Thursday 26 January 2017

Oscars 2017: The Nominations

Another year, another batch of Oscar nominations has popped into existence. On the whole, I think this was a pretty solid bunch but, as always, there are one or two glaring omissions and snubs that we need to talk about. 

Which film(s) do you think missed out on some lovin'? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below!

Loopy for La La Land

There is always one; the film that picks up the lion's share of nominations and faces subsequent backlash proclaiming it to be not actually that great. If had a dollar for every think piece I've seen in the last few weeks about La La Land and the backlash against it, I'd be a millionaire by now. There are even think pieces about the backlash to the backlash!

In my opinion (and that's all it is, an opinion), people need to lighten the hell up. Does 14 Oscar nominations make La La Land the greatest film ever? No. Is it a perfect film? Again, no. (I mean, c'mon, Titanic got 14 nominations and it sucks). Even if you think the hype is unjustified, why not just let people enjoy a thing they like? After all, that's what La La Land is - a film designed to sweep an audience of its feet. Not every Oscar movie has to have a sombre message overshadowing the whole story; sometimes it's okay to like a film that makes you want to tap your feet, hum along and smile like a dork.

Don't like La La Land? That's cool, I'm not here to change your mind. My girlfriend can't wrap her head around the hype either (it's made this Oscar season particularly interesting in our household, considering I gave the film a 10). Just understand that it's won a lot of hearts and is reaping the totally justified rewards.


Moonlight director Barry Jenkins
After all that hubbub in the last few years about the lack of diversity amongst the nominees, the Academy have gone and dropped one of the most inclusive lists in a long time. In fact, for the first time in history, people of colour have been nominated in every single category.

Four films (Hidden Figures, Fences, Moonlight and Lion) share the limelight in this regard with each nominated in Best Picture, at least once across the acting categories and a crop of technical awards too. Viola Davis, nominated for Fences, became the first black actress to rack up three nominations across her whole career.

So, the million dollar question is - does this point towards a bigger trend? Or is an outlier amongst a sea of typically lily white nominees? Or, even worse, is it a cultivated attempt to counteract the controversy?

To be honest, the Academy can't win either way. Last year they were getting shit on for not nominating any people of colour; this year they're getting shit on because including people of colour must mean they're filling in a quota and not nominating based on merit (seriously, there are people out there you genuinely believe shit like this). So which is it? It's great that representation is so much more inclusive this year, who doesn't want to see that? Why can't we just sit back and applaud those who did get nominated, regardless of the colour of their skin?

Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Naomie Harris are all nominated for Best Supporting Actress

Deadpool is DOA

Is something really a snub if it was never going to (realistically) get nominated in the first place? For all the talk surrounding Deadpool and its push for Best Picture, Actor and Adapted Screenplay nominations, the end result was...well, nothing. Zilch-a-mundo.

I can't say I'm surprised; the Academy don't often go for 'edgy' choices; that's more Golden Globes territory. Deadpool and Ryan Reynolds never stood a chance to scoring a Best Picture nomination, even if it would have been fun to watch Twitter implode had it actually happened.

No, foul-mouthed mercs just don't do it for the holier than thou Academy; this little subnarrative to awards season was never going to end any other way.

Maybe they can make amends and invite Reynolds on stage (in costume as Deadpool) to present an award on the night?

Other thoughts

The biggest snub (if you ask me) is without a doubt Amy Adams not being nominated for Arrival. The film received total of eight nominations and the Academy couldn't be arsed throwing a cheeky little nod her way? She carried that film! It was even nominated for Best Picture! But no, instead the plaudits went to Meryl Streep for what must now be her millionth nomination. Let's be honest here; the ballot says Florence Foster Jenkins but we all know it should say 'that Golden Globes speech where she destroyed Donald Trump'.

Another year, another Martin Scorsese film overlooked by the Academy. Okay, maybe that's a little harsh - Silence did at least score one nomination for Best Cinematography. But this film had awards contender written all over it - so why didn't voters go for it? Maybe it's the length, the subject matter or the fact that it totally skipped the festival circuit. Either way, I feel like this film isn't getting its due and is a fairly glaring omission in a lot of the categories.

Personally, I was pretty sad to see Jackie not pop up into the Best Picture category. They have 10 slots - why not make use of them? Natalie Portman was nominated for Best Actress and she owned that film from start to finish; surely Jackie could have filled that empty slot.

Sing Street missed out on a single nomination. That's a rather depressing sentence to type. The Academy found space to squeeze Justin Timberlake into the Best Original Song category but didn't think to include 'Drive It Like You Stole It'?

Even though it never looked like it was on the cards, it would have been nice to see Tom Hanks get some love. It's been 17 years since Hanks was last nominated and this year could have been his year - he did star in a film directed by Academy golden boy Clint Eastwood after all. Alas, Sully hasn't been shown even half as much love (it nabbed one nom for Sound Editing) as Eastwood's American Sniper was just a couple of years ago - which makes zero sense because it's an infinitely better film.

The technical categories threw in some curveballs; a Makeup and Hairstyling nom for Suicide Squad? Really? No original score nom for Kubo and the Two Strings? No cinematography nom for The Neon Demon?

All in all, a pretty solid year. At this point, things look pretty clear cut in a lot of categories but I'm hoping for one or two surprises to shake things up. But what do you think? Who'll take home all the big wins? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Although I haven't seen it yet, I was surprised Silence only picked up 1 nomination. I am outraged on behalf of Amy Adams!
    It would have been so funny, but I didn't expect Deadpool to pick anything up. What does make me salty is the fact that Suicide Squad got a nomination, and Passengers got 2!! Argh!

  2. Captain America Civil War deserves an oscar.



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