The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced the Academy Award nominations this morning. I won’t bore you with yet another list/rundown of the nominees. You don’t need me to do that for you. Here’s the link to the Oscars site and you can see them for yourself. Keep that open in a separate tab, because I’m not gonna But as a lifetime movie fan, longtime Oscars follower, and one-time Oscar attendee, I have thoughts on the nominations. And because I write about movies, here they are. Thanks for reading them.
Make sure you have the nominees open in another tab, because I’m not making a point to say the movie of each nominee. I figure if you’re here and reading a reaction to the nominees blog, you kinda know what’s going on anyway. But if not, here’s Priyanka Chopra-Jonas and Nick Jonas to tell you who everyone is and what they did.
Of the eight nominees, the top three contenders are easily Nomadland, Trial of the Chicago 7, and Judas & The Black Messiah, in that order. Promising Young Woman and Minari could be dark horse spoilers, with Mank, Sound of Metal and The Father not really standing much of a chance. I know, I know, Mank has the most nominations of the year at 10, but look at its competition competition. It’s a fine film, sure. But it’s not a strong film, certainly not Fincher’s best. Though he’s been snubbed enough they may slide him a Make-Good win. I wasn’t as taken with Nomadland as others, but I’d say it’s the front-runner. My pick would go to Judas & The Black Messiah. But where’s One Night in Miami? More on that…
NO SERIOUSLY?! Where TF is One Night in Miami?! Is this where Fincher gets his make-good, cause that’s how I can justify not nominating Regina King. They’ve put up some serious left-field nominations in recent years, like this year with Thomas Vinterberg’s nod for Another Round. I think it’s mostly just to mix things up, but he isn’t a strong contender, not over Chloe Zhao and Emerald Fennell, with David Fincher picking up the Make-Good and Lee Isaac Chung as a dark horse spoiler.
On the Lead side, this is Chadwick Boseman’s award. He turned out a great final performance, and the Oscars love a swan song. Any other year, we’d get probably get Lakeith Stanfield in this category for Judas, and it would be a three way race between Boseman, Stanfield and Riz Ahmed. I doubt this will be either Stanfield or Ahmed’s final shot at Oscar gold. I can’t comment on Steven Yeun yet, but Minari, like Another Round, has shot up my “Must Watch” list. Gary Oldman better not win for Mank, and I’ll probably never see The Father. Not because I don’t want to, but “taking care of a sick/dying father” stories really strike an emotional chord for me, and I just can’t get through those. I have too much personal baggage on those stories.
I get why Daniel Kaluuya or Lakeith Stanfield weren’t put up for Best Actor, instead going head-to-head in Supporting Actor, where they’ll split the vote and… actually, no. They could split the vote, but literally everyone nominated in Supporting Actor deserves to be there. It’s a five-way split of the vote. It could go to any one of them, and I’d be good. Would I prefer it go to Stanfield or Kaluuya? Yeah, sure. But hey, if Odom, Jr., Baron Cohen or Paul Raci get it, I’d be happy. It’s unfortunate we’re having this conversation without Delroy Lindo, as I would have sworn he was a lock for Da 5 Bloods.
Of the lead actresses, I know Frances McDormand is the favourite, but again, I wasn’t as taken with Nomadland as others seem to be, and I view this as tight race between Viola Davis and Carey Mulligan, with Vanessa Kirby following close behind. They all did more impressive work this year.
In the Supporting Actress, I have absolutely zero desire to watch Hillbilly Elegy, as it looks entirely like it should have been called And The Oscar Goes To Glenn Close, but seriously… just give it to Glenn Close. She’s one of the best living actresses, knocks it out of the park every gods damn time, and as much as I hate rewarding good work in otherwise (probably) shitty films, Glenn Close deserves it. You all gave Gary Oldman the Oscar for Darkest Hour, a great performance in a bland as hell movie, give Glenn the statue already.
Listen. I 100% know for a fact it’s either going to be “Fight for You,” “Hear My Voice” or “Speak Now” winning the trophy, because those are the socially important songs from the socially important films. But no. I want “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga to win. They ignore comedy that isn’t Wes Anderson or Yorgos Lanthimos so much, that we deserve this. Especially because it wasn’t “Ja Ja Ding Dong” that got the nod.
Mostly… I just feel that while this is a strong year for more diverse nominations, they still regressed into old habits with Mank taking home a lion’s share of nominations. But the Oscars love movies about Hollywood, and Mank is certainly this year’s La La Land. I would have liked more love for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and One Night in Miami. And I’d really love for them to start recognizing more genre films. Vast of Night and Palm Springs deserved some love, but I knew they weren’t going to. I MAY have a fix for that. More to come.