Earlier today, the full list of nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced, and it seems to me that this is a very revolutionary year in the business, with a huge amount of surprising nominations. This article will give a list of the nominations in the major categories, including the surprises, and also some snubs (there were quite a few of them too).
- A Star Is Born
- Black Panther
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- The Favourite
- Green Book
- Spike Lee, BlacKKKlansman
- Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
- Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
- Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
- Adam McKay, Vice
- Christian Bale, Vice
- Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
- Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
- Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
- Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
- Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
- Glenn Close, The Wife
- Olivia Colman, The Favourite
- Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
- Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Best Supporting Actor
- Mahershala Ali, Green Book
- Adam Driver, BlacKKKlansman
- Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
- Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
- Sam Rockwell, Vice
Best Supporting Actress
- Amy Adams, Vice
- Marina de Tariva, Roma
- Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
- Emma Stone, The Favourite
- Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Best Original Screenplay
- The Favourite-Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
- First Reformed-Paul Schrader
- Green Book-Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly
- Roma-Alfonso Cuaron
- Vice-Adam McKay
Best Adapted Screenplay
- The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs-Joel and Ethan Coen
- BlacKKKlansman-Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee
- Can You Ever Forgive Me?-Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
- If Beale Street Could Talk-Barry Jenkins
- A Star Is Born-Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters
Best Animated Feature
- Incredibles 2
- Isle Of Dogs
- Ralph Breaks The Internet
- Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Snubs & Surprises
So, where was Peter Farrelly for Best Director? Damein Chazelle? Marielle Heller? Barry Jenkins? Ryan Coogler? Heck, John Krasinski? What on Earth happened there? Best Director was chock full of surprises, and also even more full of snubs. There were always going to be snubs in such a strong year, but to almost everybody, two films seemed guaranteed to get a nod for directing. And one of them wasn’t nominated.
How on Earth was Bradley Cooper not given recognition for A Star Is Born? He seemed like an absolute shoe-in, despite A Star Is Born not doing particularly well at other award shows, a nomination seemed almost certain from the moment it was released. And he wasn’t there.
And who has his spot? Pawel Pawlikowski for Cold War. Now I’m not here to speak ill of any filmmakers the Academy deem worthy of recognition, especially those for films I haven’t seen. However, Pawlikowski, a Polish director who won Best Director at Cannes, has been barely even mentioned in award season prognostication. He was also nominated at the BAFTAs, but most people shrugged this off as ‘British whimsy’. After all, Steve Coogan also came out of nowhere and got nominated for Best Actor, so it was a reasonable response. Pawlikowski was nowhere in the DGA nominations, or the Golden Globes, or even the Critics Choice, who nominated 7(!) directors for that award. So where oh where did he come from? And where oh where did Cooper go?
Another surprise, although a perhaps more welcome one, was Marina de Tariva getting nominated for Best Supporting Actress. No one expected Roma, despite its Netflix production, to be short of nominations. However, de Tariva’s name did not come up in conversation. Why? Well, Roma is basically Alfonso Cuaron doing whatever he wanted, and boy was he the star of the show. Producer, director, editor, writer, cinematographer: he really was the star of this movie. And he somewhat overshadowed the fantastic performances of both Yalitza Aparicio and especially de Tariva that made the movie even better. So, while her nomination was probably more of a surprise than it should have been, it was a welcome surprise nonetheless. Of course, there were people who could have taken the space (Claire Foy, Nicole Kidman, etc.), but no one can complain really.
The final surprise/snub I’ll get into is Sam Rockwell making the cut for Best Supporting Actor. Well, surprise in the loosest sense of the word. The Best Supporting Actor nominations seemed set: Ali, Driver, Elliott, Grant and Timothee Chalamet for Beautiful Boy. However, Rockwell kept sneaking into other award shows, making one of these five a snub, much to the chagrin of many awards race experts. His detractors call his performance ‘an impression’ rather than a portrayal and suggest that there are numerous performances from all over cinema this year that deserve the spot over him (I’m inclined to agree). Despite this, Rockwell earned nominations for Best Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and now, the Oscars. This, aside from Cooper missing out for Director, is perhaps the most controversial nomination, which many people have attributed to the Academy’s apparent adoration for Vice. Arguably more worthy performances such as the aforementioned Chalamet, John Krasinski for A Quiet Place, and even Michael B Jordan for his excellent performance as Killmonger in Black Panther (villain of the year, fight me Thanos) were shut out of the most prestigious award show of the year. And, no matter your opinion on Rockwell, you have to agree that that is a travesty.