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.
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?
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.