My-Post-9

Two out of three ain’t bad. Three out of three would have been better.

Well, I realize this may give it away but I would still rather you not make guesses, even if it’s clear what it is.  For the first time since Carol in 2015 my #1 film was not nominated for Best Picture.  For the first time since Who Framed Roger Rabbit in 1988 my #1 film was not nominated for an above the line Oscar nomination.  For the first time since Winter Light in 1963 my #1 film was not nominated for any Oscars.  For the first time since Touch of Evil in 1958 my #1 film is in English and was not nominated for any Oscars.  Now, beyond that, on to today’s actual nominations, where I wrote down quick picks just to make it easier (then I just circle if right – much faster) and got only four categories 5/5: Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Animated Film.

  • My #6 film leaped from “shaky” to Best Picture nomination (Judas).  To do that, it leapfrogged my #4 and #5 films which went from “solid” to no Best Picture nominations (One Night, Ma Rainey).
  • And that’s where the title comes from as well.  Yes, for the first time ever, the Academy nominated two women for Best Director.  But it could have been three.  It also could have had as many as three black directors.  Instead, they bypassed all of them and went for the middle-aged European white guy.
  • How often does a director earn just a BAFTA nom before an Oscar nom?  Only once in the expanded BP Era and it was also a white male European director (Pawel Pawlikowski) that wasn’t nominated for Best Picture.
  • One director with previous nominations (Fincher) and four first-time directors with at least one female and one who isn’t white.  Pretty much a re-run of the 2017 Director slate.
  • On the one hand, Aaron Sorkin has an Oscar.  On the other hand, he was snubbed for Adapted Screenplay in 1992 when his film was nominated, snubbed for Adapted Screenplay in 2015 with all four awards precursors and a Globe win and now snubbed for Director with DGA, Globe and CC noms.  But Sorkin was also BAFTA snubbed.  The only other director in history to earn DGA, Globe and CC noms but be snubbed at both the BAFTA and Oscars?  Peter Farrelly two years ago and his film won Best Picture.
  • As I speculated might happen in my awards post, for the first time since 2014 we have multiple Oscar-Indie Spirit Director nominees and for the first time ever we have three overlapping directors (Zhao, Fennell, Chung).
  • Another Round is a massive oddity.  It’s the first film since 2006 to earn a Director nom but fewer than three nominations overall.  It’s the 12th film to be nominated for Director and International Film but the only film ever to be nominated for Director and International Film but nothing else.
  • Mank leads the way with 10 nominations.  No other film has more than 6.  The last time only one film had more than 6 noms?  2005.
  • However, nothing is lacking.  After never happening in the first 22 years of more than 5 BP, for the second time in three years, every BP nominee has at least five nominations.
  • Every BP nominee is nominated for either Director or Screenplay for the first time in four years and only the fifth time in a year with more than 5 BP nominees.
  • For the first time since 2007 and first time ever in a year with more than 5 BP nominees, every BP nominee is nominated in an acting category.
  • Also, each of the BP nominees is nominated in at least one of the Big 5 Tech categories, the third year in a row, but never done before 2018.
  • Now combine all those.  Every one of the 8 BP nominees is nominated for an acting award, for a prominent tech award and for either Director or Screenplay.  How many times has that happened before today?  Just once, in 1999.
  • Judas and Trial are nominated for 6 each and in five of those are directly competing against each other (actually 6 – Judas has two in the same category).  But each is only up against Mank (with 10 noms) in Picture and Cinematography.
  • Female driven films are in a new position.  Looking at the categories that kind of mark film as a whole (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Editing, lead acting), 127 films have earned nominations in all of those.  But of those, 75 were nominated in Actor and 26 were nominated in Actor and Actress.  Just 26 (including today) were nominated in Actress alone, only twice before were there two in the same year (1977, 2002) and no film directed by a female has ever been nominated in all five, let alone two in the same year.
  • Searchlight continues to be the premiere distributor, whether they’re owned by Disney or Fox.  This is the fourth straight year they’ve had a Best Picture nominee and the 10th time in the last 11 years and 14th nominee in that stretch.
  • The total noms for the Best Picture nominees is just 51 – 18 down from last year and the second lowest of this expanded BP Era (2014 had 50).
  • They also dropped back to 8 nominees.  To have only 8 and pass over One Night and Ma Rainey just shows how stupid this 5-10 era has been.  They should have gone back to 10 this year.
  • This joins 2014 as the only years of the expanded BP Era where two films earned PGA and CC noms and didn’t earn Oscar noms (Ma Rainey, One Night).  They’re the first films to do that at all in three years.  I know the system and the mindset doesn’t work like this, but it feels like the Academy members went, “eh, we nominated Judas; one black film is enough”.
  • Last year, the 9 BP nominees were also the 9 Consensus nominees.  This year, Judas is a BP nominee and in 12th place at the Consensus, behind four non-nominees.  The last time a film earned an Oscar nom with that many non-nominees in front of it at the Consensus was 1988 when Dangerous Liaisons (rightfully) leapt five other films.  Although, to be fair, that’s partially because the LAFC gave Best Picture to a television series.
  • In this altered year of COVID, release dates and box office, normally key trivia items about the BP nominees, are irrelevant.  Of the four nominees actually released in 2020, three don’t have box office info (and none were before mid-October).  The highest grossing BP nominee right now is Promising Young Woman with $5.4 mil.  Other than The Father, all of them are available to watch from home for anyone, not just Academy members.
  • After starring in winner-nom-nom in 1991-93, Anthony Hopkins is in a Best Picture nominee for the first time in 27 years.
  • Netflix joins Fox as the only studio of the expanded BP Era to have back-to-back years of multiple Best Picture noms.
  • On the other hand, neither Netflix film has a Picture-Director-Screen trifecta and neither did one of its nominees last year (Marriage Story) while A24 has its fourth Best Pic nominee ever (Minari) and all four of its films have earned that trifecta (Room, Moonlight, Lady Bird).
  • After finally having all 5 Director nominees last year also having a Screenplay nom, we’re back to just 3 for the third time in the expanded BP Era (2015, 2017).
  • With West Side Story among the films pushed back to this year, there was no Scorsese, Eastwood or Spielberg film and thus no film from them earning a nomination for the first time since 2007 (when there was also no film from any of those three).
  • Mank was passed over for Screenplay and I couldn’t be more delighted.  What was original was bullshit and what wasn’t original was just anecdotes about Mankiewicz.  But how odd was it?  Well, only one previous film was nominated for the Globe, BAFTA and CC and passed over by the Oscars and it had also been WGA ineligible: The Hateful Eight.
  • Borat was nominated for Adapted Screenplay and I couldn’t be more irritated since much of the film didn’t seem to actually have a script (and because I couldn’t stand it – I laughed twice – once at the beginning at the Pence joke and once at the end with the “Don’t mansplain” line) and because Ma Rainey and News of the World were passed over.  But maybe Tom Hanks should have seen that coming.  After all, last year he also had a WGA / CC nominee passed over at the Oscars (Beautiful Day).
  • Borat also joins Logan as the only Adapted Screenplays to earn an Oscar nom with just a WGA nom as a precursor since… the first Borat film.
  • What’s also astounding is that Borat has nine nominated screenwriters which is insane.  Also odd that the director, Jason Woliner, isn’t one of them since that makes it one of just two nominated scripts (in either category) without a director nominated for writing (One Night is the other).
  • After not doing it since 2005, for the second straight year, all five Original Screenplays earn a nomination for their director.  Also, all seven of the BP noms with a Screenplay nomination earn a nomination for their director.  Which means for the second straight year, every director of a Picture nominee earned at least one Oscar nomination today because the director not nominated for writing is nominated for Director (Fincher – last year it was Marty).
  • Both Screenplay categories and three of the four acting categories have a previous winner among the nominees (the other writer who already has an Oscar is Christopher Hampton who won for Dangerous Liasions).  Director and Supporting Actor do not.
  • My own nominees for Animated Film will have A Whisker Away instead of Over the Moon but I am very pleased with the category and predicted it 5/5.  It’s only the second time in a year with 5 nominees that all of the Oscar nominees were CC nominees first (joining 2018).
  • Pete Docter becomes the first director with four nominations for Animated Film and will likely become the first to win three Oscars.
  • For the first time, Pixar earns two Oscar nominations in Animated Film in the same year.
  • Last year, the three Actor nominees my age and younger all had previous noms and the two much older ones were first-time nominees.  This year, the three my age and younger are first-time nominees and the two much older already have an Oscar.
  • Last year, the Supporting Actor nominees averaged 71.5 years old.  This year it’s 44.2.
  • When Silence of the Lambs was released (for which Anthony Hopkins won his Oscar) two of his 19 fellow acting nominees weren’t born yet and nine others weren’t old enough to go see the film in the theater.  That same year, Gary Oldman was in a Best Picture nominee (JFK).
  • For the first time since 2015, Actor matched SAG 5/5.  For the first time since 2009, all five Actor nominees earned SAG and CC noms first.
  • For the first time since 1964, no white American is nominated for Best Actor.
  • After not happening since 1995, the Actress nominees match the Globe – Drama 5/5 for the second straight year.  That has never happened before.  But, like 1995 (and not like last year), I suspect the winners will be different.
  • This is the 7th time in the last eight years that two of the nominated actresses in Actress already have an Oscar (Fran, Davis).  The only time it didn’t happen none of them had an Oscar (2018) and the person who won the Oscar is nominated in Supporting Actress this year.
  • Ma Rainey is the first film since Walk the Line in 2005 to earn Actor and Actress nominations but not Picture.  It’s only the fourth film since 1970 and 11th film ever to earn Actor and Actress but not Picture, Director or Screenplay.  One of the other four is What’s Love Got to Do With It, which also had two Black acting leads.
  • Last year, the Supporting Actor nominees had five previous Oscars.  This year they have one previous nomination.
  • Well, one nomination for acting anyway.  But this year, Sacha Baron Cohen is nominated for acting in one movie and writing for another, joining Clooney in 2005 (and possibly others – but it’s so esoteric that my spreadsheet doesn’t account for it).
  • Sadly, Chadwick Bozeman didn’t score double posthumous noms.  But did anyone see LaKeith Steinfeld as the fifth nominee?  Especially given that the BAFTAs longlisted him as a lead?  Steinfeld joins Djimon Hounsou (2003), Michael Shannon (2008), Max von Sydow (2011) and Jonah Hill (2013) as the only nominees this century to leap into the Oscars race with no precursors.
  • Glenn Close is now up to 260 points (12th place all-time) with her 8th nomination (among females, only Meryl, Bette and Kate Hepburn have more).  She already had the record for most Oscar nominations without an Oscar for a female actor and now she ties Peter O’Toole with the most for either gender (unless she wins).  She has more nominations than the other four combined (even including this year’s nom) but Colman has an Oscar (which she won over Close two years ago).
  • After every year from 2004-2018, this is the second straight year with no nominations for Meryl, Amy Adams or Cate Blanchett.
  • For the first time since 2015 no film has more than two acting nominations.
  • With both Mank and News of the World passed over for Editing, for the third year in a row no film has the big five tech nominations.
  • Chloe Zhao is the first director nominated for Editing since 2013.  That director (Alfonso Cuarón) won Director and Editing but lost Picture and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens again.
  • For the third year in a row and 10th time in the 12 years of the new expanded BP Era, all five Editing nominees are from Best Picture nominees.
  • There is only one editor with a previous nomination (Alan Baumgarten) and one cinematographer with a previous nomination (Phedon Papamichael), both from the same film (Trial).  Both earned their previous nomination in 2013 but Baumgarten’s was for American Hustle and Papamichael’s was for Nebraska.
  • Having only one nominee with a previous nomination is normal in Editing.  Having only one in Cinematography is very much not; it’s only the second time it’s happened (joining 2016) since 2001.
  • I correctly predicted Judas as the fifth Cinematography nominee, though it was a bit of a leap as its only the fourth film to earn an Oscar nom with just a BAFTA as precursor since 2002.
  • Like in Supporting Actress, James Newton Howard has six previous nominations in Score but no wins while Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are the only other ones with previous noms (one each) and they both have an Oscar.
  • The nominees don’t include John Williams, Randy Newman, Thomas Newman or Alexandre Desplat for the first time since 2007 and the second time since 1992.  But you know who was nominated in 2007?  James Newton Howard.
  • If you knew ahead of time that Da 5 Bloods would only get one nomination would your money have been on Score?  I’m thinking not.
  • With two nominations, David Parker moves into the Top 20 points in Sound while with one nomination, Michael Minkler moves into a tie for 8th place.  Both already have multiple Oscars.
  • With the Sound Editing category dead, Soul earned a Sound nomination, the first for an Animated film since 2008.
  • Nathan Crowley earns his sixth Oscar nomination in Production Design, five of them working with Nolan.
  • Disney continues to rack up VE nominations (19 since 2012 including two this year) but likely still no more wins (just 1 since 2012).
  • Mank and News of the World were nominated for 4 of the big 5 Tech categories (all but Editing).  They join 1917, War Horse and Inception as well as 20 films before that.  But, with no Sound Editing, News of the World earned just those four nominations, the first film to do that since it happened three years in a row back in the early 40s with Arabian Nights, Phantom of the Opera and Kismet.
  • Christopher Nolan continues to rack up noms in the same categories (sixth for him in PD, fourth in VE) while Clooney has his third Oscar nominated film and has no repeat categories among them (because his first two were nominated in different screenplay categories).
  • Ann Roth just picked up her fourth Oscar nomination in Costume Design (Ma Rainey), 18 years after her third (The Hours).  Amazingly enough, that’s not a record.  Eiko Ishioka went 20 years between his win for Bram Stoker’s Dracula and his posthumous nomination for Mirror Mirror.
  • Diane Warren joins Sammy Cahn, Johnny Mercer and Paul Francis Webster as the only songwriters with multiple streaks of four straight (or more) nominations: 1996-99 and 2017-20 and she’d better not win.  She moves into a tie for 12th place with 120 points.
  • After two straight years of an actress nominated for Actress and Song, Leslie Odom, Jr. is nominated for Supporting Actor and Song.
  • Portugal is still the least successful country at submitting for International Film (0 for 37) but Romania just broke the second worst by getting a nomination in its 36th submission.  On the flip side, Tunisia just earned a nomination with its sixth submission.
  • By country, these are the first (Tunisia, Romania), second (Bosnia), third (Hong Kong) and 13th (Denmark) nominations.
  • This is the first time an African country has been nominated in six years and the first time since 2005 that Africa and Asia had nominees in the same year.
  • It’s the first time ever that two Balkan countries have been earned noms in the same year.
  • With one country from Scandinavia and two from the Balkans this year joins 2010 as the only times the category has no nominees from Western or Eastern Europe.
  • Since the shortlist began for International Film in 2006, four films before today were shortlisted, earned Globe and CC noms and still didn’t earn an Oscar nom (Volver, Intouchables, Force Majeure, In the Fade).  Two more got added today (Two of Us, La Llorona).
  • While La Llorona didn’t have a BAFTA nom it did become the first film ever with GG and CC noms and multiple critics wins to be shortlisted and still fail to earn an Oscar nom.
  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always has 417 awards points but no Oscar noms, the most since Jean de Florette in 1987.
  • Mank leads with 48 total awards noms followed by Nomadland with 43 and no other film has more than 32.  Compare to last year when Hollywood and Irishman had 57 each and seven films had more than 32.  Mank‘s total is the lowest for a year leader since 2006 and the last time only two films had more than 32 total noms was 2001.
  • Well, in some ways Netflix I’m certain is disappointed today with just one nomination for Da 5 Bloods, no Picture or Adapted Screenplay for Ma Rainey, no Screenplay for Mank and no Director for Trial.  But they still managed 31 nominations, the most for any studio since 1981.  What’s more they did it with 12 nominated films.  They’re the first studio to reach double-digits in nominated films since 1974 and it’s the most for a studio since 1953.  In fact, the only category in which it wasn’t nominated is International Film and they managed multiple nominations in Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Score, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup (3), Song (3) and Animated Film.  That’s one hell of a day.