"Straight Outta Compton," "Carol" and directors Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg were left wanting when the nominations for the 88th Academy Awards were revealed Thursday.
While the Academy offered up deserved nods to populist fare such as "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," there were notable absentees in the directing and best picture categories.
And once again, the acting categories were filled entirely by white performers.
Without a single black actor in any of the 20 acting slots and "Straight Outta Compton's" glaring omission from the best picture race, the Academy faces the same backlash as last year when #OscarsSoWhite ruled social media.
With more than 6,000 Academy members now eligible to vote, it's expected the Oscar nominations will deliver a mixed bag of titles and names. But "Compton's" shut out from all categories except for screenwriting stands out in the wake of previous nominations for the acclaimed drama from groups such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards and various national critics associations.
It can be argued that of all the Oscar-calibre films served up in 2015 for consideration by the Academy, few focused on black stories. But with strong performances from actors such as Will Smith ("Concussion"), Samuel L. Jackson ("The Hateful Eight"), Benicio del Toro ("Sicario"), Tessa Thompson ("Creed"), Idris Elba ("Beasts of No Nation") and Michael B. Jordan ("Creed"), the lack of diversity in the acting categories is all the more shocking.
It's a situation sure to provide fodder for comedian Chris Rock who will host the Oscar ceremony on February 28.
Directors Scott ("The Martian") and Spielberg ("Bridge of Spies") saw their respective films nominated to the best picture race while neither received a mention in the directing category. It's a huge snub for veteran filmmaker Scott who is yet to win a best director Oscar.
Less than a week after winning the best screenplay Golden Globe for "Steve Jobs," frontrunner Aaron Sorkin failed to get a nod for the adapted screenplay category.
Though Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara both made the acting categories for performances in "Carol," the film and its director Todd Haynes were absent from the best picture and directing races, while "Beasts of No Nation" and "Concussion" were complete shut outs across the board.
Tom Hardy was a surprise inclusion in the supporting actor field for his work on "The Revenant," perhaps at the expense of Michael Keaton whose performance in "Spotlight" was heavily favored but ultimately a non-starter. It's Hardy's first Oscar nomination.
On the populist front, it was satisfying to see "Mad Max: Fury Road" receive recognition. The action flick was a box office winner and is the Academy's second biggest nominee with 10 nods. "Revenant" leads with 12.
Another box office titan in the Oscar mix is "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" with five nominations. Though not named to the best picture or best director categories, the highest ever grossing domestic movie (and counting at $820 million) is up for technical awards including sound and editing. With another two berths in the category available (since 2009 the Academy can name up to 10 titles in the field), a best picture nomination for "Force Awakens" would have ensured the televised ceremony received a bump in viewership numbers.