What’s missing from the Oscar nominations this year?
There are some crazies out there (like me) who set an alarm for it, make their coffee and sit down in front of their computer screens as the countdown begins. 3...2...1...
Thankfully I don’t live on the west coast anymore because those 5 AM mornings before work were brutal.
Without fail, every year’s nominations are hotly debated. Who got snubbed? What were the surprises? Why are the nomination announcers so awkward?
The Academy Awards are the pinnacle for filmmakers - an opportunity to have their work validated by the “who’s who” in the film industry. It’s always disappointing not to see well-deserved movies on the list, but the truth is, the Academy Awards race begins well before the nominations and only the strong survive.
Doing a deep dive into the “why” behind what gets nominated is an interesting exercise for another time.
For now, let’s take a look at some of the movies and performances that didn’t make the cut that you should seek out anyway.
In my top three for 2018, this thriller from John Krasinski is a true masterclass in suspense. It’s no surprise it didn’t make much of an impression with the academy, horror/thriller movies never really do, but this is an incredible high-concept thriller with some stellar performances. Sure it’s about noise-hunting monsters, but it’s also about a family that cares deeply for one another and Krasinski’s true aim, to create the film as a love letter to his kids, shines through.
Actress In a Leading Role
Actor In A Leading Role
Stephan James, If Beale Street Could Talk
Stephan James is the driving force behind this film. With appearances in hit TV show this year, I’m hopeful this is only the beginning of a long and illustrious career for this dynamic actor.
Best Documentary Feature
Tamara Jenkins, Private Life
With a history of working with actors in some of their best performances (Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Savages), Jenkins has a unique way of drawing out some of the best work in her actors. She has a capactiy for empathetic and transparent storytelling that eludes most filmmakers.
Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here
Ramsay doesn’t pull any punches with this film. She has a unique way of matching visual elements with the inner turmoil of a character. She’s one of the most important female filmmakers working today and she should be on people’s radar.
Most people were expecting a nomination for first-time director Cooper. He handled the remake of A Star Is Born with a deftness and finesse that lead most to believe he had the nomination in the bag, but I’m sure he has a few more tricks up his sleeve for future projects.
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Barry Jenkins is one of the most important filmmakers working today. His intellectual approach to his films is only matched by the aesthetic excellence.
An early release date might have worked against this film’s chances for any awards, but the story is one of the most endearing of the year. It’s still holding at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for a reason.
I’m sure there are many more stories that deserve recognition and other examples of cinematic excellence that won’t be acknowledged by this particular group, but there are other accolades out there. Hopefully great storytellers keep working and giving us something to enjoy and talk about.