Monday, January 13, 2020

Oscar Nomination Reaction...or What The Academy Did Right and What They Did Oh So Wrong

So, the Academy has announced its nominations for the Oscars, and here are my (rambling) thoughts on the subject.

  • Once again, five men have been nominated for Best Director. Now I do not necessarily think Greta Gerwig (the frontrunner among women director possibilities this year) should have been nominated for Little Women, but not because she is a woman...but because hers wasn't one of the five best directed films of the year. I can think of three women directors who made better films last year. Lulu Wang for The Farewell, Mati Diop for Atlantics, & Jennifer Kent for The Nightingale. But alas...that is not the point of the outrage. That is just my opinion on the film. I think Gerwig is a talented filmmaker (her Lady Bird was one of the finest films of the last decade) but I was not that big of a fan of her latest work. That being said...there is still a problem with equality in Hollywood. Duh. In 92 years, there have been just five female directors nominated for the Oscar (the most recent being Gerwig in 2016). Just five!? For those keeping score at home...that is five female director nominees vs 447 male nominees in the same period. But, the Oscars are not the problem. The Oscars are merely a symptom showing the problem of Hollywood itself. Last year, only 4% of movies coming out of Hollywood were directed by women. No wonder there are so few female nominees. But hey...I could go on about the lack of diversity in Hollywood for a long time, so I am going to stop there, and move onto some other thoughts on the nominations.
  • The fact that Joker received more nominations (11 of 'em) than any other film is wonderfully crazy. A very divisive film, either hating it or loving it, I am a bit surprised that the voters looked so fondly upon it. The film is on my top ten for the year (which by the by, will be posted in a few days), but whoulda thunk Hollywood would embrace it so.
  • No J-Lo!? Personally I thought Hustlers was a boring film, and Lopez, though the best thing about said film, was merely slightly less than boring, and hence does not deserve a nomination. But, she had been nominated in nearly every other awards show of the season, so it is quite the shocker...probably the biggest one of the morning.
  • Frozen II was snubbed in Animated Feature. Granted, Missing Link won the Golden Globe last week (shocking the crowd) but even after that we all assumed the Oscar was still probably going to go to either Toy Story 4 or Frozen II. Maybe Missing Link will pull it off after all.
  • I went 84 for 109 in my predictions. That comes to a 77% success rate. That rate moves up to 85% if you just count the big eight categories. Acing Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, & Adapted Screenplay. My weakest spot was Supporting Actress, with just three right. Yes, some of my picks were more like wishful thinking. Zhao Shuzhen as the wistful grandmother in The Farewell. Song Kang Ho as the bumbling father in Parasite. Lupita Nyong'o as the tortured protagonist of Jordan Peele's Us. But I still did well in spite of them.
  • Best Supporting Actor is full of a buncha no-names. Um...yeah. Between Brad Pitt, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Tom Hanks, & Tony Hopkins, you can count two dozen previous nominations, and six Oscars!! Show offs.
  • Congrats to ScarJo, aka Scarlett Johansson, who received both her first AND her second nominations ever, for her roles in Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit.
  • The three biggest snubs (no...not J-Lo) of the day were Adam Sandler not getting recognition for his brilliant turn in Uncut Gems. Yeah, I said brilliant and Adam Sandler in the same sentence. Song Kang Ho's omission from Supporting Actor. As great as Parasite was...and it was pretty fucking was Song's performance that took it to another level. And...Willem Dafoe as the gnarly wickie in the shamefully under-appreciated The Lighthouse. At least that film got nominated in Cinematography...though it is destined to lose to Roger Deakins stunning work in 1917.
  • It is a bit strange that I agree with so many of the Academy's choices this year. Five of the nine nominees are in my own top ten...that never happens. Oh well..I suppose The Academy is finally getting a bit of taste.
So that's my take on the Oscar nominations. I'll be back in a few weeks with my take on the Oscars themselves ...and some more predictions. Also, as I mentioned earlier, my Best of 2019 list shall be gracing these pages a just a few days.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


  1. I usually start seeing some films now but the only one I have seen is Judy. I suck. I am too scared to see Us but I heard nothing but great things about the performance by Luipta. You know, 2 years ago, at the Globes, all the women wore black in solidarity but a mere 2 years later, the day before that ass, Weinstein, showing up with a walker( laughable), is to appear in court, no woman was wearing black in solidarity for the women who were there the following day. I’m not saying some didn’t think about this but it makes me shake my head. The same is true regarding the lack of nominated minorities and women because the Academy and other awards shows feel that the fad is gone and they can go back to the old white school way of thinking.

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