There have been a lot of reaction pieces already written about this morning's Oscar nominations. Not only are they the whitest Academy Awards in almost 20 years, but there has been a general feeling of disappointment (betrayal even?) in the crop of nominees announced. Personally, I scored a 69% on my nomination predictions, so I was definitely way off on a lot of stuff. I've been thinking about the nominations all day. Normally, I just let it go, because there's nothing I can really do about it, but the announcement has stuck with me since it originally came on.
1. No Life Itself
How can the incredible documentary about Roger Ebert not get nomination? Some people were banking on its personal touches to steal the thunder from frontrunner CITIZENFOUR, but it wasn't even included in the nominations. Why? Did people assume it would get in, so they didn't include it? Did they forget about it?
Everyone in the industry has been touched by Ebert in one way or another, so what gives? After Blackfish was left off and now this, I have lost all feelings for this category.
2. Where my ladies at?!
Gillian Flynn wasn't nominated for adapting her own novel (Gone Girl), and Ava DuVernay was inexplicably left off the Best Director list. Are women only going to get nominated for Actress and Supporting Actress? It's a white man's world. None of the Best Picture nominees feature a female at the center.
3. Laura Dern!!!
When Dern's name was read in the Supporting Actress category, I quite literally screamed. Clarence wisely chose her in his predictions, but I was more reserved. The mother/daughter story of Wild is my favorite story of the year, and it's fantastic to see both Dern and Reese Witherspoon nominated.
4. The LEGO Movie
The fact that people are so vocal about LEGO's omission in the Best Animated Feature category is annoying. While I enjoyed it the first time I saw it, it's a pitcher of oversugared Kool-Aid of a movie. Cool your jets, fanboys, you still have Guardians of the Galaxy to jack off to.
5. Best Original Song is kiiiind of familiar
Clarence and I made jokes that one needs to throw darts at the wall in order to guess the nominees for Original Song, but they are all quite familiar titles. Thankfully, "Lost Stars" got in after being omitted by the Golden Globes (which version will they perform?!?!), and Diane Warren is back in the Original Song game for her song "Grateful" from Beyond the Lights.
6. Julianne Moore is one step closer...
Ever since I started watching the Oscars, I have waited to see Julianne Moore take the stage to accept an Academy Award. This is her year. Joy, pure joy. Remember when Julie Christie won a Golden Globe for playing a woman suffering from Alzhemier's in Away From Her and Marion Cotillard swooped in and won for her staggering performance in La Vie en Rose. Keep one eye open, Julianne!
7. Selma's near shutout
Selma is fiercely directed and passionately acted. The frustration around it not getting nominated for more Oscars is understandable--infuriating, even--but its lack of awards presence nowhere diminishes its greatness. This is not a film that was created to win awards. It was written and directed to incite passion and inspire. Martin Luther King Jr. has never been brought to the screen, and Ava DuVernay presented us not with a saint or untouchable. She told the story she wanted to tell, and, man, did she tell it with ferocity and dignity. Take a look at that Bloody Sunday sequence and then compare it to the scene where Coretta Scott King confronts her husband. Both scenes are handle with such care and immediacy. In my mind, she's one of the Best Directors of the year. Screw the Academy.