Reaction to the Nominees for the 89th Academy Awards

'Manchester by the Sea,' Amazon Studios
‘Manchester by the Sea,’ Amazon Studios

And here we are! I had a lot of fun with trying to predict the nominations this awards season, it went a little bit better than last year’s predictions. I believe I got 77% of my predictions correct this year. But that’s not important. Now, let’s discuss the biggest shocks and surprises from this year’s nominations.

There’s a lot to get to, but I just have to start with what shocked me the most: Amy Adams wasn’t nominated for Best Actress. I’m not just shocked, I’m confused. Adams’ performance was one of the best of the year, and she definitely deserves a spot here. I mean, how does Arrival get 8 nominations without one of those going to Amy Adams for her flawless performance?

Well, she didn’t get in. Instead, Ruth Negga gets some recognition, which is a cool choice, but also a bit of a surprise. During the last couple of days, people were trying to figure out if Emily Blunt could possibly take Huppert’s spot. But no, and she didn’t take Adams’ either – Negga did.

Now, I was worried that Sing Street was going to be shut out completely, and I was right to be worried… I did predict that it would get a song nomination, but the Academy would rather nominate multiple songs from the same film, than nominate one of the greatest songs of 2016 – Drive It Like You Stole It. It’s a shame that one of the great hidden gems of 2016 won’t be honored at the Oscars.

Best Supporting Actor was one of the toughest top awards to predict. Aaron Taylor-Johnson was surprisingly left out, and Hugh Grant wasn’t nominated either. Instead, the other great supporting actor from Nocturnal AnimalsMichael Shannon – took Taylor-Johnson’s place. And while Grant wasn’t nominated, it did make me happy to see that Lucas Hedges was getting Grant’s spot on the final list.

Best Director was another difficult category to predict. And while I think Mel Gibson did a wonderful job with Hacksaw Ridge, I didn’t expect him to get nominated simply because of all of the controversy that surrounds him, but it’s a really good choice.

Finally, remember how some critics and film journalists were worried about Deadpool getting a Oscar nomination? Well, don’t worry guys. Instead, the critically panned Passengers and Suicide Squad both received nominations. Also, how did Passengers manage to get more nominations than Martin Scorsese’s passion project? Explain that to me. Please.

– Jeffrey Rex

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