The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards have been announced. This has been a fantastic year for movies and the nominations reflect that. While last year’s award show had a few questionable snubs (Ryan Coogler deserved a nomination), I feel like they got it right with this group. There are a couple of movies I feel could have made their way on this list and i’ll get to that, but nothing seems so out of place here besides Trolls getting a nomination. Still, there’s a lot to talk about, and a lot of fun to be had discussing all of this. Let’s get into it.
#1. La La Land gets 14 Academy Award Nominations
I mentioned in my thoughts about the Golden Globes that I thought La La Land’s dominance during that show would be a preview of the Oscars. I did not expect them to tie Titanic and All About Eve for most nominations ever by a movie. This puts La La Land in a position to possibly break the record of most won Oscars by a movie. The current record is 11 and it honestly isn’t out of the realm of possibility for this to happen. The movie is a strong contender in practically every category it’s in. In the “Best Original Song” category it got 2 songs nominated. If that doesn’t show how much of a favorite this movie is I don’t know what does. Looking down the list of its nominations I would personally give the movie at least 8 of the awards. I’ll go more into that when I talk about my predictions (i’ll do that when I’ve seen a few more of the nominated movies).
#2. More Diversity
This was the big controversy around last year’s award ceremony. People felt like there was a lack of nominations for people of color. I thought Ryan Coogler should have easily gotten a nomination for Creed because that movie is just brilliant. This year we don’t have that same problem with movies like Moonlight, Hidden Figures, and Fences getting multiple nominations. Moonlight especially stands out as a movie that is a serious contender for some of these awards. Looking down the list it feels like Moonlight and La La Land are just ahead of everyone else in most of these categories. Fences gave us powerhouse performances that translated into nominations for Denzel Washington and Viola Davis as well. We also had some people make history. Viola Davis became the first black woman to ever be nominated for an Oscar 3 times. Bradford Young, the cinematographer for Arrival, became the second black man to ever be nominated in that category. It brings a smile to my face knowing that these nominations are more diverse, and that they weren’t handed to these actors for diversity’s sake. All of these nominations were earned.
#3. Michael Shannon gets nominated for Best Supporting Actor
Justice has been served. After Shannon was not even nominated for this category for the Golden Globes, he gets the nomination here. I thought the Globes had it completely wrong when they nominated Aaron Taylor-Johnson instead of Michael Shannon. I’m not saying he’s a lock to win the category either. I actually believe Mahershala Ali is the obvious choice for this category and I really hope he wins. Jeff Bridges is a possible winner because he’s Jeff Bridges, but he I think he’s the clear bronze medalist in this category.
#4. Sing Street does not get nominated for Best Original Song
I’ll say it again. Sing Street deserved to be nominated in this category. “Drive it Like you Stole It” is a fantastic song that is both infectious and empowering. I’ll take that over Trolls any day. It wouldn’t have a chance to win anyway because La La Land holds 2 nominations in this category and will definitely win. It would still be cool for a movie like Sing Street to be recognized, and I felt like this was the category for that to happen.
#5. Best Adapted Screenplay
Let me begin by saying that I don’t think any of these choices were bad. I do believe that if there was a movie to sneak in for this category it would’ve been Deadpool. Some people have called me crazy for suggesting that a comic book movie be nominated for this particular category, but it has been clear that awards everywhere have taken Deadpool serious as an awards contender. The thing that jumps out at me is the WGA giving the movie a nomination. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but I do believe that the screenplay is brilliant.
#6. Visual Effects has to be the coolest category
Let me take a second to look at the category with 5 pretty cool choices for nominees. Comic book movies commonly get nominations in this category, so seeing Doctor Strange show up isn’t all too surprising. Apparently keeping Star Wars out of the Oscars isn’t going to happen anytime soon because Rogue One got a nomination that was well deserved. Deepwater Horizon was able to create an environment where people weren’t sure what was a visual effect and what wasn’t. Kubo and the Two Strings is my favorite animated film of 2016, but I did not expect this nomination. This marks the first time an animated movie has received this nomination in over 20 years. The last animated movie to get nominated was The Nightmare Before Christmas. All of those don’t really compare with what I feel is the obvious winner here, The Jungle Book. The visual effects in that movie are just breathtaking. Most people wouldn’t be able to tell you that the movie was filmed completely in a Hollywood studio.
#7. Some funny stuff happened
There were a few of these choices that really made me laugh. Think about it guys, from now on people can refer to Suicide Squad as an Oscar nominated movie. That’s absolutely hilarious considering how bad that movie actually is. I know the nomination is for “Makeup and Hairstyling” so we shouldn’t put much weight on it, but I know a lot of DC fans that will start throwing it around.
The Lobster got a nomination for “Best Original Screenplay.” I know the screenplay is actually delightful and witty, but I can’t help but laugh whenever I think about the movie. It’s such a weird film that made me laugh more after I watched it than when I was actually watching the movie. Congrats to everyone involved with this film. We should praise originality, and among the nominees this is easily the most original.
Silence landed up getting 1 nomination. Yeah that Martin Scorcese film got 1 nomination and it wasn’t even for best director. That means it got as many nominations as Trolls and Suicide Squad, and half the nominations of Passengers. If that isn’t a slap in the face I don’t know what to tell you. The crazy thing is Silence is actually a really good movie.
Mel Gibson and Andrew Garfield made it to the party as well. Everyone knows Gibson is an asshole, but he’s an asshole that can make great movies. The duo of him and Garfield both picked up nominations and I couldn’t be happier. I know as Garfield heard his name called for Hacksaw Ridge, he was in a corner saying “please lord, help me get one more.” I’m convinced that it went down exactly like that.