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This Year’s Biggest Oscar Snubs and Surprises


The full list of nominees for the 2017 Academy Awards are out, and while there’s plenty to celebrate about this year’s batch of Oscars contenders, there are also plenty of surprises. And some of those surprises are of the not-so-good kind that involved leaving out our favorite movies or filmmakers of 2016. Below, the staff of ScreenCrush picked out the biggest Oscar snubs of 2017, along with a few of the most pleasant shockers from this year’s list of nominees. The winners of all the awards will be announced on Sunday February 26 at the 89th Academy Awards.

Biggest Snubs

Annette Bening
Best Actress

20th Century Women

How do we live in a world where Annette Bening hasn’t won an Academy Award? After being nominated four times and losing to Natalie Portman in 2011, this year’s race was quickly shaping up to be another round of Bening v Portman: Dawn of Oscars. At one point, I really thought Bening had a shot at winning this time around. She gives one of the best performances of her career in 20th Century Women as Dorothea, a mother raising her son in 1970s Santa Barbara. Everything Bening does onscreen is imbued with such grace. The Mike Mills’ film got snubbed across the board, save for an Original Screenplay nomination. This should’ve been Bening’s year. — Erin Whitney

Sing Street
Best Original Song

The Weinstein Co.
The Weinstein Co.

Look, just because Sing Street was one of my favorite movies of 2016, I wasn’t so naive to think it would get any consideration for Best Picture or Best Screenplay. But I had held out hope that it would get some consideration in the Best Original Song category because it had several of the objectively best original songs in movies in 2016. Alas, no. Instead, we got two nominations for La La Land. I love La La Land, but that’s just plain greedy. “Drive It Like You Stole It” should have been in there instead. — Matt Singer

Best Documentary

Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Taking a cue from the disgraced politician’s beleaguered ex-wife, the Academy pulled a Huma Abedin and snubbed the hell out of Anthony Weiner — or his documentary, anyway. It’s difficult to be too annoyed by this omission considering this year’s strong crop of non-fiction nominees (including the O.J. doc, hopefully settling the film versus television debate once and for all), but it’s fascinating to consider why Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s doc was excluded. Perhaps the narrative was too harsh a reminder of our current political predicament. — Britt Hayes

Biggest Surprises

Isabelle Huppert
Best Actress

Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics

Elle was inexplicably shut out of the Best Foreign Language Film category, which didn’t bode particularly well for Isabelle Huppert’s performance. Despite picking up a few honors over the course of awards season, Huppert’s Oscar chances seemed slim — and yet! Of all of this year’s surprises, this has to be the most pleasant one. Huppert’s perceptive and provocative performance is essential to Elle, the story of a woman who successfully turns the tables on her rapist. Without Huppert, Verhoeven never would have found the startling dark comedy that accentuates his controversial film — he might not even have a film at all. — BH

The Lobster
Best Original Screenplay

The Lobster

Despite the relentless (and baffling) presence of Hacksaw Ridge on this year’s list of Oscar noms, the Academy did have a few pleasant surprises up its sleeve this year, including a Best Original Screenplay nod for The Lobster. Yorgos Lanthimos’ darkly satirical, delightfully existential look at love and relationships was truly one of the most original films of 2016. Though an actual win is highly unlikely, it’s nice to know that at least some of the Academy’s members have good taste. — BH

Michael Shannon
Best Supporting Actor

Nocturnal Animals
Focus Features

When the Golden Globes announced their nominees for Best Supporting Actor, Michael Shannon didn’t even make the list. Instead, his co-star, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, earned a nod for Nocturnal Animals — and then went on to an improbable victory at the Globes. The scene where Taylor-Johnson poops on a porch toilet notwithstanding, Shannon was clearly the best supporting actor in Tom Ford’s icy thriller, and it’s nice that the Academy recognized that. That gives Shannon, one of the most consistently interesting actors working today, just his second career nomination. Best of all, now we get to spend the next month thinking about what he’s going to wear on the red carpet— MS

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