Ah, the 2010s. Social media made anxiety the norm and Americans became obsessed with “red states” and “blue states.” Americans fetishized politicians and the Academy decided that it would be cool to do away with the idea of having a set number of best picture winners. One bright spot, for me at least: Arleigh invited me to write for this site! And the rest, as they say, is history!
I have to admit that I don’t agree with any of the Academy’s choices for Best Picture during this decade but I do appreciate a good deal of their nominations.
- The Academy Nominates Black Swan For Best Picture
This is still one of my favorite nominations and again, this is one of those films that probably never would have been nominated during the previous century. In 2010, it not only picked up a Best Picture nomination but it also won Natalie Portman the Oscar for Best Actress.
2. The Academy Nominates Mad Max: Fury Road
Again, this is another film that probably wouldn’t have been nominated during the previous century, just because of its genre and its status as being a sequel. However, it full deserved to be nominated and it was nice to see the Academy embrace it. Remember when, at the start of the ceremony, it won all of those technical awards and it looked like Mad Max: Fury Road might actually go all the way? We were so excited! Of course, then Spotlight won.
3. The Academy Nominates Boyhood and Richard Linklater
It took the Academy long enough to show some respect to one of the most important indie filmmakers of the past few decades! Unfortunately, neither Linklater nor his film won. How Birdman was selected over Boyhood, I’ll never know. But, at least it was nominated.
4. The Academy Nominates Michael Keaton For Best Actor
I may not have liked Birdman overall but I do think that Michael Keaton gave a wonderful performance and, by nominating him, the Academy reminded people of just how good (and underrated) an actor Keaton truly was. Now, Keaton is one of our busiest character actors and I don’t think anyone would have expected that, pre-Birdman and the Academy.
5. The Academy Nominates Bruce Dern For Best Actor
Like Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern is a good but underrated actor. The Academy nominating him for Nebraska reminded people of that. It’s just a shame he didn’t win because, if anyone was going to give a memorable acceptance speech, it would have been Bruce Dern.
6. J.K. Simmons Wins Best Supporting Actor For Whiplash
“Not my tempo.” Agck! That line still gives me nightmares. Still, this was one of the most deserved Oscars of the 2010s and J.K. Simmons gave a wonderfully sincere acceptance speech. I always love seeing a good character actor get some recognition.
Well, that’s it. Will the Academy get six things correct tonight? They’ve already gotten 8 incorrect as a result of moving those 8 categories off of the live show. Still, even when they screw up, I always have hope that the Academy will learn from their mistakes. I’m an optimist.
We’ll see what happens! Enjoy the show!
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