The nominees for the 2017 Academy Awards were announced this morning, and, as always, there were some unexpected additions that made the cut.
In the acting categories, we see some faces that surprisingly, yet thankfully, edged their way into the race. Ruth Negga for the under-appreciated Loving. Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals, for which his co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson won a Golden Globe in the same category. The young Lucas Hedges for his star-making turn in Manchester by the Sea.
All of these nominations are seconded by me, as the films their performances are contained within would have suffered without their presence.
Another nod that is much earned is Yorgos Lanthimos (and writing partner Efthymis Filippou) being honored for his film The Lobster. The staggeringly offbeat romantic comedy is not particularly easy on the palette, so to see it get recognized for its hysterically blunt writing is refreshing.
Other choices are surprising in less of a satisfying way and more of a baffling one. Passengers, the holiday flop starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, received two nominations—Production Design and Original Score. As a point of comparison, Martin Scorsese’s epic Silence only received a single nomination (for cinematography).
Arrival received a lot of love from the Academy (eight total nominations), yet it did not honor Amy Adams with an acting nod, instead opting for safe bet Meryl Streep, whose recent speech at the Golden Globes made pointed comments that the Academy likely wants to rally behind.
Hidden Figures also received a late-year push to make it into the Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay races. As much as I feel that the script gets far too close to the nose at times, these nominations are earned. Although, the nine-film Best Picture race cut off films like Silence and 20th Century Women from sneaking in.
Now the Oscar race is officially on, which will make way for a month of intense speculation. Check back later today for my first batch of intense speculation, as I will be updating the site with Oscar predictions in all 24 categories throughout the day.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)