With every cinematic calendar year comes that fateful Thursday morning in January when the Academy Awards announce their annual nominations. This is the Super Bowl of Hollywood, careers can be made or hearts can be broken. And with so much pressure placed on who the Oscars do and do not recognize, they can't always get every call correct. So here's a look at this year's biggest Oscar snubs and surprises (full list of nominees).
What Happened to Carol?
One of this morning's craziest surprises was the omission of Todd Haynes' Carol from the Best Picture race. As a crowd-pleaser for an older artsy bunch such as the Academy, Carol seemed like pure Oscar fodder. While both of its leading ladies (or one supporting, I guess), Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, earned nominations like many expected, missing out in the Best Picture field is a huge blow to the film. Personally, I wasn't a fan of Carol, but many anticipated a much stronger showing.
No Tarantino and Sorkin?
Quentin Tarantino's (The Hateful Eight) prized screenplays always seem to be a staple with Oscar voters and Aaron Sorkin was fresh off a Golden Globe win for Steve Jobs, but both of these fine writers missed out on key nominations this morning. Instead, Tarantino's omission paved the way for a surprising, albeit deserving, entry from the collection of Straight Outta Compton scribes in the Original Screenplay race. As for Sorkin, his swing and miss opened the door for author turned screenwriter, Emma Donoghue (Room), in the Adapted Screenplay competition.
And the Wait Continues for Ridley Scott
Much like Leonardo DiCaprio, acclaimed filmmaker, Ridley Scott (The Martian), is still waiting for that elusive Oscar statue. But unlike Leo, Scott shockingly won't have a chance at winning one this year. In a bit of a twist, Scott was left out of the Best Director final five in favor of newbie, Lenny Abrahamson (Room). While I'm a huge supporter of Room, I found its direction to be the weakest element and agree with the sentiment that Scott was a more deserving finalist.
Tom Hardy Gets His First Career Nomination
There may not be an actor in Hollywood more deserving of his first Academy Award Nomination than The Revenant's supporting star, Tom Hardy. It was hardly expected, but the first-time nominee survived an immensely crowded field to leap frog the presumed nominee and awards season powerhouse, Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation). Hardy represented one of an astounding 12 nominations in total that were handed to Alejandro G. Inarritu's remarkable film.
Unleash the "Fury"
Tom Hardy wasn't only a key figure in this year's most nominated film, The Revenant (12 nods), he also starred as the title character in George Miller's massively honored Mad Max: Fury Road. Although the overwhelming Oscar support for Fury Road became more apparent as today's nominations inched closer, it was impossible to imagine Miller's return to the Mad Max universe netting 10 nods. This amazing double-digit result was good for second most by any film this year.