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Oscars snub Barbie, Saltburn, Killers of the Flower Moon and more

We now know who will compete at the Oscars 2024. Barbenheimer went big, as we all expected, but not everything was predictable

Killers of the Flower Moon, Barbie, and Saltburn all got major snubs at the Oscar nominations for 2024. (Paramount/Warner Bros/Amazon Studios)
Killers of the Flower Moon, Barbie, and Saltburn all got major snubs at the Oscar nominations for 2024. (Paramount/Warner Bros/Amazon Studios)

Hollywood stars might spend most of their time on red carpets pretending not to care about Oscars. But we all know they're desperate for their names to be read out among the Oscar nominations each year. After all, these are still the world's most prestigious film awards.

And now we know the big names who will be in the frame for the 2024 ceremony, celebrating the best movies of last year. Of course, it was a massive day for the Barbenheimer phenomenon, with Barbie and Oppenheimer scoring 21 nominations between them.

Other big winners were Emma Stone's oddball Frankenstein tale Poor Things (11 noms), bittersweet comedy The Holdovers (five noms), and Martin Scorsese's epic historical crime drama Killers of the Flower Moon (10 noms).

But there were plenty of movies left out in the cold, of course. So let's talk about the most savage snubs and most pleasant surprises from today's announcement for the Oscars 2024.

SNUB: Saltburn murdered on the dance floor

Saltburn failed to land a single nod at the Oscar nominations. (Amazon Studios)
Saltburn failed to land a single nod at the Oscar nominations. (Amazon Studios)

In a more commercial year for the Oscars than we've become used to seeing, many had predicted Saltburn as something of a dark horse. It arrived on Prime Video just in time to force everyone into very awkward Christmas conversations with relatives, catapulting Sophie Ellis-Bextor back into the charts by changing Murder on the Dancefloor in ways non-viewers couldn't possibly comprehend.

But the Academy greeted the whole thing with a shrug. Nothing in Best Picture. Nothing in Best Original Screenplay for Emerald Fennell, who won for Promising Young Woman a few years ago. Nothing for Rosamund Pike in the chaotic Best Supporting Actress shortlist (more on that shortly).

All in all, a total bust for this bizarre journey into the dark world of Britain's upper classes. Barry Keoghan's dance scene will still get a mention in Jimmy Kimmel's opening monologue though, mark my words.

SURPRISE: Barbenheimer crashes Supporting Actress race

Da'Vine Joy Randolph is going to win Best Supporting Actress for The Holdovers. It's the most obvious award of the night. But the chasing pack behind her was much harder to predict. The Academy opted for a representative from each of the year's biggest hits: Emily Blunt for Oppenheimer and America Ferrera for Barbie.

It's fair to say that neither performance is up there with the highlights of their movie — and it's very weird that Ferrera made it in while Margot Robbie missed out on Best Actress. But it's tough to argue with more recognition for two amazing films, even if that will be little comfort to the likes of Julianne Moore (May December) and Penelope Cruz (Ferrari).

SNUB: Greta Gerwig and Celine Song left out of Best Director

Greta Gerwig and Celine Song both missed out in the Best Director category at the Oscar nominations. (Getty Images/W Magazine)
Greta Gerwig and Celine Song both missed out in the Best Director category at the Oscar nominations. (Getty Images/W Magazine)

Christopher Nolan is the presumed Best Director frontrunner, but his Barbenheimer buddy Greta Gerwig didn't even make the shortlist. Gerwig has had an up-and-down relationship with the Oscars, securing a nod for Lady Bird but missing out for Little Women in 2020.

This year, she's out in the cold again, along with Celine Song. Song burst on to the scene in a big way with Past Lives, which scored a Best Picture nomination but missed out in Best Director and for leading lady Greta Lee. A bad day to be named Greta, for sure.

Thankfully, the Academy didn't deliver an all-male director shortlist this year. Justine Triet is in the mix for her incredible work on the utterly gripping courtroom drama Anatomy of a Fall.

SURPRISE: American Fiction enters the race, big time

It hasn't had its UK release yet, but American Fiction is already one of the best films of 2024. It stars Jeffrey Wright as an academic and author who, when told his work "isn't Black enough", writes an angry parody of stereotypical Black literature. Of course, it becomes a success and he has to grapple with the newfound fame he never wanted.

It's a smart and often hilarious movie, so it certainly deserves its Best Picture nomination. There were also nominations for Wright in Best Actor and Sterling K Brown in Best Supporting Actor, as well as for the film's script and, most surprisingly, Laura Karpman's musical score.

The only thing denying it a prime spot in the Best Picture race is its lack of a Best Editing nomination. In the last 40 years, only two movies have won Best Picture without an editing nod. An odd stat, but a compelling one.

SNUB: May December misses all of the big races

Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore were both absent from the Oscar nominations, along with May December co-star Craig Melton. (Sky Cinema)
Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore were both absent from the Oscar nominations, along with May December co-star Charles Melton. (Sky Cinema)

May December has definitely been one of the most talked about movies of the last year thanks to the very controversial romance at its centre. Charles Melton was once one of the frontrunners in the category for his sensitive turn as a young man grappling with his own status as a victim of abuse. Ultimately, he wasn't even nominated.

Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman also missed out, while the film was left out of Best Picture. Todd Haynes' movie might have just been a touch too strange, combining a complex moral story with lashings of camp and melodrama. Do people actually know if it's good or not? Twitter certainly hasn't seemed sure.

SURPRISE: Nyad dives into key acting shortlists

Annette Bening and Jodie Foster will both return to the Oscars red carpet thanks to their work in biopic Nyad. (Netflix)
Annette Bening and Jodie Foster will both return to the Oscars red carpet thanks to their work in biopic Nyad. (Netflix)

It shouldn't ever be a surprise when Annette Bening and Jodie Foster are nominated for Oscars. Before today, they had eight nominations and two wins between them. However, Netflix's biopic of swimmer Diana Nyad clearly earned itself a soft spot in the minds of Oscar voters, despite never coming close to a spot on the Best Picture shortlist.

We've already talked about the calibre of names Foster bumped out of Supporting Actress, while Bening's inclusion came while Margot Robbie missed out for Barbie and Greta Lee (Past Lives) was a disappointing absence from Best Actress too.

SNUB: DiCaprio and Flower Moon miss big

It was a bit of a mixed bag for Killers of the Flower Moon at the Oscars. There's every chance this ends up being a repeat of 2020 in which Scorsese's The Irishman was nominated 10 times without winning a single award. Much of the movie's hopes now rest on the shoulders of the trailblazing Lily Gladstone — the first ever Native American acting nominee - in Best Actress.

Leonardo DiCaprio was a major snub from Best Actor, while it was a huge shock to see Scorsese and Eric Roth's methodical, measured writing ignored for Best Adapted Screenplay. Given how much the movie's unique tone and pacing relies on its writing, that was a stunning omission from the Academy.

SURPRISE: Indy's final disaster is an Oscar nominee

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is now an Oscar nominee, against all odds. (Disney)
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny is now an Oscar nominee, against all odds. (Disney)

We can all agree that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny was more than a little naff, right? It doesn't matter how much we love Raiders — there was little to admire about Harrison Ford's muddled and tedious swansong as the gruff archaeologist.

However, the sheer power of John Williams' name has powered the film to an Oscar nod for Best Original Score. While it's a major surprise to see Indiana Jones nominated, it was no shock to see Williams. He has now been nominated 54 times by the Academy.

SNUB: Sessa snub leaves Holdovers looking chilly

Dominic Sessa and Alexander Payne in The Holdovers. (Universal Pictures)
Dominic Sessa and Alexander Payne in The Holdovers. (Universal Pictures)

Dominic Sessa — the young breakout star of The Holdovers — was always a bit of an outside pick for Best Supporting Actor. But in many ways, his inclusion or exclusion felt like a decent bellwether for whether Alexander Payne's widely beloved comedy stood a chance at a Best Picture upset.

Unfortunately for Holdovers fans, Sessa didn't make the cut. The movie's biggest chance of success is now either a Paul Giamatti win in Best Actor — where he's up against the might of Cillian Murphy and the Oppenheimer wave — or a victory in the wide open Best Original Screenplay race.

SURPRISE: European courtroom tale stands a real chance

Sandra Hüller takes the lead role in Anatomy of a Fall. (Lionsgate)
Sandra Hüller takes the lead role in Anatomy of a Fall. (Lionsgate)

If you haven't seen Anatomy of a Fall yet, it deserves to soar to the top of your watchlist after today's nominations. Justine Triet's chilly tale follows a woman accused of murdering her husband, who tries to argue that he either jumped or accidentally fell. Sandra Hüller gives a remarkable, multilingual performance in the lead role and definitely deserved her spot in the Best Actress list.

The movie was also recognised for Best Picture, while Triet made the Best Director shortlist. Anatomy also got a Best Original Screenplay nod as well as that all important nomination for Best Editing. Quite the haul!

Bizarrely, the one category in which it was absent was Best International Feature. In this case, that's because each country can only submit one movie for consideration. France chose historical romance The Taste of Things instead. It wasn't nominated. Oops!

SNUB: All of Us Strangers earns total shutout

Over on the soggier side of the Atlantic from Hollywood, a lot of hopes were pinned on British director Andrew Haigh's affectionate and emotional LGBTQ+ story All of Us Strangers. Alas, the movie failed to appear at all in the nominations. Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal both missed out on acting prizes, while Haigh was also absent.

The film gets its UK release on 26 January, so soon you'll be able to see what Oscar voters apparently missed out on. It might just be the best work of Scott's already impressive career.

The Oscars 2024 ceremony takes place on Sunday 10 March, 2024.