3, 2, 1, BLITZ! – 91st Academy Award Nominees Announced!

It’s time! It’s finally time! Time to debate and debase the thinking of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, because the nominees for the 91st Oscars have arrived! Will I have to scramble to see multiple films I missed over the course of 2018? Will it just be a casual trip to the Short screenings? Whatever it is, I can’t wait! I’m literally writing this as I’m reading the official Academy press release (which you can find here), so literally I won’t know how I feel until I reach the end of the post! Let’s do it!

Best Actor
Christian Bale – Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott – A Star is Born
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell – Vice

Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
Glenn Close – The Wife
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams – Vice
Marina de Tavira – Roma
Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Animated Feature
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Cold War
The Favourite
Never Look Away
A Star is Born

Costume Design
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

Best Director
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Adam McKay – Vice

Documentary Feature
Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons

Documentary Short
Black Sheep
End Game
A Night at The Garden
Period. End of Sentence.

Film Editing
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book

Foreign Language
Capernaum – Lebanon
Cold War – Poland
Never Look Away – Germany
Roma – Mexico
Shoplifters – Japan

Makeup & Hairstyling
Mary Queen of Scots

Original Score
Black Panther
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

Original Song
“All the Stars” – Black Panther
“I’ll Fight” – RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns
“Shallow” – A Star is Born
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Best Picture
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
A Star is Born

Production Design
Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns

Animated Short
Animal Behaviour
Late Afternoon
One Small Step

Live Action Short

Sound Editing
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Quiet Place

Sound Mixing
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Star is Born

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Adapted Screenplay
Joel and Ethan Coen – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters – A Star is Born

Original Screenplay
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara – The Favourite
Paul Schrader – First Reformed
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Curry, and Peter Farrelly – Green Book
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Adam McKay – Vice

* * * * *

Okay, first some general thoughts. I am stunned that Roma and The Favourite tied for 10 nominations each. It’s not that the movies aren’t good. Far from it. In fact, I think The Favourite could have snatched one or two more. But 10 for Roma? I know Alfonso Cuarón is Hollywood royalty, and there may still be some residual Mexican wave from last year’s ceremony thanks to Orange Hitler, but the fact that both actresses got nominated when neither had gotten a nod in any other major ceremony. Methinks there might have been a bit of back scratching going on here.

As far as the nominated films, I’m both happy and sad. I’m happy because for the first time ever, I’ve got a majority of the categories covered. In fact, aside from the Shorts, I only have to see At Eternity’s Gate and Mirai to complete the set this time. At the same time, I kind of feel like the last week was wasted, as DestroyerBeautiful Boy, and Stan & Ollie were all shut out.

That leads me to the snubs. First off, what the hell? If Beale Street Could Talk didn’t get a Best Picture nod? That is truly stunning. Also, the acting categories are somewhat baffling. Timothée Chalamet had been nominated for Supporting Actor at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and SAG awards, yet he’s shut out here? In favor of Sam Elliott in A Star is Born? Really?!?!?! I’ve got nothing against Elliott, but he was barely there, and all he did was his standard drawl. There’s nothing about his performance that elevates it to Oscar level. Further, I’m surprised, and almost offended, that Adam Driver got nominated but John David Washington didn’t. I can’t truly judge the Best Actor field just yet, but leaving out Joaquin Phoenix, Ben Foster, Robert Redford, and Ethan Hawke as well as Washington better mean that these five are the absolute pinnacle. Sadly, I can tell you that in at least one case, it is not. Claire Foy probably has a legit gripe as well, as she’s been up for Supporting Actress at the Globes and BAFTAs, but she’s snubbed here in favor of an unknown from Roma. Really, First Man in general should feel angry, not just for Foy but because Damien Chazelle didn’t get into the Best Director field and the score got left out in favor of Mary Poppins, which is all just a rehash of the previous film.

Best Director should be interesting, as Cooper was correctly left out, yet I’m surprised Pawel Pawlikowski got in. In fact, I’m a bit surprised at the love for Cold War entirely. I absolutely loved the film, but it’s rare to see multiple Foreign Language films get multiple nominations, especially in a year like this, when the category seems like a done deal for Roma. Hell, Never Look Away got two nods as well. That’s three Foreign Language nominees up in other categories. That may be unheard of! Sadly, it’s a testament to just how low a year it was for prestige films.

Finally, I’d be more than remiss if I didn’t bring up my utter disdain for the Documentary Branch. Not only was Won’t You Be My Neighbor? snubbed in a category that it would surely have won, but none of my top 5 made the list. And spoiler alert for when I tackle the category, three of the nominees were my bottom three overall out of the shortlist of 15. I just don’t understand why the Documentary Branch hates audiences so much. It’s like they want to be thought of as the esoteric, pretentious wing of the Academy. Again, you have to go back 12 years, to An Inconvenient Truth, for an audience favorite to win this category, and even then you can’t guarantee it wasn’t a political vote. A year before, March of the Penguins won, and that was the last true documentary to take audiences by storm. Seriously, what the fuck?

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll begin the Oscar Gold series later today with the first categorical breakdown. Stay tuned for continuing coverage, as well as regular reviews of new films along the way!

Join the conversation in the comments below! What’s your vote for Best Picture? What was the biggest snub? Will a wall keep Cuarón from winning? Let me know!

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