With all of the shocks and surprises of the Academy Awards nominations, our contributors have put together these first post-nomination predictions. We’ll do individual posts this week discussing our individual predictions and we’ll have a final set of predictions the Friday before the Oscars.
Some of our contributors even provided commentary. I present that here before we get into the nominations. Please note that this has not been edited yet:
Peter J. Patrick – I found myself agreeing with this year’s Oscar nominations more than any in recent memory. I liked all nine Best Picture nominees, all five Best Directing nominees and 19 of the 20 acting nominees. It seemed to me that Academy members and the BAFTA membership rather than SAG and the various critics’ groups went for “the best” as opposed to “the most popular”, a reversal of the general perception as to how these things are generally done.
Thomas La Tourrette – The Academy can still surprise us on Nomination day, though that is not always a good thing.
I am surprised by the love for Joker, a film I detested. It leads the pack with 11 nominations. Having the most nominations can also be sign for the film that goes on to win best picture, though I will hope that is not the case this year. The Academy did muddy the race for best picture. Joker and The Irishman were the only two films that received noms for directing, writing, cinematography and film editing, in addition to acting ones. Films no longer necessarily need these to win, but it should help the chances for these two. Coming off its Golden Globes wins, 1917 seemed the one to beat. An unexpected screenplay nom bolsters its chances, but the lack of a film editing nom would hurt it. If it wins, it will be the first film without acting noms since Slumdog Millionaire in 2008 to get best picture. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood’s chances would have been helped with a film editing nom. Ditto Jojo Rabbit if it had gotten a directing nom, like it did from the Directors Guild. Little Women might have truly been a contender, but without the directing nom, it is probably out. Joker is a divisive film, and The Irishman may just be too long for some people. They did not make it easy to predict what might win instead.
For me, the biggest snub is not nomination Greta Gerwig for best director. She did a great job with Little Women, and was nominated for its screenplay. In a year when several well received films were directed by women (The Farewell, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Honey Boy), it is shocking that the Academy could not come up with one if not more to nominate. Both BAFTA and the DGA had all male rosters, and have gotten grief for it. One would have hoped that the Oscars might have tried to correct that. No such luck.
The Academy did nominate Cynthia Erivo for best actress, so they can avoid the tagline #OscarsSoWhite again. It is a pity that they also have room for Golden Globe winner Awkwafina. Noms for Jennifer Lopez, Lupita Nyong’o, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Michael B. Jordan, Alfre Woodard or Zhao Shuzhen would have helped quiet things down. Zhao Shuzhen and Jennifer Lopez had seemed likely nominees, and it is a pity they did not make the final list.
I am somewhat saddened that The Farewell was totally shut out. And surprised that Bombshell, Star Wars, Avengers: Endgame, Little Women, Rocketman and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood garnered so few nominations. I expected each to do better. Several lost spots to Joker.
Best picture went basically as I guessed. I am pleased with the inclusion of Jonathan Pryce, a deserving nominee for The Two Popes. I am sorry that Golden Globe winner Taron Egerton is not up for best actor for Rocketman, especially as he did his own singing. It is a huge upset that Frozen II was not nominated for animated feature. I did not expect it to win, but one assumes the all-time highest grossing animated film would at least be nominated. I did expect Jennifer Lopez to be nominated and thought she might give Laura Dern a bit of a race. I am truly sorry that A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood did not get a nomination for its screenplay. ABC is probably ruing the fact that the song “Spirit” was not nominated from Lion King, as having Beyonce sing the song she co-wrote would have boosted ratings. They probably thought the same thing when Taylor Swift’s number from Cats did not even make the short list. Rocketman’s only nomination comes for a song, so it may turn out to be quite the battle between and the song from Frozen II. 1917 did get a surprise nom for visual effects, which could bode well for it in the best picture race, as it is getting love from other parts of the Academy. Avengers’ only nomination, and Lion King’s too, are for visual effects, so it should be quite the race between them and the anti-aging work done for The Irishman. And I would be remiss if I did not mention the huge omission of Apollo 11 from the documentary feature list. The Academy had a habit of not nominating front runners in this category, but this one seems surprising, even for them.
On a cheerier note, there were four double nominees, a rarity. Scarlett Johansson scored her first two noms for lead and supporting actress, the 12th person to do that. Time will tell if she is the 8th to win on one of those, though it looks unlikely. Cynthia Erivo is up for best actress and song. Randy Newman received noms for song and score, though from different movies. It is the fifth time he has competed in those two categories at once. And the second time he is up against his cousin Thomas Newman for score. Honeyland is up for both documentary feature and international film, the first time that has happened.
So the race is officially on. I will write more in depth as we get closer to February 9.
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