10 snubs and surprises from this year's Academy Award nominations

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Delroy Lindo, Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Chadwick Boseman star in “Da 5 Bloods.”
Netflix

On Monday, the 2021 Oscar nominations were revealed.

Among the top contenders for this year’s ceremony are “Nomadland,” “Mank” and “Trial of the Chicago 7,” who compete against five other films for the best picture title.

As with any other year, there are a number of films and actors that didn’t make the cut and some that no one had expected to show up on the ballot at all.

Here are 10 of the most surprising nominations and the biggest snubs.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the full list of nominees for this year’s Oscars, you can do so here.

Snub: Regina King

Heading into Monday’s nominations, Regina King seemed like a shoo-in for a best directing nomination for her work on “One Night in Miami.” Her directorial debut had earned her a nomination at the Golden Globes last month.

Emerald Fennell and Chloe Zhao, together with King, made history at the Golden Globes as it was the first time more than one woman had been nominated in the director category in any one year.

Both Fennell and Zhao received nominations for best director at the Oscars on Monday, which was an Oscars’ first. At the Globes, Zhao took home the trophy.

Surprise: Thomas Vinterberg

Thomas Vinterberg garnered an unexpected Oscar nomination for best director for his work on “Another Round,” a Danish film. Vinterberg’s nomination in the category is a first for Denmark.

“Another Round,” which tells the story of four high school teachers who consume alcohol on a daily basis to see how it affects their social and professional lives, is also up for best international feature.

Vinterberg joins Fennell and Zhao as well as Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”) and David Fincher (“Mank”) as contenders for the top prize.

Snub: Da 5 Bloods

Heading into the Oscar nominations, Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” had already struck out at the Golden Globes.

While the film had nabbed a number of key critics prizes, including best film from the National Board Review and being selected as one of the top 10 films of the year by AFI, it was left off the Oscar ballot on Monday.

Surprise: Sound of Metal

“Sound of Metal” was largely ignored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association when it came to nominations for this year’s Golden Globes. Riz Ahmed was the lone nominee from the film, earning a nod for best actor.

The film picked up six nominations for the Academy Awards: best picture, best actor, best supporting actor, best sound, best film editing and best original screenplay.

Riz Ahmed stars in “The Sound of Metal.”
Source: Amazon Prime Video

Snub: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Despite securing nominations for best actor, best actress, best production design, best costume design and best hair and make up design, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” was left off the best picture list.

This year the Academy only filled eight of the possible 10 spots for best picture, leading some to wonder why “Ma Rainey’s” wasn’t included on the ballot.

Surprise: LaKeith Stanfield

Co-star Daniel Kaluuya has been sweeping the awards season for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” so it was a bit of a surprise Monday when LaKeith Stanfield garnered a best supporting actor nomination alongside him.

Stanfield’s nomination is much deserved, but many had seen his role in the film as the lead, sparking questions about why he was nominated in the supporting category.

Snub: One Night in Miami

Many had expected the Academy to rewrite the wrongs done to “One Night in Miami” at the Golden Globes. However, in addition to snubbing King for her work in the director’s chair, the Academy left the film off the best picture ballot.

In total, “One Night in Miami” garnered three nominations; one for Leslie Odom Jr. in a best supporting role, one for best song and one for best adapted screenplay.

Surprise: Stephen Yeun

On Monday, Stephen Yeun became the first Asian-American actor to ever be recognized in the in the best actor category. Yeun, who had been snubbed at the Golden Globes, earned his nomination for his work in “Minari.”

Yeun and fellow nominee Ahmed are the first actors of Asian decent to be nominated in the category. Ahmed is the first Muslim to garner a nomination for best actor, as well.

Still from “Minari.”
A24

Snub: The Mauritanian

“The Mauritanian” failed to garner a single Oscar nomination despite critical praise and several nods at the Golden Globes. Jodie Foster secured a Globe win as best supporting actress, but didn’t get an Oscar mention.

Surprise: Eurovision Song Contest up for best song

When “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” debuted in Netflix last June, many viewers were left humming the melody to “Husavik (My Hometown).” Few, if any, would have thought nine months later, it would be nominated for an Oscar.

The half-English, half-Icelandic power ballad is up against songs from “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “The Life Ahead,” “One Night in Miami” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

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