the indie revolution, incomprehensible rejections of directors and other great surprises and disappointments in Hollywood award nominations

One more year, the awards season is heading to its final stretch after the HFPA delivered some bland Golden Globes and, what is more important, after the announcement of the nominations for the 95th Oscar delivery ceremony; a list of candidates that, as a general rule, never tends to please everyone, but that this year has left the moviegoing community somewhat more stupefied than usual.

There is no doubt that the 2022 film year has left us a truly spectacular harvest, which, added to the peculiar decisions of the members of the Hollywood Academy, has translated in a string of absences, incomprehensible rejections and various surprises —for better and for worse— which I invite you to review below.

A little pasta… is it enough?

A simple glance over the candidates to win the Oscar at the gala on March 13 makes two proper names appear in my brain almost automatically. These are none other than those of James Cameron and Joseph Kosinskiresponsible for ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’ and ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, the two highest-grossing films of 2022 whose top managers have been left without a nomination in the category of best direction.

Oscar 2023: where to watch streaming 'Everything at once everywhere', 'All quiet in front' and all the films nominated for the most important event of the awards season

Needless to say, the commercial success of a feature film by no means warrants academia recognition, but in the case of Cameron and Kosinski, His achievements at the cinematographic level are more than evident and enough to have been among the nominees. Of course, I don’t quite see a place for Colin Trevorrow, Sam Raimi and Ryan Coogler —three of last year’s highest-grossing filmmakers—, although It would not have been out of place in the least to see Matt Reeves on the list.

What about ‘The Batman’?

Since we are talking about Reeves, it is de rigueur to stop for a moment in what, from my point of view, is one of the great injustices on the list of nominations, and this is none other than the poor reception of ‘The Batman’ by part of some academics who They have only made her compete for the Oscars for the best makeup and hairstyling, the best sound and the best visual effectsunleashing the wrath of the fandom on social networks.

It would not have been unreasonable to have seen the fantastic adventure of the Batman compete in categories such as editing, music —Giacchino’s work is tremendous—, production design and, above all, photography directiondepartment in which Greig Fraser has shone again after dazzling half the world —and lifting the Oscar— with his enormous work in ‘Dune’.

Telita with the photo…

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Those of you who read us regularly are probably aware of my particular obsession with cinematography, and this year I can’t help but be surprised by the huge —giant— absences among the nominated DOPs, starting with the aforementioned Greig Fraser, whose work on ‘The Batman’ has been included among the candidates to win the ASC award —The Cinematographers Union.

Another of the forgotten that has been recognized by the ASC has been claudio miranda, responsible for the photography of ‘Top Gun: Maverick’; a titanic production at a technical and logistical level that, without a doubt, has resulted in one of the most memorable shows that have gone through the big screen in recent years —seeing it in IMAX is an unforgettable experience.

Neither "dark" neither "blurred": why 'The Batman' has one of the most extraordinary directions of photography in recent years

But this is not all, because names like those of Russell Carpenterwho has revolutionized underwater photography with ‘Avatar: The Sense of Water’; Hoyte Van Hoytemawho has marked a before and after in night photography —during the day, yes— with his impressive ‘Nope’; chase irvin, whose ‘Blonde’ is one of the most visually stimulating titles; either Mathias Boucardresponsible for an ‘Athena’ that has gone unjustly without pain or glory.

The Park thing

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Nor would it have been out of place in the least to include Kim Ji-yong among the nominees for Best Cinematography in recognition of his splendid work on a ‘Decision to Leave’ undoubtedly deserving of a fair number of accolades but absurdly ignored by the Academy —it is seen that they fulfilled a South Korean quota with ‘Parasites’—.

the latest the teacher Park Chan-wook hasn’t had a single spot on the nomination list, being able to have scratched a nomination without any problem in categories such as best international film, best direction and, even, best film. One of the most disappointing absences on the non-English-speaking scene —like having ‘RRR’ only compete for the Oscar for best song.

The two great none

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It is not necessary to emphasize that the opinions expressed in this text are the result of personal tastes and preferences, but I think it is difficult not to agree that ‘Babylon’ deserved much more than those three sad nominations —very well deserved, yes— for best design. of production, the best costumes and the best music —which should be taken, everything is said. the tape Damien Chazelle deserved much more, including nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Editing and, why not, some of the big prizes of the night.

But the case of ‘Babylon’ is small when we compare it with the great ninguneo of the selection. I am referring to ‘The Menu’, the fantastic film by Mark Mylod that has gone completely empty after receiving two fair Golden Globe nominations for the two stars of the feature Anya Taylor-Joy and Ralph Fiennesand that could have appeared in the categories of script and, why not, direction or editing.

not everything is complaining

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Before putting this tantrum on track, I am going to bring out my optimistic side and celebrate some pleasant surprises that this pre-Oscar 2023 leaves us, starting with the triumph of ‘Everything at once everywhere’, which has crowned the top of nominations with a whopping 11 nominations —including those of Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan. Along with it, it is worth noting the surprise that ‘All Quiet on the Front’ has given with its 9 applications.

“Our first movie is about a farting corpse, selling this one was pretty easy.”  Daniels ('Everything at Once Everywhere')

Also, I can’t ignore the success of ‘Inisherin’s Banshee’ —one of the great films of the year— and, especially, the nomination for Ana de Armas as best leading actress for her extremely complicated role as Marilyn Monroe in a ‘Blonde’ that could well be added to the list of the most incomprehensible ninguneos.

The jackpot

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As regards the award for best film, there is no doubt that the Academy has chosen to play it safe and leave little – very little – room for surprise, except for a ‘The triangle of sadness’ that, unexpectedly , makes a triplet by also opting for the best direction and the best original screenplay. Nevertheless, a bit of risk has been missing and the presence of titles such as ‘Babylon’, ‘Athena’, ‘The Whale’ or ‘Aftersun’.

The absurdity of the distribution of nominees

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And, finally, I cannot help pointing out the absurdity of some distribution strategies in the middle of 2023. In the era of immediacy and hyperconnection, nominated titles such as ‘The Fabelmans’ by Steven Spielberg, ‘Almas en banshee of Inisherin’ by Martin McDonagh or ‘The Triangle of Sadness’ by Ruben Ostlund —to give a few examples— continue unpublished in our country, being accessible by “alternative routes” due to the tremendous delay compared to their original releases.

I think it’s time to rethink whether extending the release of Oscar-winning titles until a few weeks before the awards ceremony is still a sufficiently beneficial strategy today. Of course, a glance at FilmTwitter already lets us see that there is a huge number of pro moviegoers with more than argued opinions about the merits of tapes like the ones mentioned. Curious, to say the least.