Very early hours January 24, the nominations for the 95u the annual Academy Awards have been announced. Actors Riz Ahmed (Metal sound) and Alison Williams (Get out) did the prices. Unfortunately, they weren’t joined in the festivities by Williams’ singing-robot co-star M3GAN, though she was certainly there in spirit.
With a quartet of blockbusters in contention — Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, as Elvis — This year’s Oscars had a golden opportunity to expand its global audience beyond its record low of 10.5 million viewers in 2021. So, did the Academy take advantage? Or maybe he pulled a 2009 where he failed to set The dark Knight and Wall-E for Best Picture, which led to rule changes and a lot of hassle?
Directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s smash original left-field hit, Everything everywhere at once, Leads all films with 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Michelle Yeoh, who made history as the first openly Asian nominee in the category (Merle Oberon was nominated in 1936 for The Dark Angel, but hid her Asian ancestry). Netflix’s German war drama All quiet on the western front, Meanwhile, it surprises with nine Oscar nods, one of which is for Best Picture. The Academy sure loves war movies, don’t they? Among the other pleasant surprises is Angela Bassett who received a Best Supporting Actress nod for her turn. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Brian Tyree Henry won his first Academy Award, in a supporting role, for Little Promoted Causeway, and Paul Mescal gets his first Best Actor Oscar nomination as a tormented young father After the SUN.
Unlike years past, the Academy did a good job of nominating a variety of artists in most of the categories, though it failed to nominate two top black nominees, Danielle Deadwyler (Up to) and Viola Davis (The Female King), in Best Actress, and did not honor a single woman in Best Director.
These were the five biggest snubs to emerge from this year’s Oscar nominations.
While Top Gun: Maverick received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and a surprise Best Adapted Screenplay nod, the man who makes the whole thing run so smoothly failed to secure a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Cruise is not only the biggest movie star in the world, and maybe even the last real one, but he also has a history of being snubbed by the Academy. He has never won an acting Oscar, despite the fact that he deserved wins Jerry Maguire and Magnolia, and has not been nominated for an Oscar in more than two decades. He has only three acting nods in his entire career (the two aforementioned films, plus He was born on the 4th of July). Have Cruise’s Scientology antics put him at odds with the Academy? They certainly didn’t help.
Danielle Deadwyler and Viola Davis
This year’s Oscars have the unfortunate distinction of honoring zero Black actors in the Best Actress and Best Actor categories, despite many deserving performances. The omissions are most glaring in Best Actress, where a number of strong turns were expected to win acclaim: Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till, the mother of murdered 14-year-old Emmett Till, in until, and the transformation of Viola Davis into the warrior General Nanisca, of Agojie, in The Female King. Both Deadwyler and Davis were active during the campaign, but neither got the nod. Deadwyler’s snub is perhaps the most shocking, given the gravity of the role and how she rose to the occasion.
Yes, another year has passed where no women are nominated for Best Director. I was hoping Charlotte Wells would be recognized for her artfully restrained acting After the SUN, a personal and heartbreaking story of an anguished young father (Mescal) and his 11-year-old daughter (Frankie Corio) who spend the last summer vacation in Turkey together, but it was not meant to be. Instead, Ruben Östlund got a nod for Triangle of Sorrow, In this writer’s opinion, one of the most ostentatious, narratively trivial films of the past year. Perhaps Greta Gerwig will help right those wrongs with this summer’s Barbie.
Dolly de Leon
Talking about Triangle of Sorrow, the film has one saving grace: Dolly de Leon, who received a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for her inspired turn as Abigail, a cleaner who becomes the leader of a clan when a luxury yacht is filled with some of the worst of the one percent.” ever watched twists and the survivors find themselves deserted on a remote island. Thanks to her sharp survival skills, de Leon turns the tables on these pampered dudes, living in her own private residence inside the lifeboat and coaxing sex from Carl (Harris Dickinson), an insecure male model, in exchange for special privileges . It would be great to see de Leon, a veteran Filipino actress of stage and screen, recognized by the Academy for her tremendous effort.
Despite a two-decade career of standout performances, including in famous films like Little Miss Sunshine, There will be blood, and imprisoned, Dano has yet to receive an Oscar nomination. The thought was that he would do for his tender turn as Burt Fabelman, the strict but loving computer engineer father of Sammy Fabelman in Steven Spielberg’s autobiography The Fabelmans, but it was not to be. It’s a shame, given how some of the film’s more operatic performances are recognized while his understated, powerful one isn’t — combined with Dano’s huge year, between him and his Riddler. Batman. Again, Dano was harshly snubbed for fully impersonating the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson in the Love & Mercy, which should have filled him with all the nominations under the sun.