Well, it’s been a ride leading up to the 2019 Oscar nominations announced this morning. With controversial crowd pleasers like Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody leading other award races, it was bound to be a bit of a shit show. And here we have it. I could be really vicious and pick apart the nominations that did come through instead of the ones that are missing, but that would be cruel to the folks who are celebrating today. What is done is done, but I am still not happy about these missing recognitions.
1. No love for Mr. Rogers and other leading documentaries….
The most glaring of snubs would be for Morgan Neville’s beloved Mr. Rogers documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? We all adored this film. The only explanation I can think of is that everyone thought everyone else was going to vote for it, so they picked an underdog?
Other critical favourites, Three Identical Strangers (which will be played on CNN on Jan 27th at 9pm) and The Silence of Others, also mysteriously missing from the list of documentary feature nominees.
2. Barry Jenkins’ Gorgeous If Beale Street Could Talk Only Got 3 Noms!!!
This is completely outrageous. It was a shoe-in for Best Picture, Director, Cinematography and possibly Production Design. I guess they couldn’t risk him stealing another Best Picture win.
3. NO FEMALE DIRECTED FILMS NOMINATED FOR BEST PICTURE OR DIRECTOR
This baffles me. Hello Academy? Anyone home? No one is walking the talk here on inclusion. They had sure fire films here to work with – You Were Never Really Here, Leave No Trace and Can You Ever Forgive Me (which I haven’t seen yet but have on faith is excellent) !! There is no excuse. NO EXCUSE.
4. Ethan Hawke….ETHAN HAWKE!!!!
He wrapped himself in barbed wire for Christ’s sake! It was the performance of a lifetime, anyone’s lifetime. We know people saw the film, because Paul Schrader has a nomination for his screenplay. Unless of course they didn’t see it and are just nominating him because he’s Paul Schrader. But come on. Ethan Hawke brings this complex character study / social commentary to LIFE!! This was not an easy role to play and the win was a lock. Or so I thought.
5. Editing Noms
I think I need to better understand the criteria for the editing award because I honestly thought You Were Never Really Here was one of the most brilliantly edited films I have seen in a while. The way that film was put together I could smell the streets of New York. I’m thinking no one saw the film.
6. Very Little Love for the First Man on the Moon
Every year you’ve got true stories where the truth is debated, yet the one that gets it right is passed over for the ones that arguably didn’t? Not only did this get it right, it’s an incredible film!. I usually hate space movies, but this worked for me. The Musical Score is glorious. Claire Foy was incredible. It should have a Best Picture, Best Actress and Musical Score added to its technical awards.
7. Nothing for Suspiria
Did anyone see this film? No? Didn’t think so. If they did they’d know it’s a crazy good reboot of the original arthouse film. From make up and hair, special effects, cinematography, performances from Dakota Johnson and Tilda Swinton, to Thom Yorke’s score, something should have been nominated. I do not get it.
8. John David Washington
Why no love for this man? He was brilliant in BlacKkKlansman.
I am happy about a few things though, but less usual unfortunately.
1. The Favourite has 10 Nominations
My daughter jokes about how all the critically acclaimed “lesbian films” are practically pornos. Well here we have one that is not. It’s vicious, campy, ridiculous and riotous and impeccably well made. I hope it CLEANS UP!!
2. Roma has 10 Nominations
Not everyone loved this one, but I did. It’s a beautiful film. Happy for Alfonso and hope he wins Best Director and Best Foreign Film.
3. SPIKE LEE!!!
I really like this guy and I loved BlacKkKlansman. Spike can take best Director from Alfonso. I could handle that.
4. Paul Schrader
First Reformed is a wicked screenplay and happy to see it nominated. There is tough competition here but a nod is worth a lot.
5. Never Look Away has 2 Nominations
I loved this film that no one else has seen. The Foreign Film nom was not surprising but the cinematography was a very pleasant surprise.
6. Paddington 2
One of the best reviewed sequels ever, loved by everyone who took the time to see it, could have easily been nominated for best picture, editing and production design but sadly no. Some say it came out to early. Those of us who saw it didn’t forget it!!
Deep sigh…. Always flawed, corrupt and suspect. And while I am reminded that these awards hold little weight over the years, I guess I can still have some fun waging who the winners will be.