As the ratings for the Academy Awards have floundered in recent years, there was a belief that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might nominate more well-known stars, even if their performances weren’t quite deserving, in order to get more casual movie fans to tune in.
Well, so much for that, because the Academy shunned two of the biggest stars in Hollywood on Tuesday as previous Oscar winners Laga Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio were left off of the nominees list in the Best Actress and Best Actor categories, respectively.
Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, Gaga trailed only Nicole Kidman in the odds to win the Oscar for Best Actress, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. But the AMPAS said “Ciao” to Gaga for her turn as the power-hungry Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci. Ignoring House of Gucci was kind of a theme, too, as Jared Leto didn’t get a supporting actor nom for his completely-over-the-top turn in the film, and it was not among the 10 Best Picture nominees either.
We shouldn’t feel too bad for Leo, who did earn that much-overdue Oscar because he ate some bison liver in The Revenant in 2015. But he missed out on getting his eighth Academy Awards nomination Tuesday; he was considered a possible Best Actor nominee for his role as an astronomer who is desperately trying to warn the world of their impending doom in Don’t Look Up.
The film did come away with four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. But director Adam McKay, an Academy darling, didn’t hear his name called, nor did Cate Blanchett. She also wasn’t recognized for her role as a femme fatale in Nightmare Alley.
Some other notable snubs include:
tick, tick...BOOM! for Best Picture: Andrew Garfield deserved and received a Best Actor nom, but his amazing performance wasn’t enough to get the movie into the show’s biggest category.
Denis Villeneuve for Best Director: This makes no sense. Sure, he’s not going to win the award — Jane Campion has it locked up — but Dune was one of the most ambitious and engrossing movie experiences of the year. Instead, the Academy went with some much safer picks, namely Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast.
Caitriona Balfe in Belfast for Best Supporting Actress: Judi Dench now has eight Oscar nominations in her illustrious career. But the fact that the Academy chose her over Balfe in the same movie for this award is a legitimate shock.
Ruth Negga in Passing for Best Supporting Actress. Also better than Dench’s performance and it’s not really close.