Oscars 2023: Snubs and Surprises

Chinonye Chukwu’s Till, about how Mamie Till-Mobley channeled her grief over the murder of her son Emmett Till into a movement for justice, premiered at the New York Film Fest this fall, there was seemingly instant Oscar buzz for star Danielle Deadwyler, who plays Till-Mobley, with some saying she’d win the best actress nomination.

But when Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday morning, Deadwyler wasn’t even among the nominees, despite experts predicting she’d make the cut and earlier nods by awards and critics groups. And on top of that, Till, didn’t receive any nominations, even in the best song category where some thought it would break in.

From left: 'Everything Everywhere All at Once,' 'The Banshees of Inisherin' and 'All Quiet on the Western Front'

Woman King: Shut Out; Viola Davis Snubbed

Also among the shocking snubs was Viola Davis in the best actress category and everyone involved with The Woman King. Davis is an Oscar favorite, with experts predicting best actress win from her for other projects in recent years. This year, however, she wasn’t even nominated in a category where her nod seemed like a lock. Like TillThe Woman King was also shut out entirely, not nominated in any other categories.

To Leslie: Andrea Riseborough

The best actress field featured a surprise but well-deserved nomination for Andrea Riseborough in To Leslie, after a star-studded campaign for her film.

The category also featured a surprise in a nomination for Michelle Williams. While her performance in The Fabelmans has been acclaimed and she has been honored by various awards and critics groups, she missed out on predecessor nominations and pundits were worried she might not make the cut at the Oscars, or perhaps even get a supporting actress nod despite campaigning for lead actress.

Brian Tyree Henry

But the supporting categories also featured surprises in nods for Hong Chau for The Whale, another acclaimed performance that failed to receive much advance notice from awards and critics groups, and Brian Tyree Henry for Causeway, again critically acclaimed but not on a number of Oscar experts’ list of predicted nominees.

On the other side, snubs in those categories include Janelle Monáe for Glass Onion, Dolly De Leon for Triangle of Sadness and Paul Dano for The Fabelmans. The Women Talking actresses also weren’t nominated with the film only receiving two nods.

And in the best actor category, it was somewhat of a surprise that Paul Mescal’s quiet starring role in Aftersun made the cut over Top Gun: Maverick star Tom Cruise, though some experts thought he could sneak in.

Other best director hopefuls who missed out on the nominations experts predicted they’d receive include James Cameron (Avatar: The Way of Water), Baz Luhrmann (Elvis) and S.S. Rajamouli (RRR). And Triangle of Sadness helmer Ruben Ostlund was a surprise in the best director nominees. But women were left out of the best director field despite a female director winning that award for the past two years.

In terms of other category-specific snubs, Taylor Swift was a surprising omission from best song after she was nominated in the same category at the Golden Globes and made it on experts’ list of likely Oscar nominees. Swift’s close friend Selena Gomez was also left out of best song for “My Mind and Me” from her documentary of the same name.

And “Good Afternoon” is likely what the team behind the Spirited best song hopeful is telling the Oscars after the Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell duet failed to make the cut despite Reynolds and Hugh Jackman campaigning for it in recent days.

Still, the song category included a surprise nomination for perennial nominee Diane Warren and her “Tell It Like a Woman” from Applause.

In best international feature, there were a number of surprising omissions including Corsage, Decision to Leave, Holy Spider, Saint Omer and Bardo, though the latter film was nominated in other categories.

Though the best picture category features sequels, it’s missing films from franchises that were nominated in the same category for their first films, including Glass OnionA Knives Out Mystery and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

RRR and The Whale also missed out on nods in this category that some experts predicted.

Oscar hopeful titles not nominated for anything, The Inspection, Nope and She Said are also noteworthy omissions, given their pedigree and campaigns for recognition.