My Response to the Nominations, 1/13/20
Whelp, some surprises for sure - but overall, a pretty predictable morning. More so than usual, I'd say.
*Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers) for supporting actress - she's landed in EVERYWHERE this season (except BAFTA). It really shows that the Academy is stuffier than most circles when it comes to movies about something like strippers, I guess.
*The Farewell for... anything! It got ZERO nominations, despite being predicted to score 3 (screenplay, actress, supporting actress). I didn't personally like this movie all that much, but so many really did (which I'm glad about), and the representation would have been valuable.
*Taron Egerton (Rocketman) for best actor - he really fired on all cylinders for that role, too bad.
*Once Upon a Time in Hollywood missed an editing nomination, which is generally seen as a bad sign for best picture chances...
*Frozen II for best animated feature - which I'm DELIGHTED about, as it really didn't deserve it.
*Beyonce for her Lion King song - ah well, I don't remember the song anyway ;)
*Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell) for supporting actress - are you KIDDING me??!!! Ugh - that was such a small & generally wooden performance, with ONE moving scene. In a blah movie. Booooo. Her knocking out Lopez &/or Shuzhen Zhao (The Farewell) further white-washes this very white slate of 20 actors :(
*Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) for best actor - YAYYYYYYYYY! He really was extraordinary, and it's his first nomination!!!!
*1917 for original screenplay - excited to see that! (Though it did take room away from The Farewell).
*Joker for THE MOST NOMINATIONS!!!???? I mean, things like makeup, score, sound stuff, maybe cinematography - sure (and of course best actor). But costumes?! *screenplay*??!!! Best DIRECTOR??!!!!! I feel sick.
*We're a little bit back to the #OscarsSoWhite problem (of, most notably, 2014 & 2015; but also often), with Cynthia Erivo as the only POC nominated in the 4 acting categories (unless you count Antonio Banderas). Now, I put the blame more on the INDUSTRY, on the producers, who aren't making enough POC movies to consider. But it doesn't look great that there were as many movies & performances as there were in the conversation that the Academy overlooked (Dolemite is My Name, Lupita in Us, Jennifer Lopez, The Farewell, the Parasite actors, Alfre Woodard in Clemency, etc.) It'll be interesting to see how loud the buzz gets about this.
*5 out of 5 male director nominees again. This will cause some noise, as Greta Gerwig is beloved and Little Women landed in for Best Picture. But she didn't get in with any of the precursor awards either (so it's no surprise), and it's not really particularly Oscar worthy direction. The problem, again, is more to do with the number of opportunities provided to female directors. (I will say, though, that while I personally wouldn't have nominated Gerwig, I'd have MUCH preferred to see her nominated than TODD PHILLIPS!!!)
*Little Women is only the third film in history to be nominated Best Picture that was solely written, directed and produced by women. Wow.
*A record 62 women were nominated this year apparently - nearly one third of the nominees (according to the Academy).
*A record four films have 10 nominations or more (Joker with 11; Once, Irishman, & 1917 with 10 apiece).
So... looks like Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the front-runner (more about that on the Best Picture page), and I'm a fan of Tarantino so part of me will be happy to watch him win picture or director for the first time. But in a year that is more white & male than it needs to be, in an era when our society is putting great effort into changing that throughout the cultural landscape, I think that's too bad. Especially when the movie wasn't all that great!
I'm praying for a Parasite surprise win. Would be great to see that gem storm past these four double-digit-nominated white male movies.
(Though I'd also be delighted to see 1917 win - wow what an accomplishment.)
Check out more detailed thoughts on each of the top 8 categories on their respective pages, via the homepage.