You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Oscars: 15 Biggest Snubs and Surprises

The bad news from having such a great year at the movies is the inevitable disappointments on Oscar nominations morning–there wasn’t enough room for everybody.

But Thursday morning’s nomination announcement was especially tough on the legends. No Oprah Winfrey for “The Butler”? No Emma Thompson for “Saving Mr. Banks”? No Robert Redford in “All Is Lost”? No Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips”? And no posthumous nomination for James Gandolfini in “Enough Said”?

OSCARS: Complete List of Nominees

The Academy forgot to nominate some of its most Academy-friendly stars, which speaks to a shifting tide in an organization trying to become younger and hipper. At least Leonardo DiCaprio, for once, wasn’t left off the Oscars list for “The Wolf of Wall Street.” And Harvey Weinstein managed to keep his best picture streak alive–he’s been nominated in the category every year since 2008’s “The Reader”–by sneaking in “Philomena.”

Here are the biggest Oscars snubs and surprises from today.

SNUB: Oprah Winfrey, “The Butler.” Her best onscreen work since 1985’s “The Color Purple” was at one point seen as a frontrunner in the best supporting actress category. It might just be that the Academy, which has a notoriously short memory, forgot the Lee Daniels drama, which was released in August. The film and its star Forest Whitaker were also left off, despite a strong showing at the Screen Actors Guild nominations.

SNUB: Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks.” The universally loved actress is the only person to have ever won Oscars for both writing (1995’s “Sense and Sensibility”) and acting (1992’s “Howards End.”) Academy voters were not fans of Disney’s “Saving Mr. Banks” in general–the Mary Poppins origin drama only received one Oscar nomination in total (Original Score), a rather embarrassing display, considering “Banks” was a tailor-made awards drama featuring Walt Disney himself.

SNUB: Robert Redford, “All is Lost.” Back in September, Redford wasn’t just a frontrunner for a nomination–he was predicted to win his first acting Oscar ever for this one-man show. (Surprisingly, Redford has only been nominated for an Oscar once for 1973’s “The Sting.”) In the end, he was hurt by Lionsgate’s wimpy campaign for the film, as well as by the fact that the contemplative drama doesn’t play well on a DVD screener.

SNUB: Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips.” It wasn’t a good year for men lost at sea. Hanks, who has won two Oscars but hasn’t been nominated in 13 years, was overlooked for both “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks.”

SNUB: “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Even with nine best picture nominees, the Coen brothers, a perennial Academy favorite, lost out this time in the top category with their musical dramedy.

SNUB: Joaquin Phoenix, “Her.” He carried the Spike Jonze drama (with the help of Scarlett Johansson’s voice), but the best actor race was too crowded.

SNUB: James Gandolfini, “Enough Said.” He deserved a posthumous nomination for best supporting actor for his sweet turn in the Nicole Holofcener romantic comedy.

SNUB: Daniel Bruhl, “Rush.” Ron Howard’s race car picture underperformed at the box office, but Bruhl looked like he could have made a comeback after his nominations from both the Golden Globes and the SAGs.

SNUB: “Fruitvale Station.” Despite its status as the breakout indie of the year and backing from the Weinstein company, Ryan Coogler’s emotionally powerful drama didn’t make it into the best picture category. Its summer release date probably hurt its Oscar chances.

SNUB: “Monsters University.” Pixar usually has one film in the best-animated category. Its presequel to “Monster Inc.” has been overlooked for most of awards season.

SURPRISE: Amy Adams, “American Hustle.” After her Golden Globe win on Sunday, Adams has quietly been building momentum as David O. Russell’s comedy continues to perform well at the box office. This is her fifth Oscar nomination. And she’s now is in the curious position of being the only non-winner in the category opposite Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”), Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”), Judi Dench (“Philomena”) and Meryl Streep (“August: Osage County”). Blanchett is still the frontrunner, but if there’s an upset in this category, it will be Adams.

SURPRISE. Christian Bale, “American Hustle.” Last year, David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” became the first film in 31 years to land Oscar nominations in all four acting categories. O. Russell pulled off that trick again, making “American Hustle” only the fifteenth movie to do so, with the inclusion of Bale, Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

SURPRISE. Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street.” DiCaprio had started to look like the Susan Lucci of the Oscars. This is his fourth nomination, but he’d been previously snubbed a lot (see “Titanic,” “Catch Me if You Can,” “The Departed,” “Revolutionary Road,” “Shutter Island,” “Inception,” “J. Edgar” and “Django Unchained.”) What did he do differently this year? He actually campaigned a little.

SURPRISE: Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine.” This was the first role as an American for Hawkins, who was humble and gracious on the Q&A circuit this past year.

SURPRISE: “Philomena.” The small British drama is one of the happy surprises of the year for the Weinstein Co. Many thought that Weinstein, who has been nominated for best picture every year since 2008’s “The Reader,” might be sitting this Academy Awards ceremony out. But they forget the No. 1 rule of the Oscar race: never count out Harvey.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • The Plague Season 2 Spanish TV

    Telefonica, Atresmedia to Create Content Factory Behemoth

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — In a game-changing move for Spanish-language production Telefonica, Europe’s third biggest telco, and Atresmedia, the original co-creators of “La Casa de Papel,” are uniting to create a new joint contents production giant. Aimed at gaining more scale and uniting talent relations – writers, directors and producers – the 50/50 joint venture will [...]

  • Media Company Formed Through Merger Given

    KKR-Backed German Media Conglomerate Takes the Name Leonine

    The KKR-backed German media company formed through the merger of Tele München Group, Universum Film, i&u TV, and Wiedemann & Berg Film has been given the name Leonine, it was revealed Friday. Fred Kogel, CEO of Leonine, said: “When choosing the new brand as our company name, the following aspects were decisive for us: it [...]

  • Scattered Night

    San Sebastian New Directors Jihyoung Lee and Kim Sol Talk ‘Scattered Night’

    After taking the Korean Competition Grand Prize and the best acting award (Moon Seung-a) at the Jeonju Intl. Film Festival, “Scattered Night” now heads to San Sebastian’s New Directors selection. An intimate portrayal of a family whose members are deeply isolated from one another, the film follows two parents overwhelmed by their responsibilities, their own [...]

  • Johnnie To Quits Taiwan Golden Horse

    Johnnie To Quits Golden Horse Awards as China Builds Pressure

    Leading Hong Kong film maker Johnnie To has dropped out of the Golden Horse Awards, where he was set to be president of the jury deciding the prize winners. The awards, which take place in and are organized from Taiwan, have long been considered the most prestigious prizes in Chinese-language cinema. However they are currently [...]

  • Zeroville

    Film Review: 'Zeroville'

    I’m tired of hearing how some novels are “impossible to adapt.” Balderdash! Just because some books don’t lend themselves to being translated from page to screen doesn’t mean that the attempt ought not to be made. Just ask James Franco, who’s shown a speed freak’s determination to tackle some of the unlikeliest literary adaptations of [...]

  • Red Penguins review

    Toronto Film Review: 'Red Penguins'

    “Red Penguins” is a cautionary tale with particular resonance in the context of our current bizarre intertwining with Russia, the country that interfered in the last U.S. presidential election and is led by the POTUS’ apparent BFF. This wild tale of attempted transnational commerce just after the demise of the USSR in the 1990s chronicles [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content