Oscar ballots will be in the hands of voters by Wednesday, pushing forward an all out mysterious season. With all the different scenarios and friendly reminders spoken of in the past week, we’ve already done our due diligence about what can be a surprise inclusion, but what about those shocking exclusions? Going into an Oscar morning, pundits have felt secure in their predictions for a Tom Hanks (“Captain Phillips”) or an Angelina Jolie (“A Mighty Heart”) or one of the most jaw-dropping omissions Paul Giamatti (“Sideways”). They occur every year, just as often as the “out-of-nowhere” inclusions.
This year, we could be working our way up to a complete pass over in certain categories. With that, we can also get the surprise category switches that have occurred over the course of time. We’ve seen the Kate Winslet’s (“The Reader”) and the Keisha Castle-Hughes’ (“Whale Rider”) of the year pop up in opposing categories when their campaign teams suggested otherwise. We have lots of opportunities for such occurrences this year.
There are things that Oscar pundits, and casual awards viewers tend to do. One of those things (which I’m fully guilty of myself) is convincing ourselves that the omissions and snubs don’t mean anything. Many of us ignored the major guild lapse for “Inside Llewyn Davis” in 2013, and still went head strong toward the notion that it would make the lineup. When Maria Bello scored a lead bid for “A History of Violence,” and was an oversight by SAG, we still said firmly that she would be able to prevail over competitors Frances McDormand (“North Country”) and Catherine Keener (“Capote”). How many times did we tell ourselves that the reason Ava DuVernay’s “Selma” wasn’t nominated was because they didn’t see the screeners in time? It’s an argument that can trump all your predictions by nomination reading.
Click through the gallery to see ten omissions and switches that could be in store for the season: