The 2015/16 Oscar nominations are 20 minutes old, and the biggest headline is that Alejandro G. Inarritu‘s The Revenant is now the most likely Best Picture winner as evidence by 12 nominations. It might not win, but we all know what 12 nominations almost always mean. A lot of grumbling, a lot of pushback pieces to come…but the writing is on the wall and it’s not going to easily wash off.
The other big, percolating, machine-gun headlines:
(a) Spotlight, the widely presumed Best Picture front-runner all through Oscar season until last weekend, when The Revenant opened big and took the Best Picture, Drama award at the Golden Globes, is on the ropes and quite possibly toast in terms of Best Picture prospects. Speaking as a Spotlight worshipper from way back, this is very sad news. Comment: The Revenant may be the greater, more ambitious film, but I love Spotlight with all my heart. And yet I have to recognize what’s happened over the last six days — a complete turnaround for The Revenant beginning with last weekend’s $39 million gross, those three Golden Globe awards (Best Picture Drama, Best Director, Best Actor) and now this morning’s 12 nominations. It’s probably all over but the shouting. Tell me how Spotlight or another film can win.
(b) Alejandro G. Inarritu and dp Emmanuel Lubezski are in an excellent position to make Oscar history. What do you say to that, Sasha Stone?
(c) Ridley Scott‘s gold-watch Best Director nomination didn’t happen, despite his being DGA nominated a couple of days ago and The Martian having snagged a Best Picture nomination. Why didn’t Scott make the cut? I’ll tell you why. Room director Lenny Abrahamson (who hasn’t a tiny snowball’s chance in hell of winning) elbowed him aside.
(d) Love & Mercy‘s Paul Dano wasn’t handed a Best Supporting Actor nomination, to the eternal shame of the Academy and particularly because the majority of blogaroonies resisted the Dano movement by ghetto-izing Love & Mercy as a non-starter because it opened last summer — this is on you, blogaroonies!;
(e) “No black nominees” (particular attention is being paid to the absence of Straight Outta Compton and Creed noms) is not a story because racial quotas are bullshit — Compton and Creed are good, engaging, well-made films, but the Academy decided they weren’t quite good enough to be nominated, and that’s that;
(f) Charlotte Rampling landed a Best Actress nomination for 45 Years — the Academy overrides SAG consensus!
(g) All of those Jacob Tremblay supporters (first and foremost The Hollywood Reporter‘s Scott Feinberg) are shaking themselves off right now and saying “okay, okay, I got a little carried away but the kid nailed it”;
(h) The Academy bought the category-fraud narrative that Carol‘s Rooney Mara gave a supporting performance. Because, I’m guessing, they really liked Cate Blanchett‘s costarring performance and wanted to nominate her also, which meant slotting her into the Best Actress category. Right?
(i) How did Cheryl Boone Isaacs manage to screw up the pronunciation of Alejandro G. Inarritu‘s last name? The guy’s been a big deal in this town for the last 15 years.
What else? I’m still working on this but I don’t have oodles of time as I have a 9 am appointment at the passport office in West Los Angeles. It’s 6:31 am as we speak.