As a movie-buff, pop-culture trivia queen, celebrity-idolizer and cinematic arts fanatic, the Oscars are the highlight of my award season binge. So of course, I should have been thrilled when the nominations for the 2017 Academy Awards were finally revealed on Jan. 24. Well, I was glad to finally know which actors, actresses, screenwriters, editors and films were nominated, but some of the choices left me dismayed while others left me delighted.
Just like every year's nominations, there were snubs and surprises. To my dismay, "Deadpool" was not nominated as one of the best pictures of the year -- and there are nine nominees in a category that can have up to 10.
Sure, "Arrival," "Fences," Hacksaw Ridge," "Hell or High Water," "Hidden Figures," "La La Land," "Lion," "Manchester by the Sea" and "Moonlight" are fantastic movies but they are all quite serious and sobering.
"La La Land" and "Hidden Figures" might have had some light-hearted moments in them but neither can tout themselves as a comedy the way "Deadpool" can. When I put on my X-ray glasses and dug into my buttery popcorn at the movie theatre last year to watch it, I was instantly hooked on the hilarious, action-packed and satirically meta film that starred Ryan Reynolds, who had spent years trying to get it made. But the Academy has a history of snubbing comedies. I mean, isn't the entire point of movies to entertain us? And "Deadpool" did certainly entertain.
Well, although some of the nine movies nominated for Best Picture this year do have entertaining moments, they mostly make us want to cry -- and not the tears of laughter kind I do enjoy so much.
The Academy focuses too much on stoic, gripping performances and dark, soul-crushing movies over the ones that bring us joy, laughter and nostalgia -- the bedrock of happiness. I believe comedic performances are just as hard to pull off as dramatic performances and I hope that next year, more comedies will be recognized.
Also to my dismay, Meryl Streep was nominated for her 20th Academy Award for her role as a naive socialite and aspiring opera singer in "Florence Foster Jenkins." Although this is a sweet, whimsical movie, with a script and acting performances ripe for Oscar love, Streep has already won three Oscars.
Her role in this movie is not so astounding that she deserves another one. Don't get me wrong, I do believe Streep is one of the best actresses of our time and she has made her mark in cinema, but she's gotten her dues. It's time for other actresses such as Amy Adams, who has been nominated five times but has never won, to be recognized.
Much to my dismay, Adams was snubbed for her roles in "Arrival" and "Nocturnal Animals" -- two incredibly different but breathtaking roles, either of which should have earned her a nomination. Speaking of "Nocturnal Animals," I'm incredibly shocked that Aaron Taylor Johnson did not receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a East Texan psychopath, especially after winning the Golden Globe for the same performance. I thought his nomination and eventual Oscar win were set in stone but apparently I was wrong.
But the nominations have not brought only dismay. To my delight, actors and actresses of different ethnicities and backgrounds were recognized for their performances, which is especially remarkable considering the reputation-damaging OscarsSoWhite hashtag that trended after last year's lack of diverse nominees.
This year, Ethiopian actress Ruth Negga was nominated for Best Actress for "Loving," black actor Mahershala Ali was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for "Moonlight," Indian actor Dev Patel was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for "Lion," black actress Octavia Spencer was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in "Hidden Figures" and black actress Viola Davis was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for "Fences" -- breaking a record as the third black woman to receive three Oscar nominations.
Now I know you might be wondering: Who cares who gets nominated? It's just a silly award show with silly actors. Well truthfully, it is all pretty silly but my 16-year-old-self as the lead in "Go Ask Alice" my junior year of high school and my delusions of grandeur of winning an Oscar one day, finds it quite serious -- yes, I was one of those kids who practiced my Oscar acceptance speech in my bathroom with my Barbie toothbrush as my makeshift microphone.
And who gets nominated reveals which films Hollywood believes truly are the crème de la crème. So if these serious, sad-sac movies are the ones that constantly get nominated and win, then these are the types of movies that are going to continuously be thrust out into the viewing world.
Personally, I could do with a little more laughter and a little less tear-jerking in my Oscar nominations. But there is nothing I can do to change them. All that's left is to see who will win them. I for one, can't wait to watch the 89th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, and see which winners dismay me and which ones delight.