Oscar Morning Quick Take: What the Actual Heck

E: I know I told you to expect some crazy from the directors wing, but to leave out Martin McDonagh?  Whoa.  What’s that going to do to the Best Picture race?  My head is spinning.

I miss-called 2 out of the 20 acting nominations. I wondered if James Franco would be undone by the accusations against him, and here we have the answer.  I’m not at all surprised that Tom Hanks’ nominationless streak continues, though I did think he’d gbe the one to benefit if James was out. Was it just that Jason Robards made such a perfect Ben Bradlee that voters couldn’t see anyone else in the role? You have to ask if there’s something deeper going on, though, as he hits 17 years without a nod. Did people think he was overrated in the 90s, or did he leave such indelible performances then that everything else he does seems old hat? It’s a mystery – and it’s more mysterious to me that so few people talk about it.

Which is all to say that Denzel Washington is a little bit of a surprise, but not a big one.

But Leslie Manville?  That was a total surprise, even after her BAFTA nom. She’s a costume drama mainstay and I’m pleased to see her recognized; I’m also not surprised that the Academy wasn’t motivated to have an Asian actor included in it’s slate.  (Ditto, apparently, for the Thai cinematographer for Call Me By Your Name, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, who made a film praised everywhere for its sumptuous visuals.)  The Phantom Thread in general played far better with the Academy than it did anywhere else, and I’m surprised, far more than I am with Darkest Hour.  I’m bummed; I was rooting for I, Tonya and The Big Sick.  I’m fascinated that in this unsettled time in America, the Academy leans to Britain and history for consolation rather more modern explorations of the way we live now.

I’ll be back later today with full on reactions and comparisons (direction was my worst category as always, otherwise I did well).

This entry was posted in TV.

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