Written by Aaron Radcliff:
The time has come once again, dear readers. Lines are being drawn and sides picked. Homes are on a crash course with disaster as the coming conflict will result in shattered lives, divided communities, and will pit brother against brother.
That’s right: The Academy Award nominees were announced.
I’d be lying if I said I was filled with surprises when I looked over the list of contenders, but truthfully, it all went about as expected. But I do have some gripes and opinions, and that’s exactly what we’re going to take a look at. Here are some of the thoughts I have about the nominees…and expect a bunch of me yelling at the wall (and here is a friendly explanation on how the voting all works in case you need it).
The Shape of Water Leads the Way
Gullermo del Toro’s latest masterpiece, The Shape of Water, paced all the Oscar nominees this year with 13 nominations. Well deserved in my opinion, but it’s worth noting that at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Critics Choice Movie Awards, it only won 6 awards. That’s nothing to discredit, but it should be pointed out that the only major awards it walked away with were two Best Director and one Best Picture with the other wins coming for things like visuals and sound. While there’s no doubt in my mind this will pick up a few wins, and it certainly bodes well right now for del Toro, I don’t feel that high on the chances of it taking home Best Picture or any of the acting categories. Maybe I’m being cynical and reading way too much into things, but the films underperformance at the Globes seemed to set a dark tone that I can’t shake.
Hammer vs. Harrelson
If you read my Top 20 list, you’d know just how high I was (and still am) on Call Me By Your Name. While the film itself and leading actor, Timothée Chalamet, both secured nods, I was disheartened to see Armie Hammer left out in the Best Supporting Actor category. Instead we had both Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson from Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri nominated. I thought Harrelson was fine in the role, but I feel that Hammer added a bit more heart and grounding to his role. It’s not a choice I’m angry about, but it certainly caught me by surprise.
Lego Batman is Left Out
Now THIS is something I’m actually mad about. What is with all the hate toward Lego-based movies? While I would say the Best Animated Feature win deservedly belongs to Coco, I just can’t understand or justify how Ferdinand or even Boss Baby managed to get nominated. I understand you have a quota of spots but…really? Boss Baby? I’m still annoyed how the original Lego Movie was snubbed for a nomination a few years back, so when the next movie came out — one that I believe is even BETTER than the original — only to be snubbed is just unforgivable to me. Yeah, I know, there isn’t as much hoopla regarding the animated category, but come on. The Lego Batman Movie was too damn good to be ignored.
James Franco Gets Snubbed
I feel like “snubbed” is the wrong word choice. While we won’t know for sure exactly why he wasn’t nominated, you’d have to assume it was due to the recent sexual misconduct allegations. Now whether enough people failed to vote to nominate him or if it was a decision on the part of the Academy to leave him off, there’s obviously a Tommy Wiseau-sized hole. If I’m being completely honest, this is where I think Denzel Washington’s nomination comes in to play. He did a great job but I genuinely believe he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Franco news. Regardless, the Best Actor category is stacked with the likes of Chalamet, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Kaluuya, and Gary Oldman. Each one feels just as deserving as the other for one reason or another and is, what I believe, the toughest category to pick.
The Big Sick Gets Some Love
It took long enough but one of my favorite movies of last year, The Big Sick, is finally getting some recognition. While I could gripe about Holly Hunter and (in a VERY long shot) Ray Romano not getting Supporting Actor/Actress love, it’s nice to see this heartwarming film pick up a Best Original Screenplay nomination. However it has some incredibly stiff competition from the likes of Lady Bird and Get Out. While I’m uncertain it’ll win, I’m just happy to see it get some love.
Nominated in the Best Documentary Short Subject category is Heroin(e), a film which focuses on the opioid epidemic in Huntington, West Virginia. As someone from West Virginia, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t see the effects of this epidemic in some capacity (fortunately not involving anyone I personally know). We see the news reports and pictures online, but it’s a whole different world seeing it played out in the raw, unfiltered way it is here. While a win would be an incredible accomplishment, it goes without saying that the greatest victory would be spreading the content of this short film as far as possible in the hopes to usher purposeful change.
Meryl Streep Over Jessica Chastain
This will probably get me flogged in the street, but I thought Meryl Streep was just alright in The Post. It was a good performance but not the type of Earth-shattering portrayal we normally expect from her, especially regarding the roles she’s won for in the past. Personally, I would’ve put Jessica Chastain in over Streep. I honestly feel like I wouldn’t have missed out on much (besides one major bit at the end) if The Post didn’t have Streep’s character in it whereas the same obviously can’t be said for Molly’s Game. That might sound mean, and I don’t mean it to, but it’s the truth. I think the win will go to either Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, or Saoirse Ronan, so debating between Streep and Chastain is rather pointless. But it’s about the principle of it, dammit.
Plus Meryl has enough Oscar nods. She’s like the New England Patriots of film nominations.
Those are just a few quick takeaways I had from the 2018 Academy Award nominations. What did you think of the nominees? Let us know and be sure to check out the Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4th.