Oscar Snubs: Ridley Scott, Aaron Sorkin, Steven Spielberg and More

12:18 PM 1/14/2016

by Hilary Lewis

Scientology doc 'Going Clear' and 'Furious 7' song "See You Again" also were notably left out of this year's nominations.

Ridley Scott, Aaron Sorkin and Steven Spielberg
Michael Kovac/Getty Images; Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NBCUniversal; Steve Granitz/WireImage/Gettty Images

While many Oscar hopefuls were celebrating on Thursday morning as this year's nominations were announced, other likely contenders were surprisingly left out.

Notable omissions included helmers Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg, who failed to land best directing nominations despite their films scoring nominations in other categories; Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs screenplay, left out of the best adapted screenplay category; Alex Gibney's Scientology exposé Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which didn't receive a best documentary mention; and projected best original song frontrunner "See You Again," the Paul Walker tribute song from Furious 7, which didn't make the cut.

Read on for more on this year's noteworthy Oscar snubs.

  • Ridley Scott

    Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI

    Although The Martian earned seven nominations, including ones for best picture, best adapted screenplay and best actor (Matt Damon), its director Ridley Scott was shockingly left out of the best director category, with The Hollywood Reporter's awards analyst Scott Feinberg yesterday listing him as a frontrunner to land a nomination. Damon had been pushing for the veteran filmmaker, who'd never won a best director Oscar, to win the award this year but he wasn't even nominated. However, Scott could still take home an Oscar if the film wins best picture, since he's listed as a producer on the title, a role he didn't take on with 2001 best picture winner Gladiator.

  • Steven Spielberg

    AP Images/Invision

    The Bridge of Spies director saw his film get six nominations, but the three-time Oscar winner failed to land a best director nomination. Feinberg had earlier this week predicted Spielberg as an alternate nominee in the category.

  • Aaron Sorkin

    Austin Hargrave

    While the high-profile Steve Jobs film received nominations for stars Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet, its screenplay, by Aaron Sorkin, wasn't nominated in the best adapted screenplay category despite the film being considered as a frontrunner there as recently as last week. Earlier this week, Feinberg predicted that Sorkin, who won the best adapted screenplay Oscar in 2011 for The Social Network, could be an alternate nominee in the category.

  • 'Going Clear'

    Courtesy of Sundance International Film Festival

    In the category of best documentary feature, arguably the most high-profile doc of the year was left out: Alex Gibney's Scientology expose Going Clear, which didn't receive any Oscar nominations. Other likely documentary nominees that were left out of the final list include Best of Enemies, The Hunting Ground, Listen to Me Marlon and Meru. High-profile documentary releases He Named Me Malala and Michael Moore's Where to Invade Next also didn't make the cut. And while The Hunting Ground's song "Til It Happens to You" got an Oscar nomination, Meru's "The Light that Never Fails," which Feinberg also predicted as a likely nominee in that category, failed to land a nomination.

  • "See You Again"

    Another shocking omission came in the category of best original song when frontrunner and Paul Walker tribute "See You Again," from Furious 7, failed to land a nomination. The film itself was also shut out, with the action movie failing to land even a nomination in one of the technical categories.

  • 'The Hateful Eight'

    Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

    The Hateful Eight was also a surprising omission in a number of categories, including best picture, best director (Quentin Tarantino) and adapted screenplay. But, the film was nominated for three other awards: best supporting actress (Jennifer Jason Leigh), cinematography and original score. Feinberg yesterday predicted that the film would be a likely nominee in the best original screenplay category, which Tarantino has won before. Last week, Feinberg also had The Hateful Eight as a major threat to land a best picture nomination and a possible nominee in the categories of best director and best actor (Samuel L. Jackson). The film's lack of a nomination in the best costume design category is also a bit of a snub as it was considered an alternate nominee there and frontrunner to score a nomination in that category last week.

  • 'Carol'

    'Carol,' Wilson Webb

    Todd Haynes' '50s-set lesbian love story got six nominations, including ones for its two stars: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, with the latter landing a best supporting actress nomination. The film also scored best cinematography, costume design, original score and adapted screenplay nominations. But Carol was left out of the best picture and best director categories even though THR predicted it to be a likely best picture nominee. As recently as last week, Haynes was also considered a frontrunner for a best director nomination.

  • 'Straight Outta Compton'

    'Straight Outta Compton,' Universal Pictures

    The NWA biopic only landed one nomination, for best original screenplay, but as of last week, the film was considered a frontrunner for a best picture nomination and director F. Gary Gray was considered a possible best director nominee.

  • 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

    Courtesy of Lucasfilms 2015/Walt Disney Studios

    The third-highest grossing movie of all time at the global box office scored five Oscar nominations, for best original score, film editing, sound mixing, sound editing and visual effects. But The Force Awakens failed to land a nomination for best picture and director J.J. Abrams didn't make the best director cut. The movie and Abrams were considered major threats to land best picture and best director nominations as recently as last week, with Abrams predicted to be a potential surprise best director nominee. The film was also considered a likely production design nominee but failed to make the cut there or in the categories of cinematography and costume design, where last week it was considered a major threat to score a nomination.

  • 'Sicario'

    Denis Villeneuve's Mexican drug cartel drama landed three nominations: best cinematography, score and sound editing, but Benicio Del Toro was left out of the all-white best supporting actor category, even though he was considered to be a likely nominee. Sicario was also considered a frontrunner for a best picture nomination last week.

  • 'Concussion'

    Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

    Sony's film about the real-life doctor who discovered a disease caused by repeated head trauma and took on the NFL put star Will Smith in the Oscar conversation, but Concussion failed to land any Oscar nominations. As recently as last week, Smith was considered a major threat to score a nomination and the film was a possibility for a best picture nomination.

  • 'Creed'

    Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

    The Rocky spinoff was still in the Oscar conversation last week and did score a best supporting actor nomination for Sylvester Stallone. But that's Creed's only Oscar nomination. Last week, star Michael B. Jordan was considered a frontrunner for a best actor nomination while director Ryan Coogler was a major threat for a best director nomination and the film was a possible best picture nominee. This week, Feinberg said the movie and Coogler should have been contenders in both categories.

  • 'Beasts of No Nation'

    Netflix's first original feature film failed to receive any Oscar nominations on Thursday. Beasts star Idris Elba was projected as a potential alternate nominee in the category of best supporting actor and listed as a frontrunner last week, when the film and director Cary Fukunaga were also considered possible nominees for best picture and best director, respectively.

  • Helen Mirren

    Andrew Toth/Getty Images

    The actress was a projected best supporting actress nominee for her role in Trumbo, but the film about blacklisted scribe Dalton Trumbo only landed one nomination, for star Bryan Cranston. Feinberg also predicted that Mirren could be a potential surprise best actress nominee for her role in Woman in Gold but failed to land a nomination in that category either.

  • Jacob Tremblay

    Getty Images

    Despite Room's four nominations, young star Jacob Tremblay was left out of the list of best actor nominees even though Feinberg predicted him to be a likely nominee in the category.

  • Michael Shannon

    Armando Gallo

    Feinberg predicted that the 99 Homes actor would score a best supporting actor nomination for his role in the foreclosed-homes film, but Shannon didn't make the cut and the film as a whole was shut out.

  • Johnny Depp

    Feinberg predicted Depp could be a surprise best actor nominee for his role as mob boss Whitey Bulger in Black Mass but not only did the three-time Oscar nominee not make the cut this year, but the film as a whole was also shut out. The film could have also been a surprise nominee in the makeup and hairstyling category but was denied there too.

  • 'The Good Dinosaur' and 'The Peanuts Movie'


    In the category of best animated film, two likely nominees — The Good Dinosaur and The Peanuts Movie — were both left out. The two films failed to land any Oscar nominations.

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