The following is an open letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:
Greetings, Academy voters,
After viewing your nominations for the 87th annual Academy Awards®, I thought, “These choices could be a topic of Saturday Night Live’s ‘REALLY?!! With Seth and Amy.’” For example:
- You nominated “Selma” for best picture and best original song (kudos to John Legend and Lonnie “Common” Lynn for “Glory”) but did not give nods to lead actor David Oyelowo, who gave a towering performance as Martin Luther King Jr., or Bradford Young for cinematography, or, most glaring, Ava DuVernay for best director. You could’ve made history by nominating DuVernay, who would’ve been the first African-American woman earning a best director nomination and only the fifth woman. REALLY?! How about director Angelina Jolie for "Unbroken"? (Regarding Oyelowo, whose name you should learn to pronounce since he’ll be back, I get that you made room for Bradley Cooper in “American Sniper.” But this is his third consecutive nomination. Make room for someone else!)
- I agree with four of the five leading actress nominees. You might as well engrave Julianne Moore’s statue now for "Still Alice" since she’s way overdue. But I’m scratching my head over your nomination of Marion Cotillard for “Two Days, One Night,” which hasn’t even been released in the Sacramento area, over Jennifer Aniston’s performance in “Cake.” (Sigh.) REALLY?!
- Regarding the roster of nominated animated films, I am thrilled to see “How to Train Your Dragon 2” in the pack. But why not “The Lego Movie” too? REALLY?!
- I’m not going to fault Glen Campbell’s nomination for best original song for “I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” although I have yet to see his film debut in the Sacramento area. But I believe that his song may be the dark horse in this category. However, couldn’t you have made room for Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat” from “The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1” as a nod to younger viewers? REALLY?!
- Finally, I am glad that you invited (best supporting actor nominee) Barkhad Abdi, (best supporting actress winner) Lupita Nyong’o, cinematographer Masanobu Takayanagi, costume designer William Change Suk Ping, and director Gina Price-Bythewood to join your august body last year. How about adding some more women and people of color since the Academy is 94 percent white and 76 percent men? REALLY?!
I’m done with my annual nominations rant. Let’s see how things turn out on February 22.