Projection: Oscar tends not to cover each individual awards announcement since the pure saturation would be overwhelming – not just to me, but to you the reader.
Today’s prominent nominations announcement, however, merits some closer focus, in my estimation.
The Online Film Critics Society, the world’s premiere organization of film critics whose work appears primarily online – and an organization to which I and many of my Next Projection colleagues can count ourselves as members – announced nominees for its 19th Annual awards this morning. What makes the OFCS special – aside from the fact that it is the oldest collective of online film critics in the world – is that this unique and diverse group, encompassing writers from all across the globe, is always reliable to deliver a passionate slate of nominees and winners that reflects the entire cinematic spectrum, from recognizing the class of Hollywood to making the public aware of the smaller gems of independent and world cinema.
This year’s crop of nominees is no different, with a venerable lineup of choices whose diversity is indicative even in a surface counting of nominations received. Two films tied for most nominations – Todd Haynes’ Carol, which could have been reasonably predicted, and Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, which could not. Both films received six nominations, with the latter even being included in the Best Director category, which is something of a miracle considering there are names like Inarritu, Tarantino, and, of course, Spielberg floating around as options. I’ve mentioned my suspicion that Sicario would be a big critics group hit when it was released, and the OFCS nominations confirm that very suspicion.
Join the two films in the Best Picture category are Brooklyn, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, and Spotlight. Fury Road and Martian received five nominations each. Revenant, Spotlight, and – drumroll – Steve Jobs netted four apiece (well done, OFCS, for not falling asleep on Danny Boyle’s film).
Passionate choices abound, from the nomination of Oscar Isaac in the Best Supporting Actor category for Ex Machina, to Cynthia Nixon’s inclusion in the Best Supporting Actress field for her work in James White. Some Category Confusion persists in the Supporting Actress category – where Rooney Mara of Carol and Alicia Vikander of The Danish Girl were both nominated – continuing a trend that has persisted in some form through every awards announcement thus far, which would indicate there is inherent subjectivity in terms of how people are defining a leading role versus supporting role.
See the full nominations list here. It’s a fabulous group of some of the year’s very best work.
The 19th Annual Online Film Critics Society Awards will be announced December 14, 2015. Until then, I’ll be over here feverishly revisiting some of the nominated films before I cast my ballot.