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2017 Oscars: The Snubs and Surprises That Are Making the Internet Angry

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This morning at the ungodly hour of 5:30am, the Oscar nominations were unveiled. You would think, this late in the award season, that most of the nominations would be locked in, but sometimes the unexpected happens and a surprise contender sneaks in and throws everything off. Here’s how this year’s nominations shook out:

Best Actress:

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Last year, Leonardo DiCaprio was finally liberated from being the subject of Wants-An-Oscar-So-Badly-But-Will-Never-Get-One memes. Five-time nominee Amy Adams is looking like his replacement, as she's missed out on a nomination for her work in Arrival (a sting that burns more, considering the film grabbed eight nominations, including Best Picture, tied for the second-most noms this year). Four-time nominee Annette Bening knows the feeling. Critics drooled over her work in 20th Century Women, but, alas, no love here. On the flip side, Isabelle Huppert, riding high after a surprise Golden Globe win last month, squeezed her way into this category. Comment dit-on “Get it, girl” en français? And some things remain constant: Meryl Streep is here with her 20th nomination, on the heels of that epic Golden Globes speech.

Best Actor: 


Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Viggo Mortensen's inclusion for a movie most people have never heard of is a surprise, but an even bigger surprise is how Casey Affleck continues to be Teflon against the sexual harassment allegations out there. The same can't be said for Nate Parker, who received zero nominations for his much-buzzed-about film The Birth of a Nation. Being a white man has its perks.

Best Supporting Actress:

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Coming off of two consecutive #OscarsSoWhite years, which saw all 20 acting nods go to white people, it's a pleasant surprise to see the Academy Awards actually recognize three deserving women of color. Sweetening that deal, Viola Davis now holds the record for most Oscar nominations for a black woman (this is her third). Another bright, yet petty note: Nicole Kidman now has more Oscar noms than Tom Cruise.

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Everyone thought Mahershala Ali had the Golden Globe in the bag, but then some random named Aaron Taylor-Johnson came out of nowhere and took the prize for his work in Nocturnal Animals. People started wondering, Will this guy win the Oscar? Not so much. His co-star Michael Shannon managed to edge him out for a nod at the last minute. I'm #TeamMoonlight all the way, but, if Ali doesn't win for some reason, here's hoping Shannon does. The outspoken -- to put it mildly -- actor's speech could resemble Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes on steroids. Consider his reaction to today's honor a preview: "Nice to get some good news in the midst of all the carnage, so to speak.”

Best Director:

Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

The big surprise here is that Hollywood thought this was a good time in world history to honor Mel Gibson, a man known for his sloppy history of anti-Semitism, racism, homophobia, misogyny, domestic abuse, etc. Gibson seems to have edged out big names Martin Scorsese (for Silence) and Clint Eastwood (for Sully). But enough about him: the amazing Barry Jenkins could become the first black person to win Best Director at the Oscars (he's already the first black man to get nominations for Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director).

Best Original Song:

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

A big snub here is Pharrell Williams' “I See A Victory” from Hidden Figures. Making this exclusion worse is that Justin Timberlake is nominated for "Can't Stop the Feeling," which is essentially a giant rip-off of Pharrell's "Happy" and, more generally, a scourge on all those with eardrums. Another nomination that has many scratching their heads: Sting's "The Empty Chair" for a movie you're just now hearing about for the first time.

Best Film Editing:
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land

You hear that sound? It's a glass ceiling breaking! Moonlight’s Joi McMillion is the first black woman to ever be nominated in this category. And if the Academy knows what it's doing, she'll also be the first black woman to win.

Best Picture:

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea

Shockingly, Hidden Fences didn't get a single nomination, despite being a movie that only exists in Jenna Bush's head. Joking aside, most of these picks were expected, although some critics expected box-office juggernauts and crowd-favorites Finding Dory and Deadpool to sneak in. Fun fact: Amazon's Manchester by the Sea becomes the first feature from a streaming-video company to be nominated in this category.

Best Animated Feature:

Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle

Despite making more than a billion dollars at the box office, Finding Dory was left out of this category. Sequel haters gonna hate, hate, hate.

Okay, that’s enough outrage for one post. Check out the full list of nominees. And tune in to the Oscars on February 26, 2017.

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