Surprises and Disappointments in this Year’s Oscar Nominations

By The Nerdling

With the announcements of the 91st Academy Awards nominations yesterday, there was a mix of the expected, happy shocks, and wild amounts of frustration. This is to be expected pretty much every year. Studios are increasing the number of films they release in a year. Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu are adding to the mix. There are too many films with not enough nomination slots. And of course, films which do not actively campaign for nominations are not even considered (as is the case of Boots Riley’s Sorry to Bother You).

Sticking with just the major 6 categories, here are my big surprises and disappointments from the Nominations announcement:

black panther

The most welcome surprise was the Best Picture nomination of Black Panther. A big part of me was hoping the Marvel film would break the Superhero barrier and score a major nomination. But there was that voice in the back of my brain whispering, “if The Dark Knight couldn’t get a Best Picture nod, why would Hollywood nominate a superhero film in which the cast is primarily black with no white savior.”

I was also quite thrilled to see BlacKkKlansman and Roma receive Best Picture nominations as well. The Spike Lee Joint was released in August, Summer movies rarely get major category love. Roma is also nominated for Best Foreign Film. In the history of the Oscars, there have only been four (now five) films which were nominated for both categories. No foreign language film has ever won the big award. My hopes are not high Roma will be the one to break that barrier.

No shock Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, A Star is Born, and Vice was nominated. All four films have been heavy favorites in the awards season conversations for some time.

I was minorly stunned Mary Queen of Scots was not in any of the major categories. I guess there was only one room for a female-driven period piece? Of course, the one not directed by a woman whose subject matter centered around two women holding a powerful position in the face of men. Not bashing on The Favourite, it was a good movie. But Mary Queen of Scots had more to say about women in a position of authority that is relevant to current times.

mary queen of scots

While I wasn’t stunned to see Green Book with a Best Picture nod, I was still annoyed. I really need to steel myself for when this fantasy of a film wins the big award. Hollywood loves their Magical Blacks and White Saviors. What made Green Book’s nomination even worse was the far superior film, If Beale Street Could Talk was snubbed.

Roma and The Favourite lead the nominations with 10 each. The latter is not a shocker, the former is a welcome one.

No Berry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk) to my bitter disappointment, but Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War) was certainly a double take moment for Best Director. I haven’t seen Cold War yet, but it certainly hopped to the top of my list.

No. Female. Directors. Sigh Not like there weren’t some great choices. Debra Granik (Leave No Trace), Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), or Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots).

Best Actor in a Leading Role was predictable with the exception of Willem Dafoe. The nomination for his performance as Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate came a little out of left field since many figured Ethan Hawke (First Reformed) or Ryan Gosling (First Man) would be in the category.

What the fuck is that

Best Actor in a Supporting Role snubbed Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy) and Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk) in favor of Sam Rockwell (Vice).

Mahershala Ali should receive all the awards all the time, so I’m so happy to see him garner another nomination. But then again, Green Book.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Melissa McCarthy’s nomination for Can You Ever Forgive Me? She had been nominated before for Bridesmaids, but I’m happy to see her dramatic efforts begin rewarded.

Two of the biggest surprises were Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira for Leading and Supporting Actress nominations. The two Roma stars floored everyone when their names and not Saoirse Ronan (Mary Queen of Scots), Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns or A Quiet Place), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Viola Davis (Widows), or Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased) were announced. These nominations thrill me. Both women were spectacular in the black and white masterpiece.

Toni Collette was robbed, but are any of you shocked? Oscars don’t exactly like to honor horror films.

toni collette

Now you have had a day to process the Oscar nominations, what were your biggest surprises? Disappointments? Let me know in the comments section.

Every year, we at The Collective strive to review all the Best Picture nominees before the ceremony. Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, and Black Panther have already been reviewed. Feel free to check them out. Reviews for the other five films will be making there way over the next several weeks.

The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram