By John H. Foote

Noticeably absent this morning from the major Nominations was First Man, the dazzling Neil Armstrong biography directed by Oscar winner Damien Chazelle. I saw First Man at TIFF and adored it, believing it to be easily among year’s best three films and Damien Chazelle’s greatest accomplishment. Yet, it has been decidedly absent from the early critics’ awards, and now the Globes.

What does this mean for the film at the Oscars? Perhaps nothing, perhaps it is the nail in the coffin.

What else?

Both Rosamund Pike in A Private War and Nicole Kidman in Destroyer were nominated for Best Actress (Drama) which could and should bolster their Oscar chances. I cannot imagine why both are not shoo-ins?

The support for Black Panther all but seals the deal that it should be in the running for Best Picture. In fact, the support for African American films was substantial. Spike Lee finally got a Best Director nomination, his first in a nearly 30-year career.

Where is Ethan Hawke for First Reformed? Easily among the year’s best performances, Hawke was deserving and frankly was robbed.

Robbed too was Sam Elliott in A Star is Born, thought to be a slam dunk. I had hoped Daniel Kaluuya would have been nominated for Widows, for his dark turn as a vicious killer. However, everything about Widows was snubbed.

Bohemian Rhapsody seems a curious Best Picture Choice over First Man, a stupid choice really. The critical reception for Bohemian Rhapsody was middling at best, though star Rami Malek truly is terrific.

It seems bizarre that Clint Eastwood’s The Mule is not mentioned while we wait for an inclining of criticism about the film.

Mary Poppins Returns is the real thing it seems, and Emily Blunt seems Oscar-bound.

Things got a good shake up today. But it might be all for naught.

I will say this, an Oscar race without First Man just makes no sense…none. How can a film for the ages, truly a masterpiece, not be nominated?

Leave a comment