Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Academy Awards recognize quality and diversity at the movies in 2016

Yesterday I told my readers to "stay tuned for my thoughts on the Oscar nominees" today.  I originally was planning on writing about what a good year 2016 was for good year for speculative fiction as reflected in the fifteen feature-length speculative fiction movies nominated at the Academy Awards, but I'm not feeling it today.  I'll save that discussion for my reflections on the People's Choice Awards winners and the Saturn Award nominees in the light of the Oscar winners and losers.  I think I'll have more insightful comments on the films after tonight's awards.

Instead, I'm going to contrast this year's acting nominees with last year's.  The 2016 nominees for acting prompted me to post Hollywood's diversity issues for MLK Day, while the run-up to this year's Oscars showed much more encouraging trends for recognition and inclusion that I noted in 'Hidden Figures' tops the box office for MLK Day plus diversity among Golden Globes winners and 'Hidden Figures' and 'Fences' had big nights at the SAG Awards.  ABC News reports on the differences between last year's nominees and this year's in Diversity is the winner at the 2017 Oscars.

The nominees at this year's awards show are more culturally and racially diverse than the previous year.
This year's nominees may not be perfect for recognizing both achievement and diversity, but it certainly is a big step in the right direction, and I'm all in favor of this kind of progress.*

As for which of the nominees mentioned above will win, I am outsourcing that to FiveThirtyEight.  The site's algorithm predicts Viola Davis will win for supporting actress, Mahershala Ali for supporting actor, and "O.J.: Made in America" for feature length documentary.  That last one is hardly a positive example of inclusion and diversity, but it is an example nonetheless.  It's also an example of a movie about Hollywood that Hollywood will vote for, which is why "La La Land" is a prohibitive favorite to win best picture.  At least "La La Land" won't be as bad a choice as "Birdman," which won two years ago for the same reason.  I couldn't finish watching it, while I loved "Boyhood."  I expect I'll enjoy "La La Land" almost as much as I did "Arrival" and will enjoy "Hidden Figures."

My long shot pick out of the nominees named in the video is Denzel Washington, who won the SAG Award, to upset Casey Affleck from "Manchester by the Sea."  Other than that, I expect a sweep of the rest of the top categories in which it's nominated for "La La Land."

I'll have more about the Oscar and Razzie winners beginning tomorrow, along with the best political and historical movies and TV shows of 2016 based on awards show nominations and wins later this week.  Stay tuned.

*I'd have preferred Amy Adams for her performance in either "Arrival" or "Nocturnal Animals" be among the nominees, but I can't have everything.  Some things are more important; note that I blogged about diversity today, not speculative fiction.


  1. the snubbing of Amy Adams remains a huge mystery. Is she personally unliked in Hollywood or something?

    1. She's quite liked, as she has been nominated multiple times and got to present on Sunday. I think she was the victim of her being in a science fiction movie, the outstanding performances of Ruth Negga and Isabelle Huppert, and Merle Streep's speech at the Golden Globes. I'm sure she'll be nominated again.

      As for me, I plan on voting for her at the Saturn Awards. She was clearly the best actress in a science fiction, fantasy, horror, or action movie.