13 Thoughts about 2020 Oscars Nominations

1. As I was catching up on reading about the Oscars nominations this afternoon, this Forbes article pretty much says it all… Oscars in danger of losing its relevance.

The Academy needs to wake up and understand the innate diversity of Generation Z before it’s too late. Nearly 50 percent of post-millennials are nonwhite, more than any other demographic in the United States and we all want to see ourselves represented.

I couldn’t say it better myself…

2. So basically #OscarsSoWhite is baaaack! Just because a single person of color is nominated–Cynthia Erivo (Harriet)–doesn’t negate that hashtag. Now, I’m happy for miss Erivo, as she was great in Widows as well, which was grossly overlooked by the Academy in 2018.

But really, no Lupita Nyong’O (Us), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Eddie Murphy in (Dolemite Is My Name), Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy)??

3. Oscars-So-Male … Female directors are snubbed once again [sigh]
It’s not like we haven’t seen this before… but in a year where there are a TON of terrific films directed by women, it’s especially crushing!  Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Kasi Lemmons (Harriet), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), just to name a few…

4. Oscars-So-Serious. The academy hate didn’t get comedy… Jojo Rabbit is the only [dark] comedy amongst the 9 nominees. I mean just because the main character is a clown, I wouldn’t categorize JOKER as a comedy really.

5. Speaking of which… WOW! They like JOKER that much??! That movie led the nominees with a whopping 11 nominations, including Best Actor and Best Director nods for Joaquin Phoenix and Todd Phillips, respectively, and a Best Picture nod. Ok I knew Joaquin is a shoo-in, I’d even be fine with it getting a Best Picture nod (meh!), but Best Adapted Screenplay, too??? What a joke indeed!

6. In any case, on a more positive note… Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach made history as the only couple nominated in Best Adapted and Original Screenplay category! I’m rooting for both of them, how cool would it be if they go home with matching gold statuettes!!

7. Still no love for The Lighthouse… as I commented in my Golden Globes post, that film might have been way too weird for the Academy. It’s kind of a bad year for A24 all around as The Farewell was completely snubbed as well.

8. As if mimicking Jo and Amy’s rivalry in Little Women, Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh are both nominated! I’m totally ok with that as I think both actress are deserving of nods… and miss Pugh is quickly becoming one of my fave actresses!

9. It’s been an amazing year for Scarlett Johansson! She became just the 12th person to be nominated for two acting Oscars in the same year – one for Best Actor for Marriage Story and Best Supporting Actor for Jojo Rabbit. That said, I don’t know if she’s really THAT great in Jojo Rabbit, I think she might have robbed that from J-Lo in Hustlers.

10. Happy for Parasite for landing SIX noms, wow!! I think the Best Foreign Language is a shoo-in, but it also lands Best Picture, Best Director, Best Production Design, Best Editing AND Best Original Screenplay nominations! I think the Best Foreign Film is in the can, but let’s see if they’d collect any more statuette.

11. Glad to see Knives Out by Rian Johnson nabbed Best Original Screenplay nod, but I’ll still be rooting for Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach!

12. It’s a happy day for Netflix which earned 24 nominations across all of the categories while Amazon got a big fat zero! Clearly they biggest winners are The Irishman and Marriage Story, though the streaming giant barely went home with any Golden Globe awards despite a bunch of noms.

13. YAY for Klaus nominated in Best Animated Feature! I saw it around Christmas, and I thought it was great. The reimagining of Santa Claus is absolutely gorgeous to look at and has a genuinely moving story. The Spanish animated Christmas comedy-drama film written and directed by Sergio Pablos (in his directorial debut) is a Netflix original.

Haven’t seen FROZEN II (and honestly not that interested to check it out anytime soon), so I have no thoughts about it not being nominated.

Oscars will air live on Sunday, February 9 at 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Well, what are YOUR thoughts about the Oscars noms this year?

Musings on 2019 Oscars nominations

Well it’s one of those mornings that cinephiles always wait for year after year… the morning Oscar nominations are announced. I for one don’t go out of my way to wake up early to see it live, but when I woke up, of course I immediately tried to see who’s shortlisted.

Right away I noticed that it’s perhaps the most diverse lineup of nominees… though it’s by no means perfect. The Academy’s more-inclusive picks would likely keep those #OscarsSoWhite hashtags at bay… at least for now.

So here are some obligatory random comments (good & bad) about 2019 nominations:

• Not a single female directors nominated?? 😦

The UN Women twitter pic above is downright disheartening, especially since I think there are a bunch of worthy films from female directors… Josie Rourke with Mary, Queen of Scots and Debra Granik with Leave No Trace, among others. While you’re at it, check out my interview with Debra on making the film.

Granik directing Thomasin McKenzie in LEAVE NO TRACE

Netflix is becoming even more of a force to be reckoned with… rivaling big studios in raking in nominees. It’s got 15 nominations thanks to Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA leading with 10 nods, including the coveted Best Picture. How awesome that first-time actress Yalitza Aparicio got a nod in Best Actress, she’s apparently a preschool teacher who didn’t know much about the film industry and barely spoke any English at the time. [Note to self: gotta watch ROMA this weekend!]

Speaking of a Foreign Language film that’s highly-personal to the filmmaker AND set in black & white, glad to see COLD WAR getting recognition with 3 Oscars, including Best Director for Paweł Pawlikowski.

I LOVE this sultry, intensely-passionate romance drama, which was inspired by the love story of Pawel’s own parents!

Whoa! Sixth nominations!! I thought her performance as Lynne Cheney in VICE (once again co-starring with Christian Bale) was terrific. Sadly I don’t think this is Amy Adams‘ year yet, I’m convinced Regina King will take home the statuette.

Happy to see documentary filmmaker Bing Liu getting an Oscar nom on his first film Minding The Gap, wow! I got to meet him last year when he received an award from MSPIFF, here he is with Minnesota’s own film legend Al Milgrom. I actually missed his film at the fest, that’s one I gotta watch real soon!

I know there’ll be all kinds of people hating on Black Panther getting a nomination. But you won’t be hearing it from me. I think it’s well-deserved… a masterful work by director Ryan Coogler that made it so much more than a superhero movie. I highly doubt it’ll actually win Best Picture though, but it’s already made history for being nominated. Oh and with seven nods, I have a feeling it’ll win a couple forBest Costume Design (Ruth E. Carter) and Best Production Design (Hannah Beachler). How awesome would it be if both black women win in those categories!!

It’s no surprise Bradley Cooper is an Academy’s favorite, but I thought he deserved a Best Director nod as much as his acting one. Can you believe it he’s been nominated for an Oscar four times?? Just like his former co-star Amy Adams though, I don’t think this is his year to win an acting Oscar.

Where’s Won’t You Be My Neighbor? for Best Documentary??? The Mister Rogers biopic seems poised to be shortlisted… it certainly one of the most moving films I’ve seen all year! I’d say that’s one of the biggest snubs this year.

I know some people are outraged that If Beale Street Could Talk and First Man didn’t get more love. Barry Jenkins and Damien Chazelle were each other’s biggest rival two years ago with Moonlight & La La Land, and I heavily championed Moonlight to win. But this year, I wasn’t as in love with If Beale Street Could Talk though I find it far more moving and memorable than First Man. So no, no complaints from me that neither one of those movies get a nod.

Now I haven’t even seen You Were Never Really Here but based on what I read so far, sounds like Joaquin Phoenix AND writer/director Lynne Ramsay are both snubbed this year.

I have to catch up on three Best Picture nominees… BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody and Roma. Of the five I have seen, my least favorite is actually The Favourite [gasp!] Now, I didn’t hate the movie [please don’t resort to hyperbole like the rest on social media], I just don’t think it was as great as the critics made it to be and I actually find it irritating at times. My friend Cindy just did a post about it which highlights some of the things that bothered me. I do think all three actresses are terrific playing such hard-to-root-for characters. I’m especially thrilled to see Olivia Colman finally getting the recognition she deserved!

Olivia Colman in The Favourite

My last comment is on a highly controversial movie Green Bookwell, I’m glad it got nominated! I’ve mentioned it on my Top 10 list post that I see this movie as a beautiful story of friendship set during the dark times in American South ripe with racial discrimination. I’m also thrilled to see Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali each get an acting nod! I’ll be torn between Viggo and Christian Bale in the Best Actor race… my gut says this will be Bale’s year to get another Oscar.

Well, there are more that could be said about this year’s nominees but if I continue, I’ll never post this thing.

The 91st Annual Academy Awards will air on Feb. 24 on ABC.

Well, everyone’s got an opinion. What are your thoughts on the Oscars nominations?