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  • Writer's pictureCasey Seline

Snubs & Surprises from the 2019 Oscar Nominations

Nominations are in. Here are my biggest takeaways.


SNUB: Won't You Be My Neighbor? left out of Best Documentary - Feature

The Mister Rogers documentary was poised to not only get a nomination, but to win the Feature Documentary category. It won at the PGAs last weekend, which is the clearest indicator of Oscar glory. To say this comes as a shock is an understatement. Guess I better go see Free Solo.

SURPRISE: Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate) nominated for Best Actor

Dafoe knocked Ethan Hawke (First Reformed) from the Best Actor nominees list. Just don't expect anything to come of it.

SNUB: Nicole Kidman (Destroyer) left out of Best Actress race

I'm thrilled Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) made the cut! Not so thrilled for Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), whose performance was only the second best part of a drab film. (Richard E. Grant is the saving grace of that movie.) Nicole Kidman, absolutely disappears in Destroyer.

SURPRISE: Marina de Tavira (Roma) nominated for Best Supporting Actress

After being left out from much of the awards season conversation, Marina de Tavira is rightfully getting recognized for her work in Roma.

SNUB: Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born) left out of Best Director category

I have issues with the hype surrounding A Star Is Born, but I will give credit where credit is truly due. Cooper did a great job directing. For the same reason, I'm glad Peter Farrelly did NOT get a directing nom for Green Book, which does not deserve to be such a big contender this season.

SURPRISE: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs gets nominated in multiple categories!

While Buster Scruggs was one of the best movies of 2018, it has been almost entirely excluded from awards discourse. The Academy pulled through and nominated the newest Coen Brothers vehicle for Best Costume Design, Best Original Song ("When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings") and Best Adapted Screenplay.

SNUB: Mission Impossible: Fallout left out of Sound Editing/Mixing

I know little to nothing about sound, but I do know sound on Mission Impossible couldn't have been an easy job. Action movies are usually a mainstay of the sound categories, but this year, Black Panther is the only action movie among the bunch. Instead, the Academy has opted for music-laden films Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born, plus Roma.

SURPRISE: Spike Lee is accepted by the Academy?

Spike Lee gains his first directorial nomination for BlacKkKlansman, which is one of the most nominated films of this year's class (it has 6 nominations from the Academy). After being ignored for so long, it seems BlacKkKlansman strikes the right tone for Hollywood to finally acknowledge his work.

SNUB: Eighth Grade gets nothing

Many had Eighth Grade in for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Alas, it'll just have to clean up at the Indie Spirits to finish out its awards run.

SURPRISE: Foreign language films outside of the Best Foreign Language category

It's always a surprise when the Academy pays attention to Foreign Language films outside of just the Best Foreign Language Film category. This year, of course, there's Roma, which rightfully is tied for the most nominations of any film (Roma and The Favourite have 10 noms each). Even outside of Roma, though, other foreign language films have made it into several categories. Border (Sweden) didn't make the Best Foreign Language Film list, but received a Best Makeup and Hairstyling nom. Cold War (Poland) is nominated for Best Director (Pawel Pawlikowski) and Best Cinematography (Lukasz Zal). Never Look Away (Germany) is also up for Best Cinematography (Caleb Deschanel).

SNUB: No Best Original Score nom for First Man

After winning Best Score at the Golden Globes, First Man was supposedly a frontrunner in the Best Original Score race. Instead, it's not nominated.

What snubs and surprises did you see? Let me know in the comments.


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