Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oscar snubs that took me by surprise...


So, with the Oscar nominations out for the world to see, we’ve been filtering through rant after rant about the snubs and shouts to the high heavens about the surprises, and so I thought I’d weigh in on the snubs that I personally found perplexing.  To be honest, there were a lot of expected nominees that I expected to be snubbed and so their lack of Oscar affections don’t surprise me (I never thought Gyllenhaal would make it, so his snub doesn’t surprise me), but looking at the list I found nine snubs that stick out like sore thumbs, and then just a film in general I’m totally confused about.


In no particular order:


Gone Girl in Adapted Screenplay
I understand that Gone Girl wasn't for everyone, and it didn't strike hot with the guilds, but one nomination that seemed the most assured was Gillian Flynn's nomination for penning the cutting script.  In fact, in a year where Original Screenplays were hogging ALL of the attention, Flynn's script was the only Adapted Screenplay to snag some wins away from the frontrunners.  It almost looked like Flynn could win the Oscar (although I always felt like The Imitation Game would steal the Oscar regardless), but to be snubbed entirely is just ridiculous.

The LEGO Movie in Animated Film
22 wins.  Like, 22 EFFING wins.  In fact, only six other awards were doled out.  So it only missed SIX wins.  It was the undisputed frontrunner, and while I did say all year that I never saw it actually winning the Oscar, this snub is ridiculous.

Life Itself in Documentary Feature
Every year, this category gets a WTF.  It's just the way that the cookie crumbles.  Still, Ebert was such a beloved staple in the world of cinema, and this documentary was so well received that I never imagined it would get the shaft.  In fact, I was starting to feel like it was going to win the Oscar.  This snub was so surprising that I actually didn't notice it when the nominees were announced because I just assumed it was there.

Force Majeure in Foreign Film
Much like Documentary, this category always has a weird surprise snub.  I have not seen this movie, but I'm really pissed about this because this was like the only movie that had any chance of beating that horrible Ida for the Oscar.

Birdman in Editing
Early in the year, I wasn't sure that this would resonate here, considering how the film was shot to 'look', but it made such a HUGE dent with the precursors and the film was so loved that it felt like a very locked in nomination.  In fact, I would have placed it in the #2 spot, right behind the inevitable Oscar winner, Boyhood.  This is just weird.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in Visual Effects
I don't understand this one at all.  I've seen none of these movies, and could care less, but honestly EVERY ONE OF THEM has been nominated, and they clearly saw it since it landed noms in the Sound categories, so this is baffling, especially for films that were so obviously less showy (Captain America).

Into the Woods in Sound Mixing
Yeah, musicals often do really, really well here, and so this missing is weird, especially since it landed with a lot of the other tech departments.  

Interstellar in Cinematography
The writing was on the wall, and yet this still feels so odd since the pattern that has been forming over the past few years made this feel like the year-out frontrunner.  Maybe all the backlash over awarding Visual Effects in this category actually had something to do with this, or maybe the Best Picture nomination really is the key (Inception, Hugo, Life of Pi and Gravity were all nominated for Best Picture).  Regardless, I had a feeling this would still show up here, and so it missing feels strange, especially for a black and white foreign film.

Foxcatcher in Best Picture
This doesn't feel like a snub until you look at the nominations themselves and see that this really overperformed, and in an expanded field, a lone director nomination doesn't look right.  How in the world could this land in Directing, Writing, Acting (twice) and Makeup and then miss the Best Picture field.  They only nominated eight films, so there was room.  It just doesn't make sense.

Selma in every category
True, I predicted that this would underperform, but honestly...what the hell happened?  The reviews were astonishing, the reception was great, the lofty importance thrust upon the film AND it's nominations was there and it just seemed like the film to beat...and then it started to slip and slip and then it wound up getting one of those Best Picture nominations that almost feels like an insult since the ONLY other nomination is got was for Original Song.  So, like, your writing, acting, directing, editing and 'dressing' was inferior or just 'not worth our time', but that song Common and John Legend wrote was so damn good that you are now one of the best films of the year.  It almost felt like a nomination they were forced into giving.  Sure, late screening...blah blah blah...but this is just weird.

30 comments:

  1. Hey Drew, I'm still lamenting about the snubs as well. Well the most egregious one is definitely SELMA, esp in Best Director and Best Actor categories. Both DuVernay and Oyelowo are completely deserving of a nod, and not only because of the color of their skin, but because they did an amazing job!!

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    1. I have yet to see Selma, but the overall hosing the film got is just strange, to be honest.

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  2. I am surprised by the Hobbit and I love all those films! I do not understand why Lego is not up nor Life Itself but there are old crotchety Academy boys who get swayed and maybe Disney had a hand in it...you never know. My paranoia is right up there when it comes to these things. I don't buy it about Selma being a late entry because so many were anyway so that is a sad excuse. I am making my list of film to see and make my own judgement...it may be a few months but I will see them

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    1. LOL, conspiracy! I'll believe you if Big Hero 6 wins the Oscar...

      And Selma missing guilds due to late screening is understandable, but missing Oscar is another story. Supposedly they had screeners for WEEKS.

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  3. These snubs make me sad.... very sad. I wanted The Lego Movie to get the Best Animated Film nod!!!! *cries*

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    1. All I can think of is...Dragon is going to win...UGH!

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  4. I can't be more disappointed with the snub of LEGO movie and, oh, Hoyte van Hoytema in cinematography, and oh, Gillian Flynn, and, for me, Jake Gyllenhaal.
    But, how the chose American Sniper over Selma is just a clear robbing. So sad.

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    1. I can't wait to see both American Sniper and Selma so I can weigh in on this debate.

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  5. I finally saw Selma yesterday after the nominations came out. Gotta say, it's pretty lame it's only up for picture and song, but I thought DuVernay just tried too hard to make it impactful and emotional and it just came off as trying too hard. At this point, I don't think she really deserved the nomination. Nor do I think it really deserved anything other than Best Actor (though, at this point, I prefered Keaton, Redmayne and Cumberbatch more, those are the only Best Actor nominees I've seen). The film deserved more, but I'm not exactly sure where. Most categories it could've been in, the other films did it either equally good or better. But that's just me.

    The Gillian Flynn snub is what is hurting me most right now. And agreed on Foxcatcher. Weird that it didn't make it in after Director, Acting, etc.

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    1. A lot of people were underwhelmed by Selma, so maybe the snub really isn't all that surprising (or at least it shouldn't be) and yet all the exterior importance being heaped on it makes the snub feel almost insulting.

      And I'm right with you on Flynn...that was just gross.

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  6. I'm still pissed about Gyllenhaal even though you didn't predict him, but Lego Movie and Life Itself missing is such bullshit. If Gyllenhaal didn't get in, I would've wanted Oyelowo in Best Actor. Not Bradley Cooper.

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    1. Cooper just felt inevitable as Sniper was hitting every guild. Gyllenhaal's film was so anti-Oscar that he never felt like a nominee, despite how much praise and accolades he was netting.

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  7. Foxcatcher didn't land in Best Picture because deep down they all know it fucking sucks and is forgettable. The Academy is already getting burned for not giving Selma more love. I'm seeing it tonight, so we'll see how I feel about it. People are over Peter Jackson's crap, including me. Birdman missing out on editing is bizarre. That movie hinged on perfect editing. I'm actually sort of glad Interstellar missed on cinematography, though it had its amazing moments. Those movies always seem to win the category. I'm glad something a little smaller has a chance this year.

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    1. Oh, I'm also pretty happy with the Interstellar snub, simply because I HATE the recent trend of cinematography Oscar wins.

      I haven't seen Foxcatcher, Selma or Birdman yet, sadly.

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  8. I'm gonna number my thoughts to make this neat :)

    1. Birdman is honest to God the finest movie I've seen since Black Swan and it's as well made as my all time favorite movie - again black swan - but even I do not nominate it in Editing. And I give it 9 wins all together. There were just 15-20 cuts in the movie. To be honest it would be more worthy visual effects pick, which were quite honestly better than Interstellar

    2. Academy didn't get GG. We heard those claims that they though Ben's dick had more personality than Amy. They are probably one of those people who asks if it was Desi's child and why was Amy covered in blood in the hospital on message boards. Fuck'em.

    3. "Selma stole Foxcatcher's BP nomination. Look at the hysteria about alleged racism, what would happen if it didn't get BP nomination? Armageddon. Not only are the racism claim stupid and misguided - blame the industry to begin with and by the way the discrimination towards women is more hurtful and evident than this - but they now lead to situations where movies about black people get BP wins and BP noms out of fear. It is not fucking mandatory for them to nominate people of color. We had Nordic gods played by black people and choir behind Streep in ITW being black kids, but no. RACISM.

    And it will also lead to most amazing Lost Stars losing. Just watch, they'll do that :/

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    1. Love you, Sati, but I can't go with you on #3. My main reason is that there was room for two more films to be nominated. They can nominate 10, but only did 8, and that's after nominating 9 the last couple years. So Selma didn't steal anything. Whether or not it was deserving is another issue, entirely. Haven't seen it, so I've no comment one way or the other. And yeah, there is both racism and sexism in Hollywood. I don't think one is necessarily worse than the other since both are pretty bad.

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    2. I think there is more women in the world, no? So that effectively makes that a bigger issue since it's also present in every single field.

      And you don't know if there wasn't a tie, or the votes were close and the Academy didn't do something fishy to nominate that one. You have no way of knowing that. They went with Selma instead of Foxcatcher. Look at the other nominations Selma got. It makes no sense to nominate it for BP.

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    3. To say that there are more women than blacks so that automatically makes it more important is a narrow-minded way of looking at things. It completely discounts the fact that racism extends beyond how it affects African-Americans and includes people of lots of ethnicities and nationalities. All of these are made up of plenty of women who face the double-whammy of misogyny and racism, or even the triple of homophobia if it applies. Like it or not, all of these issues are present and equally terrible. Saying that one is somehow the one that must be placed above the others feels dismissive of the rest of society's ills because "I can be discriminated against, but you can't." It also seems to go against a core value of feminism which is understanding that there are inequalities perpetuated by the establishment whether or not the people who aren't the ones discriminated against recognize them.

      And you're right. I don't know if there was a tie or anything like that. However, you're speculating that "something fishy" happened. All we know for sure is that 8 films were nominated, leaving room for two more and Foxcatcher did not earn one. In other words, just picking out Selma and saying it stole another movie's nomination is a claim that can't be validated no matter how few other nominations it received. Really, it's OK if you don't like Selma. It's just impossible for you to say with any certainty whatsoever that it stole Foxcatcher's nomination.

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    4. Do not lecture me on feminism or women's situation, EVER.

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  9. And by the way saying stuff like "Love you, Sati, but" is incredibly patronizing and part of the problem.

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    1. My apologies if I come across as patronizing, but I do love your blog and have a lot of respect for what you do there. Saying that was just my way of letting you know I wasn't coming from a place of hatred for you or your stance, just a disagreement with it.

      Obviously, I'm not a woman. My point about feminism is that it falls in line with all the other -isms and phobias out there. Therefore the people affected by the various problems shouldn't be trying to shoot each other down. This helps keep all of them in place. The fight for equality shouldn't end with one's gender, or skin color, or religion, or sexual orientation, or anything else. I stand by that.

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    2. Well women can judge the place one comes from without being distracted by compliments or Barbie dolls :)

      The thing is that this race issue dominated the Academy nominations talk. This was all people talked about while others, who shouted things just as important were not heard. And what we should be talking about? Probably this - https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B7uZpeKIIAE43UX.jpg

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    3. I would've started the same had you been a guy. I've done it before. Checked out the pic in the link and yeah, that's horrible.

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    4. This American Sniper thing is starting to make me sick, and I haven't even seen the movie yet.

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  10. Well, I planned on responding to both of you guys on the above debate here, but my rambling went on so long that it wouldn't let me post it...so I guess I need to just make it a blog post...

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    1. I honestly don't have the will to discuss it further. I'm focusing on this whole Chris Kyle here now everything else seems trivial in comparison.

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    2. Understood...but I just figure I typed out the whole thing, I might as well post it.

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    3. Please don't drag me into anything, though. One time there was this discussion on Girls mentioning my article, written by someone really careless who has no control over his site and I ended up with weirdo stalkers.

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  11. I thought Into the Woods might miss Sound Mixing (Sweeney Todd did) and Interstellar would miss Cinematography. Otherwise, I'm equally shocked. Force Majeure, The LEGO Movie and Life Itself definitely deserved to get in, and the Birdman and Hobbit snubs are surprising. The Selma/Foxcatcher ones make some sense, but they're still strange.

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    1. The way the voting works is really set up to give us a shock here and there...but when you follow the season so close those shocks become even huger, when you have critics bodies always agreeing on the same films.

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