The 2019 Oscar nominations were announced this morning and, as usual, it didn’t go the way people thought. There were surprises, snubs, and a few that most predicted. Overall, the nominations are fine and almost exactly how I figured they would go, save for a few things. There were some nominations that I loved, some that I hated, and some that literally had me scratching my head. Here are those picks.
GOOD – BLACK PANTHER
- For years, comic book movies were looked down upon by the Academy. They would get some below the line nominations, but never truly considered for Best Picture until 2008 with The Dark Knight. But Black Panther makes history as the first comic book movie ever nominated for Best Picture and it is rightly earned. The film also received six more nominations, making it one of the most nominated movies of the day. This is a game-changer.
BAD – BRADLEY COOPER AND A STAR IS BORN
- Probably the biggest snub of this mornings nominations, Bradley Cooper was snubbed in the Best Director category for A Star is Born. I had a small inkling this was going to happen, but I felt I was being paranoid and that it couldn’t happen. I have no answer for this. I guess A Star is Born wasn’t as beloved as we all thought it would be. It got a slew of nominations, but missed big ones here and in Editing. I am now no longer confident in A Star is Born‘s chances of winning Best Picture anymore. Maybe the snub will give Cooper a boost in Best Actor. Who knows? A Star is Born is now a long-shot at this point.
WHAT? – BEST EDITING
- This category is abysmal. I’m cool with BlackKklansman and The Favourite. But what in God’s green earth are the other three doing there? Bohemian Rhapsody most likely got in specifically for the final performance at Live Aid, Green Book is bland, and Vice is a hot mess that is all over the place and feels like it didn’t have an editor. Where’s A Star is Born? Roma? First Man? Black Panther? Cold War? If Beale Street Could Talk? I’m so confused here.
GOOD – WILLEM DAFOE
- Julien Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate is a long, drawn-out, non-linear character study of Vincent van Gogh. It’s not a film everyone will love and it is one that some would either fall asleep in or just walk out. I was never bored when I saw the film, namely because of Dafoe’s performance. He is truly captivating, owning every inch of the screen. I’m glad the Academy voted Dafoe in, as it is a great performance from one of our more under-appreciated actors.
BAD – NO EMILY BLUNT
- I literally don’t know what Emily Blunt has to do to get an Oscar nomination. With performances in The Devil Wears Prada, Looper, Edge of Tomorrow, and Sicario, you would think Blunt would already have a nomination under her belt. But in 2018, she had two stellar performances in A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Returns, both of which she was getting nominations for. But once again, Blunt misses out. It’s a damn shame this keeps happening. I know it’s not all about the awards, but somebody get this poor girl a nomination! She’s one of the best working actresses today and, in my book, should have four nominations. Keep pushing, Emily!
WHAT? – THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS
- This one came literally out of nowhere. Everyone basically shrugged off the Coen Brothers Netflix anthology and it kind of vanished. But not the Academy, who nominated the film for three Oscars, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Buster Scruggs isn’t the best Coen Brother movie, but is a unique nomination nonetheless. Netflix marketing and awards push this year showed how powerful they are, with all the love for Roma and Scruggs. Maybe the Academy just loves the Coen Brothers that much. Either way, this was a pleasant surprise this morning.
GOOD – PAWEL PAWLIKOWSKI
- Pawlikowski landed a Best Director nomination this morning for his gorgeous love story, Cold War. It could be argued that Pawlikowski took the spot of Bradley Cooper, whom I just discussed. While that is entirely possible, I love that Pawlikowski got a nomination. Cold War is a beautiful film and one of 2018’s best. HIs direction is top-notch and he has been putting in great work for years. But also, the inclusion of two directors who directed foreign language films (Pawlikowski and Alfonso Cuarón for Roma) shows the Academy paid attention to these films and could be a sign to come in the future.
BAD – FIRST MAN
- After going bug-nuts for Whiplash and La La Land, the Academy saw Damien Chazelle’s space epic and were like, “Nah, we’re good.” How?! Sure, it got a couple below the line nominations, but it missed some big ones there too. This is Chazelle’s greatest work as a director. An astounding technical masterpiece on all levels. How it didn’t get a Best Editing nomination is insane, but the most egregious snub was Justin Horowitz’s score, which is arguably the best of 2018. Years from now, we will look back on First Man as one of 2018’s best and wonder where it went wrong come the Oscars.
WHAT? – WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?
- This was a snub I didn’t even know happened until hours after the nominations were read. I just assumed Won’t You Be My Neighbor? was in there and was the front-runner. I was wrong. I did a double take at the nominees and saw it wasn’t there and my mouth dropped. I don’t know how it didn’t get nominated or why it didn’t, but it’s a shame. If the Academy is going to award fun-loving, enjoyable, inspiring films like Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, how can they not nominate the most inspiring, joyous movie of 2018?! Along with Bradley Cooper’s Best Director snub, this was a big snub this morning, yet a wildly confusing one.
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