The Oscar nominations offer a real adrenaline rush. With his joys when you see his favorites of the cinematographic year triumphing against all statistics. With his fits of rage when the Academy, renowned for its still too conservative tastes, goes into oblivion for wonderful performances.
On the shelf of broken glass ceilings, Joker who, surprisingly, leads the nominations race with 11 citations, proves that superheroes are no longer the plague victims of the Oscars. It’s only the second time after Black panther that an adaptation of comics is entitled in the queen category of best film. However, the stripped-down, naturalistic style of Todd Phillips, who anchored his narrative in a New York-style aesthetic of the 1970s, is in reverse of the Marvel saturated with special effects.
Us will not have left a strong impression on voters
But this false advance cannot hide the forest of controversy that opens this 92nd edition of the Oscars. Diversity is still very limited, even though for four years the institution has rejuvenated and internationalized its members, co-opting hundreds of newcomers each year. Now 16% of voters come from diversity, against 8% in 2015.
Nineteen of the twenty slots reserved for actors are nevertheless occupied by white actors. Antonio Banderas for Pain and Glory and Florence Pugh, brilliant Amy in Daughters of Doctor March, are unexpected Oscar participants. In the best actress category, only the solitary presence of the Briton of Nigerian origin Cynthia Erevo for the biopic Harriet against Renée Zellweger (Judy), Charlize Theron (Scandal), Saoirse Ronan (Daughters of Doctor March) and Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story and also supporting role Jojo rabbit) narrowly prevents the organization from receiving the infamous #Oscarssowhite label again.
This is unlikely to spare the Oscars the rain of criticism expected and suffered by their English counterparts in the Bafta for having completely excluded talents from minority backgrounds. Serious competitors from diversity existed. Latina superstar Jennifer Lopez carried the rebel stripper band from Queens. The duplication of Lupita Nyong’o in Us, Jordan Peele's horrifying fable, commanded respect. Chinese-American rapper Awkwafina and Chinese actress Zhao Shuzhen were deeply moving in the family story The farewell.
Uncut Gems and Rocketman empty-handed
In men, Eddie Murphy made a noticeable comeback in Dolemite Is My Name from Netflix. Jamie Foxx shone the spotlight on a miscarriage of justice that marred the United States in the 1980s in The Way of Justice. The craze around Parasite has not benefited, despite his six nominations, to any of his Korean stars, starting with Song Kang-ho.
Another red point, the eternal absence of the directors in the quinté of happy filmmakers admitted to compete for the statuette of best director. Ni Greta Gerwig (Daughters of Doctor March) nor Lulu Wang (The farewell) could not infiltrate the boys club.
Being a big name doesn't prevent disappointments either. Beyoncé and Taylor Swift fail at the gates of the best song category despite their contributions to Lion King and the musical hated Cats.
Robert de Niro is the only pillar of The Irishman to have been left on the floor. Fresh from his Golden Globes victory, Taron Egerton, Elton John jumped up in Rocketman, will have to settle for it. Similarly, Adam Sandler misses the boat despite his tour de force in Uncut Gems of the Safdie brothers.
No matter what box office champion he is, Disney has failed. Her Snow queen 2 don’t get a ticket for the best animated movie statuette. And gets overtaken by the little French wonder discovered in Cannes, I lost my body .
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