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The Oscar nominations were announced yesterday.  Yawn.   I’m still waiting to see if I get any lifetime achievement awards. I hope I don’t confuse their offer with a robocall.

The big story the minute the nominations were announced is the snubs. No women directors. Not enough diversity. Will Smith. This has become the new annual cry. There have always been snubs; deserving artists and films that unfairly miss the cut. But now racial and gender issues are the cause celebre (or in the case of Hollywood, cause celeb).

I miss the good old days when the Academy just didn’t like specific people.

Another perennial – there is no relationship between Golden Globe winners and Oscar nominees.

Personally, I was and wasn’t surprised by some of the snubs. Adam Sandler seemed a lock to me in UNCUT GEMS. It was the role of his life. But I think too many voters found the movie itself annoying. I couldn’t sit through the whole thing. So that hurt him.

Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN may have suffered from male voters not interested in the subject matter and not willing to watch the movie. Likewise, THE FAREWELL, supposedly excellent, but dreary as hell and I have CNN if I want to be clinically depressed.

Eddie Murphy deserved a nomination, but I think DOLEMITE had two strikes against it – it was a comedy (you can’t nominate a movie that audiences merely enjoy) and it was for Netflix. I sense a reluctance to shower love on Netflix movies since Academy members know damn well they’re TV shows disguised as motion pictures.

That said, you get Marty Scorsese, Robert DeNiro, and Al Pacino together for a gangster movie and it could be for Pornhub and the Academy would nominate it.

Plus, let’s be real.  Hollywood studios aren’t making films where the hero doesn’t wear a cape or the sequel number isn’t in the title.  Netflix is the only place making decent movies that aren’t aimed at 12 year-old boys. 

The cast of PARASITE deserved some nominations, but nobody in the US knows who they are and the Academy has been burned before by nominating no names. Remember, it’s ALL about the TV show and delivering a big audience for ABC. I can’t believe they haven’t asked Alex Trebek to host it.

A lot of people are outraged that Taron Egerton wasn’t singled-out for his portrayal of Elton John in ROCKETMAN. The problem there might be – the movie was ridiculous.

Others are in a tizzy that HUSTLERS and JLo were shut out.   Maybe the fact that it was a terrible movie had something to do with that?  

1917 got some nods due to its scope and execution and Hollywood loves war movies. You put a guy in a uniform with a rifle running through a field and you go to the Oscars. Whether it actually wins anything is another story.

As in years past, most Americans will not have seen most of the movies honored. As phenomenal as PARASITE was, I don’t see that becoming a boxoffice sensation. Same with JOJO RABBIT.  (I think a lot of voters are mixed on JOJO.  That may hurt them.)

Lots of nominations for THE JOKER. It’s the Academy’s desperate attempt to attract viewers by nominating a movie some of them have seen. I’d be surprised if it wins much.

Most of the Best Picture Nominees are too long. But length is a plus when it comes to awards season.

Meanwhile, there’s no real buzz on anything.  

And finally, I must say, skimming through the list of nominees I couldn’t find one I thought really didn’t deserve to be there. It’s a numbers game and certain people are Oscar’s darlings. Meryl (even if she’s not in anything), Robert (Bobby to his friends so not Trump), Quentin, Marty, Charlize, Margot, Leo, Tom, Adam (Driver not Sandler), Scarlett (for sure), Rene, Pixar, and Greta will win for Adapted Screenplay.

The ceremony is February 9th. It’s getting earlier every year. Soon we’ll have DICK CLARKS ROCKIN’ NEW YEAR’S OSCARS.
Source: Ken Levine

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