Oscar Nominations: Surprises and Snubs

Oscar Nominations: Surprises and Snubs

Every year, the Academy gives us some unexpected choices, and missed a few great films - and here's this year's.

It's that time of year again – Oscar season is upon us. The nominations were dropped on January 23rd for the 90th Academy Awards, and they were filled with surprises and snubs. From Best Picture nominees that were actual wide audience successes to the usual of indie films and Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis getting the usual nominations. I won't talk about my predictions, those will come later once I've seen the nominees and can make an informed decision. This year is a mixed bag of near-guarantees and surprises, as well as changes to the people that make up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and changes in how the awards are given out to prevent another “Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture” incident. We'll have to tune in to see what happens, but we can at least look at what was unexpected and ignored.

Surprises first, we have Get Out as a Best Picture hopeful. A horror film, directed by a comedian, starring a relatively unknown group of actors, and a film about race relations that isn't based on the Civil Rights Movement or slavery. Now it is entirely possible that it was moved up after the sexual harassment allegations on James Franco, thus giving bad press to The Disaster Artist, but in all reality it may be that the Academy wanted another Mad Max: Fury Road situation where there's a big hit movie in the running so people can say they saw at least one of the movies. Another surprise to be sure, but a welcome one, was the nomination of Logan for Best Adapted Screenplay. Superhero movies are a genre that more or less only gets visual effects nominations, though there is the Best Supporting Actor win that Heath Ledger was awarded in 2008. Logan does have some heavy competition in that category, but it at least means the Academy saw something in the film – and while it's just a screenplay nod, it's still “Oscar nominated.” The Boss Baby of all movies is up for Best Animated Feature, for some reason or another, but it's going against Pixar's hit Coco, so we can assume Pixar will take home the gold again. Despite the positive surprises, there were snubs that shocked most people reading the nomination list, in near every category.

Oh man, was there some snubs for awards. Logan easily could have been nominated in the acting categories and even Best Picture, but we'll just have to stick with the screenplay – though I will say Patrick Stewart was robbed of a nomination until the end of time. While stars Margot Robbie and Allison Janney were nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively, I, Tonya is not in the Best Picture run, nor is the previously mentioned The Disaster Artist (which did get a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination but nothing else.) Blade Runner 2049 was considered by many to be a frontrunner for at least a nomination, but in the end, it got mostly technical nods. Many cite Wonder Woman as being the big snub, but let's be real, while the movie is great, it does become a cut and paste origin story after a while, and the third act is mostly just a CGI villain fight. On the topic of DC Comics films, I'm surprised The Lego Batman Movie didn't get a Best Animated Feature nod, though back in 2015, The Lego Movie didn't get a nomination either, maybe the Academy is biased against Lego. Adam Driver nor Mark Hamill got a not for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but again, it wasn't really an expected thing. Strangely, The Shape of Water was not nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling – perhaps it was unclear what was CGI (basically just the eyes of the Amphibious Man) and what was makeup on Doug Jones.

And lastly, there was the guaranteed nominations. Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Shape of Water, and Darkest Hour are in the fight for Best Picture, and stars from all four including Saorise Ronan, Frances McDormand, Octavia Spencer, Laurie Metcalf, and Gary Oldman are all nominated in acting categories. Dunkirk was almost a sure bet, considering it fits the usual bill of a World War II film about soldiers overcoming a major adversity during battle, and it's a Christopher Nolan (who has a Best Director nod) movie at that. Blade Runner 2049 is up for Cinematography, an aspect that was highly praised in reviews for the film. And of course Meryl Streep is in the Best Actress race, because whatever movie she's in, she'll get Oscar buzz for, along with Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor for his final role in Phantom Thread – so Gary Oldman has some decent competition.

As I said, this year could go any possible way. With new members of the Academy that are younger and covering a wider audience of people, it does allow for movies like Get Out, a January horror movie, to get a legitimate shot at Best Picture, and for more unconventional nods towards Lady Bird and Blade Runner 2049. Yes, these nominees are more diverse, but as I've said before, forcing diversity in nominations only allows for lesser performances to be put over great ones – but it does not seem to be the case this year, and each acting category has at least one good pair of rivals in terms of who should get the award. As per tradition, I intend on watching as many of the nominees as I can, then deciding who wins, because as of right now, it would basically all go to Lady Bird, Logan, and Star Wars. Some theaters are showing all the Best Picture nominees, and you can go out and rent at least two of them right now. Give them a watch, see what's up, and when the office pool starts, you can put in for some movies you wouldn't have otherwise seen. The show is in March, and much like the Super Bowl, pregame has already started. Nominations are out, now it's time to determine who gets to accept their award.

Cover Image Credit: Den of Geek/Academy Awards

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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