Thursday, January 26, 2017

Those Bloody Oscar Nominations

Below be my thoughts on the Oscar nominations, which came out on Tuesday. Belated post is belated because I’ve had somewhat of a busy week, and I couldn’t bring myself to blog on the day because I was too busy seething.

[picture credit] This image works on so many film banter levels: 1) Ben and Amy appeared together in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, one of the frontrunners.... for the Razzies, 2) Although not nominated, Ben Affleck will play a prominent part in the Oscar race, campaigning his ass off for his brother, and 3) AMAZING AMY WAS MISSING.



The Good

- Ruth Negga’s surprise nomination! What a lovely surprise!

- La Reine Isabelle getting nominated. I really hope she wins!!

- Mica Levi’s nomination for Jackie’s score. The swirling, experimental music in Jackie perfectly captured Jackie Kennedy’s discombobulated mindset in the wake of JFK’s shooting and it was one of the few elements about the film (which overall, I found a bit too arty-farty, though still better than Blah Blah Land), that really worked.

- Kubo and the Two Strings’ nomination in Visual Effects!

- Fences, Moonlight and Hidden Figures getting recognised in the Best Picture category. Between that, and there being at least one person of colour in all four acting categories, it's nice to see some diversity at the Oscars. For once.

- Hell or High Water getting nominated for Editing, and not Manchester by the Sea. As I said in my prediction post, I did not think Not in the Top Four by the Sea was well-edited, but I figured as it was probably third most likely to win BP (after Blah Blah Land and Moonlight), it would probably get a nod. Glad the far more compelling and tightly plotted Hell or High Water got nominated instead.

The Bad
- Amy Adams’ snub. I have two theories as to why this occurred: 1) she cancelled herself out with some people nominating her performance in Nocturnal Animals instead. This theory seems unlikely, as, from the sole nomination for Michael Shannon, it’s apparent Oscar voters weren’t quite as taken with Nocturnal Animals as BAFTA and the Golden Globes were (aka, the bribes of his perfume Tom Ford sent them bounced right back, as Hollywood A-listers can afford to buy whatever scent they want). Plus her acting in Nocturnal Animals, which mainly consisted of touching her hair and throwing a book on the floor, was never better than her performance in Arrival.

So, theory 2) this was punishment for the bathtub scene in Batman v Superman. Oh, poor Amy. I knew that godforsaken bathtub scene in that godforsaken Zack Snyder hot mess would hurt her. Because she really gave a smart, empathetic performance in Arrival, easily one of the top five female lead acting performances of the year, and she deserves recognition for it. 

But the Oscars, whilst clearly fans of Amy overall (she has 5 Oscar nominations), have only nominated her one in the Leading Actress category previously, and that was for that shambles American Hustle, where she wore cleavagy dresses during the film’s running time. There were no boobs on show as Doctor Louise Banks, and thus, she sadly didn’t get enough no. 1 votes to get nominated. Such a shame.

But it’s OK, Amy. Hopefully her sixth nomination will be soon, and it will the one she wins!


The ugly
- La La Land nominated for Sound Mixing. What Sound Mixing? The sound of cars beeping their horns? Yes, I'm sure that Sound Engineers found it difficult to manufacture the audio of that, it's not like they could just record any bustling LA highway or anything. Honestly, if they were going to nominate Blah Blah Land for its unspectacular sound, they might as well have nominated The Girl on the Train for effectively capturing the sounds of trains, ffs.

- Blah Blah Land getting nominated for Sound Editing. HA! LLL managed to surpass Inception in terms of clunkily edited sound (although Inshitsen won both Audio Oscars, so, there's clearly no accounting for taste with these people). Parts of the sound in LLL were too loud and then when characters sang their songs, I was struggling to make out their bland lyrics. Given Inshitsen won both  sound Oscars and the Academy are clearly taken with LLL given how it fellates Hollywood, I wouldn't be surprised if they took both these two awards. Undeservedly.

- LLL getting nominated for Original Screenplay. The script was basic, I never bought Mia and Seb's romance (they seemed far more preoccupied with their careers), and I didn't buy for one second that Gosling's character was passionate about jazz; he just sounded like he was speaking Damien Chazelle's contrived words. The witty, layered allegory of Zootopia was far more deserving of a nomination for its Script.

(I saw Blah Blah Land on Monday and was utterly underwhelmed. Separate posts detailing my issues with that overhyped film to come).

- The general love for Not in the Top Four by the Sea. The omission in Editing aside, Manchester by the Sea still did a lot better than it deserved to, and I feel only Michelle Williams' nomination was deserved (nerd alert: all four of Michelle Williams' Oscar nominations [the previous three for My Week with Marilyn, Blue Valentine and that sixth favourite of mine, Brokeback Mountain] came in 15-rated films.

I mean, did Not in the Top Four by the Sea really need to be honoured in Direction, Best Picture, Screenplay and for Creepy Affleck? Really? This film was one of the miserable experiences i've ever endured. And I endured Deadbeat and AlbiJoe. #ByeFelicia

- Which leads me to Lucas Hedges taking Handsome Taylor-Johnson's nomination. I flopped in my predictions, letting my heart rule my head when I predicted a nomination for ATJ. But I guess having two hot British 26-year actors in the same category (Dev Patel being the other) would have been too much to ask. So instead, Lucas Hedges gets recognised for scowling for 2 and a half hours, and assailing my ears with that f_cking Boston twang.

- Meryl Streep getting her nine millionth nomination. Was that really necessary? Her career is already thriving and several of her previous nominations (August: Osage County, Doubt, Julie and Julia) were not deserved. I don't even think she should have won her third Oscar; her Margaret Thatcher impression wasn't a patch on Viola Davis fleshing out a book character from The Help into someone real, full of quiet dignity and stoicism, or Rooney Mara kicking ass in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Streep's obligatory Jennifer Lawrence-esque nomination for being Meryl Streep/Jennifer Lawrence meant Amy Adams was shut out. It means Hollywood royalty Annette Bening, who's apparently quite amazing in 20th Century Woman wasn't nominated. Neither Taraji P. Henson or Emily Blunt, actresses who's careers would have really benefited from this Oscar nomination. Instead, Streep just takes a filler spot in a category that's going to yellowface Stone.

So much ranting, so much shade. You can see why I held off commenting until now!

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