Hollywood awards gurus -- like our own beloved Steve Pond
-- have gotten Oscar prognostication down almost to a science. But that doesn't mean that the Academy doesn't throw us a curveball every year. Here are the nominations that were the biggest surprises, and the snubs that burned the most.
SNUB: "If Beale Street Could Talk" (Best Picture) -- Barry Jenkins' beautiful adaptation of James Baldwin's novel by the same name did not mesmerize Academy voters. Jenkins did earn a nomination for adapted screenplay, with the film's score and supporting actress Regina King also earning nods but the film was snubbed for Best Picture as only eight of the possible ten nomination slots were used.
SURPRISE: Pawel Pawlikowski, "Cold War" (Best Director) -- The foreign language category will contribute two nominees to the Best Director field, as the Polish Pawlikowski joins Mexican frontrunner Alfonso Cuaron in a field that also includes Adam McKay, Spike Lee, and Yorgos Lanthimos.
SNUB: Bradley Cooper, "A Star Is Born" (Best Director) -- But one person who was considered a contender to earn a nomination for his directorial debut was left off the list, as Bradley Cooper will have to settle for a Best Actor nomination for his work on the third remake of "A Star Is Born."
SURPRISE: Marina De Tavira, "Roma" (Best Supporting Actress) -- De Tavira nabbed a best supporting actress nomination for her role as Sra. Sofía in Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma." The film is beloved by critics and was expected to garner a bounty of nominations, but De Tavira had not been projected to grab one of them for her performance as the weary, neglected matriarch of the family that Yalitza Aparicio's Cleo works for.
SNUB: "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" (Best Documentary Feature) -- Morgan Neville's sentimental look back at the life and career of Fred Rogers tugged on the heartstrings of many last summer, and it was thought to be a shoo-in for this year's Oscars. Shockingly, it was left off the final nomination list, with "Of Fathers and Sons" joining category favorites "RBG" and "Free Solo" on the list instead.
SURPRISE: Willem Dafoe, "At Eternity's Gate" (Best Actor) -- Nearly every year, there's a surprise leading performance that sneaks onto the nominations list after being championed by critics on the indie circuit. This year's surprise is Dafoe, earning his fourth Oscar nomination and first for a lead performance as Vincent Van Gogh in the troubled painter's final days.
SNUB: Ethan Hawke, "First Reformed" (Best Actor) -- Paul Schrader earned an Oscar nomination for his screenplay of this breathtaking drama. But despite critical acclaim, Hawke will not get a nod for his gripping performance as a priest wrestling with the existential despair of climate change.
SURPRISE: Yalitza Aparicio, "Roma" (Best Actress) -- Several awards predictors said there was a good chance the "Roma" star could earn a nomination for her powerful performance as Cleo. But it is still a big feat to earn a spot alongside the likes of Lady Gaga and Glenn Close
SNUB: Toni Collette, "Hereditary" (Best Actress) -- When the devastating horror film "Hereditary" hit theaters last summer, Collette's performance as a grief-stricken mother earned her a wave of fans demanding she get Oscar consideration. Sadly, the buzz around her and the film could not keep momentum into awards season.