The Oscar nominations are here!
I used to find this stuff wildly exciting. My friend Tim Wright would lead a cabal of Jess Cagles (without the title) who would mincingly prepare our full lists of predictions and award points to each other based on who actually got nods, later doing the same for the awards.
As of now, I barely care. But I do care enough, especially this year — I'm so happy for the wonderful film Moonlight, which is beautifully written, acted and photographed, and which is gay to the molecular level while also tackling other themes (race, drug abuse, the concept of family, peer pressure, love). The movie becomes one of a select group of indisputably gay films (strategically, it was never marketed as such) to be nominated for Best Picture.
Moonlight also nabbed recognition for Actor in a Supporting Role (Mahershala Ali), Actress in a Supporting Role (Naomie Harris), Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Music (Original Score) and Writing (Adapted Screenplay) — eight nominations, which makes it the most-nominated gay film of all time, three ahead of Brokeback Mountain (2005).
I liked, but did not love, La La Land, and I have found it to be the recipient of a major backlash. It feels like it's half-loved, half-hated. Hollywood loves it, giving it a record-tying 14 nominations. Therefore, it is the one to beat.
No Hugh Grant for an admittedly light performance in Florence Foster Jenkins.
No Aaron Taylor-Johnson for an admittedly heavy performance in Nocturnal Animals; he was replaced by his co-star, Michael Shannon, who was even better.
I'm shocked Amy Adams didn't get a nod for Arrival. She was great in that, and she was great in Nocturnal Animals, and she always get nominated. Plus, Arrival did very well in the nominations otherwise. Competitive category.
Also, Hollywood continues to despise Annette Bening, the Susan Lucci of the Oscars.
No Pharrell for his Hidden Figures song.
I was surprised they found nine films to honor. I'll not be seeing all nine this year because you couldn't pay me to see Hacksaw Ridge. I've seen three outta nine so far and have tepid interest in most of the others, though Manchester by the Sea is definitely going to join my seen list.
All the nominees below ...