Despite how swept up I get during Award Season, it’s very important to always remember that The Oscars are, at their heart, utterly ridiculous. Part of the joy of this time of year is scoffing at the final selection of nominees and discussing with other cinephiles who and what have been royally snubbed. Here are my desired winners in a range of categories from hair styling to directing, who weren’t even nominated…
BEST PICTURE: THE FLORIDA PROJECT, SEAN BAKER
By far my favourite film of 2017, I’m a little baffled as to why Sean Baker’s follow up to Tangerine didn’t even receive a nomination. More so, Baker himself hasn’t received recognition for his direction. A tragic tale of motherhood and childhood on the fringes of functioning society, set against the juxtaposition of a fairy-tale aesthetic, The Florida Project has been criminally overlooked by the Academy.
This year looks set to be Christopher Nolan’s first win as the director of the impactful Dunkirk. Personally, I’ve been more impressed and inspired by grassroots directors this year. Along with Sean Baker I would also have liked to see a nomination for Geremy Jasper who stunned with his feature debut, Patti Cake$. Yet this year’s award should be going to Bennie and Josh Safdie for Good Time. The brothers’ collaboration not only brought us an electrifying and sombre heist movie but they also captured and directed Robert Pattinson in the best performance of his career.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: ROBERT PATTINSON, GOOD TIME
I’m delighted to see Daniel Kaluuya nominated for Best Actor this year for Get Out and hope that he wins, despite it looking much more likely that the statue is going to Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Churchill in Darkest Hour. For me, Robert Pattinson’s performance in Good Time was ugly, brash and bold. He does the impossible for an actor of his popularity; he vanishes. It’s a remarkable turn from the British star who is the only personal I would like to see take the award over Kaluuya.
Aaron Sorkin is an Oscar favourite and is once again nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for his directorial debut Molly’s Game. Yet, it is the film’s leading actor who’s been snubbed here. Jessica Chastain is one of our modern greats and in Molly’s Game she oozes both intelligence and natural sex appeal – its an energetic and unapologetic portrayal of a complex and problematic real life ‘poker princess’. She’s my winner, a thousand times over.
It’s fantastic to see Yance Ford’s horrifying and tender Strong Island nominated this year – a Doc/Fest favourite in June 2017. The Work by Jairus McLeary and Gethin Aldous was another popular pick within our June programme and it’s a documentary I regard high above many others I’ve seen in recent years. A compelling observation of an intense therapy session with a handful of both American citizens and inmates at Folsom Prison, The Work is a rich exploration of masculinity at its most vulnerable.
For sheer dedication to a truly authentic visual aesthetic, this year’s Academy Awards for both Costume Design and Make Up & Hairstyling should be going to Anna Biller’s The Love Witch. I’ve never seen a more impressive and utterly convincing recreation of Technicolor horror cinema of the 1960s. Biller herself is responsible for many of the films visual successes, including weaving rugs and designing all the sets and costumes. Evidently, never have these two awards been more blatantly deserved.
Horror films have a history of being snubbed at the Academy Awards and with each non-English speaking country only allowed to put forward one film for this category, it’s hardly surprising that genre films rarely win here. Julia Ducournau’s feature debut Raw is simply one of the best films of the year, regardless of language. It is a no-brainer for the Foreign Film award and should equally be nominated for Best Picture.
Thanks for reading and let’s all keep supporting our beloved film industry.