The oscar nominations are in and the good news is, there is some pretty good nominations – and it’s less white! Now it’s time for us to take a look at the nominations the ones that are great, the ones that are stupid and the shocking misses and inclusions of the year.
On the good front, nominations for the likes of Dev Patel, Ruth Negga and Naomie Harris means that these fantastic performers are getting the recognition they deserve. As well as deserved nominations for Casey Affleck, Mahershala Ali, Jeff Bridges et al, there is also no surprises that Viola Davis, Natalie Portman and Meryl Streep have been nominated, seeing as they are heavyweights.
Great to see nominations for the films like Arrival, big science fiction is rarely given much respect comes awards seasons and one that is so happily sci-fi. It’s also pleasing to see Zootopia, Moana and Kubo and the Two Strings up for awards.
There is also a lot riding on Barry Jenkins being the first African American to win an academy award, though crucially he would not be the first non-white person to win… that would be Ang Lee, but still these steps are being made.
Mel Gibson being nominated is an insult considering he’s been persona-non-grata for several years, but as we found out when Roman Polanski won for The Pianist, controversy in Hollywood is quickly forgotten. It’s also somewhat bad that the likes of Amma Asante, David Oyelowo and Rebecca Hall have not been nominated.
Nicole Kidman’s turn in Lion is also a duff move when there was such great acting by people in much more mainstream offerings. In the technical categories it’s surprising not to see more awards thrown at Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Also, who has heard of The Red Turtle and My Life as a Zuccini? No nominations for Finding Dory or The Jungle Book? These were two of the years most popular films. And nothing for the visually interesting Doctor Strange.
Viggo Mortensen being nominated for the barely seen Captain Fantastic over Tom Hanks in Sully is a very big shocker, as well as the lack of love for The Jungle Book. It’s also a big surprise that people like Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain weren’t nominated for Arrival or Miss Sloane.
It’s also a little upsetting, though not surprising, that Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping got no song nominations (not even for the frankly brilliant Finest Girl, the Bin Laden Song), as well as no chance of seeing Dwayne Johnson flexing his pipes on stage for Moana.
Paul Klein is a Film Studies Graduate from London, former writer at The Metropolist.