By LINDSEY BAHR AP Film Writer
Cue all the “did ‘Barbie’ direct itself” snark. But Greta Gerwig not being among the five best director nominees for this year’s Oscars is one of the biggest shocks in recent memory. Here are some other major “snubs” and “surprises” from Oscar nomination morning.
GRETA GERWIG SHUT OUT FOR DIRECTOR
If we knew anything going into Oscar nominations morning, it was that Gerwig was obviously going to be nominated for directing “Barbie.” It was that rarest of things, a critically praised original blockbuster (about a woman to boot) that became the highest earner of the year by a wide margin and was a legitimate cultural phenomenon. Gerwig was previously nominated for best director for “Lady Bird,” and missing out for “Little Women” was even a snub. Unfortunately many will likely point to Justine Triet (“Anatomy of a Fall”) for taking Gerwig’s spot, but let’s not pit two great female directors against one another. If it’s any consolation to Gerwig, last year’s blockbuster directors were also shut out of this category — neither James Cameron (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) nor Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”) made it in.
ACADEMY CONTINUES TO DISAPPOINT WITH BLACK WOMEN
Even with her years of service to the academy, Ava DuVernay could see the writing on the wall: “Origin” was completely overlooked by her fellow members, most upsettingly for Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor’s leading performance as Isabel Wilkerson. It’s not a secret that the Oscars have a bad track record with Black female directors — remember last year how Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King” was also shut out? DuVernay’s “Selma” remains the only best picture nominee directed by a Black woman. And Halle Berry will for another year continue to be the only Black woman to ever win best actress, as “The Color Purple’s” Fantasia Barrino also missed out on a nomination.
CHARLES MELTON MISSES THE CUT
Someone tell Charles Melton’s mom to get a comforting batch of her kimchi going ASAP. The “May December” actor was not nominated for his heartbreaking performance as the unknowing victim of an older woman’s grooming. The surprise inclusion in this category was Sterling K. Brown for “American Fiction.” “May December” did not do well at all, getting only one nomination for screenwriter Samy Burch.
AMERICA FERRERA IN, MARGOT ROBBIE OUT
“Barbie’s” chaos didn’t stop with Gerwig’s exclusion from best director. Margot Robbie was not among the lead actress nominees Tuesday morning but her co-star America Ferrera, of that now-famous monologue, made it into supporting. Robbie did snag one nomination for the film, as producer in the best picture category.
GAME OVER FOR SUPER MARIO BROS.
Oh no, Mario! “The Super Mario Bros.” movie, the second highest-grossing film of the year was completely shut out from nominations including animation. We knew going into the morning that Bowser’s ballad to Princess Peach had not made the shortlist for original song, but it is pretty surprising that it wasn’t at least among the best animated movies. Perhaps the unexpected element of chaos here was Neon’s “Robot Dreams,” a Cannes acquisition that has not yet been released in the U.S.
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