My Oscar Nominations Reactions

Don’t want to get too deep here, but wanted to share some quick thoughts about this morning’s Oscar nominations. I’ll break down my reactions into four categories:

DISAPPOINTMENTS:

-Peter Dinklage missing for Best Actor. I would have loved him to be in the top 5, certainly in place of Will Smith or Javier Bardem. What Dinklage did in Cyrano was exquisite. By the way, Cyrano comes to theaters on February 28, so go, so you can see for yourself.

-Jared Leto missing for Best Supporting Actor. Yes, there are most definitely two camps on this outrageous performance, and most critics agree he is much more deserving of his Razzie nomination than an Oscar, but I personally really enjoyed his performance, he truly disappeared in his role in House of Gucci and I would have loved to have seen everyone’s head explode. Ha.

A Hero missing for Best Original Screenplay and Best International Film. This quiet but enormously powerful film from Iran deserved to be included, especially for screenplay over King Richard.

-Speaking of King Richard, I have no clue what everybody loves so much about the film, and its inclusion in Best Picture and the likely scenario where Will Smith wins the Oscar for Best Actor truly confounds me.

-I’m equally disappointed to see Don’t Look Up included in Best Picture, especially when The Tragedy of Macbeth was right there. I just don’t understand how it could be considered one of the year’s 10 best films. Here’s a graphic illustration that sums it up perfectly:

Courtesy Rotten Tomatoes

SHOCKS:

-I’m not a great fan of Dune, but I certainly admired and respected the craft of it, which is why I and the rest of the film world are astounded that director Denis Villeneuve missed a nomination for Best Director.

-Lady Gaga being left off the list of Best Actress nominees is an earthquake. She had garnered nominations and wins throughout the season, never missing until the BIG one. Nobody saw this coming. And she campaigned SO HARD for her role in House of Gucci. Maybe too hard. This proves the Academy doesn’t care about ratings or being liked (unlike the Golden Globes), so good for them.

-There wasn’t much that pundits were sure of other than Belfast getting a Best Picture nomination, which did happen, and that Caitriona Balfe from that film would land a Best Supporting Actress nod, which did NOT happen. The acting branch chose her co-star, Judi Dench instead, but I was pretty sure they would’ve found a way for both in the category.

Drive My Car landing a Best Picture nomination is staggering for a three-hour, quiet Japanese film that nobody outside of the industry has heard of. I was sure that if the Academy was going to nominate any foreign language film that Flee or The Worst Person in the World would have been more likely to land here.

JOYS:

-KRISTEN STEWART. The best performance of the year. Had been snubbed by nearly everyone, but she pulled it out when it mattered. Her peers knew (although SAG apparently doesn’t).

-Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons. These two long-time working actors, who happen to be married, are two of the nicest, most down-to-earth and most talented actors working today, and to have them each get their first nomination together the same year (both for The Power of the Dog) is beyond sweet—and most deserved.

Nightmare Alley was a long shot to get into Best Picture, but it did it, and I’m thrilled. The film was practically swallowed up in the theaters by Spider-Man, nobody was talking about it, so I’m so happy the Academy paid attention to this gorgeous Guillermo del Toro noir.

-I’m beyond thrilled for the following nominations, my favorite performances of the year, SO well deserved:
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Andrew Garfield, Tick, tick…BOOM!

-Finally, history that matters to me in a big way: the last openly queer performer to be nominated (and was also the first ever) was Ian McKellan when he was nominated for The Lord of the Rings TWENTY YEARS AGO. But, today, TWO openly queer actors, Kristen Stewart and Ariana DeBose, were both nominated, making history. And they both could win, which would be even better.

HOPES:

-Kristen Stewart and Ariana DeBose win, natch.

-Almost anything but Don’t Look Up winning Best Picture. No, really, I’d be happy with any of them—well, except King Richard, which doesn’t deserve to be there either.

-My favorite film of the year, Cruella, got two nominations, for Best Hair and Makeup and for Best Costumes. If it doesn’t win at LEAST costumes, I will riot.

-I REALLY want Flee to win both Best Documentary AND Best International Film but that looks unlikely, with Drive My Car landing that Best Picture nomination. Still, I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

-Even though Kodi Smit-McPhee practically has Best Supporting Actor in the bag (for The Power of the Dog), how great would it be if Troy Kotsur (CODA) won? It would be a moment for the ages.

-Ari Wegner is only the second woman ever to be nominated for Best Cinematography and, guess what, she’s probably going to be the first to win it. Even though I didn’t love The Power of the Dog, I have to root for her. (But did you SEE The Tragedy of Macbeth??)

-That Hans Zimmer score for Dune has to win, right??

-I REALLY hope Nightmare Alley wins Production Design. It was magnificent.

How’d I do with my predictions? I went a modest 45 for 59 (76%), missing at least one in every category, going 5-for-5 in only one, Best Animated Feature.

See the full list of nominees here

The Oscars will be on Sunday, March 27, live on ABC. Host still TBA.