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Filmmaking isn't a competition. There shouldn't be any winners and losers. Instead, everyone should just be focused on making the best films they possibly can with the tools provided for them.
That's the usual train of thought. But Oscar nominations morning throws this entire rule book out of the window. Actors, actresses, producers, directors, writers, editors, and anyone else who is overlooked turn from gentle and contemplative individuals into rabid, furious egotists, that start cursing out their rivals, planning revenge, and asking the heavens why the world has been so cruel to them.
Today was no different. In fact, there were quite a few snubs that were hard to understand. Here's a rundown of the Oscar snubs that will have left people rightfully furious.
Really? I mean, what more does the superhero genre have to do to get Oscar recognition? Everybody and their great-grandmother loved Deadpool, and after gaining recognition at the Critics' Choice Movie, Writers Guild Of America, Producers Guild Of America, and Golden Globes it was thought that it would come away with at least a couple of nods at the 89th Academy Awards. Instead, it received zero. Which is a travesty.
Ryan Reynolds should have, in my opinion, been recognized ahead of Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic) in the Best Actor category, while Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese can feel aggrieved at missing out on a Best Adapted Screenplay nod. There was even hope that it might sneak Best Director (Tim Miller) and Best Picture nominations, too. Still, there's always Deadpool 2.
Audiences haven't quite cottoned to Silence in the way that its producers hoped. Which is quite a surprise, because when early reviews for the religious epic were released at the start of December, some critics even put it right up there as one of Martin Scorsese's best. But a hectic festive schedule took the wind out of its sails, and it has so far only crawled to a $9.9 million box office total.
This apathy has rubbed off on Oscar voters, too. So much so in fact that Silence only picked up one Oscar nomination, with Rodrigo Prieto recognized for Best Cinematography. After its reviews were released, it was considered a contender for the main categories, including Best Picture, Best Director (Scorsese), Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Best Supporting Actor (Adam Driver), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Jay Cocks, Martin Scorsese). But having now been overlooked, its likely to just disappear out of cinemas altogether.
Amy Adams, Arrival
The same can't be said of Arrival, which was one of the most celebrated films of 2016. This has been reflected in its eight Oscar nominations. But while Bradford Young (Cinematography), Sylvain Bellemare (Sound Editing), Claude La Haye & Bernard Gariepy Strobl (Sound Mixing), Patrice Vermette (Production Design), Eric Heisserer (Adapted Screenplay), Joe Walker (Film Editing), Denis Villeneuve (Best Director), and its team of producers (Best Picture) will undoubtedly have already popped open the bubbly, Amy Adams will be cursing her luck.
That's because she was beaten to a Best Actress nomination by Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Emma Stone (La La Land), Natalie Portman (Jackie), and Meryl Streep, who picked up her obligatory nomination for Florence Foster Jenkins. But while Adams can console herself with the fact that she's been nominated five times before, it's particularly puzzling because Arrival might actually be her best performance to date.
Like Silence, there was plenty of Oscar buzz surrounding Sully when it was originally announced, as director Clint Eastwood and its star Tom Hanks are no strangers to Awards season glory. The true story of its titular everyman pilot that saved the lives of 155 passengers after US Airways Flight 1549 was forced to crash land on the Hudson River also seemed ripe for recognition, too. When it chalked up $238.5 million at the box office during its run its place as a frontrunner was secure. Especially after it was named by the American Film Institute and National Board Of Review as one of the top ten films of 2016.
But that's as good as it got for Sully, because other Awards groups just haven't been taken with it. Sure it got a Sound Editing nomination this morning, but they'd long given up the ghost of receiving Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Director (Clint Eastwood), and Best Picture nods. I blame its gentle attempt at humor as its closing line.
Another film that had been targeted as a front-runner for Oscar glory during its production, Patriots Day didn't even pick up one solitary nomination. In fact, it was outdone by Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg's other collaboration in 2016, Deepwater Horizon, which received two nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound Editing.
Patriots Day's depiction of the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15, 2013, was expected to connect with Oscar voters, especially as it starred Boston native Mark Wahlberg in the lead role. Plus, Berg's reputation has steadily been growing over the years, and it was thought that it would pop with Patriots Day. Again, it had its hopes increased after the National Board Of Review named it as one of its top 10 films, but it was squeezed out of contention by a hectic Christmas period, which also saw it gross just $24.7 million.
Films like Sing Street don't usually aim for Oscar nominations. That's because it is set in Dublin in 1985, and is a musical-comedy-drama that was made on a relatively low budget. But after premiering at Sundance last year, audiences really took to the all-singing / all-dancing extravaganza, especially thanks to its beloved depiction of 80s music and positive disposition.
That's why, shortly after the Oscar nominations were released, plenty of people voiced their discontent that Sing Street didn't pick up a Best Original Song nomination for either The Riddle Of The Model, Up, To Find You, A Beautiful Sea, Drive It Like You Stole It, Girls, or Brown Shoes. Clearly the Academy members aren't quite as enthralled with 80s, synth driven pop music as the rest of us.
Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures
There were always going to be some big omissions in the Best Actress category. We've already mentioned that Amy Adams has every right to feel aggrieved, but with such a competitive field this year there are two or three other actresses that will be crying into their Corn Flakes this morning. But while Annette Bening (20th Century Women) and Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane) looked likely to miss out, Taraji P Henson will undoubtedly feel peeved that her turn in Hidden Figures, which has rightfully earned all kinds of praise during the biographical drama's impressive box office ascent over the last few weeks, wasn't deemed worthy.
While other films floundered over Christmas, Hidden Figures found its audience with a snappy promotional campaign. In many ways its paid dividends, and Taraji P. Henson will undoubtedly be celebrating Hidden Figures' Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations, as well as Octavia Spencer's Best Supporting Actress nod. But, deep down, she'll probably also be feeling peeved that she hasn't been solely recognized herself, as well.
There was a time when Pixar wasn't just considered a lock for a nomination in the Best Animated Feature Film field, but the award itself had basically already been sewn up for them, too. So much so, in fact, that there was even a push for the likes of WALL-E, Toy Story 3, and Inside Out to be nominated in the Best Picture field.
But not anymore, because even though Finding Dory amassed $1.028 billion to make it the second highest grossing Pixar film of all time, and has a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, it was still overlooked in the Best Animated Feature Film field, as Kubo And The Two Strings, Moana, My Life As A Zucchini, The Red Turtle, and Zootopia beat it. Clearly Pixar now has to raise its game, which can only be a good thing for audiences.
Several Best Actor Contenders
Like the Best Actress field, the Best Actor category this year was packed to the brim with potential nominees. But there can only be five. And while Casey Affleck, Andrew Garfield, Ryan Gosling, Viggo Mortensen, and Denzel Washington will already be practicing their speeches, there will be quite a few actors out there mourning the fact that they just missed out.
After losing to Eddie Redmayne back in 2014, Michael Keaton wasn't even nominated this time around for his performance in The Founder, and while Joel Edgerton will be ecstatic that his Loving co-star Ruth Negga is in the mix in the Best Actress category, he'll feel a little disappointed that he didn't get a Best Actor nod. Then there's Andrew Garfield, who will obviously just be delighted that he's been nominated for his turn in Hacksaw Ridge, even though he'll know that he really should have been singled-out for his work in Silence, instead.