2016 Oscar Nomination Reaction and Predictions
Upon the announcement of this year’s 2016 Oscar Nominations, there were a few snubs and many people were left upset. That’s not surprising. The Academy can’t please everyone. If your favorite movie or actor or technical team didn’t get nominated for something, whether unjustly or not, it shouldn’t take away your assessment or interpretation over how much you enjoyed that movie. If you loved it, that’s great. Keep recommending it shamelessly. Keep talking it up. I recommend movies all the time that have never even been nominated for anything.
The sensitivity of it lies this year (and last) with the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. All the nominees in the major categories for this year (and last) are White. As a result, supposed “favorites” like Michael B. Jordan for “Creed,” Idris Elba for “Beats of No Nation,” John Boyega from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” and Will Smith for “Concussion” have been left out. There’s all this hoopla about it and honestly I think it’s an overreaction. Just because someone that I personally believe should have been nominated wasn’t nominated, it doesn’t mean that the rest of us should start a vendetta against the Academy. To be completely honest, I haven’t seen “Beats of No Nation,” “Creed,” or “Concussion” yet, so I can’t comment on whether or not I personally believe they should have been nominated compared to the other nominees. But from what I’ve heard and read from respected critics, however, Idris Elba was robbed and Michael B. Jordan was definitely left out when he shouldn’t have been. As for Will Smith and John Boyega, respectfully, I don’t think a nomination would have been deserved.
Additionally, though nominated for Best Original Screenplay (of an all White writing team), “Straight Outta Compton” received no other nominations in acting or directing. An egregious oversight to say the least.
The so-called committee that decides the nominations is made up of an older all-White male committee. Is that the reason why no Black men or women were nominated for any major category? Honestly, I don’t think so. We’ve had Black men and women get nominated (and win) Oscars before.
The solution? If there really is a situation where there’s only five slots available for a category and you believe that more than five are worth of a nomination, well then add extra slots! You’re the Academy Awards!!
I went off on a bit of a rant there, but without further ado, here are my picks for some of the top categories in the upcoming Academy Awards: (Note: I left out some categories that I have no invested interest in or knowledge about any of the nominees.)
Performance by an actor in a leading role
• Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Revenant”: Because Martin Scorsese finally got his and it’s high time DiCaprio gets his too. If he couldn’t get one working with Scorsese, he’ll definitely get it working with Iñárritu.
Performance by an actor in a supporting role
• Sylvester Stallone in “Creed”: His first nomination in 40 years! The first of which was for the Original “Rocky.” How amazing would it be to have it come full circle? A Hollywood movie within itself.
Performance by an actress in a leading role
• Saoirse Ronan in “Brooklyn”: A story of immigration during these sensitive (and often backwards) time we are currently reliving regarding the subject matter. She was born in Brooklyn and raised in Ireland. This is the role she was born to play.
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
• Rooney Mara in “Carol”: Because I have no idea.
Best animated feature film of the year
• “Inside Out,” Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera: Because it’s another Pixar masterpiece of a tearjerker with a beautiful story and message.
Achievement in cinematography
• “Mad Max: Fury Road,” John Seale: Because watching it makes you wanna have a go-kart race in the desert armed with paintball guns and dressed like a heavy metal band on meth and acid.
Achievement in directing
• “The Revenant,” Alejandro G. Iñárritu: Because he has an eye and command of his surroundings, story, and actors unlike any filmmaker I’ve seen since Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarantino.
Achievement in film editing
• “Spotlight,” Tom McArdle: Because the way it’s edited foreshadows the essence of the movie. A bunch of information in the beginning that’s so murky and confusing that has you bouncing around everywhere and in the ends it’s wrapped in the most disturbing bow ever and dropped on your lap.
Achievement in production design
• “The Martian,” production design: Arthur Max; set decoration: Celia Bobak: Because it’s set on Mars and we all believed it the whole way through.
• “The Martian,” screenplay by Drew Goddard: Because the book was absolutely amazing and how it was interpreted was on point. What was added to the script was perfect and what was left out didn’t take away from the original story at all. Matt Damon nailed it. I also predicted this months ago.
• “Ex Machina,” written by Alex Garland: Because sci-fi is cool and mainstream again. It’s so hard to write original sci-fi, and writing it to this level of excellent deserves to be fully recognized.
Best motion picture of the year
• “The Revenant,” Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon, producers: Because all the elements of filmmaking are masterfully executed in this visual and performance-driven powerhouse movie.