Quentin Tarantino is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jeffrey Mayer—Getty Images; Photo Illustration by Kenneth Bachor for TIME
By Eliza Berman and Kenneth Bachor
January 14, 2016

When the Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning, more than a few names we expected to hear—based on Golden Globe wins, awards-season hype or simply just solid performances—were absent from the roster.

Read next: The 10 Biggest Oscar Nomination Surprises


The Weinstein Company

Carol nabbed six nominations, but the movie was shut out of both Best Picture and Best Director despite love from critics, a BAFTA nod and its quietly beautiful contribution to the canon of love stories. Though the film has a chance to score some statues on Oscar Sunday, its exclusion from the Best Picture field still feels like a disappointment.

Read more: How Carol Went From Long-Shot Love Story to Awards-Season Favorite


20th Century Fox

David O. Russell’s last three movies—The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle—were all nominated for Best Picture. But instead of Joy being the one to clinch the Oscar, it missed the boat entirely.

Read more: Jennifer Lawrence Talks Joy Inspiration and How Katniss Would Spearhead Her Squad

Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian—Getty Images

The Martian won Best Picture in the Comedy or Musical category at the Golden Globes, and Ridley Scott took home the Globe for Best Director, so it’s surprising to see his name absent from the Best Director field this year—especially given the Academy’s propensity to recognize well-respected actors and directors who are late in their careers without ever having won.

Read more: The Martian Director Ridley Scott Says He Knew About Mars Water for Months

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jeffrey Mayer—Getty Images

The Hateful Eight received three nominations, but missed the Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Director races. Tarantino has won two Oscars for Best Original Screenplay and, despite two nominations, has yet to win Best Director.

Read more: Review: Quentin Tarantino’s Hateful Eight Revels in Snow, Not So Much in People

Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler is seen on Jan. 12, 2016 in London.
Karwai Tang—Getty Images

The love audiences and critics had for Creed, director Ryan Coogler’s much lauded addition to the Rocky canon, didn’t translate into any Oscar nods beyond Sylvester Stallone’s Supporting Actor nomination, despite widespread recognition of Coogler as a bright new talent—perhaps too new to win the Academy’s votes.

Read more: Creed Director Ryan Coogler on His Chemistry With Michael B. Jordan

Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander

Rooney Mara, left, is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Alicia Vikander, right, is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jeffrey Mayer, Steve Granitz—Getty Images

Mara and Vikander were both nominated for Best Supporting Actress—Mara for Carol and Vikander for The Danish Girl—but many believed they should have been up for Best Actress, as they were at the Golden Globes.

Read more: What The Danish Girl Reminds Us About Transgender People Throughout History

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Jeffrey Mayer—Getty Images

Mirren’s name has frequently come up as an Oscar contender in not one but two films that came out in 2015: Trumbo and Woman in Gold. The Academy recognized her for neither one.

Read more: Here’s What Helen Mirren Has to Say About Ageism in Hollywood

Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
John Shearer—Getty Images

Though Fonda’s screen time in Youth is limited, the actress makes the most of it as a narcissistic, aging movie star who has lost sight of the passion for acting that ignited her in her younger years. A Supporting Actress nomination wasn’t a shoo-in, but she was certainly well within range to land one.

Read more: Watch Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin Admit That Men Can Be Funny

Idris Elba

Idris Elba is seen on Dec. 2, 2015 in New York City.
Donna Ward—Getty Images

Elba’s performance in Beasts of No Nation earned him nominations for a Globe and a SAG Award, but he won’t be in the running come Oscar Sunday. One could argue that the film’s intense subject matter might have hurt his chances—though it was far from the only top movie in 2015 that was difficult to watch.

Read more: Watch Cary Fukanaga Talk About the Violence in Beasts of No Nation

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is seen on Jan. 9, 2016 in Culver City, Calif.
Jason LaVeris—Getty Images

Many critics and viewers thought Depp’s performance as Whitey Bulger in Black Mass was enough to land him a nod for Best Actor. But Depp, who has publicly questioned the point of actors competing with one another for awards, likely isn’t losing sleep over not getting nominated.

Read more: Johnny Depp Doesn’t Want to Win an Oscar, Ever

Will Smith

Will Smith is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
John Shearer—Getty Images

Though Smith’s performance in Concussion arguably placed him in the outer ring of contenders for Best Actor, his Globe nomination suggested that he might have a shot at the nomination. As it turned out, his name was not mentioned Thursday morning.

Read more: Review: Concussion Has the Truth on Its Side

Jacob Tremblay

Jacob Tremblay is seen on Jan. 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
George Pimentel—Getty Images

The problem with remarkable performances by child actors is that they often get categorized as remarkable performances for a child instead of remarkable performances for an actor. Tremblay’s work in Room falls into the latter category, though stiff competition in both the lead and supporting actor categories made a nomination a long shot for the 9-year-old.

Read more: Oscar Isaac Played Jedi With Room’s Jacob Tremblay After the Golden Globes

Paul Dano

Paul Dano is seen on Jan. 11, 2016 in West Hollywood, Calif.
Michael Kovac—Getty Images

Dano is one of those actors who keeps churning out remarkable performances without snagging too much of the spotlight. His turn as a young Brian Wilson in Love and Mercy looked like it might land him his first Oscar nom, but he was shut out of a competitive field.

Read more: Heroes and Villains: Love and Mercy’s Paul Dano on Playing Brian Wilson


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