Surprise NomsWe look for them every year. The nominee that swoops in at the last minute and shows either the strength of a certain film that is nominated for Best Picture or one that simply makes your jaws drop. We’ve seen them over the years like Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah,” William Hurt in “A History of Violence,” Laura Linney in “The Savages,” or Jacki Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook.”

This year, with a race that is wide open in many aspects, we’re on the hunt to locate and find out who this presumed shocker will be on nomination morning.

Here are ten names we should be keeping a close eye upon: 


  1. Tom Hardy in The Revenant is one I believe has a huge shot a sneaking in. If there’s a large amount of love for the lead, Leo, there will be some trickle down love. Just like Laura Dern, Jackie Weaver, and Maggie Gylenhaal in the past with many others just like them.

  2. I like Kristen Stewart but if Winslet is Knock out because of her, i will start to hate Stewart. And Fassbender is safe for a nomination, even if McKellen gets in.

  3. I might just be crazy, but I think Kristin Stewert and Alicia Vikander for Ex Machina both make it into Supporting Actress, and I think Charlize Theron makes Best Actress for Mad Max: Fury Road.

  4. The only one I can think of right now is Bradley Cooper for Joy, or even more shocking, for Burnt. The train of love for him could continue.

  5. Supporting Actress seems most likely for surprises this year. Joan Allen feels like the Laura Dern of 2015. But Sarah Paulson also has that same feel and feels more probable for a surprise. It just depends on how much they love Room or Carol. If the Academy goes the way of the Golden Globes and considers Vikander a lead for The Danish Girl, she may miss the cut altogether and we could be surprised when they announce her in supporting actress but for Ex Machina.

    Can’t see Keaton getting in. If they really wanted to reward him, they would’ve done so last year. If anything Ruffalo or Schreiber would sneak that spot for Spotlight. But I think it’s far more likely Benicio del Toro surprises us, especially considering he was an expected nominee to begin with and the Academy has always loved him. If Sicario lands a PGA nomination, watch out.

  6. I feel pretty confident that Michael Caine will get nominated for best actor for the film Youth on Oscar nomination morning.

  7. Hoped for surprises in each category:

    Picture: Anomalisa, Tangerine, Love & Mercy
    Director: Sean Baker, Adam McKay, Bill Pohlad
    Actor: Ian McKellen
    Actress: Charlize Theron (since she’s still not a sure thing)
    Supporting Actor: Walton Goggins, Emory Cohen, Milo Parker (for Mr. Holmes)
    Supporting Actress: Olivia Cooke (for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
    Original Screenplay: Tangerine
    Adapted Screenplay: Mr. Holmes
    Cinematography: The Assassin, The Tribe
    Editing: Bridge of Spies, The Forbidden Room
    Production Design: Crimson Peak, The Assassin
    Costume Design: Crimson Peak, Chi-Raq
    Makeup: Black Mass
    Score: It Follows
    Song: “Pray 4 My City”, Chi-Raq
    Sound Mixing: Everest
    Visual Effects: N/A (the shortlist is adequate)
    Sound Editing: Bone Tomahawk, The Martian

  8. I’d love Marion Cotillard gets it. And even think Juliette Binoche is the best of Clouds of Sils Maria, I don’t see be impossible to Stewart getting a nod.

  9. Thanks Clayton,I thoroughly agree with you I just wish IFC films got off their butts and pushed for Kristen,her peers are her best critics and there’s not one negative comment about her.

  10. Patricia Clarkson for “Far From Heaven” (2002) and Maria Bello for “History of Violence” (2005) break your New York Film Critic’s rule for Supporting Actress. Intriguing thought, though.

  11. I would love to see Emory Cohen getting a nod, There is a lot of people talking about him and he could be a shocking surprise.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.