Just like they consistently manage to do, the Academy offered up a mix of good and bad with their most recent Oscar nominations announcement last week. As always, I’m going to be making my annual list here of nominations from the announcement that didn’t happen. For those who don’t follow or don’t remember this piece from the past number of years, it’s pretty simple. I go down the line in the eight major categories and look at what voters probably had next on their lists (or what they didn’t, in some cases). For example, in Best Picture I’ll be looking at essentially what the next ten films could have been for the Academy (cough Carol, Sicario, and Straight Outta Compton, cough, among others), basically the ones that just missed the cut. It’s partially just for fun (and keep in mind…this isn’t at all how I would have preferred things to have gone down), but I’ve always felt that it also shines a light onto what the Oscar nominations could have looked like, for better or worse.
Some of these choices are rather obvious, while others are just sheer guesses on my part. Either way, this is nothing if not a good conversation starter, so be sure to let me know what you think the Alternate nominations would have been like.
The Danish Girl
The Hateful Eight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Straight Outta Compton
-I think we can all agree that the number nine film was most likely Carol, with potentially number ten being either Sicario or perhaps Straight Outta Compton. Those make up the top eleven that we recently discussed though, so the rest is just made up of the other movies that showed up here and there throughout the morning. The one unexpected threat to me? Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which probably got some votes, what with a citation in Best Film Editing and all. Having eight nominees is still just weird to me, so you have to wonder how close Carol did come to slipping in.
John Crowley – Brooklyn
Todd Haynes – Carol
Ridley Scott – The Martian
Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
Denis Villeneuve – Sicario
-After the return of the Lone Director in this category last year, I was ready for anything. Even still, with The Martian managing a strong day and making the Best Picture lineup, the snub of Ridley Scott here still stings. He was expected to get in, plain and simple, so the omission is a glaring one to me, though I do wonder if DGA announcing earlier could have saved him? Alas. Not far behind would be Todd Haynes and Steven Spielberg, though anyone else would have been a long shot at this point…
Steve Carell – The Big Short
Johnny Depp – Black Mass
Tom Hanks – Bridge of Spies
Michael B. Jordan – Creed
Will Smith – Concussion
-This category wasn’t nearly the bloodbath that it usually is in previous years, so there weren’t any huge surprises. The expected five basically made it in, with Steve Carell probably next in line. You could make a solid case for Tom Hanks as well, though Carell has a better one. Remember when we were trying to figure out if one or both of Johnny Depp and Will Smith were getting in as frontrunner Leonardo DiCaprio‘s main competition? Yeah, so much for that.
Emily Blunt – Sicario
Helen Mirren – Woman in Gold
Sarah Silverman – I Smile Back
Maggie Smith – The Lady in the Van
Lily Tomlin – Grandma
-No big snubs here, at least going by the odds they faced. I would have loved to have seen Lily Tomlin sneak in, but we knew that wasn’t happening weeks ago. Aside from perhaps Emily Blunt capitalizing on some Sicario love or Helen Mirren sneaking in, the expected five probably dominated the vote totals. This one was pretty cut and dry, folks…
Best Supporting Actor
Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
Benicio del Toro – Sicario
Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
Michael Keaton – Spotlight
Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
-Here was what as always going to be the most competitive category, and honestly, all five of the men listed here were predicted to be nominated, most for much of the season too. You could even throw in Jacob Tremblay for Room here as well, though he probably fell behind them all. Number six here seems like Idris Elba, though I wouldn’t be shocked if it actually was Benicio del Toro or even Michael Keaton. A bloodbath, that’s what this category was.
Best Supporting Actress
Joan Allen – Room
Jane Fonda – Youth
Helen Mirren – Trumbo
Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria
Julie Walters – Brooklyn
-Just like in Best Actress, our Helen Mirren related fears proved to be unfounded. Aside from admitted long shot Kristen Stewart, this was also a fairly standard five, with no one overtly snubbed. The panic about who could miss in a weak year for Supporting Actress was just overthought by prognosticators like myself, it seems.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman)
Mad Max: Fury Road (Nick Lathouris, George Miller, and Brendan McCarthy)
The Revenant (Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith)
Steve Jobs (Aaron Sorkin)
Trumbo (John McNamara)
–Aaron Sorkin ultimately not getting in for Steve Jobs wound up being surprising here, with Charlie Kaufman missing for Anomalisa just a straight up tragic snub. Again, Trumbo wasn’t really a thing like we thought it might be. Next in line was almost certainly The Revenant, considering it didn’t miss anywhere else, or perhaps even Mad Max: Fury Road. They were the two most nominated flicks of the morning, so it makes sense.
Best Original Screenplay
Grandma (Paul Weitz)
The Hateful Eight (Quentin Tarantino)
Love & Mercy (Oren Moverman and Michael A. Lerner)
Sicario (Taylor Sheridan)
Youth (Paolo Sorrentino)
-Aside from Quentin Tarantino ultimately missing for The Hateful Eight, there weren’t any huge omissions here. I have a hunch that Sicario was actually next in line, but those two were probably the ones that came closest, with anything else a long way off. I would have loved to see Amy Schumer pull off a shocker for Trainwreck, but that just wasn’t in the cards here…
Overall, I once again think that, for the most part, I actually do prefer the original nominees in more categories than not (as opposed to wishing these alternate nominations would have come to pass). That being said, there are some really major snubs here that did break my heart, to one degree or another (Scott missing in Director and Steve Jobs in Adapted are two bad ones). As always, I suppose the ideal lineup (or at least my far more ideal lineup) is somewhere in between these two, with some personal choices thrown in there for good measure to make it utter perfection. The dream lineup is nice to think about, but it’s just that, a dream we’ll never see. Reality is reality and we’ll just make due with what we have here. I turn things over to you now though, ladies and gentlemen…which films and performances do you feel just missed the cut for Oscar nominations? How close do you think I got to the Academy’s near miss choices this time around? Am I completely off of the mark here? Curious to get your take on this annual piece of mine once again, so have at it right now!
–Thoughts? Discuss in the comments!