By Kelsey Duchesne
For pop-culture enthusiasts like myself, this morning began with the ultimate golden nugget: The Academy released the 2017 nominations. While there is plenty to question and speculate when it comes to the Academy’s choices (and let’s not forget #oscarssowhite 2016), I couldn’t help but gather up my fellow media-crazed cronies and review the categories one by one. We laughed. We cried (I cried). We fought a lot, and then playfully laughed it off because a.) we love each other and b.) we’re together 40+ hours a week-- compromises must be made. Now that the dust has settled, I present to you the THINX Oscar Nomination review, featuring the good, bad, and the depending on who you ask.
Image © Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER…
For the first time ever, 3 black nominees have been featured in an Academy Award category. We’re not sayin’ the Academy deserves a medal for acknowledging that 3 stellar performances deserved to be recognized, but it is a step in the right direction. Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) and Viola Davis (Fences) will all be contenders for the Best Supporting Actress category, and coincidently, are all perfect people (I can point you to the best moments/interviews if need be-hmu!).
DEV PATEL IS BACK, BABY.
Remember when Dev Patel was everywhere in the 2008 award season for Slumdog Millionaire….and then was gone, without a trace (technically The Newsroom)? Well Dev Patel is BACK, my friends, gracing our award season once again, and this time, nominated for his very first Academy Award. The ever charming Patel has already assisted in one of the cutest moments of the award season, and his film Lion is a must-see. Congratulations, Patel, and welcome back! We missed you very much.
13th HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY
Directed by Ava DuVernay, 13th was a popular documentary on Netflix this year (& is still there! Watch before award season!) that explored the modern day prison system and it’s connection to America’s history with racial inequality. One THINX team member mentioned he was most pleased to see this film on the Academy Award list, and was so dang eloquent and concise in his explanation that I’m straight-up quoting him.
"Understanding the transition from slavery to mass incarceration is essential when discussing the movement for Black lives, and 13th packages America's dark history into an educational experience with revolutionary potential." Amen. Go watch this doc thank you!
MOONLIGHT MOONLIGHT MOONLIGHT
A small budget, a compelling script, beautiful direction, and heartbreaking performances are just several characteristics that made up Moonlight, and doesn’t begin to do the film justice. Everyone on team THINX agreed that the film deserves it’s 8 Oscar nominations, and we greatly hope that it will win best picture, as it did at the Golden Globes (note: this will be one of the very few things we will agree upon, so let’s soak this in).
CASEY AFFLECK & MEL GIBSON ARE NOMINATED-- WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING? PLEASE STOP.
We’re disappointed, but not entirely surprised that the Academy has nominated Casey Affleck for best actor and Mel Gibson for best director. To quickly recap-- Casey Affleck has been accused of sexual assault by 2 women (one who said working with him was “the most traumatizing of her career”), settled quietly out of court, and refuses to talk about it. We have a lot of thoughts (like, please stop seeing movies that star men accused of rape and sexual assault), and you can read them here and here. Gibson, as we all know, has said (a lot) of deeply troubling sexist and anti-semitic rhetoric, and has been trying to crawl back into the public's good graces ever since (it might work on the Academy, but not ever/no thank you/bye).
WHERE ARE JANELLE MONAE & TARAJI P HENSON??
Octavia Spencer has been nominated for Hidden Figures, and it’s certainly well deserved. Our only question...where was the nom for Janelle & Taraji, who were also excellent?! Monáe, while also appearing in Moonlight this year, is relatively new to the scene, but we couldn’t help but be a little bummed she wasn’t sitting beside Spencer in the Best Supporting Actress category.
THE ACADEMY AWARD NEEDS TO LEAVE AMY ADAMS ALONE
We’re starting to kinda feel for Amy Adams. Adams has been nominated for an Oscar 5 times and has never won the award (which we know isn’t one of life's big problems, but to get your stomach all in knots waiting for your name to be called five times must take it’s toll). This year, Adams was listed on the Best Actress In A Leading Role nominations, only to be taken down and replaced by Ruth Negga for Loving. It’s an embarrassing flub by the Academy Awards, and while Negga is very clearly deserving of the nomination, we’re sure that had to be a bit of a sting for Adams. TLDR; can the Academy just leave Amy Adams alone?
LA LA LAND
I’m going to be real with you, reader-- Team THINX is very much split on La La Land. Some of us have seen it multiple times in theaters, have (almost) every song memorized, and just can’t get over that tap dance routine. Some of us are refusing to see it because they don’t like the subway ads, and/or they don’t need to see another film where two white people fall in love and become rich and successful in the rolling hills of Los Angeles (there are many many movies like that, so #fair). Some have not seen it, and after all the hoopla in Hollywood and THINX HQ surrounding it, do not have a desire to. So we’re split, and that’s okay! At the end of the day, we all still walk to the subway together (this is genuinely true).
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING IS NOMINATED FOR BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Maybe you liked Trolls, the movie. Maybe you LOVED the Justin Timberlake song, Can’t Stop The Feeling. I did not see the movie, and the song puts me in a mood my mom would describe as “sour”. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Trolls (the dolls). I went as a Troll for Halloween last year, and my hair was perfect because I spent way too much time/used 2 bottles of hairspray on it. But do I need Trolls on the big screen or the radio? No, I do not. This is an unpopular opinion-- I’m the only one at THINX HQ who feels this way...but I’m writing this piece, so my distaste for this peppy pop song that brings everyone so much joy makes the list. (Note: As I finish this paragraph, Cant Stop The Feeling is stuck in my head. So it goes).
PEARL IS NOMINATED FOR BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
A team member has said that the short film Pearl was “the best film he’s ever seen”, and literally no one else has seen it, so we can’t entirely believe his claims. While we assume its good--is it that good? We would all love any thoughts/opinions, so please feel free to share them!
This concludes our THINX Oscar nomination review. Thoughts? Questions? Heavy criticisms? Leave them in the comment section below!