The Academy did a nice job with its nominations in preparation for the 89th awards presentation Feb. 26. The Oscars have the African American representation it lacked over the past two years with Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Fences; Mel Gibson’s return to prominence and Meryl Streep … again. But if you look hard enough, there’s always room to nitpick.
This year’s head scratchers came in acting categories in battles between stars in the same movies. A few times I left the theater thinking ‘Wow, he/she will definitely get a nomination.’ Then the nominees came out, and they were left off the list while their co-stars gained the glory.
The most egregious mistake of this kind came during the 85th Academy Awards when Christoph Waltz earned not just a nomination, but the win for best supporting actor for his performance in Django Unchained. Waltz is a great actor, who put forth one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen in Inglourious Basterds, but he was easily the third best actor in Django Unchained behind Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson. DiCaprio has a scene where glass breaks in his hand for real and he continues the scene without missing a beat. But no nomination. No Academy Award. DiCaprio would later find out the lengths he needed to go to for his first win when he fought a bear and was stranded in the wilderness in The Revenant. The thing is … he should have already had a golden statue.
How does this happen? Let’s take a look at two of the Academy’s mistakes in 2017. Continue reading