More actors got nominated for playing Popes than POCs.
January 13, 2020 12:32 PM   Subscribe

The Unforgivable 2020 Oscars Snubs Prove the Academy Cooks With Absolutely No Seasoning [Esquire] “"Congratulations to these men," Issa Rae said after announcing the list of nominees for Best Director at the 2020 Oscars, which included the names of five male filmmakers. The exclusion of female directors in the category is unforgivable, and indicative of a wider problem with this award season, where women were also snubbed at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs. In a year of excellent, diverse films, the Oscars managed to curate a list of predominately white and predominately male nominations.”
Here is the full list of 2020 Oscar nominations:

Best Picture:
“Ford v Ferrari”
“The Irishman”
“Jojo Rabbit”
“Joker”
“Little Women”
“Marriage Story”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
“Parasite”

Lead Actor:
Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”

Lead Actress:
Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
Renee Zellweger, “Judy”

Supporting Actor:
Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Supporting Actress:
Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”

Director:
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Todd Phillips, “Joker”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”

Animated Feature:
“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” Dean DeBlois
“I Lost My Body,” Jeremy Clapin
“Klaus,” Sergio Pablos
“Missing Link,” Chris Butler
“Toy Story 4,” Josh Cooley

Animated Short:
“Dcera,” Daria Kashcheeva
“Hair Love,” Matthew A. Cherry
“Kitbull,” Rosana Sullivan
“Memorable,” Bruno Collet
“Sister,” Siqi Song

Adapted Screenplay:
“The Irishman,” Steven Zaillian
“Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi
“Joker,” Todd Phillips, Scott Silver
“Little Women,” Greta Gerwig
“The Two Popes,” Anthony McCarten

Original Screenplay:
“Knives Out,” Rian Johnson
“Marriage Story,” Noah Baumbach
“1917,” Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Quentin Tarantino
“Parasite,” Bong Joon-ho, Jin Won Han

Cinematography:
“The Irishman,” Rodrigo Prieto
“Joker,” Lawrence Sher
“The Lighthouse,” Jarin Blaschke
“1917,” Roger Deakins
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Robert Richardson

Best Documentary Feature:
“American Factory,” Julia Rieichert, Steven Bognar
“The Cave,” Feras Fayyad
“The Edge of Democracy,” Petra Costa
“For Sama,” Waad Al-Kateab, Edward Watts
“Honeyland,” Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov

Best Documentary Short Subject:
“In the Absence,” Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone,” Carol Dysinger
“Life Overtakes Me,” Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas
“St. Louis Superman,” Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
“Walk Run Cha-Cha,” Laura Nix

Best Live Action Short Film:
“Brotherhood,” Meryam Joobeur
“Nefta Football Club,” Yves Piat
“The Neighbors’ Window,” Marshall Curry
“Saria,” Bryan Buckley
“A Sister,” Delphine Girard

Best International Feature Film:
“Corpus Christi,” Jan Komasa
“Honeyland,” Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
“Les Miserables,” Ladj Ly
“Pain and Glory,” Pedro Almodovar
“Parasite,” Bong Joon Ho

Film Editing:
“Ford v Ferrari,” Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland
“The Irishman,” Thelma Schoonmaker
“Jojo Rabbit,” Tom Eagles
“Joker,” Jeff Groth
“Parasite,” Jinmo Yang

Sound Editing:
“Ford v Ferrari,” Don Sylvester
“Joker,” Alan Robert Murray
“1917,” Oliver Tarney, Rachel Tate
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Wylie Stateman
“Star Wars: The Rise of SkyWalker,” Matthew Wood, David Acord

Sound Mixing:
“Ad Astra”
“Ford v Ferrari”
“Joker”
“1917”
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Production Design:
“The Irishman,” Bob Shaw and Regina Graves
“Jojo Rabbit,” Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova
“1917,” Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh
“Parasite,” Lee Ha-Jun and Cho Won Woo, Han Ga Ram, and Cho Hee

Original Score:
“Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir
“Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
“Marriage Story,” Randy Newman
“1917,” Thomas Newman
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” John Williams

Original Song:
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”
“I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
“I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen 2”
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”

Makeup and Hair:
“Bombshell”
“Joker”
“Judy”
“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
“1917”

Costume Design:
”The Irishman,” Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson
“Jojo Rabbit,” Mayes C. Rubeo
“Joker,” Mark Bridges
“Little Women,” Jacqueline Durran
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Arianne Phillips

Visual Effects:
“Avengers Endgame”
“The Irishman”
“1917”
“The Lion King”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
• Academy Awards Barely Escape a Reprise of #OscarsSoWhite [Variety]
“Until Issa Rae and John Cho announced “Harriet” star Cynthia Erivo as a nominee for best actress for the 92nd Academy Awards, it was looking increasingly likely that the Oscars were heading for a repeat of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that drove the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences four years ago to aggressively begin diversifying its membership. Instead, Erivo saved the Academy from the embarrassment of yet another slate of all-white acting nominees — but just barely. This year’s Oscar nominations for acting still managed to shut out a wealth of highly regarded performances by actors of color who did earn nominations for several other lead-up awards. Those include Awkwafina in “The Farewell” (best actress winner at the Golden Globes and nominee at the Critics’ Choice Awards), Jennifer Lopez in “Hustlers” (best supporting actress nominee at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice Awards, SAG Awards and Independent Spirit Awards), Eddie Murphy in “Dolemite Is My Name” (best actor nominee at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards), Zhao Shuzhen in “The Farewell” (best supporting actress nominee at the Critics’ Choice Awards and Independent Spirit Awards), Lupita Nyong’o in “Us” (best actress nominee at the SAG Awards), Alfre Woodard in “Clemency” (best actress nominee at the Independent Spirit Awards) and Jamie Foxx in “Just Mercy” (best supporting actor nominee at the SAG Awards). Some awards pundits had also pegged Song Kang-ho in “Parasite” as a potential surprise Oscar nominee for best supporting actor.”
• The lack of diversity among the 2020 Oscar nominees feels disappointingly familiar [Vox]
“Once again, the Best Director category is composed of five men (though Parasite’s Bong Joon-ho is a director of color), as are several of the technical categories. That’s particularly rich in a year with films directed by women scoring in other major categories, namely Greta Gerwig’s Little Women (nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and two acting categories — normally a combination that would yield a directing nomination too) and Marielle Heller’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (nominated for Best Supporting Actor). Look beyond those two and you’ll find other people who were snubbed but received nominations at previous awards shows, especially Lulu Wang’s The Farewell and Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers. And in a year filled with many brilliant examples of overtly queer cinema, the only film to get any real traction was Pain and Glory, a poignant drama about an aging gay director from auteur Pedro Almodovar. (Not even a cinematography nomination for the lesbian romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire? For shame, Academy!) The measures taken to diversify the Academy’s voting membership were supposed to avoid scenarios like this, but this time they just ... didn’t.”
• The 2020 Oscar Nominations Show Awards Season Has To Change [Vogue]
“Awards season has never been about fairness; the ability of the voters for the Academy Awards to choose the winner forgotten by time rather than the one feted by the ages has always been legendary. But now, as the British film-maker and Oscar-winner Steve McQueen told The Guardian, unless they change the way they are chosen, the major awards ceremonies are in danger of becoming culturally redundant. He was talking about the BAFTAS, but he might just as well have been describing the Academy Awards. Neither is reflecting the sheer vitality and diversity of the films that are finding audiences; both are bolstering cinema’s tendency to reward the old-fashioned, the violent and the male. In this context, it is both depressing and unacceptable that the Academy can come up with a list of nominated best directors that excludes women, especially in a year that has seen Greta Gerwig’s radiant and highly-intelligent adaptation of Little Women, Lorene Scafaria’s sharp-eyed Hustlers, Marielle Heller’s gentle A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell. Nor is it OK to look at acting nominees who feature only one person of colour (the British-Nigerian actress Cynthia Erivo for Harriet) out of 20 nominees. The closing out of Jennifer Lopez’s subtle and involving turn in Hustlers in favour of a surprise nomination for Kathy Bates in the best supporting actress category feels particularly odd; and though I bow to no one in my adoration of Scarlett Johansson, the fact that she is nominated in both the best actress and the best supporting categories feels too much when so many good performances have been excluded.”
posted by Fizz (133 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
h/t to Etrigan for the post title.
posted by Fizz at 12:32 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


to add to this list of reactions: I really appreciated Mark Harris' thoughts on how the Academy, as a body, thinks, especially with regard to Jennifer Lopez.

She dared to play a character who used her sexuality as a professional survival tool and didn’t regret it; she committed the unforgivable sin of being sympathetic and then not; she took her public image and spectacularly amplified and reworked it to suit a complicated character. That is not what Academy voters want from J. Lo. What they want is for her to scrub off her makeup and play a poor mother dying of something who tries to find someone to take care of her kids. They want a role that says, Look how serious I am. Look how willing I am to punish myself for you. That kind of self-abasement has always been something Academy voters love to see from actresses; even if we set aside the grim social implications of that kind of thinking, what remains is a disappointing limitation of vision. The Academy has never been good at looking at a performance like the one Lopez gives in Hustlers and understanding that it is as serious, committed, and carefully crafted as the kind of stuff it usually likes.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 12:35 PM on January 13 [80 favorites]


Black actors tend to only win an Oscar when they make white people feel better about their racism.
posted by Fizz at 12:40 PM on January 13 [91 favorites]


A "Best Picture" nomination for The Irishman should tell you everything you need to know about the people actually voting on the Oscars. The movie had some high spots, but overall it was pretty mediocre Scorcese combined with really awful aging effects that pull you right of it. To quote a friend, "it's de-aging only old people who have never seen a comic-book movie with good de-aging would think was good".

But: it's Scorcese, and it's white people doing white people things and it's about angry white dudes that old white people like, so ...
posted by tocts at 12:44 PM on January 13 [26 favorites]


So, just to be clear, ScarJo was nominated twice but wasn't playing a POC in either movie?
posted by jacquilynne at 12:46 PM on January 13 [38 favorites]


I'm so glad I'm not the only one who didn't understand all the love for The Irishman. I liked Pesci's performance and that was about it. It was good to see him playing a somewhat reserved character, there was a quiet intensity to his performance but everything and everyone else in that film just bored me to tears.
posted by Fizz at 12:46 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


Yeah, the exclusion of J.Lo was a real mistake. Hustlers wasn't the richest material, but she owned the screen every second she was on it.
posted by praemunire at 12:47 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


I honestly don't understand what is wrong with the Academy. 2019 was a fantastic year for so many new and nuanced films and acting moments, and they want to reward the same old dreck we always get. "They're old white cis men" isn't even a good excuse anymore. Do they even watch movies?
posted by loriginedumonde at 12:47 PM on January 13 [14 favorites]


Lupita Nyong'o was fucking robbed.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:48 PM on January 13 [42 favorites]


I shouldn't be surprised that Lupita Nyong'o and Akwafina and JLo were entirely cut out of the nominations, but I really am. The Farewell was a really lovely and creative movie, and it's criminal to have ignored it entirely.
posted by suelac at 12:48 PM on January 13 [29 favorites]


though it seems excellent that parasite is nominated for best picture, it also seems that its simultaneous nomination for best international picture is simply an excuse to give best picture to joker. i don't get joker. but irishman was excellent, de-aging and all (it simply highlighted the fact that these people were always going to be killed, they were halfway to the grave already etc.; what we are seeing are not realistic depictions of people but ghosts).
posted by sapagan at 12:49 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


So I get that "too much ScarJo" is problem #72 on the list of problems with this year's Oscar noms, but there's a lot of ScarJo.

I feel like the nominations are more "Academy voters have heard of these people" rather than "these people did groundbreaking work as actors/whatever"
posted by GuyZero at 12:50 PM on January 13 [8 favorites]


That moment of silence after Issa Rae says 'Congratulations to those Men'

And I'm glad that we all agree that Parasite is a good film, but did it escape anyone's notice that Parasite has actors? I feel like there wasn't even a push to even talk about them.

The Farewell was fucking fantastic and should have gotten at least a nod.

Also, I mean. Joker. Just why. If anything give it to The Irishman in that case.

It was nice to see "Hair Love" in the shorts, I guess.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:52 PM on January 13 [10 favorites]


I feel like the nominations are more "Academy voters have heard of these people" rather than "these people did groundbreaking work as actors/whatever"

It's also all about marketing, the actors who get the most nominations during award season are the actors who are out campaigning and doing interviews and people who have better agents and more money are going to do better at this and earn more nominations. I've been told this by many people who work in the industry. It's completely gamed.
posted by Fizz at 12:54 PM on January 13 [15 favorites]


"We're not out of touch, we nominated a comic book movie!" --Academy voters, probably
posted by tobascodagama at 12:55 PM on January 13 [15 favorites]


Not really surprised at the lack of diversity. And maybe I'm contributing to the problem by continuing to pretend as if the Oscars are still this prestigious group of people that we should care about. I'd love for some other award show to have as much history and influence in Hollywood, but the Oscars are considered a gold standard and it doesn't look like the old guard is going to change any time soon. Its just super frustrating all around to see all these white men being rewarded for their mediocrity.
posted by Fizz at 12:56 PM on January 13 [10 favorites]


Also, Ana de Armas for lead actress would have been great - she was a highlight of a film that had a ton of well known actors. I'm wondering if there was an issue with marketing her as the lead, considering the marketing for the movie downplayed her role. Not as obvious of a snub as J.Lo, but still noticiable.
posted by dinty_moore at 12:57 PM on January 13 [18 favorites]


Also, Greta got robbed for Best Director in Little Women. Florence Pugh (who was nominated for Little Women) said it best:
"She [Greta] literally made a film about this. She made a film about women working and their relationship with money and their relationship with working in a man's world. That's literally what Little Women is about, so this only underlines how important it is – because it's happening."
posted by Fizz at 1:00 PM on January 13 [66 favorites]


yeah this is a lot of why I just don't even care about these awards or the award shows at all. its just white guy circle jerk with some token diversity sprinkled on top for the kids.
posted by supermedusa at 1:00 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


I wrote this list last year:

This is a list of earliests.

The earliest it can be when as many women as men have won Best Director at the Oscars is 2111.

The earliest it can be when as many women as men have won Best Director at the BAFTAs is 2068


which should probably now be updated by adding 2 to most of those years.
posted by dng at 1:02 PM on January 13 [18 favorites]


I just - with all of the conversation about the Disney monoculture swallowing the entire American mainstream theatergoing experience, it seems like the Academy is pushing it along by claiming that these films are the best alternative.

(it's also pretty notable that a lot of these nominations are going to movies outside of the theatergoing experience - All of those Irishman and Marriage Story nominations going to Netflix)
posted by dinty_moore at 1:03 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


I would love to throw the whole Oscars away. It's an unfair, broken, racist institution that can't even be fixed. Having to narrow down all the great performances in 1 year to 10 people is never going to work especially when it's rigged.
posted by bleep at 1:05 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


Maybe it’s time to split Best Director into male and female categories.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:07 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


Also, Greta got robbed for Best Director in Little Women.

Without a doubt: it was nominated for both lead and supporting actress roles, the screenplay (written by Gerwig), original score and the costume design.

Yet the, you know, director responsible for putting all these elements together was omitted.
posted by jeremias at 1:09 PM on January 13 [25 favorites]


Also I am STILL ANGRY about people not caring about Quentin Tarantino putting his actors in danger on set. Like, that should be one of the aspects that makes someone good director? Or just a baseline as to whether someone is able to make a film again?
posted by dinty_moore at 1:09 PM on January 13 [25 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Greta didn't get nominated for director because Jo sleeps through the death and body removal of her younger sister while she's sitting next to the deathbed! One of the most bizarre movie moments of 2019.

Parasite was the best movie of the year but I have a sinking feeling Joker will win everything,
posted by Lutoslawski at 1:13 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


i swear to god if Joker sweeps the Oscars I am setting something on fire
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:15 PM on January 13 [40 favorites]


I have a sinking feeling Joker will win everything,

And if that happens (and it probably will), we'll have given more Oscar awards to people who have played the Joker in Batman-films than black women for Best Actress. Ugh.
posted by Fizz at 1:17 PM on January 13 [52 favorites]


Is there any way to know how white the voting body is ? Isn't it more productive to bring about positive change by addressing that as the root cause? I mean I am fine with whoever the final final nominees are as long as the voting members themselves aren't homogenous.
posted by savitarka at 1:17 PM on January 13


As much as I loved Knives Out, and it was probably my favourite movie last year, I'm okay with it only getting best screenplay (would have been fine with set/costume too). That's probably the only Oscar snub I think is ok from [waves hands] all this.

Marriage Story, a movie by a white director who watched his marriage to a white actor break down as they negotiated a complicated custody question, about a white director who watched his marriage to a white actor break down as they negotiated a complicated custody question, was the most obvious of Oscar bait (and I alternately hated and was bored by it).

I watch twitter for the outfits at the Oscars but have long quit caring about the results because the shortlists are so meaningless. I super appreciate Bong Joon-ho calling them a very local festival.
posted by jeather at 1:19 PM on January 13 [16 favorites]


Did a quick RTFA. My point is moot. Ignore me.
posted by savitarka at 1:19 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Every year I remind myself that my all time greatest films, actors, directors, etc didn’t win Oscars and yet every year I still get MAD about the nominations. Song Kang-Ho might not get an Oscar but he got me as a fan for life and I won’t ever forget that performance. Same with Mary Kay Place in Diane, Zhao Shuzhen in The Farewell, all the smaller supporting roles in Marriage Story (Alan Alda! Ray Liotta! Merritt Weaver! the best parts of that film!). How did the costume and set design in Midsommar not get anything?!
posted by sallybrown at 1:19 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


A. I don't care about the Oscars. I tell this to myself every year ... just in case. It's just a particular crowd of people picking favorites. Yeah, they get a pile of attention but Chuck D told us years ago, "Don't Believe The Hype."

B. There's not necessarily a great correlation between the number of nominations a movie gets and how many it wins. It's more a reflection of a particular movie being strong enough in a bunch of different areas. A fairly recent example is Fellowship of the Ring which garnered twelve nominations but only won four Oscars, none of them in what you might call presige categories ... but I'd never say that to any of my cinematographer friends.

C. Don't write off Once Upon In Hollywood's chances of winning big. Everybody I know in the biz seems to really, really like it.

Not that I care.
posted by philip-random at 1:19 PM on January 13


but Chuck D told us years ago, "Don't Believe The Hype."

also, Burn Hollywood Burn
posted by philip-random at 1:23 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


How did the costume and set design in Midsommar not get anything

Right? Horror is always polarizing, I get it, but the costumes and sets and cinematography were all phenomenal.

Florence Pugh was phenomenal as well and no nod for her here seem like another snub, but I'm glad to see her recognized for Little Women at least. I haven't seen that one yet, hopefully soon.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:24 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


Well, the Oscars are rather local. Provincial, if you will. BONG Joon-ho says so.
posted by anem0ne at 1:24 PM on January 13 [24 favorites]


philip-random: "C. Don't write off Once Upon In Hollywood's chances of winning big. Everybody I know in the biz seems to really, really like it. "

That's because it's one of the 7 or so prime Oscar tropes: Here's looking at me, kid.
posted by chavenet at 1:24 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


I'm not saying the visual effects department is to blame for the fight scene in The Irishman. But that fight scene should still disqualify it for a visual effects nomination.
posted by Gary at 1:29 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


That's some fucking bullshit. I can't believe they didn't nominate The Farewell for anything. The Oscars suck, and I'm not even watching it as spectacle.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:31 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Not specifically calling anyone out here, but saying "I don't care about the Oscars" doesn't mean that they don't have a tremendous impact in Hollywood. White male filmmakers (directors and stars) who make money or win awards will almost always get more work, even if they are objectively terrible human beings. Women and POC have to make money and win awards and be decent human beings.
posted by Etrigan at 1:33 PM on January 13 [22 favorites]


The exclusion of Greta Gerwig for director both smarts and makes complete sense, because what was so (I'll say it) revolutionary about her adaptation of Little Women was its queerness and its particular brand of feminism. But especially its queerness. She made this story that's been told a million times fresh and new and emotionally wrenching, and managed to make that newness and freshness by paying homage to the source material and drawing from the author's life in a way no other adaptation has. Which is really a breathtaking feat! (And the film was just such a sheer joy to watch as well.)

But it's not surprising that the Academy missed all of that. Or didn't value it.
posted by lunasol at 1:35 PM on January 13 [10 favorites]


Maybe it’s time to split Best Director into male and female categories.

Can't tell whether this is a terrible idea or a great idea. On the face of it, it feels terrible but the actor/actress categories are already divided, so hardly unprecedented.

I mean, there was a time when we would consider "actoring" and "actressing" to be different things (we don't now, right?). I don't think we want "directoring" and "directressing" to be considered different, but maybe it at least gives a chance for women to be recognized in a system that otherwise wouldn't give them a fair shake?

I only mean to point out the absurdity of the whole system. There are certainly cases where women were denied "best actor" because they were "just" actresses.
posted by sjswitzer at 1:37 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


A fairly recent example is Fellowship of the Ring which garnered twelve nominations but only won four Oscars

FotR is a weird outlier that I don't think you can take much away from, other than: "Hollywood was so terrified they might have to give a (gasp) genre film the Best Picture 3 years in a row that they stiffed the first movie of a trilogy, assuming they could make it up by giving it to the last one (which turned out to be the worst, but they couldn't go back in time and give it to the first instead)".
posted by tocts at 1:37 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


The only interesting aspect of The Irishman was the end. The idea of these thugs and career criminals becoming old, powerless and irrelevant was something new to see. But they kind of rushed that part. We saw lots and lots of Scorsese Product™ (cute gangster Noo-Yawk Italian-American stereotypes, wearing tacky period clothes, saying cute, funny things, predictably punctuated with graphic violence) and overall it was a well made bore.

I just saw Hustlers. It was... OK? Jennifer Lopez did better than I was expecting, considering she's more of a musician and I wasn't aware she was an actor very often. She certainly looks great and can do a lot of physical stuff. But the whole thing was two different movies smushed together and not really good. I had no idea it was up for any awards, and after seeing it I would never have guessed anyone in it would win anything for it.
posted by SoberHighland at 1:38 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


Not specifically calling anyone out here, but saying "I don't care about the Oscars" doesn't mean that they don't have a tremendous impact in Hollywood. White male filmmakers (directors and stars) who make money or win awards will almost always get more work, even if they are objectively terrible human beings. Women and POC have to make money and win awards and be decent human beings.

I do my best to ignore them but you are right. There's a vicious circle where non-white-male filmmakers don't get awards and then because of that don't get good projects and/or budgets and then don't make money and don't win awards; rinse and repeat.
posted by octothorpe at 1:42 PM on January 13


[The Irishman] had some high spots, but overall it was pretty mediocre Scorcese combined with really awful aging effects that pull you right of it.

Omg, this. I absolutely do not understand the "creative decision" to change DeNiro's eyes to blue. I read somewhere that it was because this matched the real color of the guy he was playing, but that seems incredibly daft. I mean which of the following is more likely to pull you out of the spell of the movie?

a.) The fact that the actor's eyes don't match the real person (who died in 2003 and wasn't exactly well known, so who cares?).

b.) Fucking with the one thing that CGI is still the absolute worst at and are the actor's best tool. Eyes are the window to the soul and all that.
posted by jeremias at 1:46 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


Florence Pugh was phenomenal as well and no nod for her here seem like another snub, but I'm glad to see her recognized for Little Women at least. I haven't seen that one yet, hopefully soon.

My wife and I both walked out of the theatre and said at the same time, "Florence Pugh stole that film." She's not on screen as long as some of the other sisters but when she is, she just shines bright. Her nomination for Little Women is well-deserved and I'm not upset about that one.
posted by Fizz at 1:53 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


(I did love The Two Popes way more than I thought I would, a more interesting film than a lot of the other nominees if you like movies about people hashing stuff out in conversation. I would be very happy if Jonathan Pryce swiped that Oscar from Leo or Joaquin.)
posted by sallybrown at 1:54 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Like, that should be one of the aspects that makes someone good director?

"Never get out of the boat…never get out of the boat…I got to remember: never get out of the boat"
posted by clavdivs at 1:57 PM on January 13


C. Don't write off Once Upon In Hollywood's chances of winning big. Everybody I know in the biz seems to really, really like it.


That wouldn't be all that surprising. It's a movie about Hollywood and there's nothing the Oscars like more than a movie about Hollywood.
posted by graventy at 2:01 PM on January 13 [23 favorites]


That wouldn't be all that surprising. It's a movie about Hollywood and there's nothing the Oscars like more than a movie about Hollywood.

Things Hollywood likes more than a movie about Hollywood:
1. rewarding white men for their mediocrity
2. talking about how diverse they are
3. a supercut of great moments in film showing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid about to jump off a cliff
posted by Fizz at 2:04 PM on January 13 [24 favorites]


Once Upon In Hollywood and the Irishman were the only 2 best flick nominees I saw. OUaTiH was lightyears better than the Irishman. I appreciated it for it's sheer relaxing approach... It felt so nice just kicking back and drinking in LA circa 1969. I could have watched that movie forever, which isn't something I'd say about movies. Was really good and fun and a great fantasy ending, too. Not saying it was a great movie, though.
posted by SoberHighland at 2:05 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Looking at past Oscars posts is pretty telling (I forgot the 2018 "popular film" category nonsense) that this has been a mess for a while, and as others noted that Bong Joon-ho said, a very local festival.

loriginedumonde: Do they even watch movies?

Doctor Zed posted this pullquote this Vulture article from in 2018:
“I had multiple conversations [about Get Out] with longtime Academy members who were like, ‘That was not an Oscar film,’” said one new [Academy] voter. “And I’m like, ‘That’s bullshit. Watch it.’ Honestly, a few of them had not even seen it and they were saying it, so dispelling that kind of thing has been super important.”
Emphasis mine -- so, no, some of the old guard are definitely fixed on ideas of what an Oscars film is and isn't, and don't bother watching everything sent their way, based on their preconceived notions.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:10 PM on January 13 [13 favorites]


Queen & Slim, yo

Wth
posted by j_curiouser at 2:12 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


It's disappointing that The Oscars have so much sticking power. A modern awards show that wasn't such a concentrated act of Hollywood self-pleasure is something I'd be interested in watching.

RE: OUaTiH, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't all that great for me. I had a hard time trying to figure out what Tarantino was trying to do other than tell a story about how great classic era Hollywood is, because there are too many moments in the movie that undercut the obvious reading: e.g. the girl telling DiCaprio that his melodramatic performance was the best acting ever, or Pitts' character's weird-ass fantasy of beating Bruce Lee in a fight while he does medial housework for his circling the drain partner, or even the main home invasion itself which seems to be shot like a parody. The whole revisionist fantasy of a classic manly-man style lead saving Hollywood from hippy perverts is, on its face, a weird premise for a Tarantino movie. If those things are meant to be taken for face value, then that's... not great. If those things are meant to be satire of some sort, then it's not conveyed very well. Altogether it's an OK movie for the production, but everything else about it felt pretty flat.
posted by codacorolla at 2:14 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


If Vanity Fair can provide a pull-quote claiming that a film is "a triumph," only then is a film Oscar-worthy. It is known.
posted by SoberHighland at 2:15 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


"Florence Pugh stole that film."

She made Amy sympathetic which is ... a feat.
posted by lunasol at 2:17 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


Florence Pugh was phenomenal as well [in Midsommar] and no nod for her here seem like another snub

Add to that Toni Collette not receiving a 2018 Best Actress nomination for Hereditary and that's two years in a row that the lead actress from an Ari Aster horror film has gotten robbed by the Academy.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:25 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


If you're waiting to see what Eddie Murphy thinks of this situation, he already spoke his mind on stage at the Academy Awards 32 years ago.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:47 PM on January 13 [14 favorites]


Have we all already forgotten that motherfucking GREEN BOOK won Best Picture last year

That right there tells you all you need to know about the Academy
posted by Automocar at 2:57 PM on January 13 [29 favorites]


I actually had blocked that from my memory, ugh.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:59 PM on January 13 [7 favorites]


Also Joker being nominated for Best Picture is a goddamn... joke, like it was fine but Best Picture? Come on. It's at best warmed-over Scorcese and I get randos thinking it's hot shit but the Academy??? Who presumably watch more than 5 movies a year????
posted by Automocar at 3:04 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


Instant. Run-off. Voting.

I really don't get why this isn't part of the conversation more often. White males make safe movies for other white males who control the funding. Film is an INDUSTRY - profits are the goal and most shareholders are who they are.

As someone who has been to quite a few film festivals here in Europe and enjoys watching 5 films a day while in attendance, the Oscars and this whole US-Centric worldview drives me NUTS. It has infected the whole world.

VENICE, BERLINALE, CANNES, SAN LORENZO, LOCARNO, KARLOVY VARY, ROTTERDAM IFF - those are the awards you should be paying attention to - I can guarantee you the films that compete there will blow your mind.

But production and development is one industry, and distribution is a completely different one, and none of these incredible films ever even make it into distribution.

Getting that Oscar nomination is like a political campaign these days - it requires a huge pile of money and the purpose for a studio is then having a title that distributors actually want to show, because guess what - distributors and exhibitors hate risk.
posted by mit5urugi at 3:07 PM on January 13 [24 favorites]


The Irishman was far from Scorsese's best film--much better films of his lost to inferior competitors--but I'd rather see that get the award than the inexplicably nominated movie that not only stole shamelessly from Scorsese but is not even the best version of its character, nor even the second-best, possibly not even the third-best (depending on how you rank Jokers).
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:12 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


[One deleted; sorry, please avoid big spoilers for current movies, not everyone knows and it's not necessary to make your point]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:14 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]




Oh man. I never care about the Oscars, but I just loved The Farewell. Amazing to me that it was snubbed entirely.
posted by eirias at 3:31 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


Instead, we have a nomination for a man who built his career on frat-comedy garbage and another man who nearly killed his leading actress while he cozied up to Harvey Weinstein.

I think I missed what happened, who was the director who almost killed his lead actress?
posted by jeather at 3:33 PM on January 13


It's always interesting to see how each years' snubs make it into the next years' make up nominations. Watch, next year will be all about women, regardless of the quality of the movies. Then it will be back to normal again...like, "OK, we gave the Koreans a nod last year. Now Tom Cruise is getting his nomination for Mission Impossible 17, which changed the genre forever."
posted by Chuffy at 3:36 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Having voted in film awards for many years, the truth is that while most awards voters are in the film industry, they are – as a whole – quite conservative in their tastes and don't watch anywhere near as many films as you'd think. That's even with receiving ~100 DVD/Blu-Ray screeners in the mail during the "awards season" which stretches from November to January.

So: Why didn't BAFTA and the Oscars give more nominations to Lulu Wang and Gerwig and Sciamma and Diop? Because they're fucking lazy and couldn't be bothered to watch those films. Even worse, they couldn't be bothered to abstain from the categories that they hadn't fully covered.

If this sounds far-fetched – surely voters, blessed with such bounty as free movies delivered to their door – would watch more stuff, just see what the outgoing CEO of Directors UK said a few days ago:
“Time is short,” he said. “People are having to make choices about which of these DVDs they actually watch. It wouldn’t be surprising to conclude they tend to watch the things that are the most well-known to them, by the most famous people. So [they watch] Quentin Tarantino’s movie and Martin Scorsese’s, but they might take a while to get around to Greta Gerwig’s, let alone some of the indie British films.
It goes without saying that any BAFTA voter “taking a while” to see Little Women after the The Irishman or Once Upon A Time needs to abstain, stat. But there you go.
posted by adrianhon at 3:36 PM on January 13 [18 favorites]


I imagine that anyone who took the time to sit through the 27 hours it takes to get through The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood would probably just phone it in on movies like Hustlers.

I'm actually impressed that a sub-titled movie made the big time. Getting Americans to read anything is a miracle.
posted by Chuffy at 3:42 PM on January 13 [3 favorites]


Instead, we have a nomination for a man who built his career on frat-comedy garbage and another man who nearly killed his leading actress while he cozied up to Harvey Weinstein.

I think I missed what happened, who was the director who almost killed his lead actress?


This is a reference to Tarantino and Uma Thurman's car accident on the set of Kill Bill.
posted by selfnoise at 3:43 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


It's just one small thing in the discussion of this overall larger problem but -- I feel badly that Cynthia Erivo might be put in a weird position as a result of all this. She was great in Harriet. (It's an interesting performance too because Harriet is such an earnest movie that it could fall totally flat. It's a hero story and it just shows her doing her heroic deeds, in a straightforward storytelling mode. No ironic distance, no anachronistic trying to make her a more sarcastic kind of character, no jokes really (although some funny moments), nothing that distracts from her dignity and her being the focus. It's a kind of storytelling that isn't common in movies right now. And it could be dull and lifeless and didactic and awful with the wrong lead -- but Erivo is riveting and makes it work and feel correct to the character.)

It's right for her to be nominated and I hope she wins (though I haven't seen the other performances). Even though I can see the argument that Harriet is one of those "safe" categories of movies about racism because it's historical/about slavery, and it has this earnest quality, and those are fair points about the academy, but I hope that doesn't diminish the credit she gets if she wins. She's great and deserves more attention.
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:47 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


adrianhon: That story goes to show that it's all just a big business, nothing more or less. So many of the folks involved have little to no interest in the products outside of their marketplace viability. It's not about art, or heart or care, and it's not even about disdain or cynicism or unfairness or any of those things. It's just a big process of deal-making, a bunch of moving pieces on a big board and doing math and more math and then going home at night. I'm certainly not trying to make excuses for that attitude, or excuses for leaving people out of the process, or out of getting awards, but I really don't think many of the players in the business even think about this stuff very often in terms like we are doing here. They're so inside they probably have very little idea about what these movies even are and likely don't spend much time thinking about them in any way similar to the way movie fans do.
posted by SoberHighland at 3:47 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


SoberHighland: Exactly. Voting in awards is a privilege and a responsibility, and at their best, awards can put a spotlight on excellent films that the public might not have otherwise considered – but for many voters, it's just a fun way to get free screeners and to the extent they think about their vote, it's just from the films they've happened to watch.
posted by adrianhon at 3:52 PM on January 13


I discuss movies a lot on social, and this is some dudes:
Guy on Twitter:
Ho hum "Little Women" has been done before, it doesn't deserve any awards.

Same Guy on Twitter:
This movie about a character that's been in umpty movies & TV shows & that Heath Ledger already won an Oscar for playing IS THE BEST MOVIE AND SHOULD GET ALL THE AWARDS!!!

Say what?

Anyway, "Congratulations to These Men" should be someone's memoir title.
posted by NorthernLite at 4:00 PM on January 13 [26 favorites]


Also: these insider guys (yes, it's mostly guys) are always, always working on films in their companies. A non-ending stream of movies that get churned out, some of which haven't even been cast yet, some of which still don't have a script. And a bunch of pitches coming in, and certain box office stars fishing for new vanity projects. They've got this big list of films and working titles, and sequels, and remakes and stuff being shot right now, some being currently edited or re-edited, and stuff that's in post production, and a bunch of movies that have yet to be released, and a few with releases this week, and some that have been doing well at the box office, and a bunch of failures, and one or two that got buzz and attention for possible awards. And on top of that, they have a giant marketing budget for each and every one of these films, and test screenings and reshoots, and budget problems and people getting fired and hired. And by the time the Oscars air, the films that are in contention have been stewing in this process for years, some for many years. Some Oscar contenders might have been a giant pain in the ass to produce in one way or another. Others may have come together easily, like magic.

Perhaps I'm exaggerating this work load a little, but more or less, this is the case for these Hollywood execs voting on Oscar ballots.

Having people doing the above choose the best films of the year is not a good idea, period.
posted by SoberHighland at 4:13 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


I never understood how a film could earn a BEST PICTURE nomination but the director not get nominated in the Best Director category. Without the director, no other nominations in any category are possible, since it's the director's vision that drives the film. The Oscars have become a pathetic joke.
posted by pjsky at 4:46 PM on January 13


I have enjoyed reminding people that Todd Phillips’ first directorial effort was Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies. Allin was nominally a musician, but he was actually known for defecating onstage and throwing his feces into the audience. In other words, Todd Phillips was always like that.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:48 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


Esquire: How Did 'Uncut Gems' Get Absolutely No Oscar Nominations?

Adam Sandler was robbed.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:27 PM on January 13 [6 favorites]


i swear to god if Joker sweeps the Oscars I am setting something on fire

But that's what the Joker wants you to do
posted by Apocryphon at 5:28 PM on January 13 [17 favorites]


What an embarrassing set of nominations.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:43 PM on January 13 [5 favorites]


I'm not saying the visual effects department is to blame for the fight scene in The Irishman

holy crap but that is terrible. Altering a fight scene in VFX so that it looks like the punches/kicks actually contact isn't hard. Did they even try??
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:45 PM on January 13


Man, I can't wait until next year, when Todd Philips gives us a film where an aggrieved white man gives a Black pianist a ride across the American South.

TALK ABOUT OSCAR BAIT
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 5:51 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


mediocre Scorcese combined with really awful aging effects that pull you right of it. To quote a friend, "it's de-aging only old people who have never seen a comic-book movie with good de-aging would think was good".


Lol, that s totally the case, if you watch any behind-the-scenes footage, they invented all-new camera rigs and CG tech, just so the actors wouldn't have to change their make-up.

It s like the mo-cap version of a fanny pack, high waist pants, or really huge sunglasses, or big slippers. Comfortable!
posted by eustatic at 6:08 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


VENICE, BERLINALE, CANNES, SAN LORENZO, LOCARNO, KARLOVY VARY, ROTTERDAM IFF - those are the awards you should be paying attention to - I can guarantee you the films that compete there will blow your mind.

congratulations Joker
posted by Cezar Golescu at 6:30 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Altering a fight scene in VFX so that it looks like the punches/kicks actually contact isn't hard. Did they even try??

I'm not convinced that there's any amount of trying that could have been done by VFX to fix it. The fundamental problem is that De Niro's character is supposed to be like 35 or so in the scene, but all the fight work is being done by 76 year old Robert De Niro himself. His body language, the way he moves, and his physicality, are just completely wrong for it. He's moving like, big shock, a 76 year old.

I don't think any amount of editing to tighten up the hits could have changed that. I also don't really buy the later explanation, which amounts to: we didn't know it was a problem till post-production, and by then the set was gone, etc. There is no way anyone in their right mind could have looked at De Niro's performance in the dailies and not known that he was was never gonna sell that age in that scene, no matter how much CGI you threw at it.

The solution would have been to use a body double for the wide shots of the fight scene, and composite De Niro's face in. Challenging? Sure. Doable? I mean, it's being done in a lot of work these days. More convincing than watching an apparently geriatric mid '30s guy try to air-kick someone? Undoubtedly.
posted by tocts at 6:59 PM on January 13 [14 favorites]


I thought that The Farewell was fricking Oscarbait when I saw it, like "oooh, that scene seems totally like it could be a clip played at an awards show", and then I remembered there were no white people in it and like most of the film was subtitled
posted by 23skidoo at 7:23 PM on January 13 [2 favorites]


is there an alternative list that showcases the best performances/movies of the year with an eye towards the types of concerns mentioned? What would a fair roster look like?
posted by Selena777 at 7:53 PM on January 13


Now Tom Cruise is getting his nomination for Mission Impossible 17, which changed the genre forever."
posted by Chuffy


I thought that was Leonard Nimoy?
posted by clavdivs at 8:18 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


is there an alternative list that showcases the best performances/movies of the year with an eye towards the types of concerns mentioned?

They awards from the major film critics associations (NY and LA) aren’t perfect, but they’re far and away better than this.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:26 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Here is an alternative list from Richard Brody at the New Yorker (scroll down a ways)
posted by Clustercuss at 8:40 PM on January 13


Allin was nominally a musician, but he was actually known for defecating onstage and throwing his feces into the audience. In other words, Todd Phillips was always like that.

I mean, you could make an argument that Allin was genuinely transgressive, for good or ill - Joker is just more aggrieved white boy whining.

BuzzFeed news: What Were The Makers Of “Joker” Even Upset About?
posted by soundguy99 at 8:41 PM on January 13 [4 favorites]


the irishman is not scorsese's best movie but i adored it, and the fact that it exists at all is a gift. feels like people have picked this particular movie to have a bunch of grievances with for whatever reason but also clearly it just didn't work for some people, which is fair. the de-aging didn't take me out of it at all, the writing and performances are universally excellent, and it's such a sad, elegiac movie. it feels like a death, a wake, and a funeral all happening at once. i don't know. there are much less interesting pictures nominated this year. maybe save some of the ire for 1917 or ford vs ferrari both of which are like, fine at best, and also not the culmination of 45 year old collaborations between some of our all time greatest actors, filmmakers, and editors.

uncut gems with zero nominations is a crime. i didn't actually expect sandler to get a nomination - though he deserves it - but i thought either KG or julia fox would get a supporting nod for sure. what a shame, but the safdies have a long and bright career in front of them.

her smell also should have gotten a nod somewhere, anywhere.

if joaquin wins for joker, consider it the "Leonardo Di Caprio in the Revanant Academy Award For Best Actor". the dude had an impeccable decade, is probably the single greatest actor of his generation, but to win the award you gotta play the game - big flashy performance in a high profile film, and putting your body through dramatic and unhealthy torture to do it always helps. definitely not my choice for performance of the year but given all that i'll still fist pump if he wins, even if banderas, kang-ho, di caprio, sandler, and yes, de niro all had better performances this year.

that said, joaquin is the ONLY notable thing about the joker and i am totally mystified at its eleven nominations. i expect it to be mostly shut out and once upon a time to be the big winner but who fucking knows these days.
posted by JimBennett at 10:06 PM on January 13 [9 favorites]


Here is an alternative list from Richard Brody at the New Yorker (scroll down a ways)

The Irishman has been my #1 source of amusing reminders that film critics can be silly, but Richard Brody slotting The Dead Don't Die for 10 nominations and 2 awards in his own private Oscars is on another level.
posted by fleacircus at 10:24 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


The last time I remember a nerd movie got eleven nominations was Return of the King in 2004. And you know what, every single one of those awards was well-deserved, because that ceremony was really for awarding the entire trilogy as a whole, not just the last film. Eleven awards for the escapism that America needed after 9/11.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:34 PM on January 13


De Niro's character is supposed to be like 35 or so in the scene

ha! I didn't know that! I just watched the scene linked, and just thought the problem was the air-punching. yea, the movement is totally wrong - all those itty-bitty old man steps
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:07 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


Found the problem (from 2014)
posted by um at 11:31 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]


um: "Found the problem (from 2014)"

It's a little better than it was in 2014; up to 16% non-white (from 6%) and 31% women which is up from 23%.

Not that the new demographic shifts helped the outcome.
posted by octothorpe at 3:41 AM on January 14


Looking narrowly at their merits as films (rather than as weapons and / or targets in the culture war), I'd be happy with a Best Picture win for any of The Irishman, 1917, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time, or Parasite - all excellent, in different ways.

Joker was good (on average) but far from great - whether it wins or not, its nomination ensures a continuing deluge of shit takes (both pro- and anti-) and there were far better films released this year, so I wish it had not been nominated, but there we are.

Jojo Rabbit was crap. No idea about Ford v Ferrari.
posted by inire at 3:53 AM on January 14


Every year I remind myself that my all time greatest films, actors, directors, etc didn’t win Oscars and yet every year I still get MAD about the nominations.

Long ago I got to the point of cynicism about the Oscars and I've been much happier. I do try to see all the "Best Picture" nominees each year, but that's usually only an exercise in curiosity, as invariably the films I like rarely win. I figured out long ago that the kind of film that wins Best Picture is rarely the kind of film I prefer, and that it isn't as such a celebration of "quality" as such.

Although I've been noticing more and more that my personal "Best Picture" films end up winning screenwriting awards instead - BlacKkKlansman, Call Me By Your Name, Lost In Translation, Get Out, Witness, Birdman. Many many moons ago an acting professor noted of me that I "think like a writer" so maybe there's something to that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:55 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


....Which also bodes pretty well for Rian Johnson with Knives Out.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:00 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I never understood how a film could earn a BEST PICTURE nomination but the director not get nominated in the Best Director category. Without the director, no other nominations in any category are possible, since it's the director's vision that drives the film. The Oscars have become a pathetic joke.
posted by pjsky at 4:46 PM on January 13 [+] [!]


I can't speak to the merits of all the Best Picture nominees and the Best Director nominees since I've only seen two of them, but a movie can get nominated for the former but not the latter because there's a cap on the number of Best Director nominations but no cap on Best Picture. Every year since they made that change there's been a number of Best Picture nominees that didn't get a corresponding Best Director nomination.

There's also been an increase in frequency where the Best Director winner doesn't win Best Picture: it's happened 13 times total in the history of the awards but five of those have occured in the last eight years. This article goes into it a little bit.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 5:49 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


there's a cap on the number of Best Director nominations but no cap on Best Picture

The cap for Best Picture is 10, but they haven't hit that since they started the current system of "between 5 and 10" in 2011.
posted by Etrigan at 6:07 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


the irishman is not scorsese's best movie but i adored it, and the fact that it exists at all is a gift.

Agreed. I thought it was a worthy successor to Goodfellas and Casino, belonging to them but also not. There are entire lifetimes of artistic partnerships at work, and it produces real beauty. It can be so quiet and so subdued, that the smallest of gestures becomes everything that matters in the world.

As for the CGI, after the first five minutes, I didn't have a problem with it. I'm not going to let poor costumes get in the way of appreciating a great story and great performances. Lots of people couldn't get there, though, and I can see that.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:57 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I loved The Irishman and thought it was a great cap to Scorsese's career but does he really need more acclaim? The time to give him an award was thirty years ago when Goodfellas lost to Dances with Wolves or a decade before that when Raging Bull lost to Ordinary People.
posted by octothorpe at 7:06 AM on January 14


I thought this show, which has a history of Oscar campaigning, was quite illuminating
posted by eustatic at 7:12 AM on January 14


Am I just missing it, or do all of these articles fail to inform their readers that while the voting body as a whole nominates for Best Picture, it's only the directors branch who nominates for Best Director. (And I haven't found current numbers, but from the 2014 link above: while the academy then as a whole was a terrible 77% male, the directors branch was -- at that point -- a full, shocking 91% male.)
posted by nobody at 7:34 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Dana Stevens, Slate: Does the Academy Think Little Women Directed Itself?
Gerwig seemed like a near shoo-in for inclusion on the list, even given the Academy’s notorious racial and gender blind spots. Like Kathryn Bigelow, the only woman ever to have won the award, she is an attractive white woman with a partner who also works in the industry. Mind you, these aren’t in themselves reasons for voters to have recognized Gerwig’s work, but they seemed like conditions that might have gotten her past the velvet rope of the institution’s well-known biases. [...]

Go ahead and accuse me of making too big a deal of this, of universalizing one director’s exclusion into a sweeping statement about societal misogyny. Soon enough I’ll be back to my usual Zen quietude vis-à-vis the Oscars (at least until I see Gerwig on the red carpet and start shaking my fist again, even as I clock the details of whatever she’s wearing). In the meantime I will limit myself to the observation that Little Women, a film explicitly about the importance and difficulty of claiming female authorship in a male-dominated world, was among the very best movies of 2019, and was not magically fashioned by woodland fairies but written and directed by a living female human.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:39 AM on January 14 [11 favorites]


skip to the 21st minute in

"If you're looking at the 60s the the last three months of the year October November December accounted for less than half of the film's nominated for Best Picture....

24 min
looking at the 90s here... about 60% of your nominees coming in the last three months of the year

25:50
now at the end of the 90s there's a big big change really the the the shot heard around the world is with Saving Private Ryan lost to Shakespeare and love - I'll just say HW we all know the man's name we don't want to get into Miramax mirror here - really revolutionized the way that Oscar campaigns are done by there was always campaigning but pouring multi millions of dollars into campaigns and really establishing what is now the modern Oscar campaign - sees it right it used to be a very there were PR flacks and they would work for these studios and it was a very impersonal on sort of system a PR flack would contact a bunch Oscar voters be like hey we're gonna screen this thing it was very informal - in what happened in the 90s let us say in the passive voice is all of a sudden it became a much more corporatized organized commodified system to drive people to the movies that you wanted and also messaging like public messaging in the press knocking this movie down promoting this movie over it all these conversations is narrow campaigns all these conversations that now we expect

...now entering the 2000s that new system has taken hold and now look at this December releases now accounting for 45%...

29:13
in the 2010s in the first decade in which the the first full decade in which the new academy rules were put in place to allow for more Best Picture nominees the the percentage of films released in the last three months of the year nominated for Best Picture went up [to 75%] yeah so it didn't it did not clear the way for more films that were released earlier in the year it just gave more slots to this crush of films that are pushed at the end of the year at this at this modern campaign season and that's why I say I think that you have to you have to introduce some kind of a check and a balance here because you're so flooded with options at the end of the year now because of the way they campaign..."
posted by eustatic at 7:41 AM on January 14


See Ford vs. Ferrari. It isn't the greatest movie of all time, but it is perfect for what it is. Tight, effective script and cut. A bunch of great character actor performances and two fine movie star turns; all lined up behind a story, that, being true for the most part*, gets immunized from the maxims that govern the story beats of most big-budget movies**.

*Shelby's womanizing was omitted, and the banal evil of the Ford suits was doubtlessly exaggerated for effect.

**Which is not to say those aren't good maxims ... character-armor etc. has its drawbacks, but the now-complete Star Wars sequel trilogy tells you what happens when big-budget movies exempt themselves from the rules...
posted by MattD at 8:48 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


The Irishman : Martin Scorcese/gangster movies :: Unforgiven : Clint Eastwood/westerns
posted by kirkaracha at 8:53 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]


84 movies directed by women that are coming out in 2020.

(This includes The Eternals, Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow, and Birds of Prey on the superhero front, something I find kind of interesting)
posted by dinty_moore at 9:02 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]


Be Kind Rewind (who has a ton of great videos about the Oscars, by the way) has a take.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:50 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


Can't tell whether this is a terrible idea or a great idea. On the face of it, it feels terrible but the actor/actress categories are already divided, so hardly unprecedented.

The split for actor was put in place where the star of a film was almost always a man and the industry was just fine with that; you needed the division to get any women at all to get a best actor award.

While there is a sexist bias to the director awards there isn't the same degree of structural discrimination. Lots of women directing films (if still a lower percentage than men). Dividing them up would just create a perceived open and restricted, not as good, class for the best director award. And it would create a classification problem for directors who are neither or both.
posted by Mitheral at 1:01 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


The split for actor was put in place where the star of a film was almost always a man and the industry was just fine with that; you needed the division to get any women at all to get a best actor award.

The first six Best Actress winners were first-billed in their movies. They almost certainly wouldn't have won many of those awards if they'd been up against the men, but it wasn't because women weren't starring in movies in their own right. (Note, however, that in those first six years, only one movie had both a Best Actress-winning performance and a nomination for Best Picture -- The Divorcee, starring Norma Shearer.)
posted by Etrigan at 1:17 PM on January 14


What if, the future of the gendered actor/actress distinction will be to abolish them but instead have best actor (of any gender) for each genre of film? And thus drag out the ceremony by another hour? It would be the woke capitalist move to make. But it would also have an interesting effect on what roles actors choose to take in order to milk them for Oscars prestige.

Okay, I just realized that's how the Golden Globe does it, except they're also bifurcated by gender there.
posted by Apocryphon at 2:44 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


The Irishman : Martin Scorcese/gangster movies :: Unforgiven : Clint Eastwood/westerns

Not sure what you're trying to say here but The Irishman was shit Unforgiven is great.
posted by dobbs at 7:52 PM on January 14


The first six Best Actress winners were first-billed in their movies

Not surprising however in those first six years what percentage of movies had an Actress get first billing? Did it reach even a single percentage point? I wouldn't be shocked if it was less than a full percentage point.
posted by Mitheral at 8:07 PM on January 14


During the early years of Hollywood and up through WWII there wasn't the same kind of split between actors and actresses for top billing since movies were the only game in town and studios kept stars under exclusive contracts, meaning they wanted to use their major stars as much as possible. It was only as genres solidified, men returned from the war and more media was available in the home, which followed the post-war growth in economic prosperity in the US, that actresses became increasingly sidelined.

I have no idea of what the ratio of men to women in first billed roles was, men may have had an edge overall, but there was more balance year to year as studios tried to appeal to women as much as men and had a very different release structure for films than they do today, so they'd release films to try and appeal to that wide range of interests in regular rotation or near simultaneously. Even movies with male leads would be more likely to feature a wider range of actors in secondary roles or as second leads because they had the actors locked into contracts, so there were more roles for older actors and actresses as well. Obviously this didn't benefit minority actors in the same way at all given the racism of the system, so that part is pretty constant.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:28 PM on January 14


The Irishman was shit

i really do not understand the hate towards the irishman. it what ways was it shit? and let's not stop at the de-aging, please, this is secondary. what is shit, then: editing, cinematography, screenplay, acting, "ideology"?
posted by sapagan at 11:46 PM on January 14


i really do not understand the hate towards the irishman.

Not speaking for dobbs, but for friends who thought it was actively bad (as opposed to good-not-great) - they disliked it either because they generally dislike that sort of film (style, pace, subject matter), or specifically because it was a film by an old white guy about a bunch of old white guys and they have little interest in stories by and about old white guys (a representative direct quote).

Some of them expressed that dislike in subjective ways (I hated it) and others in objective ways (it was a bad film), but it mostly came down to matters of personal taste, for which there is proverbially no accounting.
posted by inire at 1:15 AM on January 15 [4 favorites]


I didn't think The Irishman was shit, it felt like a good execution of a story – sad white dads committing crimes - that I've seen a million times. In so many ways, it was mired in a well-trodden past and I didn't feel I was seeing anything new or different, unlike The Farewell and Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
posted by adrianhon at 2:20 AM on January 15 [1 favorite]


thanks for the answers; i understand that not all people like the same type of films, nor should they. i also understand that people might be tired of scorsese's mob films, which have been present for decades (and indeed participating in defining "cinema"). the comparison of quality with unforgiven seemed odd, though, since they are not so different (being both white old man movies dealing with violence etc).
posted by sapagan at 5:53 AM on January 15


I didn't like the Irishman very much. I didn't hate it and I've seen far worse movies, but I didn't think it was all that great. In addition to the terrible deaging decisions (and that even worse fight scene linked above), overall it felt incredibly self-indulgent to me (kind of like Eastwood's latest, The Mule).

There was good stuff in the movie, too -- I liked how much was communicated with the costumes, for example -- and definitely this is not the worst movie of the century. But to me, the nominations for this feel entirely undeserved, especially compared to films that were entirely passed over.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:02 AM on January 15


As much as I've said negative about it, that is basically my feeling as well. It's not an awful movie. It's not Scorsese's best. It has a bunch of flaws -- too many to remotely be in contention for Best Picture. Those flaws are intensely tied to decisions that Scorsese would have had near final say over, making it totally inappropriate for a Best Director nomination.

I honestly believe that the only reason for the nominations is that Scorsese is getting old and this was a capstone project for him, and the academy wanted to throw him a bone no matter what that meant leaving off the nominations.
posted by tocts at 8:09 AM on January 15


the comparison of quality with unforgiven seemed odd, though, since they are not so different (being both white old man movies dealing with violence etc).

count me as someone who was immediately underwhelmed by Unforgiven. Saw it when it was new and all the rage ... and it all felt less than the sum of its parts. Because the cast was great, the screenplay was superb (after seeing it, a friend immediately said, "Damn, I wish Francis Coppola had made that movie ... immediately after Apocalypse Now"). It got down to the director for me. Eastwood's not a hack but neither is ever going to rise above "capable craftsman" in my estimation. Unforgiven was/is a good movie, no question. But not remotely close to Scorcese's best stuff.

still haven't seen The Irishman. Maybe today because heavy snow seems to be shutting the whole world down in my neighborhood.
posted by philip-random at 9:52 AM on January 15


I thought the third hour of The Irishman was pretty bad. I think the drama around the daughter was poorly done. The way the daughter isn't really built out as a character, and then pathos is attempted to be extracted, even though the movie isn't really interested in the family at all -- it reminded me of musician biopics, which are pretty bad. I might call that major aspect of the film kinda shit. Overall it's like a B/B-/C+ to me; a crap story told not-good-enough. I spent a lot of time during it thinking how great The Wrestler was.

Pesci was the best part. I'm fine with that supporting actor nomination.
posted by fleacircus at 3:09 PM on January 15


NY Post: Academy members viciously reveal why Lopez, Sandler, Murphy got snubbed from Oscars

Can this be the year popular anger finally boils over against the Academy? Nominating Joker for a ton of awards feels like the sort of faux-populist move that elevated Crash over Brokeback Mountain.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:46 PM on January 20


“First of all, ‘Hustlers’ is not an ‘Oscar movie.’ It’s a little too rough around the edges, and I’m assuming some other people in the acting category didn’t see it,” said a longtime character actor and Academy member. “Florence Pugh seems to have gotten the J.Lo spot — maybe because ‘Little Women’ is a prestige movie and she’s a bright, new star.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what Florence Pugh and J.Lo have in common other than being actresses. How are they competing for the same slot?
posted by dinty_moore at 7:08 AM on January 21


For the life of me, I can't figure out what Florence Pugh and J.Lo have in common other than being actresses. How are they competing for the same slot?

A lot of voters (are alleged to) use the Supporting categories as Diversity / Lifetime Achievement awards by picking what they think were the actual four best performances plus one pretty-good performance by someone from the following list:
  • Old person who hasn't won an Oscar yet
  • Middle-aged person who's made a lot of people a lot of money and is well-liked
  • Young person who's never been nominated
  • Nonwhite person
These are done as "honor just to be nominated" awards, and some of them eventually win (Jack Palance, George Clooney, Tatum O'Neal, Mo'Nique, respectively).
So Pugh and Lopez were competing for that fifth slot.
posted by Etrigan at 8:09 AM on January 21 [3 favorites]


Yeah, what Etrigan said. The Academy Awards aren't really about the movies being voted on so much, but about how the club of Hollywood wants to be honored, who gets to join the royalty by dint of their history and how they present themselves towards that goal. Occasionally a movie or star will fit the image immediately, but more often there's a implicit checklist of values the Academy voters demand, pay your dues, jump through hoops, and give proper regard to the club members before getting your reward. It's always as much about them as "you". It's never been good at recognizing merit, the alleged purpose of the endeavor, which is why the whole thing is ridiculous.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:19 AM on January 21 [2 favorites]




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