What We Liked About The Academy Award Nominations and What We Didn’t
It’s that time again: award season!
The self-congratulatory parade of shows is often predictable, yet we still tune in and participate — sorta like cheering for our favorite sports teams.
While the real Super Bowl is this weekend, the Super Bowl of award shows is the Oscars — aka the Academy Awards. The nominations were just announced and I have some thoughts:
First Things First: BEYONCE
Obviously, Beyonce is the most talented performer of our generation. Despite writing massive hits featured in blockbuster movies over the last two decades, she’s never. Been nominated. For an Oscar. But times are changing. Say what you will about King Richard, Beyonce’s song "Be Alive," was nominated for Best Original Song. Queen Bey’s one step closer to an EGOT.
We Don’t Talk About Bruno, but We Do Talk About "Encanto"
Unsurprisingly, the Disney movie Encanto and its transcendent message about family and generational trauma earned Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score and Best Original Song. Sadly, for Encanto fans — read: all of us — the song nominated wasn’t “We Don't Talk About Bruno.” In fact, before the song went viral, the studio didn't even submit it for consideration. Instead, the nominated song is "Dos Oruguitas," which will be Disney's first non-English Best Original Song winner if it wins. We’re rooting for both this and Beyonce.
Jared Leto? Ignored.
In the words of the writer and film critic Hunter Harris, “nothing :) for Jared Leto :).” And indeed, there was nothing. And I hope there will continue to be nothing. While we’re a tad sad that Gaga wasn’t nominated for her role in House of Gucci — and KStew and her flailing British accent in Spencer was? What!?! — we’re relieved that Jared Leto got ignored. And we at Popdust will continue on our campaign to stop putting him in things.
Regrettably …. Timothee Was Ignored, Too :(
The nation’s boyfriend’s name was markedly absent from the Best Actor nominee list — despite his stunningly captivating performance in a movie about . . . sand. How did he do that? Pure charm and talent. Who is going to tell the Academy Awards Committee?
Wait … Seriously? Are We Taking Don’t Look Up Seriously?
Don’t Look Up — the environmental satire that reminds us how close we are to the end of the world — is only good if you don’t take it too seriously. The film’s a fun way to see all our favorite actors together, but is it good? It’s obvious, heavy-handed, and — at the end of the day — achieved nothing. Yet somehow, an Oscar nod? Why?
"West Side Story" is Still Problematic
Another questionable Best Picture pick is Speilberg’s West Side Story. Although this rendition of the famed Broadway musical is visually impressive, its attempts at being “woke” fall flat. Especially since its lead actor has been accused of sexual assault. The film also fails to wrestle with the issues in the original story: the villainization of the Puerto Rican characters with no redemption, the sexual assault used as a plot device, and more. How can this be up for the big award in 2022?
Did They Just Not Watch Passing Or…
One film which did not get an Oscar nomination is the luminous, black-and-white film Passing. This is all despite accolades from the National Society of Film Critics and the London Film Critics’ Circle — and let us not overlook Negga receiving Best Supporting Actress nominations from the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Screen Actors Guild. In short: the Oscars are still so white.