The latest entry in our series on how the Academy does wrong sometimes, here’s a Pajiba-friendly look at what this year’s Oscar nominations would be if the Academy weren’t made up of stupid dumbfaces. Please forgive any incoherence, as I was only able to begin writing this post after three hours of intense negotiation with Kristy Puchko that I would not include Chappie (God dammit, it’s an R-rated Saturday morning cartoon on acid and I love it) if she did not insist upon a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending. In the spirit of whisperscreaming…. your nominees…. AAAAARRRRREEEEEEEE:
As Brian did in last year’s version of this post, we’re telling all Oscar bait biopic bullshit to take a hike, because Tom Hooper and David O. Russell don’t need me and I don’t need them. I’m also putting the kibosh on Room and Spotlight because… look, is this a safe space to admit that I thought they were just OK? Very well done, certainly, and I can’t even pinpoint anything about them I didn’t like—there isn’t anything, really!—but… eh? They did not light my movie-going loins on fire. These did:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Straight Outta Compton
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
The Big Short can stay, because I think the guy who gave us Step Brothers deserves some recognition from the industry, frankly. As far as Iñárritu’s concerned… look, just adjust yourself to the fact that The Revenant is not going to be anywhere on here. I did not hate the film like a lot of people did, and I do think the backlash against it is a biiit out-of-proportion with what it deserves, but it’s a 2 hour, 36 minute Mother Nature snuff film, and that doesn’t deserve a spot. I’m bitter about Crimson Peak not doing well, so I’m nominating it for everything out of retroactive fury (and because it’s great).
Adam McKay, The Big Short
Ridley Scott, human Necco wafer, The Martian
Todd Haynes, Carol
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Guillermo del Toro, Crimson Peak
Matt Damon can stay. Everyone else… da fuck out of here. Bryan Cranston for Trumbo. HONESTLY. You can make a case for Jason Mitchell as being in the Supporting Actor category, because Compton has such a large ensemble that basically everyone is supporting (see also: Spotlight). But the emotional core of the film is Mitchell’s, and if Rooney Mara can somehow be in the supporting category for Carol (!?!?!), he can be lead. Gleeson has to be nominated for one of the eleventy billion films he was in this year.
Jason Mitchell, Straight Outta Compton
Matt Damon, The Martian
Michael B. Jordan,
Fantastic 4 Creed
John Boyega, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Domhnall Gleeson, Ex Machina
If you realize after a few weeks that I haven’t been writing for Pajiba anymore, check to make sure that Dustin didn’t murder me for not putting Brie Larson on here. It was either her or Ronan, and you don’t say No-nan to Ro-nan. Ridley, Blanchett and Theron are (really really really) self-explanatory. Ferguson could be considered supporting, but that’s a really competitive category, and that shot of her in the green dress with the gun looms large enough in my memory of Rogue Nation that I say it means she was the female lead alongside Cruise, God dammit. So let it be written, so let it be done.
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Daisey Ridley, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Rebecca Ferguson, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Supporting Actress
Rooney Mara (Carol) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) are out by virtue of them not being supporting actresses. Jessica Chastain is in by virtue of running around a dilapidated mansion, wielding a knife and wearing a blood-stained nightgown. Cate Blanchett is there by virtue of lounging dramatically in doorways better than anyone ever has or ever will. SWINTON is in by virtue of being SWINTON, who was practically unrecognizable in Trainwreck. But she was there. Oh yes, she was there. You knew because every time she was on-screen you felt like your alien overlords were granting you a small sliver of secret knowledge into the inner workings of the universe, even if you didn’t quite understand why.
Jessica Chastain, Crimson Peak
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Sarah Paulson, Carol
Cate Blanchett, Cinderella
Best Supporting Actor
I feel bad abut leaving Stallone out of this category, but not too bad. I know there’s a lot of sentiment attached to his Rocky nod—it’s an important character in the popular mythos, it’s Stallone’s best (only good?) role, and it’s not like he’s probably ever going to get nominated again for playing him. However, I am not attached enough to the idea of “the Oscar-winning director of The Expendables” to keep his nomination. I was not The Hateful Eight’s hugest fan, but Goggins deserves this nom. Ditto Tremblay for Room, Isaac for shaking his ass so good, and Ford for making us all cry in TFA. Though I did not see Beasts of No Nation, I am going to assume the collective animal lust of Pajiba would not steer me wrong. (Though you guys did put Christian Bale in the Pajiba 10 Hall of Fame, so what do I know?)
Harrison Ford, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Walton Goggins, The Hateful Eight
Oscar Isaac and his sweet dance moves, Ex Machina
Jacob Tremblay, Room
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Best Original Screenplay
This is a tough category. I had to talk myself down from the ledge of booting Inside Out for Mad Max: Fury Road. “But Rebecca, Inside Out presents the complexities of the human brain in such a smart way, and there’s not even much talking in Fury Road! Tom Hardy just grunts a lot.” “Witness me! MEDIOCRE.” I’d be OK with swapping out Compton for Fury Road, but I don’t want to take away the one nom Compton actually got.
Straight Outta Compton
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Adapted Screenplay
I honestly can’t think of what I’d change about this category as-is. It’s not like I want to do away with the glorious schadenfreude of Aaron Sorkin not getting a nom for Steve Jobs. OK, everyone. You can stay.
The Big Short
Best Costume Design
Nominees don’t really matter here. Just give the win to Crimson Peak. The fact that it didn’t get nominated in this or the production design category is insane.
Far from the Madding Crowd
Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Animated Feature
…No, actually, this category is pretty good. No changes. I liked The Good Dinosaur more than a lot of people did, but I recognize mine is the minority opinion, and I’m honestly not sure which film I’d shove out. (Granted, I did not see When Marnie Was There.) I’d pick Anomalisa or Boy and the World for the win over Inside Out, but we know how likely that is to happen. (Read: Not at all.)
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There
Boy and the World
I actually didn’t need to do this category at all. I just didn’t want to pass up a chance to torture you all with Bing Bong.