People always complain about how predictable the Oscars are. Ho, hum, a 21st nomination for Meryl Streep. A slew of nods for both "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" and "The Shape of Water." One doesn't have to be a Hollywood insider to guess those names would be read during Tuesday morning's announcement of nominations for the 90th Academy Awards.
So we get excited when we can muster up shock or outrage, either because unexpected names made the list or because expected ones didn't. Fire up your Twitter feeds, folks, and let loose over the following snubs and surprises.
The biggest surprise in the acting categories is arguably Daniel Kaluuya's welcome nomination for "Get Out." If there was a spot for the scandal-tarnished James Franco, Kaluuya's strong performance took it.
Denzel Washington's nomination for Best Actor for "Roman J. Israel, Esq." is somewhat of a surprise, considering that neither the movie or the performance have been talked about much this year. But Washington was often included on many predictions' lists leading up to the Oscars noms and whatever hear that generated clearly helped him here. (Indeed, his was the movie's only nomination.)
And no nods for once-likely nominees Tom Hanks or James Franco. Hanks' omission is understandable; "The Post" is really Streep's show. But Franco was widely touted as a contender for "The Disaster Artist," which he also directed, and for a performance that won him Golden Globe and Critics Choice trophies. Those, however, came before he was accused of sexual misconduct. His movie got a nomination for its adapted screenplay, but not for Franco's acting or directing.
And the #MeToo headlines did no favors for the well-reviewed "All the Money in the World." The sexual misconduct allegations against Kevin Spacey, the rush to replace him in post-production with Christopher Plummer, and the controversy over the vast pay disparity between supporting actor Mark Wahlberg (who apparently earned more than anyone else on the film) and star Michelle Williams -- none of this has helped the movie, either with audiences or awards voters.
Plummer did get a Supporting Actor nomination (at 88, he's the oldest performer ever nominated for an acting Oscar), but the film got no others -- not Best Picture, nor Best Director, nor Best Adapted Screenplay.
Among the nominations as a whole, the biggest surprises may have been all the love for "Mudbound" and "Phantom Thread," currently the least widely viewed of all the awards-hopeful movies.
"Mudbound," a Netflix release that barely played in theaters but is available to stream, earned four nominations, including Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Song, and Supporting Actress (Mary J. Blige, the movie's one sure thing). Still, those hoping Dee Rees might become the first black woman nominated for Best Director came away disappointed, and the movie didn't get a Best Picture nod. Nonetheless, cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history as the first woman in Oscar's 90-year history to be nominated in her category.
As for "Phantom Thread," which still isn't playing in wide release yet, it did earn a Best Picture nod, over such more-favored contenders as "The Florida Project" and "I, Tonya." Paul Thomas Anderson's directing nod was a jaw-dropper, too, beating out such odds-on favorites as Steven Spielberg ("The Post"), Martin McDonagh ("Three Billboards"), Ridley Scott ("All the Money in the World"), and Patty Jenkins ("Wonder Woman").
"Phantom" earned a total of six nominations, including Best Actor (for Daniel Day-Lewis, the movie's least surprising nomination), Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville, also not a huge surprise), Costume Design (expected for a film about fashion), and Original Score. Those noms exceeded expectations, as word-of-mouth on the film has been lukewarm for Focus Features.
"The Post" got a Best Picture nomination despite earning only one other nod, for Streep's leading role. Nothing for director Spielberg, co-star Hanks, or even its screenplay, widely favored to earn a nomination. The relative shutout of this movie by most awards groups, despite its near-universal critical acclaim and commercial success so far, has been one of the biggest stunners of this awards season.
Best Actress may have one of its strongest fields in years, but there were no real surprises among the nominees. Citations for Streep, Frances McDormand ("Three Billboards"), Saoirse Ronan ("Lady Bird"), Margot Robbie ("I, Tonya"), and Sally Hawkins ("The Shape of Water") were widely expected, but they meant snubs for such worthy also-rans as Judi Dench ("Victoria & Abdul"), Jessica Chastain ("Molly's Game"), and Emma Stone ("Battle of the Sexes").
The biggest snub in the Supporting Actress category was Holly Hunter; indeed, her movie, "The Big Sick," was nominated only for Original Screenplay. Hong Chau ("Downsizing") was also widely favored for a nomination, and even Oscar nomination announcer Tiffany Haddish had a shot for her breakout comic turn in "Girls Trip." But after sure-thing nominations for Blige, Allison Janney ("I, Tonya"), Laurie Metcalf ("Lady Bird"), and Octavia Spencer ("The Shape of Water"), there was only one free spot left, and it went to "Phantom Thread's" Manville.
Did you catch the Adapted Screenplay nomination for "Logan"? Oscar oddsmakers weren't surprised, but most people might be; after all, superhero movies tend to get nominated only in the technical categories. For one to get recognized for its writing? That has to be considered surprising, even if the pundits gave it better chances than such ultimately snubbed screenplays as "Wonder," "All the Money in the World," and "The Beguiled."
There were no surprises in the Original Screenplay category, but that meant tough luck for such almost-but-not-quite-nominees as "The Post," "I, Tonya," "Darkest Hour," "Phantom Thread," and "Dunkirk."
Among animated features, "Coco," "The Breadwinner," and "Loving Vincent" all felt like locks. "Ferdinand" and "The Boss Baby," less so, but they made it in. Too bad, then, for Bruce Wayne and the Joker, since that meant no nomination for "The LEGO Batman Movie."
None got so much as a whisper this morning (unless you count Gal Gadot's cameo during the announcement for Best Production Design). Neither did such autumn Oscar hopefuls as "Battle of the Sexes," "Downsizing," or "mother!" Once again, Oscar voters suggested they have short memories, since only two of the Best Picture nominees ("Get Out" and "Dunkirk") were released before November.