Lots of history was made as the Academy Award nominations were playfully announced live in Los Angeles and beamed and streamed around the globe. But with history, came several major snubs that will be discussed frequently over the next fifteen years. Dissecting the nominations this, I came up with ten of the most shocking omissions in the nominations, everyone thought was going to happen, but then did not. That said, a couple of nominations I thought would happen but did not, are here too. Hey, it’s my list, so shoot me!
While history was made, the snubs are the big story this year. Here are the biggest.
BEST PICTURE: ‘FIRST MAN’
The years best film according to myself and Sasha Stone at Awards Daily, an absolute masterpiece of storytelling, great acting, fine direction and smashing effects. Damien Chazelle superbly directed the story of Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon. Chazelle does something no other director ever has done in shooting a space epic, he showed us what the astronauts could see, the film was told from their point of view. A stunning work of art.
BEST DIRECTOR: BRADLEY COOPER FOR ‘A STAR IS BORN’
Despite a DGA nomination, the Academy directors branch did not smile on Cooper this morning, the biggest surprise of the day because he had all but been assured the nomination. Rumours circulated about his out of control ego shot through Hollywood, and maybe the directors who vote got sick of his success. That said, he directed a fine film, a blockbuster hit and guided Sam Elliott, Lady Gaga and himself to acting nominations. No slouch behind the camera he deserved a nomination. The Academy might have just helped his film win Best Picture the same way snubbing Ben Affleck helped ‘Argo’ win in 2012.
BEST ACTOR: ETHAN HAWKE FOR ‘FIRST REFORMED’
He won the LA, NY and the National Society of Film Critics Awards as Best Actor, but that did not transfer to so much as a nomination. It should have. Willem Dafoe took the nomination that belonged to Hawke, who gave a career-best performance as a lost minister. Tragic.
BEST ACTRESS: NICOLE KIDMAN FOR ‘DESTROYER’
For the finest work of her career, Kidman was snubbed. Now in any other year, she would be leading the pack and likely the winner, but this was an exceptional year for women. Kidman leaned down, wore no makeup and looked like the living dead in portraying a tough cop on the hunt for a killer. Sure she was on the fringe as a nominee, but nothing would have made me happier than to see her nominated. In years to come, this will be hailed as her finest work.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: TIMOTHEE CHALAMET FOR ‘BEAUTIFUL BOY’
Nominated for Best Actor last year, Chalamet was expected to be here again for supporting actor as the drug-addicted young man in ‘Beautiful Boy’. Opposite Steve Carell the film was okay, but lacking an edge needed to truly explore drug addiction. It was a good performance, not a great one, and the film was nothing special.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: CLAIRE FOY FOR ‘FIRST MAN’
Foy was expected to earn her first nomination for her performance as Neil Armstrong’s emotionally battered wife. Foy owns the screen when on, all eyes go to her. She and Gosling have electric chemistry together, and her performance is full bodied. Not sure what happened, but she was robbed.
BEST SCREENPLAY ADAPTATION: ‘FIRST MAN’
Josh Singer adapted the book, and it passed from Clint Eastwood to Damien Chazelle to direct. Singer seems to have given the director a perfect blueprint for this brilliant biography that is also an adventure in space. Smart, emotional and spot on.
BEST MUSICAL SCORE: ‘FIRST MAN’
From TIFF on this film was a shoo-in, until the morning of the nominations announcement. The gentle music under Neil Armstrong’s life to the soaring music as they take off for the haunting strains as they land. The score never telegraphs, instead of enhancing, which is exactly what a great score should do.
BEST FILM EDITING: ‘A STAR IS BORN’
A beautifully cut film, especially the concert sequences, most Best Picture nominees are nominated for editing. This was should be here, as Cooper directed a lovely film that must have cut so easily in the editing room.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: ‘WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOUR?’
Easily the years most critically acclaimed documentary, the absence of the film is glaring because it was also very popular. In a year stuffed with great biographical docs, such as Hal, Whitney and RBG, this compelling look at childrens show host Mr. Rogers was extraordinary and a part of many childhoods and pop culture.
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