Academy Award Nominations 2017

2017-oscars-89th-academy-awardsToday, the Academy announced its 2017 Awards’ nominations. Many nominations were predictable, e.g., “La La Land”, while some omissions/inclusions were surprising. Here, I will briefly comment on 7 categories: (1) Best Picture; (2) Best Actress; (3) Best Actor; (4) Best Animation; (5) Best Foreign Language Film; (6) Best Documentary; and (7) Best Original Song.


  1. Best Picture
  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight

­­­­­­­­In my review of “La La Land”, I said how the movie (“La La Land”) was a perfect Academy Awards material, celebrating what is, in fact, Hollywood, well…even the Academy Awards itself.  So, it is no surprise to see so many (14!) nominations for the movie. That is, of course, on top of the fact that “La La Land” is truly an excellent movie in its own right. “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight” are predictable nominations, but, I think, that “Lion” was nominated on the strength of its story, rather than on the quality of the film per se. Going through the list I did not expect to see there “Nocturnal Animals”, and it was not included, but I think the movie was unjustly bypassed in some other categories, such as the Best Actor/Director/Score categories.

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  1. Best Actress
  • Isabelle Huppert (Elle)
  • Ruth Negga (Loving)
  • Natalie Portman (Jackie)
  • Emma Stone (La La Land)
  • Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

I am very happy to see Isabelle Huppert being nominated for “Elle” (see the review here); a well-deserved nomination for an emotionally exhausting and complex role. Huppert was mesmerising. I am also pleased to see Meryl Streep being nominated for “Florence Foster Jenkins” (see the review here), because Streep’s performance was very believable and memorable. Negga, Portman and Stone are more or less predictable, but where is Amy Adams for “Arrival”?

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  1. Best Actor
  • Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
  • Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
  • Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
  • Denzel Washington (Fences)

I am pleased to see Washington being nominated for “Fences”, but I am rooting for either Affleck or Garfield to win. Also, it is surprising to see no Tom Hanks here for “Sully”. Ok, the Academy may have been wrong not to nominate him for “Captain Phillips” (2014), but ignoring his performance in “Sully” now as well…

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  1. Best Animation
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini
  • The Red Turtle
  • Zootopia

What? No “Your Name”? Shinkai’s “Your Name” deserves not only an Oscar nomination, but also a win (see my review here). The fact that it was not even nominated is beyond belief and, frankly, criminal. Previously, the Academy was nominating Studio Ghibli’s “When Marnie Was There” (2014) and Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” (2014), so why not now recognise other (just as great) animation directors/writers working in Japan? Studio Ghibli’s “The Red Turtle” is a very strong contender in this category, and I think that “Zootopia” still has its flaws to come out a winner (see the short review here).

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  1. Best Foreign Language Film
  • A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • Tanna (Australia)
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Firstly, it is totally beyond belief and any concept of justice that Park Chan-wook’s “The Handmaiden” (see my review here) has not been chosen as an official selection by South Korea for the Academy’s consideration. “The Handmaiden” is a “must-see” movie: stunningly beautiful, stylish and fiercely intelligent, which deserves worldwide recognition. It should have been not only selected, but nominated and, then, emerge as a winner (it is that good!). Ok, and now back to reality: the strongest in this category seems “The Salesman”, and, probably, it is the favourite to win. “Toni Erdmann” has already had its fare share of attention at numerous festivals around the world, including being nominated for the Palme d’Or at the last year’s Cannes Film Festival, and may be too “out-of-the-box” for the Academy “winner” preferences.

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  1. Best Documentary
  • Fire At Sea
  • I Am Not Your Negro
  • Life, Animated
  • OJ: Made in America
  • 13th

I am delighted to see “13th” being nominated in the category of “Best Documentary”. This documentary examines the roots of America’s mass incarceration by looking at the loopholes in America’s 13th Amendment of the Constitution which abolishes slavery. The documentary debates a very important issue, which often goes ignored, and raises some valid questions, such as why the land of freedom, which is the US, hosts 25% of the world prisoners or 2.3 million people? Also,  I also do not see why “Weiner” documentary was completely ignored, even though, arguably, it is no worse than “Life, Animated” – which was nominated. “Weiner” is a thought-provoking documentary about a former Congressman whose political career came under fire after he had sent some photos of himself online through Twitter. Politically important, “Weiner” documentary may not be to the taste of many, but it is still well done, and opens a new perspective on a current societal issue.

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  1. Best Original Song
  • La La Land – Audition by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • La La Land – City of Stars by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • Moana – How Far I’ll Go by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
  • Jim: The James Foley Story – The Empty Chair by J Ralph and Sting

Here, there are predictable (maybe a bit unfair) multiple nominations in the song department for “La La Land”, and a very surprising nomination for “The Empty Chair” song. However, the biggest snub here maybe no nomination for “Hidden Figures”, and, actually, there is not even any nomination in the best score department for “Hidden Figures”.

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As for other categories, I am glad to see “The Lobster” (see my review here) finally gaining some recognition as the film was nominated for theBest Original Screenplay” award, and am happy for Justin Hurwitz and his well-deserved nomination for the “Best Original Score” award in “La La Land”. On a sad note, more painful it is to accept that Hugh Grant was ignored and not recognised for his excellent performance in “Florence Foster Jenkins”, and that Martin Scorsese was not at least nominated for the “Best Director” award for his work on “Silence”. I think it would have meant at least something to him.

Overall, maybe it is just me, but the Academy Awards do get more predictable each year that comes, or maybe we just watch more movies and are more aware about too many films and their competition through online resources, etc.

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12 Responses to Academy Award Nominations 2017

  1. joliesattic says:

    Wow! I have some catching up to do. The only films I’ve seen are Lalaland, Arrival and Zootopia

  2. It’s so strange about Tom Hanks because a few minutes after the nominations he was listed on the Academy’s website! It’s a shame he didn’t get it though, and Amy Adams too! She was robbed 😦

    • dbmoviesblog says:

      Yes, and some US TV channel actually reported him and Adams as winners. It is funny about Adams and Hanks because I remember similar things happening to other actors, such as Fassbender,etc. but they were usually cast in some obscure or totally independent productions, and both Sully and Arrival are so down the Academy’s line of business.

  3. Here is my dilemma I love Huppert hoping she wins. Not too many French or foreign actresses wins this on. But I also love Natalie Portman and absolutely love Meryl Streep. May the best one win.

    • dbmoviesblog says:

      Partly, I share your dilemma. My favourite to win is Huppert, but I also love Streep. Everyone cries how Streep’s nomination is just a-tick-in-the-box, but I so disagree. Regardless of how many wins or nominations Streep had in the past, her performance in Florence was outstanding and deserves recognition.

  4. Florence Foster Jenkins is a remake from the french film titled Marguerite https://diversfilms.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/marguerite-2015/. By the way. Great film here Also so id the performance by the Catherine Frot.

    • dbmoviesblog says:

      I think it is very wrong to call Florence film “a remake” because it is so NOT. Florence film takes the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins, keeps much of the same characters, and presents its own view based on the historical facts, not on some French movie. Marguerite, on the other hand, draws only inspiration from the true story, and strangely distorts both true places and characters.

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