By Christian DiMartino
I’ve just witnessed the Academy Award nominations, and honestly… I don’t know quite what to say, besides the fact that they kinda blow.
Some things went according to plan. The Best Actor and Supporting Actress category went according to plan. The other two categories though… what the hell?
Lucas Hedges is a surprise for Manchester by the Sea, and Michael Shannon is a pleasant surprise for Nocturnal Animals (since I thought he gave the best performance). Besides Shannon though, Nocturnal Animals was pretty much left off the board, as I sensed it would be. However, I am bummed about the snubbing of Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins, considering I felt the film belonged to both him and Meryl Streep, who just scored her 20th Oscar nomination.
Speaking of the Best Actress category, this one is one of the biggest shockers of the morning. It didn’t even hit me until the commentary, but Amy Adams, believed to be a front runner for her amazing work in Arrival, was left off the board, in exchange for Ruth Negga. Arrival still managed to be a big hit though, scoring nominations for directing and Picture and multiple other categories. Isabelle Huppert snuck in there too, also kicking out Annette Bening for 20th Century Women (my vote is still going to Natalie Portman for Jackie though). It makes me sad that we live in a world where a great movie like Jackie can’t get a Best Picture nomination, but a decent but somewhat bland movie like The Theory of Everything can.
But alas, the biggest snub of them all has to be Silence. Most didn’t have faith in it, but I did. I mean, did you see it? It’s phenomenal. But I guess it arrived too late in the race, because it only scored a measly one nomination for Best Cinematography. You know what else got one nomination? Suicide Squad. Let that sink in for a minute.
But I don’t want to end it on a downer, even though it is. My last note must be directed towards Best Director, which brought my most pleasant surprise: Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge. Watching this film, I kept feeling that there was no way you could snub him, because it’s that impressive of a film. But yet I also wasn’t sure if Hollywood had completely forgiven him (for the record, I completely forgave him, because Braveheart + Lethal Weapon= Pass for Life. Just saying).
So, some things they got right. Other things they got way wrong. But if I learned one thing this morning, it’s that even if you make the most impressive film of the year- the most thought provoking passion project of your career- well, that doesn’t mean anything. Considering just how many times Martin Scorsese has been robbed in the past, I just didn’t think they’d have the gall to ever rob him again.
Well, guess what? They had the gall.