Earlier this morning, AMPAS released the nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards, to be held on February 9th. How did I do in predicting the nominees? A very respectable 39/50, which earns me the right to force my opinions on your eyes.
Who were the big winners and losers? Let’s get Oscars, baby!
Who were the big winners? And did they deserve it?
There were a lot of people who were very happy this morning. Surprisingly, some of them even deserved it!
The biggest winner of the day was Todd Phillips’ Joker, which walked away with eleven nominations, including Best Director, Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Picture. Did the film deserve all of these? No. I mean, it’s a good film, but with the exception of Phoenix, in every spot where it got nominated, it took the place of a better film.
1917, Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood and The Irishman walked away with ten nominations. For Hollywood, this is a very good thing. The film took home awards in five major categories (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay), and if Tarantino’s latest sweeps all of those categories, I won’t be too upset.
As for the Irishman… I dunno, man. Fuck… I mean, I guess the film is fine. It’s long and the first TWO AND A HALF HOURS of the movie is nothing new from Scorsese, but if that’s you’re thing and you’re into it, then you be you, I guess. I don’t think Pacino deserved the nomination (more on snubs later), but the Oscars love Marty and if they want to give him a nomination per every 21 minutes of film, then I guess they have that stupid right to do so.
(To my failing, I have not caught up with 1917 yet, so I don’t know how worthy it is of it’s double-digit nominations.)
Let’s get back into more good news, though. Parasite, my favorite movie of 2019, took home nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. It’s a lock to win Best International Feature, and my worry was that the Academy would think that would be enough. It was great to see the film recognized.
There were some other things that made me smile- Rian Johnson’s Best Original Screenplay nomination for Knives Out, acting nods for Adam Driver, Scarlett Johannson, and Laura Dern for Marriage Story, six nominations for Little Women… these are all good things.
However, if there are big winners…
Who were the big losers?
This year was another year of crazy snubs and misses, and it starts with some pretty big misses by some pretty amazing women.
The Best Director category feature five men, three of whom have been nominated before. But Todd Philips doesn’t need to be on this list, and Scorsese seems to be on this list simply because of his name (the same thing happens with Meryl Streep). It’s a fucking crime that Greta Gerwig (Little Women), and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) didn’t get chosen for the absolutely amazing work they did as directors. However, that’s not the biggest crime.
How Lupita Nyong’o did not get nominated for Us is absolutely insane and beyond me. It’s not just the best acting performance of 2019, it’s once of the best acting performances of the last decade. She is an absolute force in this double role that requires her to do so much with her body and voice, and she pulls it off pitch-perfectly. I wonder if this film had come out in December if the Academy would have nominated her, because I feel like the only thing against this haunting and compelling performance is that it came out early in 2019.
You know who else got fucked? Jennifer Lopez. Even though it is technically a supporting performance, she is the both the comic and emotional center of Hustlers, a film which was compelling and interesting in every frame. Throw Kathy Bates off this list and make room for J. Lo.
AND WHERE THE FUCK IS ADAM SANDLER, which is crazy to say in a conversation about people who should be nominated for Best Actor. His performance in Uncut Gems is frantic and energetic and ulcer-inducing, but that’s why the film is so damn good. Without Sandler’s energy and charisma, this film falls flat. With it, it’s as tension-filled as a two-hour heart attack.
There are so many other amazing performances that got overlooked: Archie Yates in Jojo Rabbit, Eddie Murphy in My Name Is Dolomite, Awkafina and Zhao Shuzhen in The Farewell… the list could go on and on and on.
Some of the choices of people nominated seemed way too safe, which is sometimes how the Oscars like to play it. It’s just a little sad because there are amazing films and performances which true movie fans appreciated and would have tuned in to cheer for.
As for this year, we get a pretty ok list of some pretty ok films. And that’s… ok.
But it could have been much better.