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Team Experience: Mourning the Snubbed, Pondering the Head-Scratching Nominees

I polled Team Experience this morning about the Oscar nominations. Here are the first two related questions on absences and curious inclusions. We expect your answers to add to the conversation in the comments. 

What omission in this morning nominations most upset you?

Matthew: Like everyone else on here, I am devastated, first and foremost, for the outstanding Annette Bening, an exclusion for which I hold A24 accountable. Finally, I'd like to imagine that Pharrell and Sing Street composer Gary Clark are off together somewhere getting hammered and slinging insults at the tire-fire that is "Can't Stop This Feeling."

John: The intense excitement at Isabelle Huppert's name being read first, chased quickly by the sad reveal that Annette Bening lost a nomination is a perfect capsule for this Oscar morning...

Bening suffered from a late release and a Moonlight-preoccupied A24 (another bittersweet irony) and ultimately lost a nomination for (I'd say) a career-best performance. She now joins the ranks of Joan Allen, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Cher, Ingrid Bergman, Barbara Stanwyck, Rosalind Russell, and other Oscar darlings who weren't nominated for their best work. 

Nick: Besides the obvious and possibly truest answer, which is Annette Bening, I'd say the absence of Sing Street from Best Original Song, especially for "Drive It Like You Stole It." It's the best of many great tunes in the movie, it actually sounds like something talented teenagers would write, it functions exquisitely in the film, and it would have been *such* a fun number on the telecast.

Dancin Dan: Sing Street for Best Original Song. My grief is bottomless - perfect song, used perfectly in the film.

Deborah: Upon reflection, I'm a little heartbroken that Hugh Grant's tender, comic, and complex work in Florence Foster Jenkins wasn't acknowledged.

Glenn: When I first reviewed Kirsten Johnson's Cameraperson I noted that it was "very atypical of what the Academy consider a documentary" and that I didn't think it stood much of a hope. It's success throughout awards season and a foolish belief that documentarians would see the genius in it given it is explicitly about the art of documentary filmmaking had put me into a false sense of belief that the best film of 2016 could actually get to call itself an Oscar nominee. I will continue to be baffled by the love for Life, Animated for a very long time, but its nomination over the likes of not just Cameraperson, but TowerZero DaysWeiner and so on is just frustrating.

Chris: Amy Adams. I was so ready to rally around the "it's Amy's turn narrative" that she should've received for Arrival. Not only is she shouldered with making the film's time leaps believable and coherent, she's also its emotional and intellectual compass. We reward male actors that turn an original film into a $100M hit but not Amy? Hmmmm.

Laurence: It really bothers me that the Cinematographers branch couldn't find room for Stéphane Fontaine's gorgeous Jackie cinematography. I know I shouldn't be surprised that it didn't make it in, but it's a bit galling when La La Land's did; if there's any more glaring example of that movie's visual adequacy it's that Jimmy Fallon and company were so easily able to fashion a pretty spot-on recreation of its entire visual repertoire to open the goddamn Golden Globes. In a category full of singular visions, Jackie's omission is all the more galling.

Murtada: None actually. Moonlight got lots of love. Ruth Negga was nominated, and so was Isabelle Huppert. I guess I could gripe about Riley Keough in American Honey but the 5 women nominated in best supporting actress are all amazing. Or Mia Hansen Love for writing and directing Things to Come, but that was never going to happen. It was a pretty good year, nominations wise.

Which nomination do you find most mystifying?

David: It wasn't mystifying coming from the Golden Globes, but the dreadful assault on the ears that is 'Can’t Stop the Feeling' stinking up an otherwise lovely Original Song category? It needs to die.

Deborah: Hollywood's collective decision to forgive Mel Gibson. Mystifying and nauseating.

Nick: I don't really see what even many Nocturnal Animals detractors do in Michael Shannon's performance. He's fine, but a nomination? Still, it's the only one for that quite bad film, so I'm cool. Gibson aside, nothing else really gets my goat.

Chris: Jeff Bridges. I am generally cold towards Hell or High Water, but I've never understood the praise for this strange, incoherent amalgam of his best performances - particularly when every performance around him (including partner Gil Birmingham) is much stronger.

Murtada: What is "The Empty Chair"? Was Jim:The James Foley Story a real movie? When did it come out? So many questions. Trust the music branch to once again make us scurry to Google on nominations day.

Glenn: Before the Golden Globes I would have said Meryl Streep, but who can really argue with that after that now globally and politically famous speech? I also completely get nominations for films like Passengers and Suicide Squad despite their overall quality. Rather, the nomination that mystifies me the most is La La Land for Best Sound Editing. I look forward to the ceremony montage when they show us just what exactly that was for. And that's from somebody who likes La La Land!

Laurence: Not to hate on La La Land too much - I'm a fan, honest! - but the Sound Mixing is the worst thing about it. I've seen that movie twice, each time in different cinemas with very different audio environments, and both times it sounded muddled and thin, except the second time more loudly so.

Matthew: I'm all for the Academy recognizing contemporary costumes and I do somewhat admire the clever blend of classical and modern sensibilities that constitute Mary Zophres' La La Land aesthetic, although it occasionally seems sponsored by Old Navy, particularly when it comes to dressing anyone other than its two leads. I sincerely doubt that Zophres, who's a genius, had to wrack her brain too much on this project and if you're going to honor a splashy love letter to Hollywood, why not recognize the outsized and endlessly creative ensembles of Hail, Caesar!, which — wouldn't you know? — were also crafted by Zophres! La La Land was obviously not going to miss out on this nod, but in a year with Caesar and equally worthy peripheral contenders like The HandmaidenSing StreetKubo and the Two Strings, and Captain Fantastic, it just feels increasingly unnecessary.

How about you readers?


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Reader Comments (72)

My big snubs were in supporting actor where it was more fluid for an upset no Trevante Rhodes for Moonlight and no Fiennes especially as they really own him a 2nd nomination by now.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

Joel Edgerton for best actor. He should've been nom'ed.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterErik

I could honestly do without the Jeff Bridges. It's basically the same schtick as in True Grit.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterIan

I'll echo the La La Land Sound and Costume nominations. I liked the movie, certainly not as much as others, but it was good, and I don't begrudge its front-runner status. But there were better choices in these categories. This was lazy sweeponomics.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

I have no idea what Deborah is trying to say. Is she saying Mel Gibson shouldn't be nominated because of his controversial comments in the past? Regardless of the film quality?

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTim

I agree with the previous posters here, but I was also hoping for a Pablo Larrain nomination for Jackie. To see Gibson nominated instead was just revolting.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Biggest snub: Bening, of course

Biggest annoyance: I agree with Chris. Hell or High Water is overrated, and if anyone was nominated, it should have been Foster.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChris K

Why is La La Land nominated for Best Original Screenplay? SERIOUSLY?

Bridges over Foster? Whatever.

Best Actress and Supporting Actress could have so much more exciting without Streep and Fraud.


January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

(Clearly I'm in denial about H...... R.....)

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Omission - Since Negga is in, Edgerton.

Mystifying - Passengers

Annoying -- Colleen Atwood. I thought we were having a break

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I was really hoping Maren Ade could get a surprise screenplay nomination, but that was wishful thinking, so, of course it's Bening.

For you all dreading Mel Gibson: as a hater of the person and an admirer of this particular movie, I have to invoke the Roman Polanski rule. If you're ok with a nomination and a win for the rapist of a 13yo, you can't complain now. Remember people, to separate people and their art.

(Strangely, where's the outrage for this Affleck nomination, too? Saying racist and homophobic is terrible, but sexual abuse is much worse in my book).

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Sad about these snubs:
"The Dressmaker" in Best Costume Design
"Sing Street" for Best Original Song ("Drive It Like You Stole It")
Taraji P. Henson for Best Actress ("Hidden Figures")

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P.

Most upsetting omission: Colin Farrell. We're simply not looking back on this list in 10 years time and thinking Garfield or Gosling deserved it more.

Most mystifying inclusion: Arrival in Best Picture. It feels like it only gets in there with across the board support which it just doesn't seem to have, so mystifying it showed up with a limited tally.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobUK

1) "La La Land" felt like a Coca Cola superbowl advertisement to me. So safe and marketed, it hurts my eyes to see it nom'd for 14 Oscars... I only think it deserves, maybe, one for Stone and certainly one at cinematography and another at song. Nothing else.

2) I know what I said, but I also said "Deadpool" likely wouldn't happen, but I think it may have been closer than expected. Zero noms for the film that shook the industry and had overwhelming success on all levels, is heartbreaking... not even Sound or Make Up. Despite showing up at key precursors, it probably was close but not enough here and there. I know, many signs of relief, this morning.

3) "Sausage Party" would have been a great nominee at Animated Feature, but it really deserved another nom for Alan Menken at Original Song. They DID nominate "The Lego Movie", "Ted" and "South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut" at Original Song... however, it has followed the steps of another satire about religion, "Monty Python's Life of Brian", whose "Always look at the bright side of life" didn't even get the nom, despite being one of the most iconic and recognisable movie songs of all time.

4) Amy Adams out despite two Award-calibre performances in two Best Picture contenders? She really cancelled herself out.

5) Sorry, having Gosling over Reynolds is picking the wrong Ryan, in 2016. Gosling was fine, but apart from singing and dancing, he didn't do anything specially challenging in La La Land (Stone is another story). Parts of the film, I felt Gosling was sleepwalking through it.

6) Really happy for Huppert, even if I haven't seen the film. It's so difficult to get nom'd for a non english-speaking role, that every time it happens it's something to be rooting for (even if the nominee and eventual winner is named Roberto and enjoys leaping).

7) The nominations are SOOOOO safe. 9 Best Picture nominees and the only one that looks a really challenging project, is Arrival. Hidden Figures, Fences and Lion are the usual Oscar fare. Hacksaw Ridge is the epic war film the Academy loves to nominate (they even did it with Letters from Iwo Jima even being shot in japanese!), Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight are the indie critical darlings that almost no one can hate, La La Land is the kind of project that was hyped for Oscar love even when announced with a love-letter to film and L.A. therefore a direct shot at the Academy's heart, and Hell or High Water is kind of the "flavor of the year"/"discovery" factored by the weigh of an Academy darling that carries the whole thing through the awards season till the final shot. Films like "Nocturnal Animals", "Deadpool", "Toni Erdmann", "Elle", "Zootopia", that offered a different flavor either erased from the list or relegated.

8) La La Land up for Original Screenplay. Sigh. Double sigh.

9) With these nominations I dream of a Moonlight clean sweep that won't happen.

10) La La Land I think is taking Picture, Director, Actress, Score, Song, Film Editing, Sound Editing, Cinematography, and... that's it. 8 wins out of 14 noms. Affleck is taking Gosling's, Original is for Manchester by the Sea, Sound Mixing for Hacksaw Ridge, and Production Design and Costume for Fantastic Beasts probably.

That's all for now.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

Peggy Sue -- "I THOUGHT WE WERE HAVING A BREAK" - this exactly! So over Atwood lately. It's the same shtick all the time (well, i shouldn't say that. I didn't see fantastic beasts but i'm betting it's not much different than her usual.

January 24, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'll echo George's first two snubs: THE DRESSMAKER and SING STREET'S song make me the saddest. Otherwise, I'm generally okay with most of the nominations. Obviously Garfield should've been nominated for SILENCE but tomato TOMAHTO.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Upset about the Hugh Grant snub.

Very happy about the Passengers production design nom.

And also very happy about the Fences best picture nom. I has predicted Nocturnal Animals and not Fences. I did have a slight hope that Denzel would get three noms but two is a ok. Am I the only one who still has hope that he will upset Affleck in best actor?

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

cal roth - Gibson, of course, has also been accused of abusing women, to the point that he pled no contest to a battery charge against his ex-girlfriend.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Never liked Mel Gibson as an actor and even less as a director. But if Hollywood wants him back, they'll have to deal with him, not me.

What does Bening have to do to win an Oscar around here? Any cancer movies on the horizon? ( I'm being snarky here but really, wtf?)

La La Land was fine, even great , but somehow I feel that 14 nominations is a bit much for a film that didn't excel in any of the tech categories. Anyways, I've said it before, Moonlight will win.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteradelutza

@ cal roth

But I hated Gibson's movie as a movie. The fact that he directed it is another issue altogether.

I've been picking at Affleck's awards run all season, too exhausted for outrage this morning. I'm also not totally thrilled with all the political views of Mortensen or Washington (much as I love their performances and Affleck's), so I would have no problem with a Gosling win in this category.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Ok, so we have two abusers, but only one of them get a pass? I haven't read anyone complaining about this Affleck nomination.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Saddest snub - Adams. Biggest question mark - Gibson. But pretty decent overall. A lot of my favorites got lots of love.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Saddest snubs for me were Annette and Amy. I wish Adam Driver had a shot for Paterson.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavid S.

Huppert and Negga elevate Best Actress so substantially I'll push through my grief over Bening who'll return again this year in a biopic. Hopefully her camp learns from the mistakes of this season.

The announcement presentation was lifeless.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Sorry, but Mel Gibson should not be denied a nomination because he can be an asshole. "Hacksaw Ridge" was flawed, but good work.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMark F.

Chris i couldnt agree more with you! Its so sad, amy could have been nominated for both nocturnal animals and arrival.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArghavan

Annette Bening should already have two Oscars. For The Grifters and Bugsy. Just saying... :-)

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I would argue that Redmayne's coat in Fantastic Beasts is already kind of iconic.

My heart breaks for no Sing Street. It would have been even better if TWO musicals were nominated in the same year.

La La Land's script is easily the weakest component.

How did a movie about costume making miss on Costume Design. I will just frame some pictures of Winslet in couture and hang them in my house.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

"Saying racist and homophobic is terrible, but sexual abuse is much worse in my book."

I'm curious how you rank one being worse than the other? Second, why does it need to be a competition anyways? Casey and Mel (and Roman too) are scumbags regardless.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

I've never really gotten a lot of La La Land's below the line nods, or screenplay, but the cinematography nod is just mystifying. And I really wish Hacksaw Ridge hadn't been there, if only because it feels like it stole all of Silence's heat.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

I wonder if the telecast will have all the songs this year. The Empty Chair is obscure but Sting performs it. Not as telecast friendly as a Pharrell nomination would have been but we shall see.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

I saw Moonlight why was Ali singled out and not Rhodes talk about being the beating heart of a movie,Harris was miscast,very shaky performance,she never sold the history.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

What omission in this morning nominations most upset you? Annette Bening. I haven't been this upset about a snub since Joan Allen for The Upside of Anger. Other distressing omissions: Zootopia missing for Original Screenplay & Sing Street missing in Original Song.

Which nomination do you find most mystifying? Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge. That accent work in Silence was meh, but otherwise he was much more disciplined with Scorsese guiding him.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Omissions: Amy Adams, Annette Bening, anything for Deadpool (dammit, I loved this movie)

Mystifying: La La Land for Screenplay--what the what? And I loved this movie too
Michelle Williams--knew this would happen, but not worthy
Jeff Bridges--nah, not for this

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Worst snub: Annette Benning, Amy Adams

Worst inclusion: Andrew Garfield, Mel Gibson

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNico

Biggest Snub: Amy Adams or Martin Scorsese. I feel like both of these are going to age well even in their esteemed filmographies.

Most Mystifying: Surely Gibson-I mean, why? He even already has an Oscar (for a better movie!) so it's not "it's time" sort of stuff. Is he really that personally popular? Did we need a war movie to counteract La La Land? Scorsese, Davis, Melfi-anyone else would have felt better.

I also don't get the Michael Shannon stuff, but he made ten movies this year (literally) so it's hard not to at least applaud stamina there.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

My only problem with Mel Gibson being embraced by Hollywood again is that Hollywood embraced him with Hacksaw Ridge - a piss-poor movie.
One should always separate art and artist - I'm not upset about what he's done or said, quite frankly - but I'm upset about him making a shitty movie and being honored for it.
Only if he makes another Apocalypto
I'm ok with him being forgiven for Hacksaw Ridge.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterulrich

Garfield is getting one of those make up nods the kind Hawkins got in 2013.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMARKGORDONUK

The difference is- Gibson offended men, so people are upset that he was forgiving. Affleck and Polanski offended women. Since women don't matter, they were ever punished to begin with (Gibson was, for a while).

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Worst snub: Hugh Grant
Worst inclusion: Jeff Bridges or Andrew Garfield

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I agree Cal Roth- people being offended about Gibson but being totally ok with Polanski getting a standing ovation when she was being awarded Best Director is hypocritical to say the least.

Polanski, who drugged, raped and sodomized a 13 year old girl and has been escaping justice ever since.

And turning a blind eye to Casey Affleck.


And yes, La La Land getting a screenplay nod is pathetic.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

This thread is intended to discuss surprises and snubs from this morning's Oscar nominations. It wasn't intended to discuss the 2002 Oscar ceremony. As for Casey Affleck's nomination, I doubt people were surprised by that.

"The difference is- Gibson offended men, so people are upset that he was forgiving."

I am a woman, and I am offended by Gibson's behavior. I think plenty of women are offended by racism, anti-Semitism, misogyny and homophobia.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

@RobUK - I'm confused that you're confused about Arrival in Best Picture. You're saying it doesn't have across the board support but it has 8 noms, tied for second most. That seems like broad support.

@Amanda - but people DID have an issue with Polanski's tribune and standing O. There was a lot of talk about it at the time.

Also bummed about Fiennes and Rhodes getting ignored.

I also wonder why Farrell and Pine didn't campaign for themselves more? With such a weird, weak year for Best Actor, just putting themselves out there more could've worked.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Keaton The Founder...So under the radar and abandoned by Miramax

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDO

Suzanne, I'm also a woman who is offended by anti-semitism, homophobia, racism, etc. but I'm also offended by double standards.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I was sad to see Joel Edgerton's sweet and nuanced performance in Loving get ignored. I think Ryan Gosling and Andrew Garfield are terrific in their films, but I would put Edgerton in a five before them. Gosling's nom just feels like another way for the academy to say how much they loved La La Land.

The Annette Bening and Amy Adams snubs are devastating. I think Streep's performance in Florence Foster Jenkins is one of her better performances in recent years, but I think we could have made some room for Bening for her work that should arguably give her a win. Streep didn't campaign for this film; I don't she would have cared if she got a nomination or not.

WHY WAS MOLLY SHANNON NOT A BIGGER DEAL THIS AWARDS SEASON! She gives the performance of the year and she only has an Indie Spirit Nomination to show for it! I love all of the performances in this category so it is hard to say who I would take out to give Shannon the spot, but it should be said that Molly Shannon was very deserving of a nomination this year for her hilarious and heartbreaking work in Other People.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJ

No omission upset me since I knew nothing was likely to happen for my favorites that I expected would be ignored (Ehrenreich, The Childhood of a Leader - even when it comes to Sing Street's songs I prefer Up to Drive It Like You Stole It).

As far as most mystifying, I very much relate to Chris' point (I love Jeff Bridges, but I don't get the love for that performance), but nothing seemed truly shocking to me.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

@markgordon - you may never see this, but, just in case...

Fiennes does have two nominations - Supporting in 1993 for Schindler's List and Lead in 1996 for The English Patient. Still, I've got to believe he's deserved at least one since then. I would have loved to have seen him up for In Bruges. And, though I haven't seen A Bigger Splash, I've heard he's great in it, and I happen to think he delivered another nom-worthy performance this year in Hail, Caesar! Oh, would that it were so simple.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergwynn1984

Biggest snubs would be Annette Bening and Hugh Grant.

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Happiest about the big tally for MOONLIGHT -- i was secretly fearing Jenkins would get left off the director list

Thrilled about Ruth Negga -- but LOVING not getting best picture, director or screenplay, or a nom for Joel Edgerton are the big disappointments for me

Happy for Mike Mills/20TH CENTURY in screenplay -- and I share the collective disappointment for La Bening

Happy for HIDDEN FIGURES in screenplay, pic and supporting actress -- I'd have nominated Taraji for best actress (over Streep, tho I love her in FFJ)

Disappointed JACKIE didn't get a screenplay nod -- the writing was so smart and unconventional, more like a conceptual art piece than a biopic-narrative

Completely confounded by the deep love for MANCHESTER -- I'm officially rooting for Ryan Gosling in LALA LAND for best actor

January 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

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