2017 Oscar Nominations

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby Uri » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:24 am

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dws1982 wrote:We've talked before about how Meryl Streep has racked up all of these nominations over the years usually in movies that are far out of the Best Picture race (Florence Foster Jenkins) or in movies that were supposed to be bigger contenders than they ended up being (Into the Woods). Unless I'm overlooking something, this is her fourth Oscar nomination for a Best Picture nominee. And yet...it's still basically Meryl having another solo triumph, because the only other nomination the movie has is Best Picture.


In the Bedroom, The Hours, The Queen, Amour, Philomena, Fences, The Post, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

These are the only films starring actresses over 50 which were nominated since Streep turned 50. She starred in two of them. One could argue she was not an obvious choice for The Queen, Amour, Philomena, Fences and Three Billboards. That leaves In the Bedroom as the only one she could have been in and wasn’t.

She doesn’t appear in Oscar nominated films because there aren’t any she could be in. Name one major film made by a major American director in the last 20 years she could have starred in. It’s not like Lange, Spacek, Weaver and Close are regularly working with Scorsese, Tarantino or even the disgraced Allen recently. So Streep usually is relegated to films made by the phyllida Lloyds of this world. The Oscars simply seldom make passes at films with older girls who wears reading glasses.

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby anonymous1980 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:31 pm

Precious Doll wrote:
criddic3 wrote:I don't know if it has been mentioned before, but does anyone think that Abacus: Small Enough to Jail could win the documentary prize partly based on the fact that it is Steve James' first nod? After being shockingly left off the list in 1994 for Hoop Dreams and in 2014 for Life Itself, it seems plausible that many voters would take this opportunity to reward him.


That thought had crossed my mind. I think it depends how many members would actually realise that fact, which I suspect would be very few. I suspect the documentary on Syria will win this one the basis of subject matter alone.


The same subject matter won last year in the Documentary Short side with The White Helmets. The Academy might think it is too been-there-done-that but it still has a shot. However with presumed front-runner Jane out of the running, I can see anyone of these winning: Abacus, if enough voters know about Steve James' unfair Academy Awards history; giving a competitive Oscar to oldest Oscar nominee ever Agnes Varda the same year she got her Honorary with Faces Places (plus it's one of the more light-hearted documentaries which could help it standout); it's a Winter Olympic year and Russia is always in the headlines and Icarus is about the Russian doping scandal and then we have Strong Island which hits two birds with one stone: LGBT issues and racism, plus it's made by an African-American trans man, the first ever nominated in history.

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:01 pm

criddic3 wrote:I don't know if it has been mentioned before, but does anyone think that Abacus: Small Enough to Jail could win the documentary prize partly based on the fact that it is Steve James' first nod? After being shockingly left off the list in 1994 for Hoop Dreams and in 2014 for Life Itself, it seems plausible that many voters would take this opportunity to reward him.


That thought had crossed my mind. I think it depends how many members would actually realise that fact, which I suspect would be very few. I suspect the documentary on Syria will win this one the basis of subject matter alone.
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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby criddic3 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:18 pm

I don't know if it has been mentioned before, but does anyone think that Abacus: Small Enough to Jail could win the documentary prize partly based on the fact that it is Steve James' first nod? After being shockingly left off the list in 1994 for Hoop Dreams and in 2014 for Life Itself, it seems plausible that many voters would take this opportunity to reward him.
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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:47 pm

dws1982 wrote:We've talked before about how Meryl Streep has racked up all of these nominations over the years usually in movies that are far out of the Best Picture race (Florence Foster Jenkins) or in movies that were supposed to be bigger contenders than they ended up being (Into the Woods). Unless I'm overlooking something, this is her fourth Oscar nomination for a Best Picture nominee. And yet...it's still basically Meryl having another solo triumph, because the only other nomination the movie has is Best Picture.

That's a very sharp observation, one I wouldn't have thought of.

A couple of things about Meryl's pattern, though:

I think people understate how strongly her initial run -- that first decade -- was tied to the best picture category. Deer Hunter and Kramer vs. Kramer were of course best picture winners, as was Out of Africa, but her nominations in-between were for very strong also-rans -- The French Lieutenant's Woman and Sophie's Choice had five nominations apiece, including screenplay, and would very likely have been best picture nominees under the current expanded system. Silkwood seemed like it should have been nominated even in a field of five -- it got screenplay/director/editing, all the earmarks of a best picture nominee, making it seem more Academy fluke than a knock on Meryl that it wasn't on the best picture slate. (Mark Harris is arguing on Twitter today that some of Meryl's best picture non-correlation has to do with the Academy's preference for male-oriented narratives; it's ghetto-izing of "women's subjects" -- which is a broader argument, but related.) Even Ironweed wasn't just a Meryl one-off, but more like failed Oscar bait -- Babenco was coming off Kiss of the Spider Woman, the novel was a Pulitzer winner, and right up until the film's December opening it was viewed as prime Academy material. NIcholson's nomination right alongside should be enough to exclude it from the Meryl-rides-solo narrative.

After that, of course, she did start racking up nominations that seemed personal rather than film-related. Only a few of the 14(!) subsequent mentions were for films with broad support -- Adaptation and Doubt, most notably (I'd make a case that in another year, Bridges of Madison County might have been a bigger deal -- its reviews were quite good, at least compared to what had been expected, given the novel's low reputation. But 1995, as I've noted many times, was a film with about 30 credible contenders, and many were left by the wayside.) You can definitely draw a line from Music of the Heart and The Devil Wears Prada through The Iron Lady and August: Osage County, and declare that Meryl dwells in a separate Academy county from anyone else. What I'm saying is, she got there via initially legitimate means.

Denzel -- a interesting analogy -- has had the misfortune of being mostly attached to fizzled Oscar bait. Cry Freedom was Richard Attenborough's attempt to recapture his Gandhi triumph, but voters seemed to see through it this time (perhaps chastened by the retroactive critical lambasting Gandhi had taken); Denzel's charismatic Biko was all that survived for nomination. Glory actually seemed like it would be up the Academy's alley -- the Globes had nominated it in all the glamour categories -- but it scored a meager five, mostly below-the-line nods (though it won three prizes, not bad for a non-nominated film). When Malcolm X opened in November '92, I'd have bet on its getting all the major nominations. I'm still not sure why it diddn't -- not to say it's brilliant, but compared to Scent of a Woman and A Few Good Men? Again, Denzel survived, but the pattern was established. The Hurricane was even more a bust -- it was seen mostly as a crappy movie with a powerful Denzel performance (this was still good enough to win him a Golden Globe). With Training Day, there wasn't even a pretense the movie was much: it was strictly the Denzel show, and he got important people (including the LA critics) to rally behind it as "time for a lead Denzel Oscar". In retrospect, it's kind of amazing he's achieved this -- racked up so many nominations and two wins -- despite never having even close to the best picture narrative most of his compatriots (and even Streep) have established.

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby Precious Doll » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:54 am

dws1982 wrote:
Speaking of Washington, this kind of feels like the Robert Duvall nomination in 1998. He was just coming off of a nomination for a movie that he produced and directed himself in a performance that a lot of people considered one of his best; the next year he gets nominated again, playing a lawyer in a legal drama that came and went with very little fanfare.



Denzel Washington is the most nominated actor that I have never nominated in my own selections. Maybe Roman J. Israel, Esq will change that for me. Funnily enough having spent the last six months shrinking for Blu Ray/DVD collection down from 6,000 to 4,800 I realised I don't and have never owned a film in which Washington appeared. So something about his choices and my tastes.

Also, he must be the most nominated actor who has never received a single BFI nomination.
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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby dws1982 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:56 pm

To me the movie (through Guadagnino's direction and the acting of Hammer and Chalamet more than the screenplay) seems to adopt Elio's point-of-view so clearly that I feel every character is secondary because they only exist in terms of Elio. Not sure that I would've nominated Hammer, because I think his performance and what he does in the film is the (successful) product of an actor being very much in tune with his director's vision, and the nature of that vision kind of limited what he had to do in terms of acting. Probably would have nominated him over Stuhlbarg though, who was very good, but really had (in my mind) nothing to do outside of that one scene. Which is good, but I don't know if it's Oscar-good, and I'm not sure how I felt about what that monologue implied about the mother. But that's a discussion more for the thread for the movie.

On some other nomination thoughts:
We've talked before about how Meryl Streep has racked up all of these nominations over the years usually in movies that are far out of the Best Picture race (Florence Foster Jenkins) or in movies that were supposed to be bigger contenders than they ended up being (Into the Woods). Unless I'm overlooking something, this is her fourth Oscar nomination for a Best Picture nominee. And yet...it's still basically Meryl having another solo triumph, because the only other nomination the movie has is Best Picture.

Contrast that with Daniel Day-Lewis, whose six nominations have always been for Best Picture nominees. Even Octavia Spencer is 3-for-3 with all of her nominations coming from Best Picture nominees (although her first two were for lower-tier nominees). Christopher Plummer is more of a Meryl Streep case: Three nominations, and The Last Station is the only one that got as much as even one additional mention, a fifth-place nomination for Helen Mirren. And Denzel Washington has eight acting nominations, with only one for a Best Picture nominee, and that was a no-hope Best Picture nominee, that never would've been nominated in a field of five. Maybe he's the true male Meryl in that regard.

Speaking of Washington, this kind of feels like the Robert Duvall nomination in 1998. He was just coming off of a nomination for a movie that he produced and directed himself in a performance that a lot of people considered one of his best; the next year he gets nominated again, playing a lawyer in a legal drama that came and went with very little fanfare.

Six of the Best Picture nominees have female producers nominated. Not sure what the numbers in past years have looked like, but that's an impressive stat.

Kind of surprised by the Phantom Thread love, because it doesn't seem like an audience-pleaser. Several of my audience didn't seem to like it, but several others seemed to see it--rightly, in my mind--as a dark comedy. I didn't post predictions here, but I did on another message board, and I did get the Lesley Manville and Paul Thomas Anderson nominations right. But I also had it missing Best Picture. (I had Anderson over Peele, although I had a feeling that McDonagh could miss out. But feelings don't get you anything.)

I liked "Visions of Gideon" much better than "Mystery of Love"--I really thought that sequence felt out of place. But it's not a bad song on its own terms. I could see that category going any number of ways, except, sadly (for her, at least) Dianne Warren's.

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:22 pm

Okri wrote:I'd love to know what you would view as a dominant supporting role vs a lead role, because I thought Hammer was totally in the former category. Though I also think that Hammer as lead doesn’t help Stuhlbarg too much either.


This is, of course, a never-ending debate. I guess I'd classify as "dominant supporting" people like Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards (who I know some folks online think is co-lead because he does get his own arc), and in past years Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water (who does head his own thread of the story) or J.K. Simmons in Whiplash (who is secondary but still extremely prominent). Armie Hammer probably isn't the most black-and-white case -- I wouldn't roll my eyes at those who'd argue he's supporting -- but I generally feel like in romances that are primarily the story of the relationship between two people, that both of them should be slotted as leads, even if Elio is who you'd most specifically call the story's protagonist. But different strokes for everyone (as we learn year after year).

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby Okri » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:09 pm

1. Yeah, I had Phantom Thread at six nominations (screenplay instead of director). I actually just saw it this weekend which is what convinced me to put it in.

2. You know, Oscar season makes hypocrites of us all (or just me). I spent enough of the Oscar-discussion portion of the year pushing the Oldman/”The Darkest Hour” narrative. But when the film came here, I just resisted it entirely. Like I was actually in the theatre to do a double feature and changed my mind. I’m even a real admirer of Joe Wright. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

3. I lean more negative than the rest, it appears. Enthusiasm for Peele and Gerwig was tinged with relief for the same (though Anderson was an unalloyed delight). The Shape of Water is easily my least favourite best picture nominee (see 2) so it’s domination was disappointing. I actually think The Post had more meritable nominations than it got (costume, editing)

The Original BJ wrote:I think Franco would have been a more enjoyable Best Actor choice than a totally unnecessary nomination for Washington, but that distinction sort of falls into "who cares" territory. I actually got thinking, if Armie Hammer had been solidly pushed as a lead alongside Chalamet, might he have had more of a shot than in the overstuffed supporting category? Maybe fraud isn't always the quickest way to a nomination, folks!


I'd love to know what you would view as a dominant supporting role vs a lead role, because I thought Hammer was totally in the former category. Though I also think that Hammer as lead doesn’t help Stuhlbarg too much either.

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:49 pm

MaxWilder wrote:It doesn't help that they're so unhelpfully named. Sound editing used to be sound effects editing. Now voters are left to disentangle 'editing' and 'mixing.'


I never understood why they changed Sound Effects to Sound Editing; everybody perfectly well knew what the former was. (Actually, there was an interim period when it was known as Sound Effects Editing.) If they wanted to change Achievement in Sound to Sound Mixing, fine, but the second change was pointless and only provoked confusion.

I've been looking at the various guilds to see how they did as forecasters.

The winner among the majors is the WGA -- 5/5 in adapted, and 4/5 in original solely because Three Billboards wasn't eligible.

SAG had a mediocre year -- not as bad as 2015, when they missed 7 of 20 nominated performances, but a nothing-to-brag-about 5 misses: Day-Lewis, Streep, Plummer, Manville and Spencer. It's probably worth noting that all but Spencer were late-screening (most of the 5 misses in 2013 were the same). Also, 2 of their 5 Ensemble nominees (The Big Sick and Mudbound) failed to make the best picture list.

(Apropos Mudbound: we probably ought to note that Netflix must feel a lot better about its future hopes for Oscar nominations after getting four here, most of them borderline.)

But the worst year by far was had by PGA, which gave us 11 nominees this year -- 4 of them missed, and 2 films were added. I don't think PGA has ever been as far afield.

The Broadcasters, by the way, despite their expanding acting fields to as many as 7, also had a bad year -- missing Denzel, Woody Harrelson, Christopher Plummer and Lesley Manville.

And the Globes animated feature category matches AMPAS exactly -- which should tell you all you need to know about the new voting system for the category.

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby MaxWilder » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:21 pm

The Original BJ wrote:Why even bother having two sound categories if the nominees are just going to be exactly the same? No one even knows the difference between them as it is!

It doesn't help that they're so unhelpfully named. Sound editing used to be sound effects editing. Now voters are left to disentangle 'editing' and 'mixing.'

P.S. I haven't bothered with any analyses on the usual sites; those here are much better!

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:37 pm

First off, can I just say how much I disliked the way they did the nominations this year? The tactic of reciting a list of movies without any corresponding visuals/text made it pretty hard to process the actual information being announced. And as someone as the west coast -- who woke up at 5:15 AM to watch these -- I truly did not need the short films promoting each tech category, when all I wanted was the information so I could get back to sleep.

On to the nominees... I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment that there was a lot to be excited about. The two things I most wanted were 1) a lot of unexpected nominations for Phantom Thread and 2) for Call Me By Your Name not to get the Carol treatment. So both of those happened, and many movies I was enthusiastic about and expected would do well received worthy recognition too. I still groaned at the Best Picture nomination for Darkest Hour -- proof that even with all those hip new members, there's still a very old-fashioned claque of voters in the Academy -- but at least it came sandwiched between a lot of happy nominees.

My hunch was right that Phantom Thread would be a stronger arthouse surprise candidate than The Florida Project. (Though I wasn't as prescient as those who predicted Supporting Actress along with Picture/Director.) I'd have wanted Sean Baker's film on a list of 9 as well, but as I wrote after first seeing it months ago, I worried people had miscast it as a major Oscar player, and ultimately it seems it was just too small a project to break through.

Once I, Tonya got that Editing nomination, I figured it would have a good morning, but then it missed all its other non-certain categories -- Makeup, Screenplay, Picture. I guess its last-minute surge was strictly a Guild thing, and though I certainly prefer it to Darkest Hour, I can't say I'm bothered it didn't rack up a huge haul. (I was honestly starting to feel people were overrating the thing.)

I'm agreement with Mister Tee on how the Director race panned out. McDonagh would have been a perfectly worthy nominee, but he's nominated (and may well win) as a writer, the Anderson surprise was terrific, and all five nominees in that category are totally honorable selections in my book.

I think Franco would have been a more enjoyable Best Actor choice than a totally unnecessary nomination for Washington, but that distinction sort of falls into "who cares" territory. I actually got thinking, if Armie Hammer had been solidly pushed as a lead alongside Chalamet, might he have had more of a shot than in the overstuffed supporting category? Maybe fraud isn't always the quickest way to a nomination, folks!

Stulhbarg was my biggest disappointment as well... but I wouldn't say that Christopher Plummer is hugely undeserving either. Even beyond the insane circumstances of his performance, he's very solid in his movie, and that's another case where (like director) I just wish there were more than five spots.

It's hard not to feel bad for Hong Chau, a total unknown who got all the important precursors, and may not get another role this good very soon (if ever) again. But she always had the uphill battle of being attached to a vehicle that wasn't going to nab anything else, and the inclusion of Manville -- who has been overlooked before -- was one of the happiest surprises of the day.

Logan hung on for that something-had-to-be-nominated spot in Adapted Screenplay, but Wonder Woman blanked completely, still proving that even in the tech categories, voters just aren't that crazy about superhero movies.

As others have said, some of the bigger down-ballot omissions were in the specialty categories. I'm not too sad In the Fade missed (particularly given that The Square, which I worried might be too weird, held on), but I thought Jane was quite a lovely piece of work, with some truly impressive archival footage. I haven't seen any of the actual Doc nominees yet though, and there too, voters included a film (Faces Places) that's quite outside the realm of what usually gets recognized by the Academy.

A lot of us figured they'd go for Diane Warren in Original Song, but I (and others) who bet on the Cries From Syria number simply picked the wrong one!

I actually gasped when The Post wasn't announced as a Score nominee, figuring they couldn't possibly have a year without John Williams. Of course, he was then nominated two nominees later for Star Wars.

Why even bother having two sound categories if the nominees are just going to be exactly the same? No one even knows the difference between them as it is!

I can't say I'm thrilled about the prospect of sitting through Kong: Skull Island, but neither Dunkirk nor The Shape of Water were really knockouts in the visual effects department, so it's fine that this was a tech category where they sat on the sidelines. Visual Effects strikes me as a category that could still go a number of different ways, particularly given that there's no Best Picture nominee in the race. (It's actually the only category outside of the specialty fields not to have a Best Picture candidate).

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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby HarryGoldfarb » Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:04 pm

OscarGuy wrote:Agnes Varda is actually the oldest Oscar nominee in history now. She's older then James Ivory by 9 days.


So that's a double age superlative related record in the same morning, right? Ivory's nod broke the record for oldest man ever to receive a nomination, while Varda is the oldest woman (and oldest overall) ever to be nominated?
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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby Sabin » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:59 pm

OscarGuy wrote
Blade Runner should have been in for Score. I don't know what people heard in the Dunkirk score. It felt very pedestrian to me. I also don't get Three Billboards as I cannot remember a single element of that score.

'Blade Runner 2049' should have certainly been up, but Carter Burwell's nomination is one of the morning's most pleasant surprises. It has a driving, almost Western sound to it. I'm rooting for Jonny Greenwood but Carter Burwell's score was essential to the film's success.
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Re: 2017 Oscar Nominations

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:54 pm

Agnes Varda is actually the oldest Oscar nominee in history now. She's older then James Ivory by 9 days.

Not everyone wrote off The Square.

Blade Runner should have been in for Score. I don't know what people heard in the Dunkirk score. It felt very pedestrian to me. I also don't get Three Billboards as I cannot remember a single element of that score.
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