The 10 Most Surprising Snubs From This Year's Oscar Nominations

From Leonardo DiCaprio getting iced out of the Best Actors category, to 'The Iron Claw' getting zero nominations, here are the biggest snubs of the 2024 Oscar nominations.


It’s Oscars nominations day which means entirely one thing for the Internet—everyone’s fighting with the Academy. 

Every year we celebrate our favorite films getting nominated. Every year we squabble over our other favorite films getting entirely overlooked. And every year we pray that the Academy just might get it right the next time. Unfortunately for all of us this year, the Academy’s nomination list for its 96th Academy Awards show was even more disappointing than last year’s, with a slew of films (and actors) being entirely shut out from categories they were practically made for. 

While there is a lot to celebrate from this year’s nominations list, including Martin Scorsese officially becoming the most nominated director of all time and Lily Gladstone getting her first Oscar nomination, there is also quite a bit—OK, a lot—to be upset over.

Here are our biggest snubs from this year’s Oscars nominations.

Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor 

One of the most surprising snubs off the nomination list was Leonardo DiCaprio not being nominated for his excellent performance in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. Anyone who watched the film genuinely believed that his nomination was going to be a no-brainer. DiCaprio is no stranger to consistently giving some of the best performances around, but his work in Killers of the Flower Moon was particularly unique. It was one of his absolute best in a while, and despite the film’s three-hour-and-a-half runtime, he managed to maintain a phenomenal level of gravitas throughout it all, anchoring its story so well that you wouldn’t feel the time passing. His performance during one of the film’s most crucial final scenes is without a doubt a masterclass in acting, and the Academy shutting him out of the Best Actors category is one of its biggest, most unfair snubs in a while.

Zac Efron for Best Actor 

Anyone who watched The Iron Claw would know that Zac Efron gave the most groundbreaking performance of his career, and the Academy overlooking him for the Best Actor category was a huge snub. Efron is the heart and soul of the film, and it’s practically impossible to not be moved to tears by his phenomenal performance. Putting his physical transformation for the film aside (something the Academy is notoriously known for loving, but we digress), Efron embodies a story about overcoming grief so well in his bones, that he molds the story of The Iron Claw into one man’s journey of surviving instead of keeping it within the bounds of a wrestling flick. A nomination would have been a defining moment in Efron’s career, and he gave the performance to earn it. It’s a giant snub all around.

Greta Lee for Best Actress

Greta Lee hasn’t been getting enough flowers throughout this entire award season cycle, and her being shut out of the Best Actress category tops the cake of disappointment. In Past Lives, Lee chooses the harder route, relying on simplicity for efficacy rather than over-the-top. She manages to move mountains with subtle glances, tears, and soft-spokenness, an enormous feat in and of itself, but one you’d think the Academy would easily celebrate. Out of all the Best Actress contenders for this year, Lee gave one of the most absolute, intentioned, and memorable performances, and anyone who’s remotely tapped into the award circuit would know that buzz surrounding her Oscars campaign began all the way back in June of last year. Her snub comes as a huge disappointment, and a huge step back for the Academy.

Margot Robbie for Best Actress 

We don’t even know where to begin with this one. After Barbie’s colossal, unprecedented success over the summer, everyone thought Margot Robbie was going to come in and sweep every award in sight. And while there’s been an ample amount of discussion surrounding the Barbie cast not deserving any acting awards, the Academy nominating two of Robbie’s castmates instead of her makes this feel like a huge snub. Sure, Ken (Ryan Gosling) did carry the film in many ways, but it’s absurd to think that Robbie wasn’t equally standing her ground as the film’s namesake lead. She managed to encompass Barbie’s transformation into a human so subtly, that many didn’t realize how deft her performance was until a second viewing. Despite what you may think, it isn’t easy playing a doll and molding her into a protagonist worth rooting for. Robbie is just so good, that she made it look like another day’s work. And she absolutely deserved a Best Actress nod.

Charles Melton for Best Supporting Actor 

We were all excited to see the Riverdale to Oscar nominee pipeline, and yet, the Academy failed to deliver. Through May December, Charles Melton surprised everyone. Seriously, everyone. His performance came as a huge slap in the face, forcing everyone to see just how talented he is as an actor, and delivering one of the most pivotal supporting roles in recent cinema. The film could not exist without Melton for an ample amount of reasons, but his incredibly nuanced portrayal of a victim of abuse—realizing that they’re a victim of abuse—is no easy undertaking and had he not excelled in it the way he had, May December would have been garbage. He anchors the film’s melodrama. He perfectly manages to stand his ground in a ring occupied by industry legends Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman. And he deserved that nomination. The snub comes as a huge surprise, but if May December proved anything, it’s that the Academy won’t be able to ignore Melton in the future.

Greta Gerwig for Best Director 

While Barbie was nominated for Best Picture (making it Greta Gerwig’s third film to do so), it was a huge surprise that Gerwig wasn’t also doubly nominated for Best Director. To put it into perspective, do you know how dumb several of the film’s scenes would have been if Gerwig wasn’t the one to helm their direction? A lot of them actually! From infusing hilarity to scenes like the Kens wanting to “beach each other off,” to infusing humanity to scenes of Barbie slowly realizing there might be something more to her, Gerwig ebbs and flows between the necessary notes to make a film about a doll make sense and worthy of watching. Her understanding of rhythm is one of the only reasons why some of Barbie’s most absurd dialogue landed the way it did, and our understanding of Barbie would not have been possible if anyone else was directing it. She manages to package magic, musical numbers, and Barbie clarifying she isn’t a fascist all in one film, and she deserved a nomination for it.

The Iron Claw and Priscilla Getting Zero Nominations

Although it may not look like it, The Iron Claw and Priscilla have a lot in common. They’re both A24 films. They’re both biographical dramas. And they both got zero Oscar nominations this year despite being some of 2023’s best offerings. On the one hand, The Iron Claw gave us a tragic epic on familial grief, helmed by powerhouse performances from its entire ensemble with a great screenplay to boot. On the other hand, Priscilla gave us some of the year’s best costume and makeup design, weaving in its Sofia Coppola-core to tell a story saturated with so much vulnerable girlhood that Coppola may have outdone herself. How the Academy failed to recognize any of these hands and what the films had to offer is beyond us. Shutting Priscilla out from Best Makeup and Hairstyling? This is how villain origin stories are made.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem for Best Animated Film

One of the most underrated releases of 2023, TMNT: Mutant Mayhem was a breath of fresh air. Not only did the film offer one of the best stories in the TMNT franchise—period—but it also boasted some of the most imaginative animation we’ve ever seen. Mutant Mayhem is one of the rare animated films to make perfect use of its voice cast, allowing Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael to actually feel like teenagers growing up in New York. It was the first time that all four turtles were voiced by actual teens, and the filmmakers even allowed the cast to record their lines in the same booth, blessing us with hilarious improv that made for some of the film’s most memorable moments. Top that with its seamless comic book-esque animation, and we get a film so good that we even dubbed it as one of our favorites of the year. Mutant Mayhem not being nominated for Best Animated film was one of this year’s biggest snubs, and if you haven’t yet seen the film, do yourself a favor and watch it ASAP.

Across the Spider-Verse for Best Original Score 

Daniel Pemberton, we’re so sorry. Since the release of Into the Spider-Verse in 2018, amongst the many things the Miles Morales-focused Spidey franchise has been celebrated for is great music. From Post Malone and Swae Lee’s chart-topping hit “Sunflower” to its Metro Boomin-led soundtrack for its sequel film, the franchise has doubly noted the importance of music in telling its story as much as its animation. And its original score composed by Daniel Pemberton for Across the Spider-Verse is no exception. Pemberton built a perfect score to accompany Miles’ transformative journey in the second film, and so much of the film’s bigger plot twists would not have hit the same had Pemberton’s music not been playing alongside it. It’s absurd that no animated films were nominated for Original Score to begin with, but the Across the Spider-Verse snub is particularly disappointing.

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