The Ten most interesting things about the 2017 Oscar Nominations
The 2017 Oscar Nominations were announced this past Tuesday for the 89th Academy Awards. While the results were not overly surprising, I did find a few interesting things worth talking about, even if one of them is that the results weren’t too surprising. So there’s your first one. The Best Picture nominees also lead the pack with the most nominations – LA LA LAND (14), ARRIVAL (8), MOONLIGHT (8), HACKSAW RIDGE (6), LION (6), MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (6), FENCES (4), HELL OR HIGH WATER (4), HIDDEN FIGURES (3), JACKIE (3). In no particular order, here are my musings on the ten most interesting things about the 2017 Oscar nominations.
10. It’s like we’re finishing… each other’s sentences – The list of nominees seemed almost more predictable than usual. The nominees were penciled in well before Christmas with little deviation. Even the late surge of HIDDEN FIGURES was foreseeable. And most had figured that JACKIE would only get in if the Best Picture list went to ten, which tied its highest total of nine since implementing the new rule of between five and ten depending on vote percentage. To be fair, just because the Academy is predictable doesn’t necessarily mean they’re always wrong. JACKIE is my least favorite of the group so I’m very much fine with that choice just missing the cut (and no, DEADPOOL never had a real shot). But I can’t say that I’m at all surprised with any of the decisions in the major categories, well that is besides two very happy surprises – Michael Shannon for Best Supporting Actor and…
9. Bless Me(L) Hollywood for I have sinned – Easily the biggest surprise from the nominations is Mel Gibson being nominated for Best Director. I was hesitant to believe that my favorite film of the year, HACKSAW RIDGE, would be so widely appreciated by the Academy. But Hollywood appears to have finally forgiven Mel for his past sins. It has been ten years since Gibson has directed his last film APOCALYPTO and 21 years since he was nominated and won for directing BRAVEHEART. You add THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST and now HACKSAW RIDGE to that resume and you will realize that Gibson is a consistently great director who delivers some of the most inspirational and faith driven films today.
8. One is the loneliest number – We all know the best picture nominees with their multiple nominations. But what about some of the films that only received one nomination? Here are some of my personal favorites: THE LOBSTER (Best Original Screenplay), CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (Best Actor, Viggo Mortensen), NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (Best Supporting Actor, Michael Shannon), SILENCE (Best Cinematography), A MAN CALLED OVE (Best Makeup/Hairstyling and Foreign Film – Yes it has two, but I bet you haven’t seen it!)