Some of the most prolific names in Hollywood will be celebrating this evening after discovering they’re in the running for one of the film industry’s biggest accolades – an Academy Award. On Tuesday (23rd January) afternoon, the nominees for this year’s Oscars were announced, with Oppenheimer leading the way with a suitably epic 13 nods – and there were a fair few surprising names on the list, too.
The Oscars are almost 100 years old, having first been held in 1929, and since then there have been a whole heap of victories celebrating the entertainment industry’s very best on-screen and behind-the-scenes talent. Meryl Streep continues to hold the most number of Oscar nominations of all time with 21, alongside three wins. Meanwhile, 1997’s Titanic wears the crown for most nominations for a single film with 14.
But, as is the case with all awards shows, there were a few notable absentees, with conversation on social media quickly turning to this year’s biggest “snubs”. Here are this year’s biggest Oscars snubs and surprises, beginning with one of the most obvious of them all…
Snub: Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig, Barbie
The powerhouse duo responsible for the biggest movie of the year found love in other categories – Robbie is included in the film’s best picture nomination as a producer and Gerwig saw her screenplay recognised. But Robbie ultimately missed out on the competitive best actress lineup while Gerwig was shut out of director.
Surprise: America Ferrera, Barbie
Though its leading lady and director didn’t land nominations, Barbie co-star Ferrera was able to score a supporting actress nod for her role in the megahit, despite missing out at SAG Awards and Golden Globes. Who would’ve thought we’d see the Ugly Betty star take to the Oscars all those years ago?
Snub: Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon
The Oscar winner seemed nailed on for a nomination since the premiere of Flower Moon at Cannes last May. But after missing out on a SAG nomination, there were fears he would fail to show up on the best actor list for his acclaimed turn as Ernest Burkhart. Perhaps some voters were turned off by how unsympathetic his character came off, or he was just a victim of a wildly competitive category that included the likes of Cillian Murphy and Bradley Cooper.
Surprise: Visual Effects, Godzilla Minus One
After opening in U.S. and UK theatres in December, Godzilla Minus One experienced a late surge driven by the passionate individuals that comprise what is affectionately referred to as “Film Twitter,” prompting demands for either (or both) an international or best picture nomination. Though those didn’t happen – even Godzilla can’t fight the machine known as awards season campaigns – its nod in this category doesn’t feel like a consolation prize: reportedly assembled by a crew of just 35 artists, the film’s 610 effects shots not only look convincing but massive on screen.
It was always unlikely that Saltburn’s massive virality would translate into an Oscar nom, although, after a strong showing at the BAFTAs did leave fans wondering if it would receive something. Still, that’s not the case, and Emerald Fennell’s wicked tale will just have to settle for being one of 2024′s most talked-about films, which is no mean feat, is it? Most of Saltburn’s popularity came thanks to its various shocking sex scenes (we can all agree we’ll never forget *that* bathtub scene) so it’s perhaps no surprise that the Oscar voters didn’t take to it.
Snub: Charles Melton, May December
As soon as film fans began watching May December, Charles Melton began immediately generating awards buzz, but when push came to shove, he’s sadly been left off the shortlist of pretty much every major organisation. It’s a shame, too, because the Riverdale star really shows a different side to himself in Todd Haynes’ twisted drama, which only managed one nomination in the Best Original Screenplay.
Surprise: Becky G’s ‘The Fire Inside’ (from Flamin’ Hot)
Notwithstanding the resuscitation of Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s ineligible ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ from Emerald Fennell’s altogether ignored Saltburn, no movie-related song has occupied the pop space in 2023 more than Dua Lipa’s ‘Dance the Night’. That proved irrelevant – or maybe the Motion Picture Academy figured they’d given “Barbie” enough in this category – which meant Diane Warren’s ‘The Fire Inside’, performed by Becky G, earned her a 15th nomination.
Snub: Willem Dafoe, Poor Things
The beloved actor, a four-time Oscar nominee, was expected to score a nod for his tender turn as Emma Stone’s fatherly creator in Poor Things, particularly after landing a SAG Award nomination over co-star Mark Ruffalo. But in the end, it was his co-star Mark Ruffalo who snagged a supporting actor nomination.