So, the Oscar award nominations were announced on Thursday, and we just need to get right to the thing that everyone else is talking about: the blinding whiteness of the Oscars. Honestly, it shouldn't surprise anyone that once again the Academy completely ignored performances from Benicio del Toro (Sicario), Rinko Kikuchi (Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight), and all the lead actors in Straight Outta Compton. We all know they have a looooong history of blatantly ignoring some of the best talent of color ever to walk the earth. In an industry that continues to pat itself on the back, suck its own b*lls, and self-congratulate over and over (so much so that that they don't have just one award, they have a season of awards), none of this should be shocking.
And really, if there is an awards committee that would go out of its way to circumvent actually nominating a PoC actor in favor of the atrocious The Big Short instead, it's clearly admitting its irrelevance with modern society (and complete disregard for public outcry). But what might be the most frightening thing about all of this is that there are actually people (including critics) out there who scoff at accusations of Academy discrimination. Pro tip: if you don't have anything smart to contribute to the conversation, don't say anything at all.
But I digress, because I want to give a shout out to some of the nominees that I absolutely adore: Brie Larson (lead actress, Room), Lenny Abrahamson (director, Room), Emma Donaghue (adapted screenplay, Room), What Happened, Miss Simone? (documentary feature), and the nine nominations for Mad Max: Fury Road. All I needed was some recognition for Jacob Tremblay, whose acting nomination was apparently stolen by Christian Bale (The Big Short) and Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), and all would be right in the world. Also, I know I rag on the Oscars a lot, but can we commend it for finally acknowledging genre with the nominations for The Martian (including Matt Damon's performance) and Mad Max? I mean, that's a big step for an awards committee whose median age is 142. Baby steps!
(They could have thrown a bone to Charlize Theron for her performance in Mad Max, though. Just saying...)
I think by now you should already know how I feel about most these other nominations, so I'm not even going to bother with mentioning some of these grotesque nominations that are really more a cry for help than anything else (Leonardo DiCpario, Tom Hardy, Brie Larson and Alicia Vikander almost no competition in their categories). It's understandable; it was a crappy year in film (though Emily Blunt's performance in Sicario could have slid in there, easily).
Next time, maybe not have so many slots in each category, so as not to choose such insane placeholders to fill up the ballot? Just a thought.
The Oscars air live on February 28 at 8:30pm EST on ABC.