Left out; The missed nominees of the Oscars

Miguel Meza, Staff Writer

The 88th Academy awards are looming upon us and we have just passed the first step to the red-carpet event.

The festivities began last Thursday when directors Ang Lee and Guillermo Del Toro announced the first half of the nominees, followed by the rest being announced by “The Office” actor John Krasinkski and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

Now the nominations this year are under heavy scrutiny from the film community, garnering the trending twitter topic #OscarSoWhite due to the all-white ballot of nominees; a repeat of last year’s ceremony.

Talks have grown within forums, Twitter, and all round Hollywood after a slew of racial allegations have plagued the Academy following the announcements made last week.

A boycott catching wind with such advocates as Spike Lee and Jada-Pinkett Smith stand firmly behind the movement.

Some of the high praised African American actors of 2015 have been snubbed by the Academy.

Examples include Michael B. Jordan for his main role in boxing drama “Creed”, Idris Elba for his portrayal of an army commander in the Netflix movie “Beasts of No Nation”, and Will Smith for his most dramatic role in years with a main role in “Concussion”.

While “Straight Outta Compton”; a box office smash centered on African-American protagonists also formerly expected to be a possible runner in the Best Feature category, but the N.W.A. biopic was left out of every category, save for Best Original screenplay.

The heavy hitters in the Best Picture category, however, have come as no surprise; the Steven Spielberg Cold-War era spy thriller “Bridge of Spies” is nominated in six categories, including writers Joel and Ethan Coen’s Original Screenplay, which comes as no surprise.

What does come as a surprise is the snubbing of “Jaws” director Spielberg for Best Director and legendary thespian Tom Hanks for Best Actor in the main role.

Quentin Tarantino’s highly anticipated post-Civil War epic “The Hateful Eight” is also up for Best Picture. Also the “Pulp Fiction” director was also cut from the Best Director category.

Though still using the movie as a vehicle for Best Supporting actress for Jennifer Jason Leigh; who portrayed the lead antagonist in the film.

The main big talk, however, has been last year’s Best Director winner Alejandro G. Inarritu’s follow up to 2015 Academy darling “Birdman: Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” with the Leonardo DiCaprio-led “The Revenant.”

Adapted from the tales of 1800s frontierman Hugh Glass and a vehicle for the actor to finally get the Oscar he has been due to win among the other eleven.

As for the spotlight on the actors and actresses, Rooney Mara for lesbian drama “Carol”, Jennifer Lawrence for “Joy” as a dead-shoe-in for leading actress.

However an honest portrayal from Amy Schumer in her own written, Judd Apatow directed raunchy romantic comedy “Trainwreck” has been plainly ignored by the Academy for what is thought to be an interest in other subject matter.

Jake Gylenhaal portrays another emotional ride with his role as a troubled boxer in “Southpaw”; a snub in entirety but does not take away from several honest nominations for Best Feature which include Adam McKay’s “The Big Short” and action reboot “Mad Max: Fury Road”.

The issue with the Academy, however, is not in it’s appreciation of films, but rather the inclusion of films outside the ‘blockbuster’ quota.

Such as, sleeper hits from young directors like Alex Garland’s debut feature “Ex Machina,” and mind-bending dirctor Dennis Villenueva’s “Sicario.”

While the two both contain outstanding supporting roles from Oscar Isaac and Benencio Del Toro respectively and yet only the former was nominated for Original Screenplay; arguably the most diverse category.

The entire debate of whether the Oscars are truly biased towards a race can be ended with the simple fact that for the most part, there is a need for more diversity and it’s required for progress in this art known as cinema.