The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards went largely as expected, with “La La Land,” “Moonlight,” and “Arrival” taking home the most nominations (see the complete list). But there were still some pleasant surprises as well as shocking snubs. Below are the biggest shockers of Tuesday morning’s Oscar nominations.
1. Ruth Negga (“Loving”) for Best Actress — Amy Adams was widely seen as a lock to earn her sixth career nomination for “Arrival,” especially after receiving nominations at the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA Awards. But Adams was absent from the announcements, replaced by Negga, who ranked seventh in our predictions with distant 50/1 odds after her performance in “Loving” was overlooked by SAG and BAFTA. The bright spot for Adams? She won’t lose for a sixth time, which would have tied her with Deborah Kerr, Glenn Close and Thelma Ritter for all-time losses by an actress without a win.
2. Michael Shannon (“Nocturnal Animals”) for Best Supporting Actor — He was certainly a shock. We ranked him seventh with 50/1 odds after he failed to get nominations at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and BAFTAs. Shannon’s nomination came at the expense of co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who actually won Supporting Actor at the Globes, and Hugh Grant of “Florence Foster Jenkins,” who was also nominated at the Globes, as well as Critics’ Choice, SAG and BAFTA.
3. Mel Gibson (“Hacksaw Ridge”) for Best Director — After scoring directing noms at the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards, but missing out at the Directors Guild Awards and BAFTAs, many thought that Gibson’s work on “Hacksaw Ridge” would be overlooked; we ranked him ninth with 100/1 odds. Instead he returns to the Oscars as a nominee for the first time since 1995, edging out DGA nominee Garth Davis (“Lion”) and the legendary Martin Scorsese (“Silence”), among others.
4. “20th Century Women” for Best Original Screenplay — Mike Mills’s small film about a single mother raising her teenage son in 1979 had received Oscar talk for lead actress Annette Bening, but Mills’s screenplay had received no love from any major precursor awards, and was only given 66/1 odds at Gold Derby, ranked eighth for a nomination.
5. “The Empty Chair” (from “Jim: The James Foley Story”) for Best Original Song — It wasn’t on many people’s radar, ranking 11th at Gold Derby with 100/1 odds, but everyone knows Sting, so perhaps it shouldn’t have surprised us that the legendary singer-songwriter earned his fourth Oscar nomination for co-writing this song from the documentary about an American journalist killed by ISIS; “Empty Chair” co-writer J. Ralph is nominated for the third time.
6. “Kubo and the Two Strings” for Best Visual Effects — Not many of us saw this coming. Even though it made the academy’s list of 10 finalists, we ranked it seventh with 100/1 odds. But now “Kubo” is the first animated film to be nominated in this category since “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993).
7. Oscar love for less-loved films — “Passengers” wasn’t well liked by critics, but managed to defy the odds by earning nominations for Best Score and Best Production Design. Elsewhere, Razzie nominee “Suicide Squad” earned a nomination for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. And Michael Bay’s “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” earned an unforeseen bid for Best Sound Mixing.