The Oscars: “Silence” muted again, what the hell is happening?

By Christian DiMartino

If you worship the ground that Martin Scorsese walks on (as I do), then you’re aware of the backstory behind his latest film, Silence. 

Silence, which tells the story of two Jesuit priests who travel to Japan in search of their mentor, is a film that Scorsese has been trying to make for 30 years. Its release date was up in the air for a while, but after some rigorous editing, the film is finally in theatres now (not near me, of course. Because why would anything work out in my favor?). The reviews are pretty much rave, with some calling it one of Scorsese’s best. 

But yet… in terms of the award season, it hasn’t gained any traction. When it was snubbed entirely at the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild, I just assumed it was because it wasn’t screened in time (there wasn’t even a trailer until late November due to said editing process). It was also left out of the Writers Guild. But I held out hope for the BAFTA awards.

Whelp, the BAFTA nominations came out this morning, and it was once again completely off the board. Once again, I assumed it was because it hadn’t been seen in England yet. So I held out for the Producers Guild, which is also a huge indicator in terms of the Oscars.

Whelp, the Producers Guild nominations came out this morning, and it was once again left out. Have THEY still not seen it?

Besides the Directors Guild, I’m not really sure how much faith is left in Silence. Mind you, I haven’t seen it. But I mean, a religious Martin Scorsese passion project sounds like a doozy to me. It’s gonna require a miracle for Silence to take liftoff. I guess I’m really just having trouble seeing it being snubbed, considering Scorsese, despite how many times the Academy has robbed him in the past, is typically an Academy favorite. This is a difficult pill to swallow.

But alas, there is an even more difficult pill to swallow: Deadpool. Who didn’t thoroughly enjoy Deadpool? I mean, it was funny and smart and daring. It was just what we needed in terms of comic book movies. 

But when it was nominated at the Golden Globes, I was caught off guard. But eh, the Golden Globes are sort of a joke as it is. You know what isn’t a joke? This:

Deadpool has since been nominated at both the Writers and Producers Guild. The Writers Guild is understandable, though I’m still not fully convinced. What isn’t understandable is the latter, especially when you realize that it got the nomination over the likes of Nocturnal Animals and Jackie.

As much as I enjoy Deadpool, if it is nominated for Best Picture (which, I’m truly doubting) I will be extremely angry. Angry for a number of reasons. One would be that it would probably shut out something, you know, deserving. Another is that they didn’t even nominate The Dark Knight for Best Picture, and they left The Dark Knight Rises off of the ballot entirely.

So, I must ask: what the hell is going on? It’s clear that La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight are locks for a Best Picture nomination. But what else? Why isn’t Silence in the conversation yet? Why is Deadpool in the middle of the conversation? What universe am I in? 

I don’t know. In fact, I might not know until those damned Oscar nominations come out. But something tells me that there are going to be a lot of upsets. While the nominees will be a diverse, there’s no saying just how wild this race is going to be. You might as well cue the Looney Toons theme.

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