9 Biggest Oscar Surprises

'Wonder Woman' got zero love
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2018 12:28 PM CST
Updated Jan 23, 2018 12:50 PM CST
9 Biggest Oscar Surprises
This image released by A24 shows James Franco in a scene from "The Disaster Artist." Franco failed to receive an Oscar nomination for best actor on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018.   (Justina Mintz/A24 via AP)

(Newser) – It is a mathematical impossibility for a group of Oscar nominations to please everyone, but this year came pretty close with meaningful love for Get Out, Lady Bird, and Phantom Thread, and the history-making nomination of Mudbound director of photography Rachel Morrison, who became the first woman to ever be nominated for cinematography. Still, there were some significant surprises and even a few outright snubs. The AP rounds up 9:

  1. No Wonder Woman: It was a good day for women, generally speaking, but the love stopped short of one of the most populist female-driven projects of the year: Wonder Woman. The Patty Jenkins-directed blockbuster received zero nominations.
  2. Denzel Washington: You'd be forgiven if you weren't aware there was a Denzel Washington film out this year. Dan Gilroy's criminal court thriller Roman J. Israel, Esq. came and went to middling reviews and box office. And yet Washington got a nod, while neither Tom Hanks (for his role as Ben Bradlee in The Post; he hasn't been nominated in 17 years) nor James Franco (for The Disaster Artist) did.

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  1. Netflix: The streaming service found its first successful non-documentary contender in a film it acquired at the Sundance Film Festival—Dee Rees' American odyssey Mudbound, about two families, one black, and one white, in the post-WWII South. It was nominated for best adapted screenplay, best supporting actress (Mary J. Blige), best original song, and best cinematography.
  2. Phantom Thread's director: Paul Thomas Anderson's moody period piece is a favorite among hardcore cinephiles, but many were surprised Tuesday when Anderson was nominated for best director over both Steven Spielberg (The Post) and Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). Anderson didn't even get a Director's Guild nomination for the film.
  3. A curse is broken: Snubs were almost becoming a way of life for documentary filmmaker Steve James. His Hoop Dreams was infamously nominated only for editing and then his sure bet, the Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself, was also passed over. This year, James finally got nominated for Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, about the family-owned community bank that was the only US bank to face criminal charges following the 2008 subprime mortgage collapse.
  4. Ridley's big gamble: By now, everyone knows how Ridley Scott replaced Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World just six weeks before the film was set to hit theaters. That choice that was officially validated in the best possible way for the film—a supporting Oscar nomination for Plummer (his third).
  5. Lack of Latinos again: The Oscars are not so white anymore, but one group that remains marginalized is Latino actors; not one has gotten an Oscar nomination since 2012. In fact, only three have won in the last 20 years (Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Benicio Del Toro). This year, Salma Hayek had the best shot for her role in the dark satire Beatriz at Dinner.
  6. Win one, missed one: Three days after Brett Morgen's highly acclaimed Jane Goodall documentary, Jane, picked up the Producers Guild Award in the documentary category, the film academy left it on the cutting room floor.
  7. A baby CEO movie: A film that has a 52% rating on Rotten Tomatoes—The Boss Baby, in which Alec Baldwin voices a pint-sized, suit-wearing CEO—has been nominated for best animated feature.
(Read more Oscars stories.)

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