The reason to tune in every Oscar nominations morning isn’t to enjoy the presenters fumbling their way through a long list of names (though a highlight of Tuesday’s announcement was the delightful Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams getting the giggles over Animated Short Film nominee My Year of Dicks). No, the reason to get excited is to see what kind of curveballs the Academy Awards have thrown into this year’s awards season, from overlooking great dramatic achievements to recognizing artists who we thought might have gone ignored.
Everyone’s mileage is different — one person’s snub is another person’s “Oh thank god they didn’t nominate that.” But below are some of the most notable takeaways from the morning’s big announcement — the films we wish had made the cut, and the nominations that left us shocked but pleased.
SURPRISE: All Quiet on the Western Front Was Quite Loud
The acclaimed German adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s iconic novel was considered a lock for Best International Film, but with nine nominations it also proved to be a strong contender in technical categories like Makeup and Hairstyling, Cinematography, Sound, and Visual Effects, and thus one to catch up with immediately, if you missed its original premiere on Netflix.
SNUB: Sorry, Taylor
Taylor Swift actually had two projects in the mix for a potential nomination, as last fall she spent some time campaigning All Too Well: The Short Film for a potential Live-Action Short nod. But All Too Well failed to make the Oscars shortlist, and “Carolina,” her original song for Where the Crawdads Sing was also left out of the conversation come nominations morning.
SURPRISE: The Academy Didn’t Forget About Stephanie Hsu
While Everything Everywhere All at Once’s nominations for Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Jamie Lee Curtis were largely predicted across the board, Stephanie Hsu’s work as chaos embodied wasn’t overlooked. (Perhaps voters knew better than to tempt the wrath of Jobu Tupaki.)
SNUB: The Academy Did Forget About The Woman King
Gina Prince-Bythewood’s drama about the West African warriors of Dahomey plays like past winner Gladiator when you watch it, yet even past Oscar winner Viola Davis couldn’t get traction in the Lead Actress category.