The nominees for the first of the ‘Big 5’ film awards shows were announced today, and these were the 10 things I took the most notice of.
- La La Land is still the frontrunner– Leading the way for most of the season following it’s rapturous festival acclaim, La La Land has shown that it’s looking like a strong frontrunner, leading the nominations with 12- including recognition in Best Picture, Best Director, and both lead acting categories. Even though it’s closest challenger for Best Picture this awards season, Silence, wasn’t in contention due to late screenings, it’s definitely in pole position.
- Dismiss Hell or High Water and Hacksaw Ridge at your peril- The biggest surprise of the day was how well both Hell or High Water and Hacksaw Ridge performed, both getting nominated in Best Picture and Best Director, while Ben Foster and Jeff Bridges were nominated for Hell or High Water in Best Supporting Actor, and Andrew Garfield was nominated for Hacksaw Ridge in Best Actor. Whether this run will continue is yet to be seen, but if they keep up this kind of form, they’re definitely in the Best Picture mix.
- Jackie may not be as strong as we first thought- While many anticipated a strong showing for Jackie, it ended up with a somewhat lackluster showing, receiving just one major nomination, for Natalie Portman in Best Actress, with it missing in Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay. This hurts it’s chances somewhat, but it’s strong showing in the tech categories suggests that it should do OK by the time the Oscar nominations come out.
- Best Supporting Actress is between 6 actresses- There weren’t many surprises in the Best Supporting Actress today, as all 6 of the main contenders (Viola Davis, Greta Gerwig, Nicole Kidman, Janelle Monae, Michelle Williams, and Naomie Harris) were nominated, leaving the rest of the hopefuls trailing behind. With critical darlings like Molly Shannon in Other People not making here, it suggests they won’t get much joy elsewhere. Expect these 6 ladies to dominate this season, and it’s still up in the air who will miss at the Oscars.
- Is Florence Foster Jenkins struggling?- With the Critics’ Choice having 6 slots rather than 5, you often find earlier released films and critical darlings sneak in, and many thought that one film that would benefit would be Florence Foster Jenkins. While it didn’t do too badly (3 overall), they would be disappointed not to get Meryl Streep or Hugh Grant nominated in the main acting categories, even though they did get recognized in the Comedy acting categories.
- Isabelle Huppert is the real deal- One of the major changes I made to my Oscar predictions after the nominations was making room for Isabelle Huppert in Best Actress, after receiving a nomination here. While all top 5 favourites for the awards also were recognised, it’s a big step for Huppert in her push for her first nomination. Even though I think she may struggle at other awards shows, she definitely fits the mould for a Marion Cotillard/Charlotte Rampling type nomination.
- Sully isn’t dead- Even though the buzz is dying for the Clint Eastwood film, Sully managed to pull off a strong showing, picking up 4 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Tom Hanks. With a few more showings like this, picking up the nominees it needs, we could be looking at this year’s Bridge of Spies.
- Comedy categories prove that voters can be creative- The comedy categories at the Critics’ Choice awards are often mocked, but if these nominations are enough to go by, it does show that they’re making an effort to pick interesting nominees. With the likes of Kate McKinnon for Ghostbusters, Sally Field for Hello My Name is Doris, and The Nice Guys, Don’t Think Twice, and The Edge of Seventeen in Best Comedy, all nominated, it shows that they’re actually trying to award the best work of the year, rather than just trying to predict the Golden Globes.
- Though the same can’t be said for the Action categories- The tired and lazy looking nominees in the action movie categories just show that these categories need retiring. And while many action movies disappointed this year, like Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman, it doesn’t excuse these boring nominees, which included just 4 nominees in Actress in an Action Movie, and no performances in Actor and Actress that are actually worthy of awards attention at all nominated.
- Just remember, critics don’t vote for the Oscars- While it’s fine getting excited about these, just remember that there’s a long way to go. There’s 8 weeks until the Oscar nominations are announced, and Silence, Passengers, and Rogue One are all coming into the race, and the shape of the race is definitely going to change. So take it all with a pinch of salt, because these are very different voters to Academy members, and the other precursors will show us the real contenders.