Oscar nominations were released this morning and we have feelings.
First, view the complete list of 2017 Oscar nominations.
Lane: This is reminiscent of my feelings toward the Golden Globes, but this round of Oscar-bait films just doesn’t do it for me. I’m not as emotionally attached as I have been in years past. Maybe I’m jaded. Maybe I’m more devoted to TV now. Maybe part of my soul has died since November 8. There are some exceptions though: Moonlight, La La Land (14 nominations?!?! idk though), Arrival, Hidden Figures, and Piper. Films I couldn’t give 2 shits about: Hacksaw Ridge, Passengers, Hell or High Water, Florence Foster Jenkins (but give it to Meryl because I want another speech).
Michelle: I woke up for this announcement as I do every year and more than usual I was celebrating some of the “unconventional” picks from the Academy, but I will say that although I’ve talked highly and felt strongly about some of the Best Picture nominees (La La Land, Arrival, Moonlight), I wasn’t wowed by the announcements. Maybe that was from the new format the Academy took to announcing, and the lackluster delivery at the end of the video (Best part was Brie Larson’s cameo in the presentation video). Most felt exactly like bait, and the Academy took it. Lane, I think you’re definitely more TV now, but that’s ok, television is just unstoppable right now. But for someone who has seen every nominated film, I share your sentiment, and that makes me sad. PS: I’m mad as hell about Passengers, Suicide Squad, and the snubs.
Lane: Instead of being attached to a singular film, I’m rather attached to the glimmer of hope for actors, directors, and writers of color. Please don’t assume this glimmer of hope thinks that #OscarsSoWhite has been solved. Not solved. At all. Don’t be complacent, Hollywood. Nominate some female directors. But I have to celebrate that three black women are nominated for Best Supporting Actress.
Also, I have to celebrate the awesome production company, A24, for an impressive number of nominations! I do like their taste in film. They stole the show last year with an incredible win for Ex Machina and they’re back in the game this year.
Michelle: It was like 8:30am and I screamed in my room when the Supporting Actress category was announced! I felt an overwhelming sense of warmth and happiness to see three women of color receive nominations (that each of them deserved). #OscarsSoWhite has definitely not been solved, but I do want to give the Academy some credit in giving nominations to people of color and not subscribing to the pressure where the nods felt forced or “hand outs.” Dev Patel, Denzel Washington, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, and Viola Davis are among the list of nominees, and the cool part about Viola’s nod is that she has now become the first black woman to receive three Academy Award nominations!
Lane knows how much I love A24, but let me just tell you guys how ecstatic I was to see them come out with some solid nominations. They saw nods with Captain Fantastic, The Lobster, Moonlight, and 20th Century Women, but don’t be mistaken by my excitement, this isn’t the company’s first go around at the Oscars…they’ve been pumping out contenders for the last 5 years and have proven they’re the ones to beat.
Lane: Here are some categories that stand out for me.
Actress in a Leading Role: Isabelle Huppert for Elle, a film that isn’t nominated for best foreign film (which it won the Globe for) nor best film. Michelle, do you think Elle rallied too hard for best film and missed out on a best foreign film nod? Also, what’s up with the Amy Adams Arrival snub?!
Michelle: I just watched Elle, so this is very fresh in my mind. Huppert deserves that nod and now her “surprising” Golden Globe win makes sense to me. Elle was a crazy film, and I think maybe there is a strong possibility they campaigned for a Best Picture nomination, and that’s what cost them the shot at Best Foreign Film (Toni Erdmann, ftw). However, I think maybe thematically, this film threw the Academy off. There’s a lot of heavy content in Elle, and that’s what has driven the hype: controversy.
I have such strong feelings about Amy Adams’ snub. So much, that I would rather not go into it too much, because I just got my blood pressure down haha. I don’t know when the Academy (and the public) will recognize the talent within Adams, but this snub is a real low blow. Arrival is virtually nothing without her, and for the film to walk away with 8 nominations excluding her for Best Actress, it just feels wrong.
Directing: Maybe Barry Jenkins can snatch the win from Damien Chazelle? That would be exciting.
Michelle: This would be exciting and somewhat of an upset, because I think La La Land is going to be the darling this season, and coming off of a Golden Globe win, it’s seemingly Chazelle’s.
Editing: I do feel strongly about an Arrival win in this category. That film is extremely tight.
Michelle: I think Arrival is a safe bet, however, editing a musical and making sure the film feels as lyrical as the music and choreography around it might la la land Tom Cross a win (Ok, that was bad…I’m a little rusty with my comedy these days).
Makeup and Hairstyling: That Suicide Squad nom though!!!
Michelle: Can we skip this? HOW HOW HOW HOW. Also, with such a limited selection of nominees in these categories, how did we not generate better picks? Jackie? Hacksaw Ridge? Rogue One? I don’t know, any other film…
Music (Original Score): No Arrival nom for Johann Johannsson here. I know there was some controversy about that. Michelle, any insight?
Michelle: The absence of Johann is definitely felt, but due to an early disqualification, the score for Arrival misses its shot along with Manchester By the Sea and Silence. Both Arrival and Manchester By the Sea were disqualified due to the influence and use of preexisting material. Because of this, we have a nomination for Passengers, which feels like a throw away nod in this category, especially when there are a list of composers and scores that could have easy filled in for the missing contenders. Example: Max Richter for both Miss Sloane and Morgan, although Miss Sloane would have been the more probable choice. Anyways, this feels like Justin Hurwitz’s for La La Land, although I’m really pulling for Mica Levi’s (first time nominee) score for Jackie.
Music (Original Song): La La Land nominated twice both for “Audition” and “City of Stars.” Any chance the vote could divide the La La Land-ers and another song could win? (Not Trolls #neverTrolls)
Michelle: This category is tricky, because La La Land is dominating the nominations. However, buzz around the potential for Lin-Manuel Miranda to become the youngest EGOT (Emmy.Grammy.Oscar.Tony) winner, may pressure the Academy to really consider his original song from Moana. As much as I love “Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” I would love the drama of an upset. This category is always fun for me because of the live performances that occur to present the songs to the audience.
Production Design: Hail! Caesar gets one nomination in this category. I’m surprised. Here’s another Hollywood film about Hollywood that came out February 2016. Hollywood should eat it up but, instead, they’ve largely forgot about it. Proof that the unofficial Oscar calendar of film releases works.
Michelle: I’m not sure who this will go to, but if I had to guess, it’s probably a fight between Hail! Caesar and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but wouldn’t be surprised if Arrival sneaks up in there for a win. This is also the second nomination for Passengers, and I haven’t fully comprehended all of this yet.
Short Film (Animated): Perhaps the category I care most about. Piper is my favorite Pixar short. I cried. It’s beautiful.
Michelle: It’s the battle of Pixar shorts, because Piper and Borrowed Time come from the masterminds over at Pixar. Lane is pulling for Piper, and that’s a reasonable decision because it really was a beautiful short, but I think I’m going to root for Borrowed Time. I’ll justify this because it’s gritty, depressing, and profound and I’m an infinite sad girl who loves all of those things. BUT we need to mention Pearl, because a short that comes with a 360/VR experience is groundbreaking for the category, and could be driving force behind voting (loved loved loved the story and the song that plays throughout the entire short).
Sound Editing and Sound Mixing: I will never understand.
Michelle: I love these categories even thought I have little to no experience in them. ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) and bridging sounds within scenes is an art form in itself, and I’m very appreciative of the people who put so much time into perfecting this for films. All I know is that Sound Editing is the creation of all the sounds, ADR, music, etc. and Sound Mixing relates to the mixing and engineering of these sounds in order to create balance between all of that and make it sound as natural and fluid as possible. If I had to guess, editing is between Arrival and La La Land and mixing is between Rogue One and La La Land. We shall see how this goes on February 26.
Writing (Adapted and Original): I’m hoping Moonlight takes the best adapted nomination. And look, 20th Century Women snuck in there! Go listen to Mike Mills’ interview with Terry Gross!
Michelle: Adapted should be Moonlight‘s win, but I would love for Hidden Figures (aka Hidden Fences to anyone who likes combining two films with no relation) because the story of those women was finally told and executed well. For original, it’s going to be tough. Kenneth Lonergan took the Critics’ Choice for Manchester By the Sea and Damien Chazelle took the Golden Globe for La La Land, so it’ll be a fight between those two. I would do whatever I could to make the Oscar go to 20th Century Women, because Mike Mills wrote an incredibly beautiful and real narrative that I haven’t stopped thinking about.
Additional Random Thoughts Floating Around in Michelle’s Brain:
- The new presentation format was cute, but ineffective. I thought it was sweet that they tried to have past winners “welcome” the nominees into their new positions as Academy Award nominated professionals, but it didn’t feel as genuine as it should. Non-biased, but I’m sure I’ll get called out for, position: Brie Larson was honestly the most genuine and poised presenter in the video compilation.
- Viggo Mortensen over Joel Edgerton for Best Actor blew my mind because Captain Fantastic isn’t anywhere else on the Academy’s radar and Edgerton co-starred with Ruth Negga who received a nod for Loving. It reminds me of the year Blue Valentine earned a nomination for Michelle Williams, but snubbed Ryan Gosling.
- Excited for Dev Patel’s nomination from Lion, but Sunny Pawar, like Jacob Tremblay last year for Room, was snubbed of a well-deserved nomination for the same role. Both Pawar and Tremblay carried their films and helped propel their older, leading co-stars performances. We also haven’t had a significantly young nominee for outstanding performances since Quvenzhané Wallis in 2012 for Beasts of a Southern Wild.