The ad above shows Jimmy Kimmel explaining to us what it takes to win an Oscar. He’s hosting the show this Sunday for the first time and I’m sure he’ll deliver a solid performance. That’s what the Academy seems to be aiming for this year – I don’t think anyone’s eyebrows were raised at the news, there’s nothing surprising or controversial about it, but we can probably all agree it’s a competent, good choice. Anyway, most of the controversy will likely come from the winners themselves, many of which are certain to attack the Trump regime with everything they’ve got. I hope they do.
And now the nominations:
* Live Action Short – Ennemis Intérieurs. An interview at a police station in the 1990s becomes an opportunity to take a closer look at France’s troubled colonial history.
* Animated Short – Piper. Charming, beautifully made little film from Pixar; this was the short attached to Finding Dory last summer.
* Documentary Short – Extremis. A film that follows patients that are near death and what that means for their families and doctors.
* Sound Editing – Hacksaw Ridge. This is the category that rewards the creation of sound effects in a film. The award often goes to war movies and action flicks.
* Sound Mixing – La La Land. This is the category that rewards how sound effects, dialogue and music are mixed in a film. The hit musical was a pleasure in this department.
* Makeup and Hairstyling – Star Trek Beyond presented a real challenge to its makeup department: Find a unique look for 56 different alien species.
* Visual Effects – The Jungle Book took us deep into a jungle full of talking animals even though they only existed in computers.
* Original Song – “City of Stars” by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul from La La Land.
* Original Score – Justin Hurwitz will win for La La Land.
* Production Design – La La Land.
* Foreign Language Film – I wouldn’t dismiss Germany’s Toni Erdmann too easily, but this category has become very political thanks to Trump’s moronic travel ban, which makes Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian drama The Salesman a likelier winner.
* Documentary Feature – O.J. Made in America was just a stunning piece of film. Or miniseries.
* Animated Feature – Zootopia. Although why this seems like such a given choice I have no idea. Moana and Kubo and the Two Strings were also wonderful achievements. And so was Finding Dory, which failed to get a nomination.
* Cinematography – I’m Swedish so it brings me pride and joy to say that Linus Sandgren will win for his extraordinary work on La La Land.
* Adapted Screenplay – Moonlight. Barry Jenkins took an unproduced play by Tarell Alvin McCraney and added his personal experiences from growing up in the same place, with stunning results.
* Original Screenplay – Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea.
* Supporting Actor – Mahershala Ali, Moonlight.
* Supporting Actress – This is the year when we reward veteran actress Viola Davis. The film is Fences.
* Actress – Emma Stone, La La Land.
* Actor – One of the evening’s toughest choices. It’s down to Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea and Denzel Washington in Fences. I’m going to have to go with the latter because it feels like he’s got the momentum after his Screen Actors Guild Awards win.
* Director – Damien Chazelle, La La Land.
* Picture – La La Land deserves to win. And it will.