The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning and while they were jam-packed full of talented, diverse names there were a few surprises along the way.
For one thing, can you really have an Oscars without Tom Hanks? The two-time winner could have been nominated yet again for his role as Chesley Sullenberger in "Sully," the captain who landed a passenger plane on the Hudson ... but, nope. The film only has a single nomination, for sound editing.
Similarly, we thought Amy Adams was a shoo-in for "Arrival," which has eight nominations. She gave a soulful, nuanced performance as a linguist who communicates with aliens in the film, but despite being buzzed about as a possible winner, she was left out.
Similarly, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, who was pretty amazing as a pretty awful criminal in "Nocturnal Animals," got left off the acting nomination list. He may not be a household name yet, but he did win a Golden Globe for the role, which should have been a tip-off that Hollywood embraced him.
Instead, Michael Shannon got a supporting acting nomination for the film, which is all right by us — he improves virtually any film he appears in, like "Animals."
Not everyone would consider Mel Gibson a surprise directing nominee — he has a win for 1995's "Braveheart" and his latest, "Hacksaw Ridge," is violent but compelling — but Hollywood can have a long memory for shenanigans and bad behavior, and he's been the instigator of both.
There are always going to be tears around the directing nominees anyway; once the best picture category was expanded to include up to 10 films in 2009, at least four directors whose pictures were considered top-notch would go without nominations themselves.
This year, that meant Denzel Washington, who starred in and directed "Fences" only landed an acting (and best picture) nomination; directors of "Hidden Figures" (Theodore Melfi), Garth Davis ("Lion") and "Hell or High Water" (David Mackenzie) were not tapped even though their pictures were.
Less of a surprise: No women were nominated for best director yet again, which makes seven years since one was included. (Only four have ever been nominated, with just one win: Katherine Bigelow in 2010 for "The Hurt Locker.")
We're also sad that the hilarious "Deadpool" — which, admittedly, was considered a long shot — failed to score even one nomination.
Still, one of the most delightful surprises is that just one year after #OscarsSoWhite brought attention to the monochrome nature of most categories, diversity is on the rise — with each acting category featuring at least one actor of color.
Three African-American actresses (Viola Davis, "Fences"; Naomie Harris, "Moonlight"; Octavia Spencer, "Hidden Figures") dominated the supporting actress category, while supporting actor featured two men of color: Dev Patel ("Lion") and Mahershala Ali ("Moonlight"). (That said, we loved Janelle Monae in both "Hidden" and "Moonlight," and Taraji P. Henson was stellar as "Hidden's" key figure.)
And then there's "La La Land," which tied 1950's "All About Eve" and 1997's "Titanic" with 14 nominations. It already set a record for Golden Globe wins with 7 earlier this month, and is a heavily-tipped favorite for many Oscars. If it doesn't find a way to dance away with a record number of wins (it has to earn 12 of those 14 to beat "Titanic," 1959's "Ben-Hur" and 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"), that might be the biggest surprise of all.
The 89th annual Academy Awards will air on Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.
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