OSCAR NOMINATIONS

The 89th Academy Awards will take place on Feb. 26, 33 days from today.

Oscar nominations were announced this morning. Click here for a full list of nominations. Some quick takes:

 
Top nominations

unnamed
Summary

  • La La Land led the pack with 14 nominations, tying Titanic and All About Eve for most nominations ever. (Both went on to win Best Picture.) It scored nominations for Best Picture, Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), Best Actress (Emma Stone), Best Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Original Score, Best Original Song (“City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”), Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing. (Maybe a better way to put it was that it did not get nominated for Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress, Best Makeup and Hairstyling or Best Visual Effects.) The only surprise here was Sound Editing, which usually goes to movies with explosions and has never gone to a live-action musical before. I don’t think La La Land is the best movie ever, but when you break down the nominations individually, it’s hard to argue it deserved fewer than 12 or 13. In fact, it is very possible that it will tie Titanic, Ben-Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with the record for most wins on Oscar night (11).
  • Following La La Land in nominations were Arrival (8), Moonlight (8), Hacksaw Ridge (6), Lion (6) and Manchester by the Sea (6). All earned Best Picture nominations.
  • Nominations in the major categories were pretty concentrated. There were 15 movies represented in picture, director and the acting races, and only six of the 20 nominated actors were not in films nominated for Best Picture. (Four of these six were Best Actress nominees. Best Actress and Best Picture rarely go hand in hand, though this is typically because Best Picture nominees don’t tell stories centered around women; this year, three of the nine had female-driven (or co-driven) stories.)

Surprises

  • Amy Adams, who many predicted would be nominated for Best Actress this year for Arrival, did not earn a nomination, despite previous SAG, Golden Globes, BAFTA and Critics’ Choice nominations. Adams also starred in Nocturnal Animals, a film that the Academy cleared liked enough to surprise-nominate Michael Shannon, who had earned nominations from several critics groups and at the Critics Choice Awards but nothing from SAG, BAFTA or the Golden Globes. I think that vote-splitting may have cost Adams the nomination and allowed room for Ruth Negga to snatch up the competitive fifth Best Actress slot.
  • Aaron Taylor-Johnson was the first Golden Globe Best Supporting Actor winner to not get nominated for an Oscar since Richard Benjamin in The Sunshine Boys in 1976. Bizarrely, Benjamin’s Sunshine Boys co-star earned a nomination that year, just as Shannon may have taken Taylor-Johnson’s spot this year.
  • Mel Gibson earned a Best Director nomination for Hacksaw Ridge. He now holds the longest gap between a Best Director win (for Braveheart in 1995) and a follow-up nomination.
  • Deadpool didn’t get nominated for Best Picture or, actually, anything else, despite nominations from the PGA, WGA, ACE, Golden Globes and a number of guilds.
  • Finding Dory was not nominated for Best Animated Feature, but was also not that great.
  • Sully and Silence earned fewer Academy Award nominations than Passengers.
  • ABC was surprisingly incompetent, accidentally posting the wrong nominees on its website and needing to apologize to everyone.

Records (mostly from these two sources)

  • Diversity (good): This year’s acting nominees included a record-tying seven POC acting contenders, at least one in each race: Denzel Washington, Ruth Negga, Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel, Viola Davis, Naomie Harris and Octavia Spencer. Six black nominees is a record (see the New York Times infographic); three black nominees in the same category (supporting actress) is a record. (Scott Feinberg notes that “The Academy may claim that this is the result of it flooding its organization with an unprecedented number of diverse new members this year, but I maintain that these nominees, up against the same competition, would have been nominated in either of the last two years, as well.”) Three Best Picture nominees have black producers (Fences, Hidden Figures and Manchester by the Sea) and two have black directors (Fences and Moonlight); both are records. Additional nominees included cinematographer Bradford Young, the first African American and second black cinematographer ever nominated (Arrival); Joi McMillon, the first black woman to be nominated for film editing (Moonlight); Kimberly Steward, the second black female producer to be nominated for Best Picture (Manchester by the Sea); and Mica Levi, the first woman nominated for Original Score since 2000 (Jackie).
  • Diversity (bad): Of the 647 cinematography nominations in Oscar history, not one has been for a woman, despite female cinematographers this year for Hidden Figures and Fences, both Best Picture nominees. While #OscarsSoWhite may stay in the background, at least this year, it’s worth noting that there were no Hispanic nominees. (An LA Times op-ed notes that, for minorities, blacks may be overrepresented in film and television.)
  • Meryl Streep extends her record for most acting nominations from 19 to 20. Katherine Hepburns and Jack Nicholson each have 12.
  • Viola Davis became the most-nominated black woman in Oscar history (three nominations), and Denzel Washington is the most-nominated black man in Oscar history (eight nominations). Octavia Spencer is the only black actress to ever be nominated again after winning.
  • Amazon beat Netflix to become the first streaming service to earn an Academy Award nomination for best picture (Manchester by the Sea).
  • La La Land director Damien Chazelle (age 32) is poised to become the youngest Best Director winner in history.
  • Lin Manuel Miranda could become the youngest EGOT (Emmy Grammy Oscar Tony) recipient in history if his Moana song “How Far I’ll Go” beats the La La Land Best Original Song duo.
  • Fences screenwriter August Wilson received a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination despite being dead for 12 years. This is not actually a record. Larry Russell was dead for 18 when he won for Best Original Dramatic Score for Limelight
  • Passengers composer Thomas Newman earned his 14th nomination, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi sound mixer Greg P. Russell earned his 17th and Hacksaw Ridge sound mixer Kevin O’Connell earned his 21st; none have ever won.
  • This is the first time since 2005 that there were no Best Picture nominees from the second half of the alphabet.

And some humor

  • On Oscar diversity: https://twitter.com/shirklesxp/status/823894696065978368?refsrc= email&s=11
  • On Mel Gibson: https://twitter.com/MarkHarrisNYC/status/823887108695871489
  • On Meryl Streep: https://twitter.com/huskydusty/status/823903088029233152?refsrc= email&s=11
  • On La La Land‘s Oscar strategy: “That film is in the position Donald Trump was in when he said he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and it wouldn’t hurt him. They’re staying exactly the same, with the same visuals that say, ‘Hey, this was the worst year of your life, wasn’t it? Ours, too! Look at these two happy people dancing!’ It’s a great campaign.”
  • On Kevin O’Connell: Kevin O’Connell’s sound mixing nomination for Hacksaw Ridge is his 21st nomination in that category, stretching back to 1984, when he was nominated for Terms of Endearment. And in all that time, he hasn’t won once. No other human has as many Oscar nominations without a win as Kevin O’Connell. Now, you might think this is finally O’Connell’s year. After all, war films usually perform well in the sound categories. But you know what tends to perform just as well in the sound categories? Musicals. And you know what’s also nominated here? La La Land. See you in 2018, Kevin!
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s