Oscar season has only become crazier and crazier over the last couple of years. The nature of the Oscar nominations means that not everyone can have one, sure, but overall, the picks this year are extraordinarily disappointing. While the popular vote might be behind musical smashes A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody, there are a select few films that have been grossly overlooked by the Academy. John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place and Ethan Hawk’s First Reformed are two such movies that have been unfairly neglected. However, I gotta say, that the ten nominations handed out to Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite are certainly well deserved. And I actually found the nominations shocking, especially since the Academy has given Yorgos a generally wide birth.

Obviously a barge full of nominations does not always a winner make, but we are hoping to see The Favourite convert many of these Oscar nods into Oscar triumphs. Seriously, if Yorgos wins in the Best Picture and Best Director slots I’d forgive Hollywood all their past sins. (But I put his odds at winning somewhere around 1 in a 100, if.) And while the Best Actress going to Olivia Colman would mark the next step in a remarkable career progression. Colman has gone from being a regular on television sketch shows and a familiar face in British comedy classic Peep Show to one of the trendiest names in Hollywood. Landing that Oscar would be the perfect realization of Colman’s acting success, with her performance as Queen Anne adding depth to her renowned comedic talent. Colman even outshone more established Hollywood stars Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, although the inclusion of both of these in the Best Supporting Actress category will have fans of The Favourite feeling confident of securing at least one Oscar. (He says with all his fingers crossed.)

I gotta say, that at times, the schizophrenic Oscar community nomination decision process can feel almost like a game of roulette, with its heightened element of chance and the result inspiring love or hate (if you’ve never known what this feels like, maybe you can try it out on the large number of roulette sites available). In fact, the sheer randomness of some of the decisions often makes it seem as if they’ve been made by dropping a ball on a roulette wheel, hoping chance will make the choice for them!

Whereas a film like Bohemian Rhapsody has benefited from occupying the winning spot on the roulette wheel, other worthy films have barely seen the ball drop in their favour. That is surely the only explanation for A Quiet Place securing just one Oscar nomination, that for Best Sound Editing (I mean, really? Since when is the LACK of sound groundbreaking? If you want to nominate A Quiet Place for anything, it should, without a doubt be its cutting edge screenplay). Heck, better yet, why aren’t we discussing Krasinski’s directing, his wife’s acting, or even it’s place in the best film slot? IMHO, critical response to A Quiet Place suggested that the film had found the perfect balance between conventional horror and artistic invention, but clearly this was insufficient for the Oscar selectors.

It is likely that A Quiet Place will walk away with the Best Sound Editing gong, a particularly apposite award based on the movie’s themes. Yet there is a strong argument that the film deserves much more recognition, an argument that also stands up for First Reformed. As with A Quiet Place, First Reformed is the recipient of a sole nomination: Best Original Screenplay.

I guarantee you that the heavy subject matter denied First Reformed the chance to be a huge blockbuster in movie theaters, but its intelligent direction and Ethan Hawke’s powerful performance should surely have been acknowledged at the Oscars. Bradley Cooper and Rami Malek received Best Actor shouts for their work in A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody, respectively, with both delivering strong performances. However, those performances felt trite in comparison to Hawke’s work in First Reformed. Which, I personally believe to be the culmination of his remarkable reinvention.

Seeing as though the movies we discuss here on THiNC. absolutely do not run in the Oscar circles generally, it’s still nice to see critical acclaim come in for as many of these brilliant movie makers as possible. I’m betting that Roma will clean The Favourite’s clock, but we will have to see which way the votes go. My disdain for super hero movies, and I have to say that I was flabbergasted at Black Panther’s nomination. If ever there was a super hero worth nominating, this was definitely not it. And while First Reformed and A Quiet Place may not have received the number of nominations that they warrant, hopefully they will not leave the 2019 Oscars empty-handed.

Edited by, CY

Liked it? Take a second to support Taylor Holmes on Patreon!

Related Posts

2 Responses

  1. Shelby

    I was shocked when Emily Blunt wasn’t nominated for Best Actress. My favorite performance of the year.

    I think Roma should’ve won Best Picture, and I know a lot of people are upset that Green Book won. I haven’t seen it yet though (and there should be a law that says all films nominated for Best Picture have to set the dvd release date before the Oscars – come on!)

    There should be a category for low budget greatness. That would be Upgrade for me. Probably my favorite film of the year.

    Black Panther I agree should not have won (and it didn’t) but I understand the desire to nominate it. In terms of a movie, it was decent. But the social impact? HUGE. Name a movie with an almost entirely black cast (which also showed African culture), that was a blockbuster (aka wide-reaching and profitable) AND that people of all types ENJOYED. Black Panther I think was the first. We are now seeing more and more black casts (and thankfully not from Tyler Perry) so I think this is a great thing for our society. We are a diverse nation and our movies should emulate that diversity.

    Like I said, I totally understand the sentiment of nominating Black Panther due to the social impact. After all, Best Picture nominations should be movies that we will remember in 50 years. They should have had an impact. This is obviously not always the case (Shakespeare in Love, anyone?) but I think they generally try to get a decent list of nominations.

  2. Taylor Holmes

    Hey there Shelby,
    After last years racial and gender and #metoo backlash, I totally get how we got here. Yes, Blank Panther was a widely loved, and enormously successful box office juggernaut. So, OBVIOUSLY it’s going to get Oscar love. That Greenbook got such love sort made me throwup in my mouth a little. But was I surprised? Absolutely not.

    Your points are all valid. Want to write next years piece? I almost guarantee US will be up there in the best picture slot, even though horror films are never given a shot. Is it because all the actors are black? Maybe. I haven’t seen it yet, so I don’t know. But I will be super stoked for Peele regardless of how he gets on that stage. Let’s be 100% clear here, I’m trying to discuss the Academy, and the crazy politics that are involved here, not the racial inequalities of America. And yet, they are all intertwined. And if Peele is able to get attention to smaller, mindjob movies as a result of this tidal wave response to past inequalities, I’ll be all the happier.

    Hrm. I should do an 2019 Oscar THiNC. Low Budget List. Maybe it’d look something like this:

    Best Editor: Joe Bini (You were never really here)
    Best Female Actor: Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place)
    Best Male Actor: Nicholas Cage (Mandy)
    Best Documentary: American Animals
    Best Director: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
    Best Movie: First Reformed (Or Roma, if I must defer to Shelby, sheesh)

    I was just going to write a quick flash in the pan response, and ended up basically writing a real post for THiNC. hehehe. Ah well.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.