When 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 Festival 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 the 2023 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.
On Tuesday’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg noted simply that “unfortunately my film, Till, wasn’t nominated.”
Also among the shocking snubs was Viola Davis in the best actress category and everyone involved with The Woman King. Davis has been nominated for an acting Oscar four times and winning best supporting actress for Fences, with experts predicting a best actress win from her for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in 2021. This year, however, she wasn’t even nominated in a category where her nod seemed like a lock. Like Till, The Woman King was also shut out entirely, not nominated in any other categories.
Instead, the best actress field featured a surprise nomination for Andrea Riseborough in To Leslie, after a star-studded campaign for her film.
The category also featured somewhat of a surprise in a nomination for Michelle Williams. While her performance in The Fabelmans has been widely 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.
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 ahead of Tuesday morning. 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.
Though Top Gun: Maverick performed well this morning, in addition to best actor it was left out of best director with helmer Joseph Kosinski failing to land a nod after being nominated for the Directors Guild’s top honor. 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 Östlund 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.
For best doc feature Descendant, Retrograde and The Territory were surprise snubs. And The Whale and Wendell & Wild surprisingly missed out on the best adapted screenplay and animated feature nods, respectively.
Though the best picture category features some sequels, it’s missing films from franchises that were nominated in the same category for their first films, including Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. RRR and The Whale also missed out on nods in this category that some experts predicted.
In terms of Oscar hopeful titles not nominated for anything, The Inspection, Nope and She Said are also noteworthy omissions, given their pedigree and campaigns for recognition.