By: Emily Miller
When The Academy promised to be more inclusive and introduce new members, no one could have predicted the nominations would end up like this. Members showed up and voted in surprising ways, which is ultimately a positive. But this year however, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher.
1. A Star is Born and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day
A Star is Born was expected to be the most nominated film at this year’s Academy Awards with upward of 11 nominations. However, it only received 8 which allowed two other films to tie for the most nominations, Roma and The Favorite. This does not bode well for the film’s Best Picture chances. Going into this morning there were four films heavily competing for top honors, Roma, The Favorite, A Star is Born, and Green Book. Typically the film with the most nominations becomes the front runner for Best Picture, which would have given A Star Is Born a much needed boost in this crowded competition.
As it stands, with fewer nominations than two movies, Star’s momentum is spiraling downward. It was also shut out of two important categories, Best Director and Best Achievement in Sound Editing. Although the Academy recently has had issues rewarding actors turned directors (Ben Affleck anyone?) Bradley Cooper was still heavily predicted to earn a nomination. Instead a virtually unknown Pawel Pawlikowski snuck in. Also not boding well is the film’s lack of nomination for Best Achievement in Sound Editing. A film that focuses on music and songs is almost always nominated for both sound awards. It’s a telling sign that it couldn’t pick up a nomination there.
2. The Academy Takes an Unusually Hard Stance on Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt, one of our favorite British imports along with Harry Potter, The Spice Girls and David Beckham’s right foot, has never received an Academy Award nomination. This seemed like it would be her year, in two categories. Emily Blunt was poised to be nominated for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress for Mary Poppins Returns and A Quiet Place respectively. Yet she didn’t see receive either nomination. Instead, the girls from Roma beat her in both categories. It’s a strange turn of events. It appears that voters got confused as to what category they were actually voting for her in, and voting appears to have split.
3. To Roma With Love
Critics loved Roma, but Oscar reporters were unsure of how the film would resonate with Academy voters. Foreign films have a particularly tough time getting into the Best Picture category. (The last film to do so was Amour in 2013.) However, it is currently tied with The Favorite for the most nominations at ten, and it broke unexpectedly into two categories, Best Actress and even more fantastically, Best Supporting Actress. Yalitza Aparicio beat out heavy weights like Emily Blunt, Toni Collette and Felicity Jones for her debut role in Roma. Aparicio was in the conversation however, and some bloggers like myself (shameless toot of my own horn) picked her for the final slot. Marina de Tavira nominated for Best Actress was easily the biggest surprise across all the acting categories. She was not on any list even as a possibility with heavy hitters like Emily Blunt and Claire Foy waiting in the wings.
4. Wakanda Forever!!!
Black Panther has become the most groundbreaking film of the year. With a predominantly black cast, telling the story of an African superhero who’s based in a land of female leaders and warriors, it’s mere conception was astounding. Then it went on to set box office records and topple social barriers. And now it has become a part of Academy history forever. Black Panther has become the first superhero film and the first film to be based off a comic book to be nominated for Best Picture. (It’s only the second superhero film in Academy history to be nominated for any of the major awards. The first film was The Dark Knight which was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger.) In total the film received an incredible 7 nominations, making it one of the most nominated films of the year.
5. They Did Not Call Timothée Chalamet By His Name
Timothée Chalamet was widely anticipated to be nominated for his second Oscar in two years (at the ripe age of 23) for his work in Beautiful Boy. He was nominated for a Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critic’s Choice and SAG for Best Supporting Actor. Yet this morning, the Academy did not call him by his name. Instead, they chose to nominate two Sams, Sam Rockwell and Sam Elliott. Both Sams were fighting each other for the last nomination, while Chalamet was considered safe. However the Academy couldn’t resist nominating Sam Rockwell for Vice, in the same category they just gave him the Oscar in last year, and Sam Elliott, a lifetime character actor who at the age of 74 is earning his first Oscar nomination. These feel good stories were probably too much to resist to voters who have a particularly hard time recognizing young male heartthrobs. Just ask Leo.
6. One Giant Step Backwards for First Man
First Man has been on the periphery of Awards Season this entire year. Although it never quite made the splash everyone thought it would, there was one category it has dominated, Best Original Score. It won both the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Awards, which are THE precursors when predicting the Oscar nominations. Even in Vegas First Man had the best odds to get nominated, and for some inexplicable reason, it was left out. It seems like Oscar voters just didn’t get around to seeing the film as its chances for Best Picture dwindled.
7. The Academy Does Not Like Sweaters or Detective Bears
Quite possibly the biggest head-scratcher of them all, is trying to figure out how the Academy left out the Mr. Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” It seemed like an Oscar lock. It was a feel good movie about a unanimously loved childhood figure, and it was directed by an Academy Award winning director for Documentary, Morgan Neville. It also currently has a 98% Fresh Rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and to top it off, it has become one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time.
And yet, it did not receive a Best Documentary Feature nomination. I wish I could give a reason, literally any reason as to why this was left off, but simply put, I am stunned. There is no valid excuse or reason that myself or the rest of the internet can discover as to how this happened.
The Academy also made the egregious error of leaving out PADDINGTON 2.
So in conclusion, the only reasoning I have as to why these films were left out is because they don’t like nice things.
Thanks for Reading. As always sound off in the comments section below.