It’s Oscar nomination day! As my interest in sports have waned over the years, the Oscars have quickly supplanted that niche for me. Forget the Superbowl; my annual Sunday TV binge will be on April 25 this year. If the Oscars are my Superbowl, then today’s nomination announcement are the start of the playoffs. This post is going to be my thoughts on the nominations. My personal picks and predictions will go up after I’ve watched everything closer to the ceremony.
I promise that I won’t exclusively focus on the negative, but there were two huge snubs that I want to call out before getting too far. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Eliza Hittman) and First Cow (Kelly Reichardt) were two of the best films of the year, and both being shut out of the nomination process is a travesty. In addition to being more than deserving of best picture and director nods, I genuinely believe that Sidney Flanigan from Never Rarely Sometimes Always and John Magaro from First Cow should have received best actress and actor nominations respectively. For as much as the Academy have gotten better about recognizing more diverse pictures, the understated personal story that are my favorites are still ignored for more commercially viable pictures.
While those too snubs in lieu of more conventional Oscar fare may have frustrated me, Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell) walking away with five nominations including picture, director, and actress gives me hope. Fennell’s take on the revenge genre is aggressively anti-commercial. Yet despite that it’s become incredibly popular and will have a huge presence at the Academy Awards this year. I’m especially happy for my namesake Carey Mulligan getting her second Oscar nomination. I just want everyone to appreciate how perfect an actor she is.
With those big items taken care of, I’m going to rapid-fire some more thoughts:
- Another Round (Thomas Vinterberg) won’t be winning any major awards, but I’m glad to see international films continue to get recognition outside of their specific category. I wish Mads Mikkelsen would have received an acting nomination as well.
- I finally no longer need to lookup the difference between sound editing and sound mixing, and the Academy combines them. In all seriousness, this change makes sense. It’s a rare film that would win on and not at least be deserving of the other.
- I’m surprised by how little One Night in Miami… (Regina King) received. For a film completely built on amazing performances, it receiving no nominations in those categories was shocking.
- Granted I’ve not seen all of the Documentary features, but Dick Johnson is Dead (Kirsten Johnson) not even receiving a nomination makes very little sense to me. It was one of the best films of the year documentary or not.
- The Assistant (Kitty Green) was another shut out film that I would have loved to see with at minimum a best actress nod. That said this is the one I’m the least surprised by as The Assistant was from very early in the year and was not the most welcoming film.
- Finally, I find it frustrating that Steve McQueen’s Small Axe films were ineligible for any Oscars. Lovers Rock was one of the best films of the year, and the Oscars’ strict rules invalidated what should have been some strong competitors.