Snubs and surprises at the Oscars


The 91st annual Academy Awards will be taking place on February 24, which means it’s time once again for film enthusiasts to rear their heads to celebrate and complain in equal measure. The list of nominations usually leaves film fans on edge, but many are claiming 2019’s lineup in particular to be one of the Academy Awards’ weakest. Many deserving films are missing and some that are on the list feel out of place. There are still a few, however, that feel right at home.

Best Actor looks like it’s shaping up to be no contest: few nominations hold a candle to Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody. Regarding Best Actress however, The Wife’s Glenn Close and Roma’s Yalitza Aparicio feel evenly matched. The biggest surprise in the category is Melissa McCarthy’s nomination for Can You Ever Forgive Me? in spite of being nominated for two Razzies this very same year. Though a win seems unlikely considering the competition, it’s quite a commendable comeback.

The Best Supporting Actor category has clear frontrunners with Adam Driver’s turn in BlacKkKlansman and prior winner Mahershala Ali in Green Book (the only award this film even remotely deserves). But one important and widely predicted name is missing. When the trailer for Beautiful Boy first dropped, people believed that Timothée Chalamet would be receiving his first Academy Award. The talented actor already lost out on Best Actor for Call Me By Your Name, but came back twice as strong this year with a heart-wrenching performance as a drug addict in Beautiful Boy. The snub may be a result of the film’s mixed reviews, as it also missed out on smaller awards it should have swept up like Best Sound Mixing. Many hail Chalamet as the next Leonardo DiCaprio — we’re hoping he at least avoids the same treatment from the Academy.

As 2018 rolled on, Best Original Screenplay seemed to have a lot of contenders up for debate — many of which wound up neglected. Sorry to Bother You, Boots Riley’s absurdist look at capitalist culture, lost out despite easily being the one of the most original screenplays of the year. Many hoped to see nominations for Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade in categories like Best Actress (for Elsie Fisher), Sound Mixing and there was even a glimmer of hope for Best Picture. Best Original Screenplay seemed like a sure thing, especially given Burnham’s natural command over realism is all but unmatched in recent films, but even this didn’t come to fruition.

When Get Out won Best Original Screenplay in 2018 and even managed a nomination for Best Picture, it looked as though the horror genre finally found a place at the Academy Awards, but this was quickly lost on voters by the 2019 period. Hereditary, arguably one of the most memorable films of the year, missed out on Best Original Screenplay; this left fans furious. Toni Collette and Alex Wolff could have easily held their ground in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories. Prior nominee Luca Guadagnino also missed out this time around for his mesmerizing take on the 1977 Italian classic, Suspiria.

The biggest award of the night, Best Picture, feels a lot smaller this year given the nominees. Nominations for Roma (a history-making nomination, earning Netflix its first big Oscar nod) and BlacKkKlansman feel rightfully earned, but other choices feel out of place. Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice and A Star Is Born don’t feel as powerful in scale, leading some filmgoers to believe the three wouldn’t even be on the Academy’s radar if it hadn’t been for money and strong campaigns. Coming up short with nominations in other categories, A Star Is Born doesn’t seem to have the same pull many felt it would – especially when it’s up against Rami Malek’s electrifying and already award-winning performance as Freddie Mercury, even if the rest of Bohemian Rhapsody feels lackluster.

The presence of the 91st Academy Awards doesn’t feel as strong or convincing as prior years, but there’s still a lot of room for debate within them. It certainly still has people talking — even if that just means stressing about yet another snub.

This year’s Oscar nominees:

Best Picture:

“Black Panther”


“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“The Favourite”

“Green Book”


“A Star Is Born”



Lead Actor:

Christian Bale, “Vice”

Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”

Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”

Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”


Lead Actress:

Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”

Glenn Close, “The Wife”

Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”

Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”

Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”


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”


Supporting Actress:

Amy Adams, “Vice”

Marina de Tavira, “Roma”

Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Emma Stone, “The Favourite”

Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”



Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”

Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”

Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

Adam McKay, “Vice”


Animated Feature:

“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird

“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson

“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda

“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman


Animated Short:

“Animal Behaviour,” Alison Snowden, David Fine

“Bao,” Domee Shi

“Late Afternoon,” Louise Bagnall

“One Small Step,” Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas

“Weekends,” Trevor Jimenez


Adapted Screenplay:

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Joel Coen , Ethan Coen

“BlacKkKlansman,” Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, 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, Will Fetters


Original Screenplay:

“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara

“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader

“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly

“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón

“Vice,” Adam McKay



“Cold War,” Lukasz Zal

“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan

“Never Look Away,” Caleb Deschanel

“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón

“A Star Is Born,” Matthew Libatique


Best Documentary Feature:


“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross

“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu

“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki

“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen


Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins

“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald

“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry

“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi


Best Live Action Short Film:

“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe

“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte

“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley

“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen

“Skin,” Guy Nattiv


Best Foreign Language Film:

“Capernaum” (Lebanon)

“Cold War” (Poland)

“Never Look Away” (Germany)

“Roma” (Mexico)

“Shoplifters” (Japan)


Film Editing:

“BlacKkKlansman,” Barry Alexander Brown

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Ottman

“Green Book,” Patrick J. Don Vito

“The Favourite,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis

“Vice,” Hank Corwin


Sound Editing:

“Black Panther,” Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Warhurst

“First Man,” Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan

“A Quiet Place,” Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl

“Roma,” Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay


Sound Mixing:

“Black Panther”

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“First Man”


“A Star Is Born”


Production Design:

“Black Panther,” Hannah Beachler

“First Man,” Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas

“The Favourite,” Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton

“Mary Poppins Returns,” John Myhre, Gordon Sim

“Roma,” Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez


Original Score:

“BlacKkKlansman,” Terence Blanchard

“Black Panther,” Ludwig Goransson

“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Nicholas Britell

“Isle of Dogs,” Alexandre Desplat

“Mary Poppins Returns,” Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman


Original Song:

“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch


Makeup and Hair:


“Mary Queen of Scots”



Costume Design:

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Mary Zophres

“Black Panther,” Ruth E. Carter

“The Favourite,” Sandy Powell

“Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell

“Mary Queen of Scots,” Alexandra Byrne


Visual Effects:

“Avengers: Infinity War”

“Christopher Robin”

“First Man”

“Ready Player One”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

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