This past week, the Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their list of Oscar nominations. Within that list, plenty of surprises, snubs, and scrubs all exist alongside the much expected nominees. “Roma” and “The Favourite” lead the pack with 10 nominations a piece, “Black Panther” surprised many with seven nominations including Best Picture, while “Vice” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” fought against critically poor reception to secure eight and five nominations a piece.
Surprises were aplenty on the nomination list, including Willem Dafoe’s nomination for Best Actor. His role of Vincent Van Gogh in “At Eternity’s Gate” was extremely well performed, but few saw it as a potential award winner. In more technical areas, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” surprised many with nominations in Adapted Screenplay and Costume Design. These nominations were so surprising because even Netflix, the studio this film came out of, didn’t see this coming.
Snubs this year, like almost every year, were found in nearly every category. Acting wise, Claire Foy, Toni Collette, and Emily Blunt all were snubbed for Best Actress, while Ethan Hawke, John David Washington, and Joaquin Phoenix all missed out on well-deserved nominations in the male acting categories. In the Best Picture race, movies like “First Man” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” got shut out despite being early favorites to win the award. Elsewhere, Lynne Ramsay, Barry Jenkins and Damien Chazelle all were locked out of the Best Director category, “Eighth Grade” missed out on a very much expected Original Screenplay nomination, and worst of all, the Mr. Rogers documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” wasn’t even nominated for Best Documentary despite being the widely accepted front runner for months.
Scrubs this year, meaning nominees that didn’t really deserve the nod, include “Black Panther” for Best Picture, “Ralph Breaks the Internet” for Best Animated Picture, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” for Best Picture. “Black Panther,” while not a bad film in any stretch of the word, wasn’t even the best Marvel film of the year, let alone best picture. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was hardly a mediocre film, so the idea of declaring it one of the eight best movies of the year is really just kind of dumb. “Wreck it Ralph” was such a disappointing movie that I just didn’t want to see it even recognized.
These award races have typically been easy to predict, but with a combination of the Academy looking to shock viewers and the addition of a whole slew of young voters, the award winners this year are anyone’s guess. With those factors and the lack of a host, these Oscars look to be, at the very least, extremely interesting to watch.
Feature photo courtesy of Flickr.