Instant reactions to the 2019 Oscar nominations
Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross announced the nominees for the 2019 Oscars this morning. Here’s what the Academy got right, and what they snubbed.
A Star Is Born
A strange, diverse nominee pool, featuring some mild box office hits (A Star Is Born, BlackKklansman), a groundbreaking superhero movie (Black Panther), a foreign Netflix film (Roma, the first Best Picture nomination for Netflix), and a few clunkers (Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice). Because of the Academy’s ranked choice voting system this category is wide open. There’s a very real possibility that Green Book wins, but there’s also a chance that Black Panther actually wins Best Picture. No nominations for First Man or If Beale Street Could Talk, and there were only eight films nominated, so these are actual snubs (the Academy can nominate up to ten).
Glenn Close, The Wife
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Maybe the strongest field of all the categories, this one is shaping up to be a three-headed beast. Colman and Close both scored wins at the Golden Globes, while Gaga has long been considered a leading contender (although her, ahem, star may be fading). It’ll be an interesting one to watch. Aparicio earns a well deserved Oscar. Also: Melissa McCarthy now quietly has two career nominations.
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
If the Best Actress category is the most well-rounded field, Best Actor might be the most infuriating. Nobody saw At Eternity’s Gate, and there are many problems with Mortensen’s performance that we don’t have to dive into here. It doesn’t really matter, because I think Bale is going to run away with this one. But Ethan Hawke got absolutely snubbed for what might have been the best performance of his career in First Reformed.
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Spike Lee, BlackKklansman
Adam McKay, Vice
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Pawlikowski is the surprise here, at the expense of Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born. This is the biggest sign that A Star Is Born is not quite the powerhouse many assumed it would be, an interesting wrinkle for the Best Picture race. Cuarón’s directing work in Roma was so overwhelming that he has to be the favorite, but watch for Spike Lee to play spoiler, as the Academy could use this nomination as a lifetime achievement award.
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
de Tavira is the surprise of this group, and a sign that the Academy is all in on Roma. Amy Adams basically earns a nomination anytime she’s on screen; her work in Vice is one of her lesser performances (she also simply has less to do in that movie). The two Favourite nominees might cancel each other out (I wish they could split the award!), and King should be considered the leader at this point, although Stone or Weisz could take it.
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Adam Driver, BlackKklansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Sam Rockwell, Vice
Let’s be clear: Mahershala Ali will win this category. This is the closest thing we have to a lock, unless the Academy decides to give it to Elliott. A nomination for Adam Driver means in the movie about a black guy pretending to be a white guy, the white actor gets a nomination and the black one (John David Washington) doesn’t. Oof. Sam Rockwell is also now a critical darling, I guess? Lots of folks are griping about no nomination for Timothee Chalamet, but I’m more disappointed that the Academy couldn’t show any love to Michael B. Jordan for Black Panther.
The Other Categories
Best Animated Feature goes chalk. Expect Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to take it.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs earns a surprise nomination for Best Original Song, but “Shallow” from A Star Is Born is the heavy favorite.
Best Original Screenplay features the single best screenplay of the year (First Reformed) and the single worst (Green Book).
First Man only gets technical nominations, solidifying the downfall of what I thought would be the top contending movie when the project was announced.
Burning gets snubbed for Best Foreign Language Film.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? gets snubbed for Best Documentary Feature.
We will all look back and regret not giving any love to Eighth Grade.