Publication date January 30, 2024

The 96th Academy Awards Shocks! The Biggest 2024 Oscar Snubs & Surprises

Oscar buzz is at an all-time high! On Tuesday, January 23rd, the 2024 nominations dropped, and surprise, surprise, they weren't all predictable. Big names like Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie missed out on acting nods, while some unexpected actors and films snuck in, leaving everyone talking.

Want to know who got snubbed and who shocked everyone? We've got you covered! In this post, we'll break down the biggest surprises and Oscar snubs of the 2024 Oscars. We'll tell you which famous faces got left out, and celebrate the underdogs who made it in. So let’s dive in– award season just got a whole lot more exciting!

Margot robbie and Greta gerwig

Source: Variety

SNUB: Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig, “Barbie”

"Barbie," arguably one of the year's most anticipated films, surprisingly missed out on major categories at the 2024 Oscars nominations. While the film itself did snag a Best Picture nomination, the power pair behind it, Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig, faced individual snubs. 

The exciting live-action version of the movie which brought back the iconic doll to life, surprisingly missed out on major categories at the upcoming Academy Awards. While Robbie missed on the competitive best actress lineup, Gerwig was shut out of director. This has led to disappointment and left discussions among fans and the film industry. 

SURPRISE: America Ferrera, “Barbie”

Although its leading actress and director didn’t land nominations, “Barbie” co-star America Ferrera was able to score a supporting actress nod for her performance in the megahit, despite missing out at SAG Awards and Golden Globes.

Oscar SNUB: Leonardo DiCaprio, “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Oscar SNUB: Leonardo DiCaprio

Source: People

The Oscar winner seemed like a sure thing to many of us since the premiere of “Killers of the Flower Moon” at Cannes last May. But after missing out on a Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG) nomination, there were fears he would fail to show up on the best actor list for his acclaimed turn as Ernest Burkhart. It’s not the first major miss for the actor. Maybe some voters were turned off by how unsympathetic  DiCaprio’s character came off, or he was just a victim of a wildly competitive category. But, it wouldn’t be wrong to say this one is one of the shocking Oscar snubs this year. 

SNUB: The Actors of “May December”

Coming into the season, the trio of performances at the center of Todd Haynes’ latest film based on a story by Burch and Alex Mechanik appeared promising. Both lead stars Natalie Portman and supporting actress Julianne Moore were previous Oscar winners, and supporting actor Charles Melton was considered a breakthrough. 

In fact, Melton received the Gotham Award over some stiff competition early on. Golden Globe, Spirit, and Critics’ Choice noms followed, but then the cast missed out at SAG. Unfortunately, that foretold the Oscar nominations, in which all three actors were shut out.

SURPRISE: Sandra Hüller, “Anatomy of a Fall”

Hüller has been buzzed about all season and many expected her name on Best Actress, she failed to register at the SAG Awards, a major precursor. But there’s clearly a strong love for this French legal drama thriller, and she found herself nominated for best actress at the Oscars.

SURPRISE: Justine Triet, “Anatomy of a Fall”

Aside from the murderer’s row of adventuresome and deserving filmmakers whose work was widely recognized across all of the Academy’s categories, director Triet however managed to be the big surprise in this category, even if her work is more than equal to that of her competitors. 

Triet has made history as the sole woman nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, standing out among five talented filmmakers. She creates an intense and provocative reality on screen as a celebrated writer trying to clear her name for the death of her husband. The film scored a total of 5 Oscar nominations this year including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing

Oscar SNUB: Martin Scorsese and Eric Roth's screenplay for “Killers of the Flower Moon”

Martin Scorsese’s Osage Nation murder mystery with 10 nominations was well-represented this year. The movie was named one of the top 10 films of 2023 by the American Film Institute and was also nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and seven Golden Globe Awards.

But, sadly the screenwriting duo of Scorsese and seven-time nominee Eric Roth went unrecognized for their transformation of what on the page was mainly a police procedural into a multidimensional portrait of an Indigenous community as it navigates the decimation of its people.

SURPRISE: Kevin Tent, Best Editing, “The Holdovers”

The other nominees in the editing category are anything but an Oscar surprise. The Holdovers,  a Christmas comedy-drama film directed by Alexander Payne and written by David Hemingson—received five nominations. Kevin Tent’s editing work on “The Holdovers,” is maybe its authenticity in recreating the sensibility, pacing, and style of an actual 1970-set film that earned its recognition here.

SNUB: Alexander Payne, “The Holdovers”

One of the biggest Oscar snubs, Alexander Payne has been nominated for best director three times, so with The Holdovers being such a big player this year, it looked a sure thing that he would go along for the ride. 

The Holdovers is likely Payne's best film on a technical level, and he picked up major nominations, including the BAFTA, so it was a surprise that Triet and Jonathan Glazer managed to get in over him. Director was a crowded category this year, with so many worthy nominees. Still, it is quite shocking that an Academy favorite with a beloved film didn't make it in.

SURPRISE: Jonathan Glazer, “The Zone of Interest”

Many were surprised to know that Glazer not only broke into the competitive director race, but the film received five nominations, including picture, adapted screenplay, international feature, and sound. Glazer and his team members have consistently collected awards since the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the competition’s Grand Prix and its FIPRESCI prize. 

“The Zone of Interest” stars Christian Friedel as the German Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss, who strives to build a dream life with his wife, Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), in a new home next to the German Auschwitz concentration camp.

SNUB: Penelope Cruz, “Ferrari”

While Ferrari is one of the best films of Michael Mann’s career, the film was fully locked out of nominations in any category at the 2024 Oscars. Among the many reasons, the snub that stings the most is a lack of recognition for Cruz, who brings to life namesake auto manufacturer Enzo Ferrari’s estranged wife Laura with an unforgettable emotional force that holds the entire movie together. 

Especially after Cruz earned a nomination for the SAG Awards, a spot in Oscar’s final five seemed the next step, but victory road for Mann’s film seems like it will have to live in the hearts and minds of the moviegoers that love it.

Oscar SNUB: Willem Dafoe, “Poor Things”

Source: Poor Things

The beloved actor, a four-time Oscar nominee, was expected to score a nomination for his tender turn as Emma Stone’s fatherly creator in “Poor Things,” especially after landing a SAG Award nomination over co-star Mark Ruffalo. But the result? it was Ruffalo who received a supporting actor nomination.

SNUB: Best Documentary, “American Symphony”

American Symphony, a biographical documentary film, written, shot, and edited by Matthew Heineman enjoyed a seemingly constant surge earlier in awards season as his film, following a year in the life of musician Jon Batiste, circulated among top-tier festivals around the world. 

Although Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp’s “Bobi Wine: The People’s President” is highly deserving of a nomination for its portrait of the Afrobeat musician’s transition into politics, the fact that it was recognized while Heineman wasn’t is unexpected.

SURPRISE: Annette Bening, “Nyad” 

Annette Bening and her “Nyad” co-star Jodie Foster were both nominated for the SAG Awards, and the Oscar clearly approved. It’s Bening’s fifth nod and first since her superb turn as the wine-loving workaholic trying to manage her family together in “The Kids Are All Right.” 

The film is a biographical sports drama film based on Diana Nyad's 2015 memoir, Find a Way, which reveals Nyad's efforts to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage at the age of 64.

SNUB: Rosamund Pike and Emerald Fennell, “Saltburn”


Source: Decider

Despite some might say Emerald Fennell’s wicked tale of an outsider who insinuates himself into a wealthy family was always a long-term goal, the movie also had its fans. It also had a strong showing at the BAFTA Awards, giving more hope that there might be nominations for supporting actress Rosamund Pike or Fennell’s original screenplay. But sadly the film didn’t register with Oscar voters.  

SNUB:  Pedro Almodóvar, “Strange Way of Life”

Director Pedro Almodóvar has nine career nominations for his vivid, masterful body of work, including last year for “Parallel Mothers.” “Strange Way of Life” a Western drama short film is his second project directed in English, focused on a reunion of gunslingers after 25 years. 

Maybe Wes Anderson’s “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” the anchor of his series of Roald Dahl shorts, took the spot intended for the Oscar stalwart.

SURPRISE: John Williams, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny”

While it was a foregone conclusion given Williams’ announcement that he’d be retiring from composing, his return to the “Indiana Jones” sequel otherwise marks a big surprise in a year with a lot of distinctive and powerful film music. 

Williams was nominated for Best Original Score at the 96th Academy Awards and Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards. This achievement not only solidifies his position as the most nominated living person but also places him in the rarefied company of the last Walt Disney, who earned 59 nods during his lifetime. 

SURPRISE: Animated Film, “Robot Dreams” and “Nimona”

This year instead of nominating more high-profile animated features like Disney’s “Wish” or Netflix’s “Leo,” voters opted for the sci-fi comedy “Nimona” (also from Netflix) and the Spanish-French “Robot Dreams.” Maybe not a shocker to those in the know — both films are up for Annie Awards — they’re welcome inclusions in a strong year for animation.

SURPRISE: Best Cinematography, “El Conde”

Source: El Conde

Some popular titles missed out on the Oscar cinematography nomination, including “Barbie” — though Rodrigo Prieto is still recognized in the category for “Killers of the Flower Moon.” But the great Edward Lachman earned his third nomination in the for Best Cinematography category for Pablo Larraín’s clever satire about a vampire eager to die.

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