performance. in the independent film “To Leslie”. Riseborough landed her nomination after Charlize Theron, Jennifer Aniston, Edward Norton, Gwyneth Paltrow and many, many more praised her for her portrayal of a single mother in Texas seeking redemption.
MORE SURPRISES IN THE ACTRESS CATEGORY
Riseborough was not the only surprise in the mix, the Cuban-Spanish actress Ana de Armas also achieved a coveted nomination for her performance as Marilyn Monroe, in “Blonde” (“Blonde”), a film, that outside of her interpretation, has not been very well received. But it didn’t seem impossible that Armas would get an Oscar citation after she was nominated at the Screen Actors Guild SAG Awards. Perhaps the biggest shock was the exclusion of black women from the category, including Davis for “The Woman King” and Danielle Deadwyler for her lauded performance as Mamie Till-Bradley in “Till” (“Till – The Crime That Changed Everything” ). Either of those two spots was taken by Michelle Williams for “The Fabelmans,” who wasn’t guaranteed after being passed over at the SAGs.
The international feature film category always has its fair share of snubs, after all how can you represent the world with only five films nominated? But this year one of the biggest surprises was the exclusion of Park Chan-wook’s acclaimed romance-thriller “Heojil kyolshim” (“The Decision to Leave”) from South Korea. The personal epic of Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, winner of four Oscars, “Bardo. False Chronicle of a Few Truths”, was also left out of this category, although it did get a nomination for Best Cinematography. Furthermore, all international films were directed by men, a disappointment in a year that saw films like Alice Diop’s “Saint Omer” and Marie Kreutzer’s “Corsage” directed by female filmmakers.
THE FALL OF “BABYLON”
The dream of “Babylon” ended today as Damien Chazelle’s ode to the wild days of silent film received just three nominations for costumes, music and production design. The $80 million film has grossed less than $30 million at the box office so far and has divided critics. But this could also be the origin of his new story in which she would become more appreciated in the years to come. Even “Ishtar” is now a cult classic.
PAUL MESCAL ENTERS THE RACE
Charlotte Wells’ “Aftersun” may be at the top of many critics’ best film lists, but it didn’t get much love from the Academy. The sweet exception is Paul Mescal, who cracked into the best actor category for his moving portrayal of him as a vacationing single dad with his 11-year-old daughter.
‘RRR’ RECEIVES A NOMINATION
SS Rajamouli’s three-hour action maximalist “RRR” appeared to have a chance of receiving a best film nomination, but the Telugu talkie received only one nomination, for best song for MM Keeravaani’s “Naatu Naatu” and Chandrabose. The film was not eligible in the best international film category as India submitted another film.
DIANE WARREN IN, TAYLOR SWIFT OUT
Speaking of best song, Taylor Swift fans, who are still upset that her short film didn’t make the shortlist, received another blow when “Carolina” from “Where the Crawdads Sing,” composed by Swift, was left out of the list. Diane Warren, on the other hand, got her 14th nomination again for a song from a movie few have heard of, “Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman.”
JUDD HIRSCH WITHOUT PAUL DANO
The best supporting actor contest might seem close after Ke Huy Quan was officially nominated for “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” But the category was not without surprises, including nominations for Brian Tyree Henry for “Causeway” (“Resurge”) and Judd Hirsch for basically a standout scene in Steven Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans” who was nominated above his co-star. Paul Dano who plays a role inspired by Spielberg’s father.
NOTHING FOR “NOPE”
Jordan Peele’s “Nope” was a long shot in the best picture or directing category. But despite this, many were surprised that he did not receive any nominations.