By John H. Foote
Race? Misogyny? These are now being cited as the reasons Danielle Deadwyler in Till and Viola Davis in The Woman Kong were snubbed for Best Actress nominations when the Academy Award nominations were announced.
Are they kidding? I am so sick and tired of this ridiculous garbage.
How about the obvious answer: there were five performances the voters liked better!
There are five slots for Best Actress nominees, and this year was an uncommonly great year for women on screen. At least 15 potential nominees, but just five slots, so going in you know someone is going to be snubbed! Rather than celebrate the astounding year we had for female performances, focus is now on the two ladies snubbed, and the always handy cry being that is was racist or misogynistic.
Among the deserving nominees this year were Cate Blanchett in Tar, one of the finest performances ever captured on film, Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans, Ana de Armas in Blonde, Michelle Yeoh in Everything, Everywhere All at Once, Zoe Kazan in She Said, Davis in The Woman King, Deadwyler in Till, Olivia Colman in Empire of Light, Emma Thompson, luminous in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande and the list goes on. So, who do we snub, or better yet, who gets their nomination taken away?
Does anyone really think the first thought that comes to mind is “Let’s ignore the black actresses?” Seriously? Davis is among the most respect actors in movies today and has won an Oscar already. Of the performances deserving I would count hers the least of the lot. Deadwyler was terrific and deserved to be among the final five, but she wasn’t. She joins a long, LONG list of great performance back as far as Chaplin that were snubbed!
Get over it!
If they want to bitch about a snub how about Sarah Polley for Best Director for Women Talking! Now there you have a snub!
In 1974 the category for Best Supporting Actor was stuffed to the brim with outstanding performances. Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, John Cazale, Michael V. Gazzo and Lee Strasberg from The Godfather Part II, John Huston in Chinatown, Bruce Dern in The Great Gatsby, Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein, Jack Warden in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Cazale again in The Conversation, there were so many! When the nominations came out, De Niro (the eventual winner), Strasberg, and Gazzo were nominated from The Godfather Part II, Jeff Bridges from Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and Fred Astaire in The Towering Inferno filled out the final five.
So why not in a year such as this expand the category to seven or eight. All five of the actors from The Godfather Part II deserved to be in the final five, with Huston and Dern filling it out. They deserved to be the nominees so make them the nominees!
The Academy could easily have done that for the Best Actress category this year and we would be saved listening to another argument that it is all about race. If they are talking about Spike Lee, I would agree, but they are not.
Get over this … please.
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.