Oscar Bitchfest: Knegt v. Knott On The 10 Most Annoying Things About The Oscar Nominations

Oscar Bitchfest: Knegt v. Knott On The 10 Most Annoying Things About The Oscar Nominations

The Oscar nominations are out, and in a new edition of this series, Indiewire
senior writer Peter Knegt and regular columnist Matthew Hammett Knott are totally prepared to bitch about them. Here’s the 10 things that collectively annoyed them the most about this morning’s announcement:

No Oprah
Knott: Yep, I’m completely serious about this. There have only ever been two black actresses over the age of 50 nominated for an Oscar, which is a travesty in itself. A female character of that age who actually expresses her sex drive is a pretty rare occurrence in Hollywood – in an African American context, it’s almost unprecedented. And despite its flaws, “The Butler” is a rare populist film that offers a defiantly black political viewpoint. But let’s not get too serious. Why am I really disappointed? Because Noprah! Can you imagine her inspirational words of advice to young actresses on the red carpet? Her photo-ops with Lupita? Her face during Lupita’s victory speech?! I’m gutted.

No Sarah Polley!
Knegt: Whatever, I find it pretty hard to feel sorry for Oprah even if I clearly agree with you re: this kind of character being pretty unprecedented. And frankly, I’m starting to get frightened Lupita won’t even have a victory speech. Which would be disappointing, but not as disappointed as I already am that Sarah Polley won’t be up on that stage accepting an Oscar for the truly brilliant “Stories We Tell” because she wasn’t even nominated. Call out my desperate Canadian need for international representation that isn’t Rob Ford, but she surely would have gone about how great Canada is after offering a remarkably touching ode to her family that she portrayed in “Stories.” I was already prepared to excuse myself to sing ‘Oh Canada’ while sobbing privately in the bathroom afterwards.

No Emma!
Knott: And before we get off the subject of female nominees who’ve been shut out, let me mention poor Emma Thompson. In a category that ignores Adele Exarchopoulos and Paulina Garcia, it’s not about who’s “deserving” and who isn’t. But no role challenged female stereotypes more than Thompson’s as P.L. Travers. As Meryl Streep recently pointed out (at a point when a nomination for Thompson still seemed a safe bet), how often does Hollywood make films about middle-aged women where they aren’t defined as wife, mother or even love interest? Almost never. And if that’s not a reason to want Thompson at the ceremony, you only have to watch a few YouTube videos to know how much her presence can liven up an awards show.

No Tom!
Knegt: Alright, so Emma trumps him, but do you know who else livens up awards shows? Her “Banks” co-star Tom Hanks. Honestly, they would make a Tina and Amy-level pair of co-hosts if the Oscars ever decided to be creative with who they choose (no, James and Anne don’t count). And while I’m fine with his snub for “Banks,” he gave his best performance in years (ever?) in “Captain Phillips” but the Academy decided Christian Bale and his comb-over was more worthy. And yeah, I know Hanks already has two Oscars and like Oprah, it’s hard to feel sorry for him. But this was the year he reminded us all he still had talent! He needed the Academy’s encouragement so he wouldn’t go make “Larry Crowne 2.”

Jennifer Lawrence and Julia Roberts make the cut
Knott: Now that we’ve stood up for those poor sods who didn’t make it, let me explain why I can’t get excited about the Oscar nominations for Jennifer Lawrence and Julia Roberts in Best Supporting Actress. These are two A-list stars playing parts for which I could think of a dozen better-suited actors, getting rewarded for it and solidifying their place in the Hollywood firmament. Julia Roberts fitted in around that Oklahoma dinner table even less than Benedict Cumberbatch did. And I’m not saying Jennifer Lawrence didn’t do an excellent job with her role as a jaded, faded, jilted wife in “American Hustle”. My problem is more with the continued evidence that a) Hollywood will stretch to allow hot young white actresses to play any role they can possibly squeeze into, while doing the exact opposite for anyone who doesn’t fit that model (i.e. black actors, who get nominated for playing slaves and pirates) and b) David O. Russell has little to offer in his cinematic vision of womanhood beyond the depressing trifecta of virgin / mother / whore.

The continuing David O. Russell + Academy = true love 4evr.
Knegt: Speaking of David O. Russell, when will he ever learn if the Academy doesn’t stop throwing buckets of Oscar nominations at him for every single thing he does? I found “American Hustle” to be an even bigger mess than “Silver Linings Playbook” and am still beside myself at how many people clearly don’t agree with me with regard to either film. I can’t wait for next year when Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence both win Oscars for David O. Russell’s “Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence Take a Shit.”

Too much “Nebraska
Knott: Which will no doubt feature alongside whatever Alexander Payne turns out next. I’ve been told, as a non-American, that I just don’t get “Nebraska”. In which case, Americans, you’re welcome to it, and the career of Alexander Payne while you’re at it. I’m not going to snipe too hard about a film which a lot of people clearly love, although I have to say that the Cinematography nomination is, to my eye, totally baffling, and more informed by the prestige associations of black and white than any true assessment of the film’s visual qualities. Am I taking this too seriously again? Is it too mean-spirited to say that I thought June Squibb’s performance was better suited to a community theater stage than an Academy Award nomination? Then I’ll keep my mouth shut.

Too much “Dallas Buyers Club
Knegt: Aw, I heart June Squibb. But I guess I’m somewhat more American than you. And as a resident of the almost-America country of Canada, one would think I would take pride that one of my fellow countrymen directed one of the year’s best picture nominees, “Dallas Buyers Club.” But as I’ve already made clear probably one or two too many times on this website, I am not a fan of that movie. Though I was totally prepared for it to get nominations for McConaughey, Leto and best picture. But best original screenplay!? And best film editing!? Both over “Inside Llewyn Davis,” my favorite film of the year? I should really quit this job and go join the merchant marines.

Not enough “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Knott: I’ll join you. Because the really galling thing about all those nominations for “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Nebraska” is that they knocked “Llewyn Davis” right out of contention in not just those categories but basically every single one. People have already quipped on Twitter that it is entirely fitting for a film about an unappreciated talent to go so unappreciated. And it’s not exactly less than I’d expect. I just think it would be nice if more people went to see my favourite film of last year. And if there’s anything a bunch of Oscar nominations is good for, it’s that.

Not enough “Inside Llewyn Davis,” seconded.
Knegt: You stole my number one, you bitch.

Peter Knegt is Indiewire’s Senior Writer and awards columnist. Follow him on Twitter.

Matthew Hammett Knott is a London-based filmmaker and writer who writes Indiewire’s bi-weekly Heroines of Cinema column. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments

Sketchbook

This is mostly a column of pr-planted whines and grumps. Bale was a knockout in "Hustle," and, though the pic has some bumps, it's still damn good — a screwball comedy about some awful people.

David

You had me until you mentioned "Nebraska." In my opinion, it was one of the best films of the year. It was simple, but it is also profound; with some great performances, and yes, cinematography as well. And not just for it being in black and white, but for the way it showcases and displays the American south. Alexander Payne is a master of simple stories, and he tells them better than most directors out there.

But I definitely agree with your assessment on "American Hustle." While I enjoyed "Silver Linings Playbook," I found this one to be hokey, unbelievable, and not nearly as clever as it tries to be. I really don't understand why people enjoyed it as much as they did.

Confused

Couldn't agree more with your points on Hustle. I enjoyed it but, really? O'Russel gets nods in every major category, again? Adams, yes. Picture, yes. That should have been it. Bale over Hanks/Phoenix/Redford is laughable. He was better in Out of the Furnace..

Wolf was also praised a bit more than I expected. I'm ok with Leo and Jonah Hill's nods..but director? "In this scene, act like a jerkoff and go wayyy overboard with it..Action!"

I'm getting there with Inside Llewyn Davis..not on board yet but I just watched it and I am still thinking it over..and over..and over..I think it should have been nominated, at least. There was an empty slot, after all..

Finally…there were so many good movies last year. I'm curious what each of you think would have made the cut if Best Pic was still limited to 5 selections?? For what it's worth, my favorite films of the year, in order:

1. Her
2. Captain Phillips
3. 12 Years A Slave
4. Gravity
5. Wolf of Wall St.

Joe H.

Jesus, why so much hate for Jennifer Lawrence? She's a brilliant actress and totally deserving of the nomination. She deserves to win too, but that's a different discussion. But you are correct about Dallas Buyers Club. Good film, but not better than the others it knocked out of contention. The only real disappointments were the generally sad Original Song nominations, the lack of Hans Zimmer in Original Score, the two snubs of Tom Hanks, and the snub for Emma Thompson.

But let's be real, there were some truly wonderful surprises as well. Like Prisoners making the cut in Cinematography, the FIVE NOMS for Wolf of Wall Street, Production Design for Gravity, and Her in the running for Best Picture.

Jon

You can't have TWO films about black people with back leads, are you kiddin? This is the Academy. Old white farts who like to watch old white farts.

Alan

Whether I agree with your points or not, I love this bitchfest. David O. Russell's "BC and JL Take a Shit!" Haha.

David

Because you aren't American, you probably won't appreciate Nebraska for it's very real representation of middle America. so shut up

David K

Besides June Squibb in Nebraska, the actress who played Bruce Dern's former flame–her look at the end was better than Lawrence and Roberts performances combined.

-

I thought the lack of a nod for Joaquin Phoenix in Her is the most egregious snub, although that's not exactly surprising. I think Amy Adams was fantastic too and could've gotten a nomination.

Rachelle

THANK YOU for the comments on American Hustle. When I hear about the powerful women roles, I always want to gag. They are two-dimensional Madonnas and Whores, and given what I've seen about how Russell treats women IRL, I'm not surprised. Hustle was scriptless, built to only win him an Oscar, and what disgusts me the most is that it seems to be working.

grace

Now I am by no means under the impression that the oscars hold any water then the simple entertainment of what happens when actors and films get caught up in a "buzz"…its not bad and at the same time it is not good either. How long are people going to eat everything that is spoon fed to them (forever) without ever questioning or wanting to see movies that make them think. I am disappointed that the Coen's got snubbed but rather happy that at LEAST Spike Jonze got a nod. Now I get exactly why everyone who got nominated got there (whether I agree or not) but the one I just cannot understand is the "Gravity" craze with Bullock getting a nomination for a role she could barely carry! Also the fact that Alfonso Cuaron ( I love Y tu Mama Tambien) says in some interview that "Gravity" can't be watched like a normal movie, of course it can't, it should be watched with a hallucinogenic drug that makes one think that it has a great script and great acting and I am slightly convinced that this must have happen in theaters somewhere…

Edu

Dallas Buyer's Club > Inside Llewyn Davis. Get over it.

Steve Barr

Too much Wolf of Wall St . Martin Scorsese is an empty suit . He's been making the same movie for over thirty years . The screenplay was a joke . If you take out the profanities, the nudity and drug use there is no movie . DeCaprio was good and Jonah Hill had great teeth .

Bugsy

I'm sorry, but you lose credibility with "Both over "Inside Llewyn Davis," my favorite film of the year?"

Reading this, what I get from your bitching is simply: "They didn't agree with my opinions on film, so they're all wrong and stupid!"

MAIMA

I was extremely ungrateful because the Academy snubbed the best female performance of the year….Adele Exarchopoulos. If Adele just replaced Streep….Streep has three Oscars and 18 nominations!!!!! Give me a break!!! Give chance to others… I love Streep but still…. =((((

Annalise

I'm losing faith in the Oscars more and more. What film awards do you (anyone) find to be the most accurate, or least like a popularity contest?

michelle

I totally agree with the JLaw/Roberts part. I was officially done with Lawrence when she called acting "STUPID". She is an obnoxious, undeserving little brat.

Raul

Yes, the snubbing of "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a travesty. I want to special order a medal and send it to Oscar Isaac for his acting and singing. "Inside Llewyn Davis" was the best of the year.

Morris

Bravo at least to the National Society of Film Critics for giving Inside Llewyn Davis the respect it deserves. Several critics groups also gave prizes to Blue is the Warmest Color and those awards were well deserved. I am sorry Robert Redford was overlooked for All is Lost as well as Joanna Lumley and Jean Dujardin from "The Wolf of Wall Street" among many fine others. Last but not least one of my favorite movies was warmly received. Philomena richly deserved the nods it garnered for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score.

Melissa McCarthy IS Matt Damon

Best line of the day: "I can't wait for next year when Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence both win Oscars for David O. Russell's "Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence Take a Shit.""

Andrew

Best read of the day. Thanks boys.

Jan Berlin

Thank you, guys. Exactly like that.

Burt

I totally agree with you on that "Cooper and Lawrence take a shit" upcoming picture. That on is the one I'm waiting for! Should be splendid.

Javiera

I'm really upset with no Daniel Bruhl's nomination. He did a amazing job in Rush!

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