Oscars nominations 2016: 17 biggest snubs and surprises

Aaron Sorkin on Writing the "Steve Jobs" Script

With such a crowded field for this year's Oscars race, there were bound to be big curveballs from the Academy Awards nominations on Thursday morning.

But the most disappointing outcome is that, for the second consecutive year, all 20 of the acting nominees are white. No Michael B. Jordan or Tessa Thompson for "Creed"? No Idris Elba or Abraham Attah for "Beasts of No Nation"? No Will Smith for "Concussion"? And despite a best picture nomination, the cast of "Straight Outta Compton" was all shut out. No doubt, yet another year of an all-white Oscars, which is being widely criticized on Twitter, will be addressed by host Chris Rock at the Feb. 28 telecast.

The Academy also managed to omit "Carol" from this year's best picture race, marking the first time since 2008 that a movie backed by Harvey Weinstein isn't competing in the top Oscars category. "The Revenant" led all films with 12 nominations, closely followed by 10 nominations for "Mad Max: Fury Road." Here are the biggest snubs and surprises.

SNUB: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Nominating the most gigantic movie in history (with a domestic box office tally of $820 million and growing) for best picture would have ensured that the Oscars telecast received a big boost in viewership. But the latest installment of "Star Wars" only picked up five nods in the technical categories like sound and editing.

SNUB: Johnny Depp, "Black Mass"
Depp was an early favorite in this year's Oscars race for playing James "Whitey" Bulger in the Warner Bros. gangster drama. But he might have peaked too soon, and his reluctance to campaign made it difficult for Oscar voters to remember the performance.

See photos of the 2016 Oscar nominees:

Academy Award nominations 2016, Oscars
See Gallery
Oscars nominations 2016: 17 biggest snubs and surprises

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Best Actor

Matt Damon

(Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio

(Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for Screen Actors Guild Foundation)

Best Actor

Michael Fassbender

(Photo by Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images)

Best Actor

Eddie Redmayne

(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Best Actress

Cate Blanchette

(Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Best Actress

Brie Larson

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Best Actress

Jennifer Lawrence

(Photo by James Devaney/Getty Images)

Best Actress

Charlotte Rampling

(Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/WireImage)

Best Actress

Saoirse Ronan

(Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)


SNUB: Will Smith, "Concussion"
Smith stretched—and adopted a Nigerian accent—to play Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered a link between NFL players and permanent brain trauma. Although he hosted many Academy Q&As to support the Sony Pictures release, the lukewarm reviews for the film may have hurt him.

SNUB: Jacob Tremblay, "Room"
"Room" performed surprisingly well—with nominations for best picture, best director (Lenny Abrahamson) and best actress (Brie Larson)—but it's hard to understand how the Academy failed to recognize the film's central performance by astonishing newcomer Jacob Tremblay. The decision by A24 to campaign him in best supporting actor, although he appears in almost every scene, may have confused voters. If he had been nominated as best actor, he would have been the youngest actor ever to appear in the category—tying Jackie Cooper (1931's "Skippy")—at age 9.

SNUB: Michael B. Jordan, "Creed"
At 28, Michael B. Jordan is one of Hollywood's most promising young stars. The Academy overlooked his breakthrough role in 2013's "Fruitvale Station," and also didn't give him any love for "Creed," despite the film's $105 million box office take and an impressive physical transformation to play a professional boxer in the "Rocky" reboot.

SNUB: Idris Elba, "Beasts of No Nation"
Elba was expected to be included in the best supporting actor category for pot raying the commandant in Cary Fukunaga's drama set in West Africa. Although "Beasts" received a SAG ensemble nomination, and had strong support from within the Academy's actors branch, it failed to pick up any Oscar nominations, despite a big push from Netflix for its inaugural original feature.

SNUB: Michael Keaton, "Spotlight"
All the actors in "Spotlight" were placed in the best supporting actor categories—and while that meant good news for Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, who were both nominated today, Michael Keaton was left out. In retrospect, Open Road Films probably should have competed him in the lead actor category.

SNUB: Alicia Vikander, "Ex Machina"
But don't get too sad for the breakout Swedish actress. The Academy nominated her in the best supporting actress race for "The Danish Girl" instead of this sci-fi indie hit.

SNUB: Kristen Stewart, "Clouds of Sils Maria"
The most critically acclaimed role that the "Twilight" star has delivered made her the first American actress to take home the Cesar Award (the French equivalent of the Oscar), and nabbed her a New York Film Critics Circle prize. But in the end, not enough Oscar voters saw this small drama directed by Olivier Assayas that premiered at Cannes nearly two years ago.

SNUB: Helen Mirren, "Trumbo" and "Woman in Gold"
The beloved actress landed Golden Globe and SAG Award nods for "Trumbo" and a SAG nod for "Woman in Gold," but found herself empty-handed this morning.

SNUB: Ridley Scott, "The Martian"
Scott was expected to win the best director category this year for his ambitious space epic starring Matt Damon. But like Ben Affleck for "Argo," the director's branch of the Academy overlooked him. However, he is nominated for best producer since "The Martian" was recognized in the best picture race.

SNUB: Todd Haynes, "Carol"
After "Far From Heaven" and this year's "Carol," it's criminal that Haynes has yet to be Oscar nominated in the Oscars best director category. His lack of a nomination from the DGA earlier this week was a bad omen.

SNUB: Aaron Sorkin, "Steve Jobs"
After a Golden Globe win and a WGA nod, Sorkin seemed a sure thing for a nomination for his "Steve Jobs" screenplay. Instead, he was shut out while "Brooklyn's" Nick Hornby snuck in.

SURPRISE: Jennifer Lawrence, "Joy"
Even with her Golden Globes win, many pundits were guessing that Jennifer Lawrence wouldn't receive a best actress Oscar nomination for playing Miracle mop inventor Joy Mangano in the David O. Russell comedy, which received mixed reviews. But America's sweetheart triumphed again. This is Lawrence's fourth Oscar nomination—at 25, which is a record for the most Oscar nominations for an actor that young. For comparison's sake: Meryl Streep was 33 when she earned her fourth Oscar nomination for "The Deer Hunter" in 1983.

SURPRISE: Tom Hardy, "The Revenant"
With 12 nominations, the Academy showed its love for the wilderness epic directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu, but Hardy—who failed to land a SAG or Golden Globe nomination—was still in a darkhorse in a crowded supporting actor field. This is the British actor's first Oscar nomination, and it's well-deserved.

SURPRISE: Lenny Abrahamson, "Room"
After the DGA nominations were announced this week, many thought that if the Academy offered any surprises, it would in the form of the inclusion of Todd Haynes for "Carol." But instead, the Oscars director's branch snuck in Lenny Abrahamson for his indie "Room," over both Haynes and Ridley Scott ("The Martian").

SURPRISE: Carter Burwell, "Carol"
This is only a surprise because Burwell, one of the best composers working today, who has scored films like "Fargo" and "True Grit," has never been nominated before.

Jenelle Riley also contributed to this report.

Related -- Stars react to actor Alan Rickman's death:

Stars react to Alan Rickman's death
See Gallery
Oscars nominations 2016: 17 biggest snubs and surprises
There are no words to express how shocked and devastated I am to hear of Alan Rickman's death. He was a magnificent actor & a wonderful man.
My thoughts are with Rima and the rest of Alan's family. We have all lost a great talent. They have lost part of their hearts.
What desperately sad news about Alan Rickman. A man of such talent, wicked charm & stunning screen & stage presence. He'll be sorely missed
Terribly sad news about the passing of Alan Rickman. A funny and engaging person who put a shy young actor at ease when I was on HP.
I was at Leavesden Studios today when I heard the news. As I walked through the canteen I thought of Alan queuing up for his lunch with us mere mortals. I recalled the trailer in which he offered me some of the greatest advice I ever received about this mad profession we shared. Being back in those corridors made me remember a lot of things and I will treasure those memories all my life. He inspired my career more than he ever knew and I'll miss him.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved #AlanRickman who played #ProfessorSnape (1/2) https://t.co/FrIadBBTGR
There are few things I enjoyed more than watching Alan Rickman sigh in a movie. RIP
We are deeply saddened to learn that Alan Rickman has passed away: https://t.co/73Hz0Koxgb https://t.co/Eqlign7IDb
Alan Rickman. Incredible actor and director. Above all, the most generous, funny, loving friend to us. @Deborra_lee and I will miss you so .
So terribly sad to hear of the passing of Alan Rickman. Honoured to have shared the screen with him. #Marvin #Snape He'll be sorely missed.
RIP Alan Rickman. You'll be missed.
Completely lost for words. #AlanRickman #legend #RIP
#AlanRickman.. Auditioned me as a v young actor..he sent the most lovely, encouraging hand written note.. I still cherish it .. And him. RIP
Everyone who knew Alan Rickman- or worked with him or watched his brilliant performances, feels this awful loss https://t.co/pKOxFYYMUM
Goodbye Alan Rickman. You were genius in Harry Potter.
RIP Alan Rickman. You were the voice, the stage, the film, the actor, and you will be missed truly, madly , deeply. https://t.co/4ZLx7JgX2V
"If people want to know who I am, it is all in the work"- what magnificent work it is. Sorry and sad to hear about Alan Rickman's passing.
Oscar noms out. Couldn't care as Alan Rickman is gone & could have done every job on those movies as well, women included. Stunning talent.
The spectacular Alan Rickman passed away... One of my favorite actors of all time. Thank you for your gifts. RIP
Shocked & sad to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. One of the nicest actors I've ever met.Thoughts and prayers with his family at this time
David Bowie dead from cancer at 69. Now Alan Rickman dead from cancer at 69. Two great talents, one bloody awful disease.
Five weren't enough... The seven greatest roles of #AlanRickman: https://t.co/k8OnMK9nFF https://t.co/KmDOPFcSUg
Devastated to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman. I had the pleasure of working with him on my first movie. A true legend and gentleman.
A true legend of stage and screen. Alan Rickman, RIP. https://t.co/VbpSOi7e5X
Truly Madly Deeply is, to this day, one of the greatest and most moving films I've ever seen #AlanRickman
R.I.P #AlanRickman. Between harry potter and sense and sensibility he practically helped raise me https://t.co/ZOdabDyHhA
Long Live Snape. And Hans Gruber. And Sheriff of Nottingham. #saddestweek
One of the greatest to do it. Truly terrific in every single role he played. Thanks u for your talent #AlanRickman https://t.co/nk4VTsdpl0
So sad to hear about #AlanRickman ! A giant of an actor. RIP. X
RIP #AlanRickman He was comic genius in #GalaxyQuest
Alan. Gone. Fuck, this one hurts... https://t.co/asRFLfrblO
I cannot believe Alan Rickman has past! I had the privilege of meeting him a few times and was a true legend! Very sad #AlanRickman RIP
#AlanRickman - such an incredible actor! Grateful he was enveloped by family as he passed. Thoughts/prayers to them https://t.co/8gVqcoKMFY
We’re incredibly sad to hear about the passing of Alan Rickman. Our thoughts are with his family. https://t.co/efkBra1rCj
Farewell my friend.Your kindness & generosity ever since we met in LA in 1987 & ever since is incalculable.XX https://t.co/BCUkCxMFj5
Rest In Peace Alan Rickman. Such sad news. A huge loss.
I do not want my heroes to die! Alan Rickman is dead & he was another hero. Alan - thank you for being with us. We are sorry you had to go
RIP Alan Rickman. He will forever be in our hearts. https://t.co/oUXYo3qcwA
One of my very, very favourites. Huge loss. https://t.co/a5iBzlepHH
This week can do one. #AlanRickman
RIP Alan Rickman.
Dreadful to hear Alan Rickman has passed away. A wonderful actor and friend. What a sad day.
Alan Rickman 😔
Another truly sad loss this week, I'm so shocked. Rest in peace Alan Rickman
So sad to hear that we’ve lost Alan Rickman. What a brilliantly talented man. Countless amazing performances. What a sad week.
Another legend and massively talented human being has died. Rest in peace Alan Rickman.
Gutted about alan rickman!!! What a wonderful actor!!
Our hearts are broken. Thank you for sharing your talent with us #AlanRickman We will miss you #Always
RIP Alan Rickman. So, so sad. Another loss of someone so talented. #RIP
So sad to hear of the news about Alan Rickman, a very fine actor and a lovely gentleman. My heart goes out to his family.
RIP Alan Rickman. You will be missed. #TrulyMadlyDeeply
First Bowie, and now Alan Rickman. A sad day British entertainment, rest in peace you legends.

Read Full Story

From Our Partners