Oscar voting closed today, capping off a busy week of industry nominations. I won't parse through them all, but merely highlight that the critical favour of Carol has not converted the way its fans (yours truly among them) hoped that it would, while sleeper contenders Straight Outta Compton, Ex Machina, and especially Sicario have turned up the heat at the tail end of this fertile voting phase.
What it all means in the Best Picture race... Hard to tell with that maddening variable-number-of-nominees system. All I know is that in five of the last six years, at least two PGA nominees have missed the Academy's cutoff, and at least one PGA-snubbed contender always squeaks in.
The good news: Carol seems a likely candidate to be this year's squeaker. The bad news: It could just as easily be something like Trumbo. I'm keeping the former in my predicted lineup for now, but it may be wishful thinking -- I've long since given up on Inside Out, Steve Jobs, Son of Saul, Room and Creed (looks like minimal overlap between me and AMPAS this year).
I'd probably mind those upcoming snubs less if it weren't at the hands of something as hoodwinky as The Big Short. Future audiences will consider its Best Picture nomination (and probable Adapted Screenplay win) an even bigger fraud than the housing market collapse that the film pretends to so smartly dissect.
And now we play the waiting game. Within a week we'll know for sure. Until then we can preoccupy ourselves with the Golden Globes this Sunday. I approach them with slightly less eagerness than I have recently due to the return of Ricky Gervais, but they're still a seasonal highlight that may even eclipse the Oscars themselves for pure enjoyment; Partly because of the show's looser feel, but more and more because the HFPA's taste in nominees and winners is generally better than the Academy's lately.
I'll be tweeting and/or live-blogging the proceedings as usual, so check back on Sunday for real-time reactions to all the fun!