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Tom Cruise, James Cameron among major Oscar snubs

STORY: Oscar nominations announced Tuesday had some top films and performances garnering praise by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences…

But — as in years past —attention was also being paid to those left off the list.

U.S.-based entertainment correspondent for Reuters Dawn Chmielewski looks at the most notable snubs.

“The most striking snubs this year were the people associated with two of the biggest films of the year. James Cameron, director of Avatar, The Way of Water, his film, which grossed $200 billion at the box office, so clearly fairly popular with moviegoers, it was snubbed as a best director nominee. And and similarly, Tom Cruise, whose reprisal of his role as maverick in Top Gun: Maverick similarly was snubbed this year in the best actor category, even though that film also was a dramatic box office success over the summer.”

Both films – Avatar and Maverick -- did, however, land on the list of 10 nominees for best picture, joining the biopic "Elvis" and multiverse adventure comedy "Everything Everywhere All at Once" among others.

In a bid to remain relevant to younger audiences, the Academy expanded the number of nominees for best picture to up to 10 more than a dozen years ago, and began to include commercially successful films, breaking from a history of honoring movies and performances its members deem as exhibiting cinematic merit.

The Oscars have also been criticized in years past for their lack of diversity among nominees, sparking a move to broaden Academy membership.

Yet this year, none of the nominees for best director are women despite worthy contenders:

"This category was all men this year, and that's receiving some attention, especially since there was Sarah Polley, who's the director of Women Talking. That film was nominated as best picture, and yet she didn't make the cut… similarly, Viola Davis, who received wide acclaim for her role in the Woman King, critical acclaim, the movie did well at the box office, also was not among the actresses nominated in the lead category.…The Academy has been making a concerted effort to try to be more inclusive in its nominees. And this year, among the the best actor and actress categories lead actor, actress and those in a supporting role. Seven of the 20 nominees are people of color.”

The Oscars and other awards shows have been struggling to attract TV viewers, particularly younger ones who spend time on TikTok and YouTube.

Last year's Academy Awards ceremony drew just shy of 15-and-a-half million viewers, the second-smallest audience ever. It was notable for one thing though: Actor Will Smith smacking Chris Rock across the face on-stage.

Also left off the list of nominees - an artist no stranger to award show-drama - singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. Her ballad, "Carolina," from "Where the Crawdads Sing," failed to make the cut for best original song.