The Academy released its list of Oscar nominations this morning, which means it’s time once again for us to come together as a nation to discuss how awful and bad the Academy is. Every year I’m torn between being angry about all the snubs and thinking “what did you expect? The Oscars have never been good.”
Are this year’s bad nominees any worse than usual? Did the Academy’s much-ballyhooed diversity push change anything? These questions are debatable, but the upside of finding fault with the Academy is trying to give some attention to those movies and performances unfairly overlooked.
So here it is, your incomplete list, structured by category and ordered from most to least egregious snub. As always, these opinions are highly objective and entirely correct, please do not @ us.
A Star Is Born
It is simply baffling how little attention Barry Jenkins’ latest got after Moonlight won Oscars for director, actor, and writing two years ago. Beale Street might even be the better movie.
Sorry To Bother You
It’s probably fitting that my favorite movie this year, which had labor organizing as a major theme, didn’t receive a nomination at the Oscars, which were originally envisioned as a union-busting scheme. To quote Louis B. Mayer: “I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them. […] If I got them cups and awards they’d kill themselves to produce what I wanted. That’s why the Academy Award was created.”
You could almost imagine one of the bosses in Sorry To Bother You saying that, right?
I guess the excuse is that it’s foreign and not enough people saw it? Find me one who person who saw it and didn’t think it was incredible.
The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs, Hereditary, Eighth Grade, Paddington 2, Mission Impossible: Fallout (all much, much better than Bohemian Rhapsody).
Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Toni Collette in Hereditary
Elsie Fisher in Eighth Grade
Claire Foy in First Man
Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns
Kathryn Hahn in Private Life
Charlize Theron in Tully
The Collette and Fisher snubs seem the most egregious, but at least they got it right with Olivia Colman in The Favourite, probably the best acting performance of any gender this year. God, she was magnificent. Blunt stands out as a brilliant performance in a movie that otherwise wasn’t very good.
Christian Bale (Vice)
Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
Ethan Hawke in First Reformed (he was also fantastic in Juliet, Naked, which no one saw).
Joaquin Phoenix in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot. Again, I’m baffled how this movie didn’t get more love. And yes, it was better than this year’s other overlooked Joaquin Phoenix movie, You Were Never Really Here. But you could basically nominate Joaquin Phoenix every year.
John Cho in Searching. The movie didn’t stick the landing, but Cho was incredible.
Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry To Bother You. I have faith that Lakeith Stanfield, who has crushed everything he’s been in since Short Term 12, will eventually be recognized.
Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Sam Rockwell (Vice)
Hugh Grant in Paddington 2. This was EASILY one of the best performances of the year. The best Hugh Grant has ever been.
Brian Tyree Henry in If Beale Street Could Talk. Basically the dramatic version of above, except for the Hugh Grant parts. Henry is another guy who’s so good in everything that I have to assume that he’ll eventually be recognized.
Julian Black Antelope in Hold the Dark. A mesmerizing though somewhat small performance. I want to see this guy in more stuff. (Macon Blair was also brilliant in the same movie and never gets enough credit).
Jonah Hill in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot. The kind of performance the academy usually nominates in the kind of movie they usually love. It’s truly strange that it got lost in the shuffle.
Colman Domingo and Michael Beach in If Beale Street Could Talk. Have there ever been two movie dads this cool?
Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
Adam McKay (Vice)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
Boots Riley for Sorry To Bother You
Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk
Bo Burnham for Eighth Grade
Ali Abbasi for Border
A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters and Eric Roth)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
Border (Alli Abbasi, Isabella Eklof, and John Ajvide Lindqvist)
The Favourite (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
Green Book (Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga)
Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)
Vice (Adam McKay)
Sorry To Bother You (Boots Riley)
Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham)
The Favourite (Robbie Ryan)
Never Look Away (Caleb Deschanel)
Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)
A Star Is Born (Matty Libatique)
Cold War (Lukasz Zal)
If Beale Street Could Talk (James Laxton)
This is probably the most egregious snub of the entire list. If there was no Oscar for cinematography, If Beale Street Could Talk is the kind of movie that would force them to invent the category, that’s how good it is.
First Man (Linus Sandgren)
Avengers: Infinity War
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Did another movie this year take place almost entirely underwater? Was there another movie with the leads riding giant seahorse creatures? Did another movie have an octopus playing drums? I think not.
Category That Should Exist But Doesn’t: Stunts
Winner: Mission Impossible: Fallout. I’d be happy to never hear about Tom Cruise doing his own stunts ever again, but it’s crazy that the kind of insanely high-stakes, collaborative filmmaking that had to come together to create Mission Impossible: Fallout doesn’t get rewarded.