88th Academy Award Nominations - Full List
With all the best of the year lists floating around, the time has come for The Academy to give theirs. A couple of mixed emotions in the either I’ve witnessed, but what should we expect on Oscar nomination day? My first being the double standards between men and women, when Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announces the nominees each year with an attractive leading man. How shovenistic and sexist would Cheryl be if she were a man with an attractive leading lady? But I digress. I am truly happy there is a black president of The Academy and another reason why I lose no sleep when I see people outraged at the lack of recognition from minorities in Hollywood. Will Smith (receiving no recognition this year for his work on Concussion) put it best in a press interview for the film. Hollywood is run by white men, older white men to be exact. So naturally, they select films that compliment themselves as would any race. If it were run by black people it’d be the same. So it is more our responsibility as a particular race than it is the fault of white Hollywood. The saying goes, “be the change you seek in others”. If we as a people (whomever you identify with) take it upon yourselves to do better and not blame others, the world would spin with a lot more ease than grudge. Yes, it’s probably the fault of “the man” that Idris Elba didn’t and probably should’ve received a nomination today, but it is more our responsibility of black people to select the roles that uplift our people, be the filmmakers of tomorrow, educate ourselves on enrichment in this field, etc. to showcase our talents so Hollywood has no choice but to recognize us, or our own ceremony that is now the prestigious award.
What first stood out to me was Ridley Scott’s snub for director with The Martian. The film’s chances are now slim to none, even with its star, Matt Damon, with a nom for best actor. I loved this film (in my top 5 of the year) and up until today it was a major contender giving frontrunners Spotlight and The Revenant a run for their money. A directing and an editing nom are needed to secure a solid spot and actual chance at winning the big prize of Best Picture; with a director’s guild win as possibly the real determining factor. So The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, and Spotlight are this year’s pool of actual winners. I was hurt to not see The Martian here.
This is Leonardo DiCaprio’s year! ‘Bout time right?!' All he has to do is keep putting his name out there in the hearts and minds of voters. So, it is his to lose. If he sits back in his seat and plays it cool because he’s too beautiful to get his hands dirty because he clearly deserves to win and simply crosses his fingers, he will hand his much deserved and extremely late receiving Oscar to someone like Bryan Cranston (Trumbo). Cranston is well liked in Hollywood with the well-received Breaking Bad. Comic book geeks wanted him as Lex Luthor before Warner Bros. announced their new extended cinematic universe, and who could forget Jerry Seinfeld’s dentist who converted to Judaism for the jokes that offended Seinfeld not as a Jew but as a comedian? If Leo let’s this slip through his fingers, Hollywood would LOVE to give Cranston recognition and FINALLY make him a household name, officially. I hope this doesn’t happen as Leo is way overdue.
Supporting actor is between Bridge of Spies’ Mark Rylance and Creed’s Sylvester Stallone who should win in my opinion, almost 40 years after the original Rocky film. There’s history with this character and The Academy, and the film (Creed) was one that I liked way more than Spies (it put me to sleep). Rumor has it Sly isn’t as likable as someone like a Bryan Cranston, though he is very well known. So proper campaigning is key as it is in any election. Sadly, quality and talent don’t mean much when it comes to movies and entertainment because we look at it as such, “entertainment”. So likability and popularity are the true determining factors we base our decisions on, not talent of the craft, art, and overall quality of the discipline in question. This is why Jennifer Lawrence undeservedly won for Silver Linings Playbook over the real winner that year, Jessica Chastain (one of my girls) for Zero Dark Thirty. JLaw campaigned harder and won more favor with voters. Out of sight, out of mind, and “she’s in my mind, I saw her at the screening I went to and she stayed after signing autographs and took pictures … I like her, I’m going to vote for her”. Politics, campaigning, so it’s not in the bag 100% for Leo & Sly, they still have to work hard for the golden statuette.
I would like to see Kate Winslet win as she took home the Golden Globe for Steve Jobs and is the better candidate in my opinion, more vetted, and made the story more complete. The same could be said about the completion/core of the story aspect with Rooney Mara for Carol. However, I think The Academy will lean more towards the familiar face of Winslet.
I’m definitely not on the bandwagon for Mad Max: Fury Road. I don’t get what they hype is and I think the story needed a little more work. But I am happy a summer blockbuster-like film is in serious contention for the big prize (a rare occurence) as the film has done an incredible job this awards season hitting all the correct stops.
I was happy to see two of my top 5 favorites this year receive a nom for foreign language film, Mustang and Son of Saul, the latter of which will most likely take home the gold (though I liked Mustang better).
Off the top of my head these are my initial reactions to today’s nominations. I’ll try to put up my picks soon for the big night Sunday, February 28th, 2016 on ABC hosted by Chris Rock!