You know the old saying about how it’s an honor just being nominated? It is. An Academy Award nomination is a win no matter the final outcome on Oscar night. For one thing, it guarantees a major boost in profile and an upgrade in the caliber of roles an actor gets offered. There’s no way, for example, that any Oscar nominee will accept the sorts of roles you’re about to see below.
After months of hype and controversy, the big night is finally upon us. The red carpet has been rolled out, the votes have been cast, and host Jimmy Kimmel has rehearsed all his best Matt Damon jokes. At last, the 89th Academy Awards have arrived.
You know the movies. They’re the weepy dramas, often based on a true story, about an ailed male protagonist. Maybe they comment on race relations in one or two scenes, maybe a main character is afflicted with a fatal disease, or maybe a man is wrecked with guilt for an accident he caused. They’re Oscar bait; the movies made to jerk tears and woo the Academy.
It’s that time of the year again where we must set aside our personal opinions and favorites to try and guess which movies the Academy will deem the most culturally significant. A lot had changed since our initial Oscar predictions last December. Manchester By the Sea is no longer a Best Picture frontrunner, a race dominated by La La Land with Moonlight shortly behind. The days of calling Natalie Portman a Best Actress shoe-in last fall feel like a distant dream, and Lion and Hacksaw Ridge might just lend this year’s Oscars some surprising upsets.
Two of HBO’s most notable 2017 debuts are going to be all but invisible in their second weeks, as all eyes turn to next Sunday’s Academy Awards. Fortunately for HBO subscribers, however, the trio of Girls, Crashing and Big Little Lies will be made available extra early to accommodate Oscar viewers.
For months we’ve speculated who and what will take home golden statues come Oscar night. Will La La Land continue its awards season domination? Does Moonlight have a shot at winning Best Picture? Is 2017 such a garbage fire that Mel Gibson may actually win a Best Director Academy Award for Hacksaw Ridge? And is Lion really that good, or is it just the Pumpkin Spice Latte of the Oscars? (It is.)
While the Academy Awards may leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who think artists shouldn’t be forced to compete, there’s no denying that an Oscar nomination is still a powerful piece of validation for a lot of filmmakers, especially those from other countries. Filmmakers like Asghar Farhadi — whose 2016 film The Salesman will be seen by many Americans due to its Best Foreign Language Film nomination — should be able to take this time to engage with audiences about the importance of this work. Instead, Farhadi will have to watch the Academy Awards on television like the rest of us.
Ah, can you smell it? The aroma of scorching hot awards season debates is already in the air! The nominees for the 2017 Oscars were announced bright and early this morning – or should we say dark and early, as the ScreenCrush team beat the sunrise for the big announcement.
An “October surprise” refers to a major revelation deliberately timed to influence the outcome of a Presidential election. The Oscars, then, regularly offer a January surprise, in which a contender comes out of nowhere to elbow their way into the awards conversation. This year’s big shock is permanently smirking superhero send-up Deadpool, which has already upended plenty of predictions by racking up nominations among various industry guild groups. Superhero movies have never been able to crack the Best Picture race, but perhaps the self-reflexive meta streak in Deadpool could give it the edge it needs to sneak into the category. The nominations will be announced one week from today, and who’ll end up at the big dance is anyone’s guess.
It’s been a topsy-turvy week for awards prognosticators, relative even to the usual topsy-turviness of an industry based entirely on guesswork and speculation. Deadpool frightened and confused Oscar oddsmakers when it unexpectedly snatched up a Best Picture nomination from the Producers Guild Awards program on Tuesday, and then officially rejiggered everyone’s slate of predictions when director Tim Miller earned a nomination from the Directors Guild of America. What had been all but forgotten as a superhero oddball is staging a late-phase charge among the groups of professionals that vote for Oscar nominees — nothing is out of the question.