Thoughts about 2017 Oscar Nominations

In general I thought the nominations were pretty good although there were some surprises. I had been very much expecting the nominations to fall in line with AwardCircuit’s predictions which ended up being much less accurate than I was hoping.

Partway through writing this I decided for no particular reason that Hail Caesar was god’s gift to cinema even though there were movies this year that I liked better and rated higher.

For what it’s worth, I’m excited by how many nominations La La Land got and I think it absolutely deserved all of them and probably will win a good deal of awards as well. I stopped mentioning it in all the technical categories, just to spread the love to some of the other nominees.

Best Picture
Nominees: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight
Remaining to See:
Hacksaw Ridge
My Preference:
Without a doubt Hidden Figures was my favorite film of the year so I would love nothing more than for it to win. But since I don’t think that’s the most realistic of goals. I feel like rooting for anything other than La La Land is asking to be disappointed.
Should Have Been Nominated:
Jackie
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Hacksaw Ridge

Lead Actor
Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)
Remaining to See:
Hacksaw Ridge
My Preference:
Pretty sure that rooting for anything other than Casey is asking to be disappointed and he is incredible in the movie, just a pretty bad person. Viggo Mortensen is the dark horse that I’m supporting except that I’m not sure how he was nominated. Ryan Gosling would be my pick if it were up to me.
Should Have Been Nominated:
SUNNY PAWAR
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Andrew Garfield

Lead Actress
Nominees: Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Remaining to See:
None
My Preference:
Isabelle Huppert and Natalie Portman are both fantastic, I’ll probably be rooting for Isabelle because people will make less of a fuss on social media if she wins than Natalie
Should Have Been Nominated:
Amy Adams for Arrival, Jessica Chastain for Miss Sloane, Taraji P. Henson for Hidden Figures
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Meryl Streep. Florence Foster Jenkins isn’t that good of a movie, nor is her performance really anything special other than singing worse than we know that she can from Mamma Mia

Supporting Actor
Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
Remaining to See:
None
My Preference:
It will be a travesty if anybody other than Mahershala Ali wins
Should Have Been Nominated:
Nobody who was just out of the picture is really much better than those nominated
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
If I had to argue anybody I’d say Michael Shannon but I prefer him over Aaron Taylor-Johnson so let’s keep that

Supporting Actress
Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
Remaining to See:
None
My Preference:
Michelle Williams
Should Have Been Nominated:
Janelle Monae for either Moonlight or Hidden Figures
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Nicole Kidman

Best Director
Nominees: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
Remaining to See:
Hacksaw Ridge
My Preference:
Kenneth Lonergan was the most “my kind” of directing (translation: simpler), both La La Land and Moonlight blew me away in their direction.
Should Have Been Nominated:
Pablo Larrain for Jackie
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Mel Gibson

Animated Feature
Nominees: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, Zootopia
Remaining to See:
My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle
My Preference:
Kubo and the Two Strings is stunning, but doesn’t really deliver on plot. Moana is also stunning and enjoyable with great music, but has a pretty conventional plot. Zootopia might have the least impressive of the 3 as far as animation goes, but the best plot. On animation alone, I’m going with Kubo but I think Zootopia will probably win.
Should Have Been Nominated:
I can’t bring myself to pretend that Illumination’s pleasant yet unoriginal movies deserve nominations, sorry.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
I’ve heard The Red Turtle is boring, we shall see.

Animated Short
Nominees: Blind Vaysha, Borrowed Time, Pear Cider and Cigarettes, Pearl, Piper
Remaining to See:
I’ve watched the trailers/teasers for all of them, but only Borrowed Time, Pearl, and Piper fully
My Preference:
Piper is adorable and has incredible animation
Should Have Been Nominated:
Inner Workings
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Pearl is technically very impressive (it’s a 360 degree short film by Google) but not much of a story, Pear Cider and Cigarettes just looks kind of dumb.

Adapted Screenplay
Nominees: Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Lion, Moonlight
Remaining to See:
None
My Preference:
Hidden Figures. My early guess however is that it’s between Arrival and Moonlight with Arrival having the edge. Both are incredible screenplays.
Should Have Been Nominated:
Eh? Maybe Loving, but honestly these are probably the 5 best adaptations this year.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
They’re all good.

Original Screenplay
Nominees: 20th Century Women, Hell or High Water, La La Land, The Lobster, Manchester by the Sea
Remaining to See:
None
My Preference:
The Lobster was very interesting and strange, but Manchester by the Sea was just such strong writing and excellent dialogue.
Should Have Been Nominated:
Matt Ross should have been nominated for Captain Fantastic!!!! Also Hail, Caesar!
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Hell or High Water isn’t bad, necessarily, but it just doesn’t have something special like the rest do.

Cinematography
Nominees: Arrival, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Silence
Remaining to See: None
My Preference:
Moonlight is the most visually stunning, La La Land is also stunning and has to handle a little bit more.
Should Have Been Nominated:
Jackie absolutely. Hail Caesar was also in the running so I’ll include that as well.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
I was originally thinking Lion, but now I’m actually remembering how great every shot was. Even Silence was really good although I disliked the movie. I guess they’re all pretty good.

Documentary Feature
Nominees: 13th, Fire at Sea, I Am Not Your Negro, Life Animated, OJ: Made in America
Remaining to See: All of them, although I’m somewhat familiar with 13th, Life Animated, and OJ: Made in America
My Preference:
Moonlight is the most visually stunning, La La Land is also stunning and has to handle a little bit more.
Should Have Been Nominated:
Cameraperson
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
AwardCircuit didn’t have Fire at Sea or Life Animated in the top 10 so those two surprised me

Documentary Short
Nominees: 4.1 Miles, Extremis, Joe’s Violin, Watani: My Homeland, The White Helmets
Remaining to See: All, although I’ve seen all the trailers
My Preference:
Every one of these is a beautiful and touching story I cannot pick a favorite right now.
Should Have Been Nominated:
I thought Frame 394 sounded really interesting
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
None, these all look like excellent films.

Live Action Short
Nominees: Ennemis Interieurs, La Femme et le TGV, Silent Nights, Sing, Timecode
Remaining to See: All of them, although I’ve seen small bits of each
My Preference:
La Femme et le TGV looked ADORABLE.
Should Have Been Nominated:
None in particular
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
None

Foreign Language Film
Nominees: A Man Called Ove, Land of Mine, Tanna, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann
Remaining to See: All of them
My Preference:
I’m pretty sure Toni Erdmann is in strong shape, but The Salesman looked really interesting.
Should Have Been Nominated:
Elle won the Golden Globe but sadly wasn’t even in the final consideration for this. If it had been nominated I would have seen at least one thing in this category.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
None

Film Editing
Nominees: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Moonlight
Remaining to See: Hacksaw Ridge
My Preference:
La La Land or Arrival, I wish I could know more about the specifics of the editing processes of each
Should Have Been Nominated:
Manchester by the Sea. The editing of the some of the scenes stood out as particularly fantastic. Also Hail Caesar and Jackie.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
I’m enjoying beating up on Hacksaw Ridge, but also Hell or High Water didn’t stand out much to me as having that great editing?

Sound Editing
Nominees: Arrival, Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Sully
Remaining to See: Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge
My Preference:
Arrival
Should Have Been Nominated:
Honestly so many bad effects-heavy movies were at the top of the list for this it’s hard to pick the good ones.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Eh. I guess the’re all fine.

Sound Mixing
Nominees: Arrival, La La Land, Hacksaw Ridge, Rogue One, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Remaining to See: Hacksaw Ridge, 13 Hours
My Preference:
Arrival
Should Have Been Nominated:
Pass
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Pass

Production Design
Nominees: Arrival, La La Land, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hail Caesar!, Passengers
Remaining to See: None
My Preference:
HAIL CAESAR GOT NOMINATED FOR SOMETHING! I’m really happy with Arrival, La La Land, Hail Caesar and even Passengers, which was a surprise but Guy Hendrix-Dyas did the production design for Steve Jobs so I like him.
Should Have Been Nominated: *me, doing an impression of a broken record* Jackie.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I honestly feel that the Production Design of this was pretty poor. It was big and magical looking but didn’t look like 1920’s New York at all, so I was very disappointed.

Me reacting to Hail, Caesar! being nominated for something

Original Score
Nominees: Jackie, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight, Passengers
Remaining to See: None
My Preference:
All but Passengers have really excellent scores. La La Land will probably win, and deservedly so. It’s hard to compare it to Jackie and Moonlight as they have completely different techniques and moods.
Should Have Been Nominated: Carter Burwell had multiple fantastic scores. Arrival had an incredible score that incorporated the idea of language beautifully. Alexandre Desplat’s score for The Light Between Oceans is beautiful and even his scores for The Secret Life of Pets and Florence Foster Jenkins. Michael Giacchino is single-handedly carrying blockbusters with Zootopia, Doctor Strange, Rogue One, and Star Trek Beyond
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Passengers. I can’t remember the score at all.

Original Song
Nominees: “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land, “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from Trolls, “City of Stars” from La La Land, “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story, “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana
Remaining to See: Trolls, Jim: The James Foley Story
My Preference:
I’m so glad that they nominated both La La Land songs, the day I can get through Audition without crying is the day I die.
Should Have Been Nominated: Really really disappointed that Pharrell’s song for Hidden Figures wasn’t nominated. If they were going to nominated 2 from a film, they could have also nominated We Know the Way from Moana
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Can’t Stop the Feeling just sounds like generic pop music, I’ve never even heard of The Empty Chair but it sounds sad.

Makeup and Hair
Nominees: A Man Called Ove, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad
Remaining to See: A Man Called Ove
My Preference:
Um not really any of these. Star Trek Beyond I suppose because I cannot stand the idea of Suicide Squad winning an Oscar.
Should Have Been Nominated: The Dressmaker and Hail Caesar both made it to the final round of consideration and have excellent hair and makeup. Jackie didn’t make it to the final round but should have because it’s perfect.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Suicide Squad. bad.

Costume Design
Nominees: Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster Jenkins, Jackie, La La Land
Remaining to See: None
My Preference:
Jackie was truly very impressive, La La Land was more modern but still had great styles. Allied was pretty although the dress style was pretty repetitive
Should Have Been Nominated: The Dressmaker. It was a movie about gorgeous dresses. It had gorgeous dresses. It should have been nominated.
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Visual Effect
Nominees: Deepwater Horizon, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, Kubo and the Two Strings, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Remaining to See: Deepwater Horizon
My Preference:
Doctor Strange and The Jungle Book both were entirely their visual effects and therefore pretty deserving but I just would love to see Kubo win.
Should Have Been Nominated: Arrival
Should Not Have Been Nominated:
They’re all okay.

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