22/01/2017 11:48 SAST | Updated 23/01/2017 08:07 SAST

Here's What The Oscar Nominations Should Look Like

Don't let "Jackie" down, Academy voters.

Fox Searchlight

Fox Searchlight

"People like to believe in fairy tales," Natalie Portman says in "Jackie." I have a fairy tale: "Jackie" getting the Oscar nominations it deserves. The latest setback? No nod from the Producers Guild of America, a reliable precursor for the Academy Awards' top prize. ("Deadpool" is on the PGA's list instead. Yikes.)

But there's still time. Oscar voting is now underway, so maybe we can help to steer the ballot in the right direction. Academy members have until Friday to submit their selections. So allow me to speak to the voters out there: Please, I beg of you, do what's right. Skip "Hacksaw Ridge."

This is our final for-your-consideration plea in 11 categories.


"20th Century Women"
"American Honey"
"Hidden Figures"
"La La Land"
"Manchester by the Sea"
"The Witch"

I'm maxing out my Best Picture roster with a full 10 slots, knowing good and well that "American Honey" and "The Witch" do not align with the Academy's tastes, "20th Century Women" has been cruelly under-recognized throughout awards season, and "Jackie" may prove too arty and divisive.


Andrea Arnold, "American Honey"
Damien Chazelle, "La La Land"
Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight"
Pablo Larraín, "Jackie"
Denis Villeneuve, "Arrival"

Anything to keep Mel Gibson at bay, really. Hell, I'd rather see Garry Marshall get a posthumous nomination for "Mother's Day."



Annette Bening, "20th Century Women"
Rebecca Hall, "Christine"
Isabelle Huppert, "Elle"
Ruth Negga, "Loving"
Natalie Portman, "Jackie"

This year's Best Actress lineup is stacked. The trophy already seems to belong to Emma Stone. She's wonderful in "La La Land," but it's still painful to toss aside the gravitas that so many other leading contenders displayed last year. Hovering just outside my shortlist are Amy Adams ("Arrival"), who will probably get her sixth nomination, as well as Kate Beckinsale ("Love & Friendship"), Anya Taylor-Joy ("The Witch"), Hailee Steinfeld ("The Edge of Seventeen") and Krisha Fairchild ("Krisha").


Adam Driver, "Paterson"
Joel Edgerton, "Loving"
Colin Farrell, "The Lobster"
Viggo Mortensen, "Captain Fantastic"
Daniel Radcliffe, "Swiss Army Man"

Apparently I prefer my men smooth and quiet. Presumed favorite Casey Affleck is plenty good in "Manchester by the Sea," but he's no Adam Driver. He's not even a farting corpse! (That's Daniel Radcliffe.)


Viola Davis, "Fences"
Greta Gerwig, "20th Century Women"
Naomie Harris, "Moonlight"
Molly Shannon, "Other People"
Michelle Williams, "Manchester by the Sea"

There's no stopping showstopper Viola Davis, though I'd be just as happy to see Molly Shannon turn up for her delicate work as a mother succumbing to cancer.



Mahershala Ali, "Moonlight"
Lucas Hedges, "Manchester by the Sea"
Shia LaBeouf, "American Honey"
Trevante Rhodes, "Moonlight"
Issei Ogata, "Silence"

Mahershala Ali had won nearly every precursor prize before his recent Golden Globe loss. Hopefully that won't dampen his momentum. It would be nice to recognize other "Moonlight" stars too, particularly Trevante Rhodes, whose subtlety betters with each viewing.


"I Am Not Your Negro"
"O.J.: Made in America"

It feels unfair to pit a 7.5-hour behemoth like"O.J.: Made in America" against the rest of these. They are all tours de force.


Efthimis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos, "The Lobster"
Kelly Fremon Craig, "The Edge of Seventeen"
Kenneth Lonergan, "Manchester by the Sea"
Mike Mills, "20th Century Women"
Noah Oppenheim, "Jackie"

Hang tight, I have to be earnest for a minute. The breadth on this list of screenplays is astonishing. Coupled with the adapted works below, it's amazing to think we got of all these layered stories in the same calendar year. I'm having fits about nixing Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias' "Little Men" script.

Roadside Attractions


Park Chan-wook and Chung Seo-kyung, "The Handmaiden"
Eric Heisserer, "Arrival"
Barry Jenkins, "Moonlight"
Jeff Nichols, "Loving"
Whit Stillman, "Love & Friendship"

I hate to cut "Hidden Figures," which has a nice shot at a nomination ― unless the Academy opts for goddamn "Deadpool," which seems increasingly likely.


Nicholas Britell, "Moonlight"
Andy Hull and Robert McDowell, "Swiss Army Man"
Justin Hurwitz, "La La Land"
Mark Korven, "The Witch"
Mica Levi, "Jackie"

I will drink on Mica Levi's behalf when she is snubbed.



"Audition (The Fools Who Dream)," from "La La Land"
"Drive It Like You Stole It," from "Sing Street"
"How Far I'll Go," from "Moana"
"I'm Still Here," from "Miss Sharon Jones!"
"Montage," from "Swiss Army Man"

Justin Timberlake will get a nomination for that "Trolls" earworm manufactured in a pop lab. Please make the feeling stop.


Drew Daniels, "Krisha"
Stéphane Fontaine, "Jackie"
James Laxton, "Moonlight"
Linus Sandgren, "La La Land"
Bradford Young, "Arrival"

It's hard to argue against the technical mastery of "La La Land," which takes cues from "Singin' in the Rain" and "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg," but I think the work that went into "Moonlight" and "Arrival" was more novel.