The 96th Academy Award/Oscar nominations were announced today. While some woke up to happy phone calls from their friends, family, and publicists; others didn’t get the call they were expecting. That being said, there were some surprises to be had and they certainly did shake things up this morning.

Margot Robbie – Barbie

Despite being nominated for all the major precursors leading up to the Oscar nominations; Robbie missed out in the Best Actress category for Barbie. It’s possible Sandra Huller of Anatomy of a Fall got her slot or possibly even Annette Bening for Nyad. That being said, Robbie is still Oscar-nominated as a producer on Barbie; which did earn a Best Picture nomination, so she can still show up for the gold.

Greta Gerwig – Barbie

Another big Barbie snub was Greta Gerwig missing out in the Best Director category. Despite earning a spot in the DGA nominations, whispers have been going around that Gerwig may not show up here because some Academy voters have said “She just directed a Barbie movie.” It’s a real shame because the movie is much more than that. Oddly enough, the film earned her a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, alongside partner Noah Baumbach, and the film earned a Best Picture nomination. Apparently, they thought the $1.4 billion grossing film directed itself.

Leonardo DiCaprio – Killers of the Flower Moon

Killers of the Flower Moon earned 10 Oscar nominations today but DiCaprio missed out on Best Actor. DiCaprio wasn’t a sure thing as he has been in and out of precursors but the Academy has loved him in the past so he still had a shot to show up here.

Killers of the Flower Moon Missing Adapted Screenplay

Despite 10 Oscar nominations, Killers of the Flower Moon missed out in the Adapted Screenplay category; even though it earned nods for Best Director and Best Picture. The switch of Barbie to Adapted Screenplay from Original Screenplay could’ve made it miss the mark here, but it’s still a surprise snub for sure.

May December

It has been stated that May December was more of a critics’ movie than an Oscar movie. That proved to be true as the film’s Original Screenplay earned a nomination but it missed out in every other major category. Charles Melton was big with critics groups for his riveting Best Supporting Actor turn in the film; but he lost a lot of momentum leading up to the Oscar nominations. Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman also didn’t show up in the Best Supporting and Best Actress categories. While Todd Haynes also missed out on Best Director. The movie is also one of the best-reviewed films of the year and didn’t earn a Best Picture nomination which does drive it home that critics loved this movie more than Oscar voters.

Greta Lee – Past Lives

Lee’s performance in Past Lives has been lauded all season. Many wanted her to show up in the Best Actress category but her quietly understated performance didn’t entice the voters. Past Lives definitely showed up in other major categories; including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, but many believe Lee deserved acknowledgment too.

Andrew Scott – All Of Us Strangers

Much like Greta Lee, Andrew Scott gives a quietly arresting performance in All of Us Strangers. He also missed out in the Best Actor category, despite a groundswell of support. Sadly All of Us Strangers didn’t seem to connect with Oscar voters enough; despite also being one of the best-reviewed films of the year.

Alexander Payne – The Holdovers

The Holdovers earned a Best Picture nomination and a nod for its Original Screenplay. Much like Gerwig, Payne also earned a DGA nomination; but some believe he also felt like a wild card for the fifth Best Director Oscar nomination slot.

Bradley Cooper – Maestro

Maestro. Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein (Director/Writer/Producer) in Maestro. Cr. Jason McDonald/Netflix © 2023.

The actor earned a nomination for Best Actor but everyone knows Cooper put his heart and soul into Maestro as a director, however, he missed the mark when today’s nominations were revealed. Earlier in awards season, he seemed like a sure thing for a nomination but it appears he lost momentum leading up to Oscar nominations. As a producer on Maestro, he does earn a nod with its Best Picture recognition, but much like the case with Gerwig, Academy voters seem to think the film directed itself.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

This was probably one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of 2023 and it dazzled Sundance when it showed up there but Davis Guggenheim’s work about Fox’s life, didn’t make the cut in the Best Documentary category. This is a bit surprising as this seemed like one that would win with Academy voters.

America Ferrera – Barbie

Many thought Ferrera had an outside shot to make it in the Best Supporting Actress category; and she took that shot and ran with it. This nomination shows the importance of having THAT SCENE in a movie. Her monologue in Barbie has already reached iconic status, in large part because of Ferrera’s passionate delivery.

Sterling K. Brown – American Fiction

The actor has earned raves from critics for his performance in American Fiction, but he missed out on precursors leading up to the Oscar nominations. However, when he earned a SAG nomination for his scene-stealing turn in the Best Supporting Actor category, his chances greatly increased, and now he’s Oscar-nominated for his solid work.

No The Color Purple in Best Picture

Danielle Brooks will have to represent The Color Purple on her own because the film itself did not earn a Best Picture nomination despite a SAG ensemble nom and having power players like Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg as producers.

Saltburn Misses Out On Everything

It was one of the most polarizing films of 2023 so its Oscar chances weren’t a sure thing, despite nominations at the Golden Globes and BAFTAS. Barry Keoghan had an outside shot at a Best Actor nomination as did Rosamund Pike for Best Supporting Actress. Even the film’s Original Screenplay could’ve received some love but it looks like this one was just too salacious for Academy voters.

Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse

Despite earning a Best Animated Feature nomination, the film had a shot at Best Picture gold as one of the best films of 2023 but Academy voters didn’t pull the trigger on it. The film also missed out for Daniel Pemperton’s truly magnificent score which feels like a truly big miss.

Dominic Sessa – The Holdovers

It’s his first film but his work in The Holdovers was compelling enough to earn a Best Supporting Actor nomination but he missed out. His work in the film has been so well-received and he’s likely headed to so many other big things but it would’ve been nice to see him earn a nod.

The Iron Claw

Even though A24 is very loved and respected, it’s clear to many that they dropped the ball campaigning for The Iron Claw. Zac Efron was deserving of a Best Actor nomination and even the film itself should’ve landed a Best Picture nod, had A24 pushed it harder. Every season has that film that deserves more and this season, it’s The Iron Claw.

Five Films Nominate For Best Picture Have Female Producers

This should not be ignored! Five of the Best Picture nominees (Past Lives, Barbie, Maestro, Oppenheimer, and Anatomy of a Fall) have female producers in their ranks. Seeing these power players represented is a joy to see this morning and hopefully a sign of even bigger things to come.

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