The Academy Award nominations for films released in 2016 have officially been announced, and, as expected, the movies La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea dominated with multiple nods each. However, there were a number of surprises in this year’s Oscar nominations worth noting. Instant reaction online seems to suggest that there were more surprises than usual in the Academy Award nominated films. In the coming days, the nominations will surely be analyzed to death, but here is our immediate reactions to what we feel are the biggest surprises of the 2017 Oscar nominations.
10. Viggo Mortensen Nominated for Best Actor
There was a strong push by fans to get actor Viggo Mortensen nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of Aragorn in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. And while that movie won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2004, there was no love for Mortensen. Yet the long-time thespian scored an Academy Award nomination this year for his work in the small independent movie Captain Fantastic, about a father who raises his six kids in the woods of the Pacific Northwest far from civilization. While critically acclaimed, Captain Fantastic was a small movie that did little business at the box office and did not generate an earth shattering amount of buzz. It also wasn’t nominated in any other Oscar categories. Yet Mortensen picked up his second Oscar nomination for this film. He was previously nominated for Best Actor for 2007’s Eastern Promises.