by Kyle Arango,
Assessing The Oscar’s biggest snubs and controversies of 2018
Oscar season is here once again, and it is the time movie lovers come together to celebrate the best achievements in film that year. At least that’s the hope. The nominations are out for us to dissect and discuss. Each year, there are always snubs of people or films that should be nominated and are left off. The Academy will never please everybody. So, let us take a look at this year’s affronts and see if they warrant the complaints.
Bradley Cooper – Best Director
The biggest shock seems to be that Bradley Cooper was omitted from the Best Director race for his debut with A Star is Born. He was seemingly a certainty heading into the announcement with him being nominated at virtually every award show so far, including by his peers at the DGA (Directors Guild of America). The nominees the academy have are Adam McKay, Spike Lee, Yorgos Lanthimos, Alfonso Cuarón, and Pawel Pawlikowski. The big surprise here is Pawlikowski for Cold War who appeared from nowhere, bypassing the likes of Barry Jenkins and Ryan Coogler as well.
The Verdict: Bradley Cooper is absolutely a snub. Replace Pawlikowski with him and there are your five perfect nominees.
Emily Blunt-Best Actress and Supporting Actress
Emily Blunt is next with snubs in two possible categories; Actress and Supporting Actress. Starting with Supporting, her bid was for A Quiet Place in which she gave a devastating performance. The bathtub scene alone is worthy of a nomination. Looking at the other nominees, I believe another actress might’ve been worthier, but we will get to that. Leading Actress is the biggest travesty. Mary Poppins Returns was a magical film, and this was mostly due to her transcendent performance as Mary Poppins. I could not take my eyes off her with every moment. She seemed to be a surety with both SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and Globes nominations, but what happened?
The Verdict: Emily Blunt should definitely have been nominated for Lead Actress but not Supporting. Yalitza is great in Roma but Blunt is just otherworldly as Poppins.
Claire Foy-Supporting Actress
I’ll keep this one brief as I already addressed it. Claire Foy was First Man’s sure thing coming in and she was excluded from the list. Marina de Tavira snuck in there and seemingly took Foy’s fifth spot. Was is warranted?
The Verdict: Claire Foy deserved the nomination over de Tavira. Roma is mostly about Yalitza and Alfonso and de Tavira gets lost in the shuffle. Foy, however, stole the show from Ryan Gosling and was ultimately more deserving.
Timothee Chalamet-Supporting Actor
Another major surprise was that Timothee Chalamet wasn’t nominated for Supporting Actor in Beautiful Boy. What more did this kid have to do? Although not a great film, he was very strong in it and was a safe bet coming in for a nomination. I guess it’s tough for a young kid to receive back-to-back nominations for the Academy.
The Verdict: Chalamet’s spot was usurped by Sam Rockwell for Vice. While Rockwell is fun, he is not even the best supporting actor in that film. That goes to Steve Carell, who is also in Beautiful Boy.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and Three Identical Strangers– Best Documentary
These two have to be the biggest head scratchers of them all. Three Identical Strangers and Wont You Be My Neighbor? were some of the most highly praised and financially successful documentaries of all time with the latteras the favorite to win. Both were excluded in favor of documentaries I don’t recognize, with the exception of Free Solo and RBG.
The Verdict: This category is broken, and it seems like the Academy forgot about these films. This category is invalid if Free Solo does not win.
Black Panther-Best Picture Nomination
This seems to be the one that has the internet divided and infuriated. Did Black Panther deserve a Best Picture nomination? It is noteworthy that this is the first ‘Super Hero’ movie to receive a nomination for Best Picture, which opens the door for more. The internet has been saying “Why did Black Panther get in and The Dark Knight and Logan did not?”. Firstly, they didn’t come out the same year, and secondly, the Academy and every other award group has loved this movie.
The Verdict: Yes, Black Panther deserved a Best Picture nomination. This is a film that is not only a fun action movie, but also a political thriller with themes that are important. It tackles issues of morality, community politics, classism, and identity very well. It is culturally significant for an entire culture and additionally, it made $1.3 billion worldwide.
Are there any more deserving parties you think the Academy ignored? Justin Horowitz, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Quiet Place? Do you agree with my list? As stated before, the Academy will never please everybody but this year, I think they did a fine job.