Oscar mystery solved: Why was Dolly de Leon snubbed when ‘Triangle of Sadness’ did so well?

Triangle of Sadness” had a tremendously successful Oscar nominations morning, earning three bids for Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay. But one surprising omission from its haul was scene stealer Dolly de Leon, who took command of the final third of the film, dominating the screen with an unforgettable performance. How did the supporting actress miss out on a bid, even though her film performed so well?

SEE Oscar nominations: ‘Everything Everywhere’ leads with 11, ‘All Quiet’ and ‘Banshees’ at 9

A good showing for “Triangle of Sadness” was certainly not out of the question. But our combined odds did not predict it to nab that coveted Best Picture slot, ranking it in 12th place, just two notches shy of the top 10. Writer-director Ruben Östlund was an even bigger surprise, ranking 13th, far afield of the final five. He edged out the likes of Edward Berger (“All Quiet on the Western Front”), James Cameron (“Avatar: The Way of Water”), Baz Luhrmann (“Elvis”), and others. We did correctly predict him to score a nomination in Original Screenplay, though.

Granted our users also collectively expected de Leon to miss out, but just narrowly. She ranked sixth in the extraordinarily competitive Supporting Actress category, just one spot outside of the lineup that is comprised of Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”), Hong Chau (“The Whale”), Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”), Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”), and Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”).

WATCH our exclusive video interview with Oscar-nominee Ruben Östlund (‘Triangle of Sadness’)

De Leon had a strong run at the precursor awards, earning BAFTA, Golden Globes, and numerous critics bids; she even won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association prize for Supporting Performance in a tie with Oscar nominee Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”). But the nominations she missed out on ended up being the red flags that an Oscar snub was imminent.

Unlike all five of the Oscar nominees, de Leon missed SAG, which was a tell that actors either did not see “Triangle” or were just not enamored with it. The huge strength of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and “The Banshees of Inisherin,” the top and second-most nominated films of the year at the Oscars, accounted for three of the five slots, commanding the field and holding off challengers from films with more modest showings like “Triangle.” De Leon also missed at Critics Choice where there were six slots: Jessie Buckley (“Women Talking”) and Janelle Monáe (“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”) made that lineup, but neither of them landed at Oscar either.

WATCH our exclusive video interview with Dolly de Leon (‘Triangle of Sadness’)

That snub at Critics Choice was surprising, given the acclaim de Leon received in reviews of the film. Lindsey Bahr (Associated Press) called the actress “terrific,” Stephanie Zacharek (Time) said she gave “the film’s best performance,” and Ann Hornaday (Washington Post) described her as “delivering a bravura turn as a woman levelheadedly claiming her due.” If only de Leon was able to claim her due at the Oscars as well.

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