A rather bizarre list… but not really shocking, in that it played within the lines that have been well-established for over a month. Within that structure, there were those that are more surprising than others.
For instance… the DGA nominated just 2 of the 5 directors that the director’s branch at The Academy chose. I will spend more time at some point today figuring out if that has ever happened before. But probably not.
The entire list of nominations is a checkerboard, which speaks to the mess The Academy created with the January 3 date (which subsequently changed to January 4 when The Academy bothered to look at the calendar sometime in December.)
An argument could be made that this is exciting… that the nominations being all over the place, with the exception of Lincoln, makes for a more interesting night. Perhaps.
But this morning, what I see is a bunch of branches getting different kinds of access… different percentage of voters getting in their ballots or successfully navigating the oft-broken e-voting system… and a big disadvantage to the latecomers. Django and ZD30 each got 5 nominations. Les Mis did a little better, but that is a tribute to the stunt screenings just after Thanksgiving, hitting the Guilds hard and fast. But basically, they got Picture, the 2 stars, and traditional “costume drama” nods.
It’s always a weird feeling to talk about any nomination as anything less than wonderful. These are all very, very talented people and the work is worthy.
But even though many will be quick to just move along, rationalizing every oddball angle of this group of nominations, it is a bit of a car wreck overall. It’s not like – aside from Beasts, perhaps – there is a single radical thing in the group of nods. But there is an incoherence… well, not unlike the Independent Spirit Awards, which has many nominating committees, the left hand never connected to what the right hand is thinking.
The interesting part is that we could see Lincoln lose in the face of awards history screaming that Lincoln must be the winner. But personally, I have never been one to enjoy rooting against (except for the NY Jets). I would much prefer rooting for something.
And so does media. So don’t look for much soul searching about what this mess of a nominations list means and how it happened. That would require journalistic thinking. And based on what I saw on 2 networks this morning, none of that is left in this business.
“Forget it, Dave, it’s Academytown.”
But if anyone is interested… follow the voting… that is where the oddness in this vote seems to have started. It will likely remain a bit of a mystery forever. The Academy refuses to be accountable, more under this administration than ever.
One more element that I am personally fascinated with… are the Globes votes in yet? Or will they shift their winning choices to better fit these nominations?