The Oscar nominations are here at last, and they bring with them more questions than answers for an awards season that has been particularly unpredictable. To recap briefly, A Star Is Born was the year’s first major frontrunner, scoring rave reviews and big box office when it hit theaters last fall. Then Alfonso Cuarón’s masterful Spanish-language black-and-white Netflix drama Roma somewhat dominated the critics awards, scoring Best Picture trophy after Best Picture trophy. Then as the various guilds started to weigh in, TIFF People’s Choice winner Green Book surged ahead, winning not only at the Golden Globes but also the top trophy from the Producers Guild Awards.
And now here we are on Oscar nominations day and Roma leads the total nominations pack with 10, tied with the biting period dark comedy The Favourite. A Star Is Born landed seven nominations, but shockingly missed out on a Best Director nod for Bradley Cooper. Green Book has five, scoring key notices (like Film Editing) and missing others (like Best Director). Oh, and Black Panther is a genuine Oscar contender with seven nominations in total, including Best Picture.
For those who haven’t been paying as close attention to the race as I have it may be tough to suss out what these Oscar nominations mean, and which films and performers were “snubbed” and which inclusions are surprises. So I wanted to take a moment to break down which Oscar nominations are truly surprising, and which exclusions qualify as “snubs”. Let’s dig in.