The biggest snubs and surprises of the 2019 Oscar nominations
Ahh, Oscar nominations: The point in awards season where film fans go from arguing about who should be nominated to who should’ve been nominated. Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross announced this year’s Academy Awards nominations bright and early on Tuesday morning, and although many nods seemed like a foregone conclusion — like the domination of Roma, the love for the ladies of The Favourite, the inevitable song nomination for A Star Is Born’s “Shallow” — others came as a surprise. And still other deserving films got shut out.
Below, EW breaks down some of the biggest snubs and surprises of this year’s Oscar nominations list.
SNUB: First Man
When Damien Chazelle’s biopic of Apollo astronaut Neil Armstrong premiered last summer at the Venice International Film Festival, it was hailed as an introspective marvel and a major awards season contender. Since then, however, other films have dominated the conversation, and First Man was largely forgotten at Tuesday’s nominations announcement. The film snagged four nods in technical categories — for production design, sound editing, sound mixing, and visual effects — but Chazelle and stars Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy were left out. (Another egregious snub: Justin Hurwitz’s gorgeous score.)
SNUB: Bradley Cooper for directing A Star Is Born
Bradley Cooper’s remake of the classic celebrity tale earned a whopping eight nominations — including Best Picture and acting noms for Cooper, Gaga, and Sam Elliott. But in a surprise move, Cooper was excluded from the directors’ category.
SNUB: Barry Jenkins for directing If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins scored a Best Adapted Screenplay nod for his moving adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel. (Regina King also earned a deserved nomination for Best Supporting Actress, while Nicholas Britell earned an original score nomination.) But Jenkins and Beale Street were left out of the other main categories, including Best Picture and Best Director.
SNUB: Emily Blunt for Mary Poppins Returns and A Quiet Place
Audiences and critics may have hailed Emily Blunt’s performances in Mary Poppins Returns and A Quiet Place as practically perfect in every way, but she was ultimately left out in both the actress and supporting actress categories. (Julie Andrews originally won Best Actress for the first Mary Poppins back in 1965.)
SNUB: Timothée Chalamet for Beautiful Boy
Timothée Chalamet scored a Golden Globe supporting nomination for his role as an addicted adolescent in Beautiful Boy, but that didn’t translate into an Oscar nomination.
SURPRISE: Willem Dafoe for At Eternity’s Gate
Willem Dafoe has earned raves for his portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate, but he’s largely been seen as an underdog in this year’s Oscar race. He ultimately triumphed, however, earning a Best Actor nod.
SNUB and SURPRISE: Black Panther
First, the good news: Black Panther became the first comic book superhero film to earn a Best Picture nomination, capping off a year of cultural influence. Although it dominated the 2018 film landscape (both at the box office and in cultural influence), many awards prognosticators wondered whether the Academy would choose to recognize it, especially since the Oscars have historically overlooked blockbuster fare. But ultimately, T’Challa triumphed, and the film scored a whopping seven nominations in all, including costume design, original score, original song, production design, sound editing, and sound mixing.
At the same time, Black Panther missed out on a nomination in any of the acting categories (justice for Chadwick Boseman and Michael B. Jordan!), while Ryan Coogler was shut out of the directors’ race.
SURPRISE: Roma’s Yalitza Aparicio and Marina De Tavira
Here’s a pleasant surprise: Alfonso Cuarón’s gorgeous black-and-white drama Roma has long been an awards season frontrunner, but most of the attention has focused on Cuarón (who scored nods for best original screenplay, best director, and best cinematography, as well as best picture and best foreign language film). But actresses Yalitza Aparicio and Marina De Tavira got some much-deserved awards love as well, earning nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress.
SNUB: Eighth Grade
Bo Burnham’s directorial debut was an insightful coming-of-age tale starring an extraordinary Elsie Fisher, but tragically, it failed to earn a single Oscar nomination. Definitely not Gucci.
SNUB: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Morgan Neville’s heartwarming portrait of Mister Rogers was one of last year’s most popular documentaries. (Proof? It raked in $22.8 million at the box office.) But to many’s surprise, it wasn’t one of the five films nominated for Best Documentary.
SNUB: Paddington 2
Paddington defeated the nefarious Phoenix Buchanan, taught a bunch of prison inmates how to make marmalade, and spread general joy and positivity! What does he have to do to get an Oscar nomination?!