The Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and as always, there were a few snubs and surprises in the lineup. Let’s break it down…
No Ridley Scott Best Director Nomination?
Ridley Scott may have been nominated for a Best Director trophy at the Golden Globes (the film took home the Best Picture in Comedy or Musical), but there was no love this morning for the director when the Oscar nominations were announced. This seems like a serious misstep, although it did leave room for lesser-known and well-deserved directorial efforts, like Lenny Abrahamson for “Room.”
No Love for Pixar’s “Inside Out”
Pixar has previously earned two Best Picture nominations – for “Up” and “Toy Story 3.” I’m surprised that 2015’s crowd favorite “Inside Out” didn’t nab a nomination in this category, as it’s every bit as good as those films. It did, however, earn a nod in the Best Animated Film category, although Pixar’s “The Good Dinosaur” was left out of both categories.
Mad Max Fury!
I have to say, I’ve been surprised at how well George Miller’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” has done this awards season, including earning Best Film from the National Board of Review. Today it nabbed a “Best Picture” nomination from the Academy. All bets are off on this one, and after pondering the film since I saw it last fall, I have to agree it’s one of the best action films of all time. This one is bucking the trend that fast-paced films don’t qualify as high art.
I was surprised when director Tom McCarthy’s journalism drama was snubbed in the Best Drama category at the Golden Globes. It was left out of Editor’s Guild nominations, and actors Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton were forgotten by the Screen Actors Guild. But this morning, the film grabbed nominations for Best Editing, Best Supporting Actors for Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, Best Director and Best Picture. I haven’t seen the film yet – still waiting for it to get to Traverse City – but with the subject matter and A-List talent, I already know I love it.
No Screenplay Nods for Aaron Sorkin and Quentin Tarantino
Tarantino has won two Oscars, both for Best Original Screenplay – “Django Unchained” and “Pulp Fiction.” This morning, there was no love for Tarantino in that category, nor for Aaron Sorkin’s “Steve Jobs,” even though “Jobs” won the category at the Golden Globes. Sorkin, of course, is known for his dialogue and long monologues, going back to “The West Wing,” and even though Tarantino’s films are usually a bloody mess, there’s no denying the guy can write. It’s very interesting that both of these films were snubbed in the Oscars Screenplay category.
“See You Again” Snubbed for Best Song! Again!
When I first heard Wiz Khalifa’s emotional song “See You Again” in “Furious 7,” it made me weep uncontrollably. No song could have been better for the final scenes of Paul Walker and Vin Diesel driving along beside each other, and then diverging as Walker drove off into the sunset. While the song has been nominated a lot this awards season and won a few times, including from the Hollywood Film Awards, it didn’t snag a nomination from the Academy this morning.
“Carol” Snubbed for Best Director and Best Picture
Director Todd Haynes’ lesbian romance has been well received by critics, but the Academy snubbed it this morning in the Best Director and Best Picture categories. It did, however, earn nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Score, while both its leading ladies were nominated – Cate Blanchett for Best Actress and Rooney Mara for Best Supporting Actress (though Mara should have been in the Best Actress category alongside her co-star).
#OscarsSoWhite – Again?
Here we go again. Last year, the Academy was not looked kindly upon when it nominated 20 white actors. The nominations are noticeably white again this year, even though there were plenty of actors of color to choose from, including Benicio Del Toro in “Sicario,” Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation” and Michael B. Jordan in “Creed,” not to mention the wealth of talent in “Straight Outta Compton.” As with “Bridesmaids,” “Compton” earned top nominations from the Producers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America, but was snubbed for Best Picture this morning.