RETROGRADE & NOSTALGIC
The Oscars nominations are not nearly as radical as they think they are
Peter Bradshaw writes in the Guardian that this year’s Oscar nomination list is ‘interesting and lively’ but asks if there is something ‘a bit retrograde and nostalgic about the frontrunner?’
Will the 2021 Oscars reflect modern America and contemporary issues in the way increasingly demanded of awards ceremonies? I’m not sure.
Bradshaw writes frontrunner (10 nominations) Mank is a gorgeously rendered monochrome fantasy about the genesis of Orson Welles’s classic 1941 movie Citizen Kane.
But First Cow, one of the best American films of the year, by director Kelly Reichardt and Kitty Green’s great political drama The Assistant received no nominations.
No movie could possibly have confronted with more ferocity and candour the issue of Weinsteinian abuse — something that so recently was convulsing the entire industry.
Those films were bested by News of the World- a ‘moderate, stolidly unexciting western starring Tom Hanks. And Hillbilly Elegy by Ron Howard, a ‘muddled family drama’ with Glenn Close in the borderline absurd role of the frizzy-haired grandma.
In fact, it seems that this Oscar nomination list is frankly not especially strong on feminist issues, despite a respectable two out of the five best director nominees being women.
Mank is a brilliant dive backwards into movie myth, creating ‘a lucid dream about one of the greatest films of Hollywood’s golden age.’
The Academy tends to love movies about its own industry – and maybe embraced it as a kind of comfort food.
Mank is brilliant but it’s a nostalgic choice.
Riz Ahmed first Muslim nominated for ‘Best Actor’
Far Out says cinematic history has been made by Brit Riz Ahmed who has become the first Muslim nominated for ‘Best Actor’ at the Oscars.
The Oscars made Amazon production Sound of Metal a major talking point as the film has been nominated for 6 Oscars – Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Sound.
In the 93-year history of the prestigious Oscars, Ahmen is the first Muslim actor nominated for the big prize.
“If there’s a way in which people can find themselves in this moment, and can feel inspired and connected on a deeper level, I’m all for it,” Ahmed told Deadline about his history-making Oscar nomination.
“Whether they see me as the first British Pakistani or the first guy from Wembley, you know, there’s so many ways to view it. But as long as it feels like an opportunity for more people than ever before to really connect and feel included in this moment, that’s a blessing.”
Ahmed, speaking on the nominating of nine non-white performers across the four acting categories, said we should scratch culture so that its big enough and wide enough there’s space for all of us to find ourselves in it.
It’s something which allows stories and storytelling to get back to its original intention, which is to embrace all of us.
Speaking in an official statement released to the press, Ahmed continued his sentiment, explaining: “I’m honoured to be nominated by my fellow actors alongside such inspiring performances, and am grateful to the Academy for their support and encouragement. I’m equally thrilled for our visionary writer-director Darius Marder and the brilliant Paul Raci, as well as our editor Mikkel, sound designer Nicolas, and co-writer Abe Marder. These nominations represents the time, generosity and talents of so many — all of our incredible cast, crew, producers, and in particular I’d like to thank my mentors in the drumming, addiction recovery, and D/deaf communities.”
The 2021 Oscar nominations are just as navel-gazing and baffling as ever
Film critics Robbie Collin writes in the Telegraph, ‘the Oscars are finally diverse, but 10 nominations for Mank and a baffling Supporting Actor category sadly suggests it’s business as usual’
After #OscarsSoWhite and #OscarsSoWoketime to prepare yourself for #OscarsSoOscars. Collins writes the pandemic throwing the film industry into chaos had a positive upshot – the award season feels plump with possibility, but with the Oscars set of contenders, you wouldn’t know it.
The most nominated film – Mank – shows Oscar voters love little more than films about their own link of work. Note: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, La La Land, Argo and The Artist in recent years.
The film’s 10 nominations suggest the business is happy to dwell on the past
For the Best Supporting Actor category voters were just as keen to indulge in some old and not especially edifying habits. Only two – Paul Raci and Sascha Baron Cohen – actually play supporting characters, the other three nominated are unquestionably co-leads. The ‘category fraud’ are a regular feature of the Oscars and are often the result of voters confusing a character’s status within the world of film. Last year, Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which you could argue was a lead role.
The 2021 edition, however, has delivered up one of the all-time great cases. Both Lakeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya have been nominated as supporting actors for their work in the civil-rights-era conspiracy thriller Judas and the Black Messiah. Stanfield plays the Judas of the piece, the FBI mole Bill O’Neal, while Kaluuya is in the Black Messiah role as Fred Hampton, a rising star of the activist scene.
This presents an interesting question: if neither of the film’s title characters is the lead, then who on earth is? Perhaps next month’s ceremony will provide an answer – or, failing that, a face-saving quip.
The Oscars have taken a major step forward – but have things really changed for good?
There are still more nuanced conversations that need to happen if the Oscars are truly committed to change, writes Clarisse Loughrey for the Independent.
This year’s Oscar nominations are far from perfect, but its a real relief to see a slate of nominees that actually reflects the best films
Most years, nominations tend to tick a certain set of boxes or appeal to a very small sector of the audience (read: old white people.) This year there’s a slate of nominations that reflect 2020’s best films.
Parasite’s Best Picture win last year – the first non-English language film to win – was seen as a sign the Academy had entered a new era. An era where its efforts to diversify its voting body has resulted in concrete change.
There are significant milestones to celebrate here. 2021 nominations mark the first time more than one woman has been nominated in the Best Director category. Riz Ahmed is the first Muslim nominated for Best Actor, while Minari’s Steven Yeun is the first Asian American actor to do so. With her fourth Oscar nomination for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Viola Davis is now the most-nominated Black actress ever and the only Black woman with two Best Actress nominations.
Otherwise, this is an awards season without many of the usual Oscar-bait powerhouses dominating the race.
In other years, you might have expected The Trial of the Chicago 7 to take the lead – but its not the case here. In fact, it didn’t even land a Best Director nom.
The pandemic pushed back several potential big contenders such as Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and the Aretha Franklin biopic, which could have radically changed the landscape of Oscar season.
Clarisse Loughrey says the cynic in her doesn’t have faith things have changed for good. Like Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Judas and the Black Messiah, instead of being in the lead categories.
Delroy Lindo was left off the Best Actor list, despite his formidable performance in Da 5 Bloods. And it’s sad to see Miss Juneteenth, especially its star Nicole Beharie, be completely forgotten by this year’s awards bodies. Her omission is particularly telling.
Diversity for its own sake is not enough – Academy voters need to reflect on the kinds of Black experiences they choose to highlight. There has always been a pattern where stories of Black oppression and suffering are elevated above all others. That’s no different this year – and these more nuanced conversations need to happen if the Oscars are truly committed to change. They’ve taken a big step forward this year, but there’s still a way to go.
Oscars nominations 2021: Brits, diversity and female directors rewarded – BBC News
Oscar nominations 2021: British women lead Oscars charge – The Times
Oscar nominations 2021: the biggest snubs and surprises – The Telegraph
Oscars surprises, snubs include Glenn Close, ‘Da 5 Bloods’- AP News
Daniel Kaluuya and more react to their Oscar nominations – CNN
How Judas and the Black Messiah’s two lead actors wound up with supporting actor Oscar nods – VOX
Oscars: Diverse Field Sees Asian Actors Finally Break Through – THR
Oscars 2021 nominations announcement
After the many delays of this pandemic year, the Oscar nominations are finally here.
Competing for best picture are “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Promising Young Woman,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”
Netflix’s “Mank” scored a leading 10 nominations, including nods for best director (David Fincher), best actor (Gary Oldman) and best supporting actress (Amanda Seyfried), in addition to best picture.
Following behind with six nominations apiece are “The Father,” “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Sound of Metal” and “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” received five nods. – VARIETY
Oscar snubs 2021
In a season where in-person campaigning was forbidden by public-health mandates, this year’s Oscar nominations were poised to be full of surprises. Left to their own (streaming) devices, who knew what voters would choose? But the biggest surprise of all turned out to be how uncontroversial the nominations were, as many of the results lined up with our predictions from two weeks ago. (Just don’t mention our predictions from last week.) But that doesn’t mean everyone woke up happy. Or that everything even made sense. Read on to see the biggest snubs and surprises of the 93rd Academy Awards’ nominations. – VULTURE