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The 5 Biggest Snubs and Surprises from the 2021 Oscar Nominations

By Matt Chieco

Every year, as awards season approaches, people engage in the tradition of predicting Oscar nominations—it's almost become a new pastime.

Earlier this week, the nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards were announced, and as always, there were both snubs and surprises. Before diving into the list, I want to give an honorable mention to the movie Soul. Even though it received three nominations for Animated Feature, Original Score, and Sound, it was snubbed for Picture and VFX (sorry just had to say it).


‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga’ Gets a Best Original Song Nomination

This isn’t a huge shock because I had always hoped the song would get nominated, but I wasn’t sure if the Academy would actually nominate "Husavik". It's reminiscent of the surprise of Glenn Close getting nominated for her role in ‘Hillbilly Elegy’, especially given her Razzie Award nomination as well. Call it my gut instinct, but I always knew she would earn the nomination (she’s f***ing Glenn Close, after all). The best part is that we are now one step closer to seeing Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams perform together again at the Oscars.


‘One Night in Miami’ Was Shut Out of Both Best Picture and Best Director

With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 98%, being named one of AFI’s Top 10 Films of 2020, and currently holding 18 awards, one would expect that at least a nomination for Best Picture is warranted. While it did receive three nominations for Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, and Original Song, the omission that stung the most was Regina King being left out in the directing category.


Thomas Vinterberg Scores a Best Director Nomination

The director of ‘Another Round’ beat out both King and Aaron Sorkin, the director of ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ (another significant snub I forgot to I’ll mention it now). While it's not uncommon for the Academy to nominate someone who wasn't a high contender on many prediction lists, this doesn’t imply they should be underestimated.


‘Da 5 Bloods’ Almost Shut Out Completely

Delroy Lindo was undoubtedly robbed of a nomination! The movie as a whole, besides its Original Score nomination, received no other nominations. Could its June release date have hindered its chances? The reason behind its shutout remains the million-dollar question. Director Spike Lee recently voiced his frustration on social media, declaring "WE WUZ ROBBED".


Why Did Both LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya Get Nominated for Best Supporting Actor

This one is more of a head-scratcher than a surprise. During the campaign for the movie "Judas and the Black Messiah," Warner Bros. Pictures had Kaluuya in the supporting category and Stanfield in the lead. Then, when the nominations were announced, they both appeared in the supporting category... what? While it can be argued that they both have leading roles, I personally see Stanfield as more of a lead than Kaluuya. Despite both being central to the story (given the film's title), it's perplexing how this situation unfolded. Nevertheless, an Oscar is an Oscar, regardless of the category.

I'm certain that there are additional snubs and surprises (such as ‘Tenet’s’ Original Score snub), but these five are the ones that consistently come to mind when I reflect on the nominations.

The 93rd Academy Awards will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Sunday, April 25.

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