Thoughts on this year’s Oscar nominations

The Oscar nominations were announced this morning (complete nominees list here). And I've got some thoughts.

Here they are, in no particular order. Feel free to add your comments at the bottom.

— Any year without a Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep nomination has the potential to be interesting.

— I want Ruffalo to win for Supporting Actor. OK, I really want Rylance to win because of his Tony-winning poem speeches.

— I can only imagine what Oscar host Chris Rock will make of the overwhelming whiteness of the nominees—especially in the year of “Straight Outa Compton,” “Creed,” and especially “Beasts of No Nation.” Awkward and disappointing although I don't think there were deliberate snubs.  (Here are my top picks of the year)

— I’ll admit, I’m happy for the lack of recognition for Quentin Tarantino and “The Hateful Eight.”

— I expected a lack of recognition for “Youth,” “Clouds of Sils Maria,” and  What happened to “The End of the Tour”?

— Tom Hardy is much more impressive in “Legend” than in “The Revenant.”

— Alicia Vikander is terrific in (and the best thing about) “The Danish Girl.” But she’s the lead actress, not supporting.

— I’m not a fan of the word “snub” when it comes to awards selected by group voting. It implies a deliberate omission. Nobody was snubbed—although Paul Dano (for “Love & Mercy) was seriously overlooked.

— And, yes, an outstanding film can be made without it being honored with one of the top five directing slots. Sorry, Ridley Scott fans.

— “Spotlight.” “Spotlight.” “Spotlight.”

— Nice that Heartland Film Festival was able to open its 2015 festivities with “Room.” Curious what the organization has its eye on for 2016.

— Why have I not seen “Bridge of Spies” yet? Much catch it before I see any clips. I’m good at staying ignorant when I don’t want to hear about something until I see it.

— I get the pleasure folks had with “Mad Max: Fury Road.” And I applaud the skills of George Miller. But I’m amazed at how it’s being treated as a revelation. It’s no less derivative of “The Road Warrior” as “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is of “Star Wars: A New Hope.” The big change in both is putting female characters in the driver’s seat.   

— “Anomalisa” vs “Inside Out” is one of the strangest battles in Oscar history. No question that “Inside Out” will win, but still.

— Finally, the Oscars don’t impact the quality of a film. They do, however, impact how many people see it.


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