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Justice For If Beale Street Could Talk (And Other Reactions To The Oscar Nominations)

“Better late than never but never late is better.” – Drake

The 2019 Oscar Nominations have been announced and I have some thoughts that happen to be a day or two late. Technically, I wrote about some of the big snubs in a piece for Hidden Remote a few minutes after the announcement, but I wanted to take some time to develop my thoughts before spewing them out in this blog. That may come off as an excuse and I’m here to tell you that it is (not) an excuse.

Here are my thoughts on snubs, surprises, and general reactions to the nominations.

Snubs: I’m really have no qualms about these nominees. If I had to mention possible replacements, it would be Emily Blunt for A Quiet Place and Claire Foy for First Man.

Surprises: Marina de Tavira is the name that jumps out. To put this into terms that the kids can understand, Roma flexed on the Academy. Roma was tied with The Favourite for the most nominations (10) this year. Roma was very slow in the beginning and if you turned it off, I feel bad because the last 30-40 minutes were extremely heartwarming and beautiful.

Reaction: Regina King should win.

Snubs: More snubs come to mind in the male supporting category as opposed to the female supporting category. Timothee Chalamet is the big name that will jump out since he’s been a staple at other awards show for his performance in Beautiful Boy. I will also listen to the case for Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther because Killmonger was the best aspect of that movie.

Surprises: Sam Elliot! It’s a happy surprise. I do not care if this is a case of the Academy rewarding a veteran for their service to the film community. Elliot was amazing in A Star Is Born and I’m so happy for him. Elliot is a dark-horse to win.

Reaction: The winner is up in the air, but I’ll side with the savior of True Detective, Mahershala Ali, to pick up his second win in this category in three years.

Snubs: She was not going to get nominated, but Elsie Fisher’s performance in Eighth Grade might be my favorite performance of the year. More on Eighth Grade later, but I’m very upset it received zero nominations.

Surprises: Yalitza Aparicio is not a trained actress. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was a preschool teacher before being cast in Roma. Once Marina de Tavira was nominated in supporting, you knew Yalitza’s nomination was on the way. This is a feel good story that should be celebrated.

Reaction: Strong, strong field. Glenn Close and Olivia Colman are the favorites (pun), but I’m still pulling for Lady Gaga.

Snubs: A lot of snubs. A loud majority on Twitter are upset that Ethan Hawke did not receive a nomination for First Reformed. John David Washington, the son of Denzel Washington, in BlacKkKlansman also comes to mind. I have not seen Willem Dafoe in At Eternity’s Gate and I’m sure it’s a solid performance, but I would’ve went with Hawke or Washington for that final spot.

Surprises: See above.

Reaction: If Bradley Cooper does not hoist a trophy in any category on Oscar night, I am going to be very upset. Christian Bale and Rami Malek are the favorites.

Snubs: Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk and Bradley Cooper (read below).

Surprises: I have not seen Cold War. I’ve heard good things, but Pawel Pawlikowski would not have been my fifth spot.

Reaction: Congratulations to Spike Lee. Unfortunately, this should’ve been his second nomination because the Academy decided to snub him for Do The Right Thing. However, I’m super disappointed that Cooper did not receive a Best Directing nominee. If you ask me about this category on the street, I will rant and scream and cry about how Bradley Cooper was snubbed in this category. Not to say the other directors did not work hard on their films, but Cooper poured his heart and soul into this A Star Is Born for over three years. Cooper taught himself to play guitar, piano, sing, speak an octave lower, direct, etc. It is a TRAVESTY that Cooper is not nominated for Best Director.

Throw out the format for this category. I know for a fact people that Best Picture is going to be VERY problematic this year if certain films win. Let’s start with the obvious film that stands out for the wrong reasons, which is Bohemian Rhapsody. When Bohemian Rhapsody first came out, it received mixed to negative reviews. Many viewers had problems with the script and the depiction of Mercury’s sexuality and health. The music is awesome (who doesn’t love Queen?) and Rami Malek shines, but other than that, it’s not something I would consider “Best Picture worthy.” I’m still shocked that it’s had such a successful awards season run (besides Malek because that was expected). I can think of A LOT of movies to replace Bohemian Rhapsody in this category. They include: If Beale Street Could TalkMission Impossible: FalloutEighth GradeA Quiet PlaceAvengers: Infinity War, Annihilation, Widows, etc. You get the idea. The box office success and the ability to move past it’s Bryan Singer problem are what’s carrying this film through awards season.

Roma is the favorite due to its lead in overall nominations. Right behind it would be Green Book, who despite its own problems involving its director and writer, is still picking up huge wins on the awards scene. Overall, I like a lot of these movies, but I wouldn’t say they blew me away as a whole. A Star Is Born, Eighth Grade, and If Beale Street Could Talk are the three best movies I saw in 2018. I’ll go more in-depth on predictions when the ceremony inches closer. For now, what was your reaction to the nominees? Hit me up on Twitter @danny_giro.

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