The Oscars Always Offer a Surprise or Two

Oscar Nominations-2016         I studiously avoid the word “shoo-in” when asked to predict
the nominees, although I might have caved this year when it came to Leonardo
DiCaprio. (I started hearing that he was “a lock” for Best Actor back in June.
Is that just aggressive p.r. or did someone on high determine that “this was
his year?”)

          But I never
dreamt that after the success and rightful acclaim heaped upon The Martian Ridley Scott wouldn’t be one
of the Best Director nominees. I’m happy for relative newcomer Lenny
Abrahamson, who did such a fine job with Room,
but I wish they both could have been recognized.

    With its weighted, preferential voting system, the Academy
only filled eight of its potential ten slots for Best Picture. That meant there
was room for Straight Outta Compton,
but it was not to be… yet its Best Original Screenplay nod is impressive
recognition from one of the tougher branches of the Academy…the same folks who
overlooked Aaron Sorkin and recognized the exceptional screenplay of Pixar’s Inside Out. (Just a reminder: only
writers nominate writers, only art directors nominate art directors, etc.)

                As for Sylvester
Stallone, I resist calling him a sentimental favorite because he’s so damn good
in that movie. Naturally we respond not only to his performance but to the
forty-year accumulation of movie history it represents. Nevertheless, he earned
that nomination by doing a terrific job.

         So while the
complainers get busy griping and grousing, I salute the Academy for being so
welcoming to newcomers like Abrahamson, not to mention actresses Brie Larson
and Alicia Vikander. Any award roster that covers a spectrum from Lady Gaga to
82-year-old animator Richard Williams can’t be all bad. 




  1. ajphux says:

    I agree that Straight Outta Compton in addition to Star Wars: The Force Awakens could have been included in the Best Picture category. It is also my opinion that Sylvester Stallone needs to acknowledge Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan more often about his acclaim in Creed. He did indeed do a great job, but he rose to the challenge placed in front of him by Coogler & Jordan for resurrecting Balboa. No mention of them in his speech at the Globes.

  2. JoT-Bone says:

    Actually AJPHUX, I read that he did go back up on stage during the commercial break and thanked Coogler and Jordan and profusely apologized for not mentioning them in his acceptance speech.

  3. Franc says:

    Stallone was, at one time, that Little Engine That Could. If he did go back up on stage at the GGs, it shows that he remembers when, recognizes talent and is a gracious winner.

  4. mike schlesinger says:

    The two biggest surprises for me–apart from Ridley–were the omission of CAROL as Best Picture and Helen Mirren for both of her potential categories (for WOMAN IN GOLD and TRUMBO). Overall, not a bad lot.

  5. Norm says:

    I disagree on the diversity debate, you have more than enough whackos that can win…Dicaprio gets down and dirty and Stallone looks like the piece of meat he beat up in the first Rocky..Excelsior…

  6. clu says:

    I’m hoping Stallone gets the win. He’s proven he can act and I’m sure he would turn down over half the dumb roles he took in the eighties; Rhinestone and Over the Top come to mind. Can they stop nominating Jennifer Lawrence for basically playing the same character? She’s a fine actress but I’m not seeing the range in these roles. Leo deserves the win. If not for this movie than previous performances. I’m sure votes will go his way because of his resume. All in all, based on the nominations….it was a weak year.

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