Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Our Reactions To The Academy Awards Shortlists

By Daniel Howat 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the shortlists for nine categories today: Documentary Feature, International Feature, Original Score, Original Song, Makeup & Hairstyling, Visual Effects, and all three Shorts categories. Naturally, each shortlist comes with films that didn’t make the cut, or surprises that made it in. Check out the shortlists below, along with the snubs, surprises, and my personal predicted nominees.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“Advocate”
American Factory
“The Apollo”
Apollo 11
“Aquarela”
The Biggest Little Farm
“The Cave”
The Edge of Democracy
For Sama
“The Great Hack”
Honeyland
“Knock Down the House”
Maiden
Midnight Family
One Child Nation

Thankfully, this may be the only shortlist with no real snubs. It’s also going to be the biggest bloodbath on nomination morning. “Apollo 11,” “American Factory,” “For Sama,” and “One Child Nation,” all feel like they could win the whole thing, which means at least one of them is likely to miss a nomination. For two years in a row, the frontrunner in this category didn’t make the final five. Who will be the big snub this year?

My Predictions
Apollo 11
The Edge of Democracy
For Sama
Honeyland
One Child Nation

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird”
Estonia, “Truth and Justice”
France, “Les Misérables
Hungary, “Those Who Remained”
North Macedonia, “Honeyland
Poland, “Corpus Christi”
Russia, “Beanpole
Senegal, “Atlantics”
South Korea, “Parasite
Spain, “Pain and Glory

Well, the biggest snub wasn’t selected as a submission: “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.” Of course, France submitted “Les Misérables” instead. It’s certainly a great movie, and probably more nomination-friendly than “Portrait,” but it’s still a glaring omission from this list. As far as actual snubs go, the only notable miss here is Brazil’s acclaimed film “Invisible Life.” “Honeyland” made it on the shortlist, as well as the Documentary list, hoping to become the first film nominated in both categories. But as we all know, “Parasite” is going to be the bulldozer here. Can anything stop it? Or the better question: Could it win Best Picture, too?

My Predictions
“Atlantics”
Honeyland
Les Misérables
Pain and Glory
Parasite

MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Bombshell
Dolemite Is My Name
Downton Abbey
Joker
Judy
Little Women
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
1917
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Rocketman

One of the biggest snubs of the shortlists is “The Irishman.” It’s a Best Picture frontrunner, hoping to be the nomination leader this year, but couldn’t break into the top ten contenders for Makeup & Hairstyling. Is this a fluke, or a sign of overall weakness? “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” also missed out here, though “Revenge of the Sith” is the only Star Wars film to score a nomination in this category. We’ll have more nominees than ever before, moving from three to five nominees. What’s going to break in?

My Predictions
Bombshell
Dolemite Is My Name
Judy
Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Rocketman

SCORE
Avengers: Endgame
Bombshell
The Farewell
Ford v Ferrari
Frozen II
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
The King
Little Women
Marriage Story
Motherless Brooklyn
1917
Pain and Glory
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Us

Parasite” couldn’t break into this shortlist, which is a bit disappointing. Thankfully, that’s the only major snub here. A few surprises made it in, the most exciting of which is “Us.” The score for “Get Out” was deemed ineligible, and many believed the same fate would apply to “Us.” The same goes for “Frozen II.” Though the film has certainly been forgotten this season, “The King” makes a surprise appearance here. Cousins Randy and Thomas Newman made the list for “Marriage Story” and “1917,” respectively. Could Thomas Newman finally win on a fifteenth nomination?

My Predictions
1917
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

SONG
“Speechless” from “Aladdin
“Letter To My Godfather” from “The Black Godfather”
“I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough”
“Da Bronx” from “The Bronx USA”
“Into The Unknown” from “Frozen II
“Stand Up” from “Harriet
“Catchy Song” from “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
“Never Too Late” from “The Lion King
“Spirit” from “The Lion King
“Daily Battles” from “Motherless Brooklyn
“A Glass of Soju” from “Parasite
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman
“High Above The Water” from “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am”
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4
“Glasgow” from “Wild Rose

Taylor Swift will have to wait another year for an Oscar nomination. “Beautiful Ghosts,” her song written with Andrew Lloyd Webber for “Cats,” missed the shortlist. We all make plenty of jokes about “Cats,” but this is a pretty surprising snub. Another omission here, though it wasn’t submitted for consideration, is “Show Yourself” from “Frozen II.” Many (rightfully) argue that it’s the best song from the film, and should’ve been submitted instead of “Into The Unknown.” Elsewhere, Elton John makes two appearances on the shortlist, for “Never Too Late” from “The Lion King” and “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman.” Mary Steenburgen’s “Glasgow” could make her the third actress nominated for both acting and songwriting, and the first acting winner to do so. Cynthia Erivo hopes for the same with “Stand Up.”

My Predictions
“Into The Unknown” from “Frozen II
“Stand Up” from “Harriet
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4
“Glasgow” from “Wild Rose

VISUAL EFFECTS
Alita: Battle Angel
Avengers: Endgame
Captain Marvel
“Cats”
Gemini Man
The Irishman
The Lion King
1917
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Terminator: Dark Fate

After narrowing their films down to twenty, the list is culled further to ten. 20th Century Fox has dropped the ball here, with both “Ad Astra” and “Ford v Ferrari” missing the cut. Though we shouldn’t be surprised, given the lack of a campaign for “Ad Astra,” “Ford v Ferrari” should’ve been here. Also missing is “The Aeronauts” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”

My Predictions
Alita: Battle Angel
Avengers: Endgame
The Irishman
The Lion King
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
“After Maria”
“Fire in Paradise”
“Ghosts of Sugar Land”
“In the Absence”
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
“Life Overtakes Me”
“The Nightcrawlers”
“St. Louis Superman”
“Stay Close”
“Walk Run Cha-Cha”

ANIMATED SHORT
“Dcera (Daughter)”
“Hair Love”
“He Can’t Live without Cosmos”
“Hors Piste”
“Kitbull”
“Memorable”
“Mind My Mind”
“The Physics of Sorrow”
“Sister”
“Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days”

LIVE-ACTION SHORT
“Brotherhood”
“The Christmas Gift”
“Little Hands”
“Miller & Son”
“Nefta Football Club”
“The Neighbors’ Window”
“Refugee”
“Saria”
“A Sister”
“Sometimes, I Think about Dying”

The Shorts categories are harder to predict early, so there aren’t really snubs or surprises to mention. Still, it’s pretty great to see “Hair Love,” widely shared on social media from director Matthew A. Cherry, making the cut. 

What were the big surprises for you on all of these lists? What are you predicting in each category? Let us know in the comments section or below or on our Twitter account.

You can follow Daniel and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @howatdk

Daniel Howat
Daniel Howathttps://nextbestpicture.com
Movie and awards season obsessed. Hollywood Critics Association Member.

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