There are always more important matters than the Oscars. Right now, grumbling about the newly announced Academy Award nominations — the omissions, the snubs, what they got wrong — seems downright criminal. You should be educating yourself on the many ways our current presidential administration is evading the truth and cramping down on civil liberties. You should be calling your senators or representatives, demanding they fight him on abortion, immigration, climate change, etc. Aren’t you worried about his yen for nuclear arms? Can you believe the term “alternative facts” is now a thing? Wait, the Nazis launched an “alt-right” site on MLK Day?
But we have to talk Oscars. Maybe it will even be healthy? We can’t go 24/7 into the abyss, clogging our brains with all the truly, actually terrifying horrors going on right now. We need to take a few minutes and stew over the fact that Amy Adams didn’t nab a Best Actress nod for “Arrival.”
With that, here’s some miscellaneous carps and praises (before we go back to reading about what Trump pulling us out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership actually means):
Hugh Grant was robbed. Meryl Streep scored her obligatory Best Actress nom for being Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins.” We say the show was stolen by her male co-star. As St. Clair Bayfield, husband and manager to the socialite-turned-history’s worst professional singer, Grant gets to play Smarmy Hugh Grant. He also, as the film wears on, gets to play Tragic Hugh Grant, as his character realizes that when she dies, his jig is up. It’s the finest work of his career, and he’s such a self-effacing performer that he’s probably happy he doesn’t have to potentially give a speech.
Michael Shannon over Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It was pretty random when the Golden Globes nominated Taylor-Johnson for “Nocturnal Animals,” let alone when they handed him the trophy. Even he looked surprised! The Oscars corrected that mistake by switching him with Michael Shannon, by far the most entertaining part of Tom Ford’s film, basically because Michael Shannon is eternally entertaining. We would have rather seen Shannon nominated for his turn in “Elvis & Nixon,” in which he played the King more like Michael Shannon than he did Presley. But any excuse to pimp our interview with the god, done three days after the election, is good enough for us.