Tuesday, January 23, 2018

90th Annual Academy Award Nominations

The 90th annual Academy Award nominations were announced this morning.

The complete list of nominees may be found here.

It's nice to see some deserved recognition, such as Saoirse Ronan of LADY BIRD (2017) for Best Actress, Gary Oldman for Best Actor in DARKEST HOUR (2017), COCO (2017) for Best Animated Film, and BABY DRIVER (2017) for Best Editing.

That said, it's hard for me to take seriously a slate of nominees which doesn't bother to give a single nomination to WIND RIVER (2017), which had a superb lead performance by Jeremy Renner and outstanding cinematography by Ben Richardson.

I saw many more new films than usual last year, but between the Oscars always making some baffling choices and the ceremony itself tending to feel more like a political rally, my interest is limited to looking over the nominations and letting it go at that. As usual on Oscar night, I'll be celebrating my love of movies by...watching a movie!

Winners will be announced on March 4th.

Previous Oscar nomination posts: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. There was no Oscar post in 2009.


Blogger mel said...

It seems to me that the best, or easiest way these days for an actor or actress (this time the latter predominates) to be nominated for an Academy Award, lead or supporting, is to choose the scripts that require them to articulate the vilest, filthiest language in almost every sentence.

2:57 AM  
Blogger Stefano said...

Well said mel ... I'm reluctant to see most R-rated movies because that's almost a guarantee I'll find the filmmakers' approach juvenile. The title character in "Lady Bird" calls several other female characters a foul slang word; in the 1933 "Footlight Parade", Joan Blondell tells off a troublemaking kept woman who has just been fired : "As long as there are sidewalks, you'll have a job!". Hilarious in the context of the movie, and safe for the kiddies 'cause it'll go over their heads.
I agree with you Laura; in the time it takes for the Oscar ceremony to unwind, one could be taking in a good double bill somewhere.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Mel and Stefano. I do really appreciate how creatively a film like FOOTLIGHT PARADE could make its point but in a more subtle way.

I loved LADY BIRD but it would have been nice if they'd toned down the rough language...And fortunately there are still some films like DARKEST HOUR out there which take a higher road.

Best wishes,

5:29 PM  
Blogger mel said...

As I can’t give a link to the following article (which puts forward some valid points), I’ll have to copy and paste the entire article (if you’ll allow me, Laura).

Oscar: The Grouchy Post
by Mark Evanier, Friday, January 26, 2018 at 11:43 AM

The Academy Awards nominations came out earlier this week and there is probably no one in my area code who cares about them less than I do. I don't get to a lot of movies the same year they come out. I generally get to them a year or three later.

That's the great thing about movies: They never disappear and they never change. When I take Amber out for entertainment, we mostly go to plays, concerts and other live events since those do go away. Next year or the year after, we'll probably watch the screener I received of The Post or the one for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri or the one for The Shape of Water. They'll be just as good then.

That explains why I can't muster a whole lot of rooting interest in the Oscars. What does interest me is how people try to predict who'll win in this game for which we don't have any idea who votes or why. Analysis of political elections involves knowing how blacks between the ages of 18 and 40 voted or the past voting trends of people who make $200,000 a year or more and what they thought was the Number One Issue. Data like that. With the Oscars, all we know who's won in the past — and we don't even know whether they got 51% of the vote or 99%.

We also don't know who voted or how many. Did 90% of eligible Academy members vote or did 10%? It's probably somewhere in-between but where in-between? There are indications that the key to winning our political elections is turnout. It's not how many people are on your side. It's how many of them went to the polls. So what was the turnout for last year's Oscars? How many people returned their ballots? Answer: You have no friggin' idea.

And here's the thing I'd really love to know: What is the criteria for a category like Best Actor? I mean, I assume it's different with everyone but how different?

Some years, it seems to me — and remember, I'm basing this on no data whatsoever — that a lot of voters are voting for the actor who most successfully tackled a controversial, non-glamorous role in a film that didn't seem like a shoo-in at the box office. The Oscar, it seemed to me, was about taking big risks…which is why you see so few nominations for raunchy comedies or movies with a lot of CGI. (General rule of thumb: If the movie's up for Best Visual Effects, it'll get zero acting nominations.)

But maybe some people are voting for the actor they think is overdue to win for past work. And some are voting for the actor they just plain like more than the others. And maybe some are voting for the actor they think will give the most exciting acceptance speech. And maybe a lot of 'em are voting for the only nominated performance they saw last year.

And maybe — and I have a hunch this is true in more cases than one might imagine — they vote for the performance that "the buzz" (industry chatter) says is the most outstanding. Since we have zero data, my hunch can never be proven right or wrong but there are folks out there who do a pretty good job of predicting the Oscars and most of them seem to basing their predictions on "the buzz." I think that may be it.

Then again, maybe they're all voting for the movie star they last saw in a fast food restaurant…and Meryl Streep wins so often because she eats every meal at a Burger King. Yeah, that could be it.

4:47 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for sharing that opinion piece, Mel, I enjoyed reading it.

Best wishes,

5:21 PM  

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