Oscars 2018: Academy takes valid stand by not nominating James Franco's The Disaster Artist, Wonder Wheel

Abhishek Srivastava

January 29, 2018 13:37:59 IST

The nominations for the 90th Oscars were announced on 23 January and no one blinked an eye (in outrage). The ignominy that the Oscars had suffered in the past few years seems to have been completely erased this year. Great Gerwig got her due and so did Dee Ree’s’ Mudbound, #OscarsSoWhite did not trend again and Get Out saw much deserved nominations after it was ignored at other award ceremonies. It seems the Oscars this year were doubly cautious in rectifying the sins of their past mistake.

But one fact that towered over every other was the Harvey Weinstein impact. It was severe, to say the least, and the Academy’s clear snub to the man who once used to be a darling of the Oscars was writ large in its nominations. It was startling but reassuring to see a person who has been thanked the most (second only to God and Steven Spielberg) and whose films alone have garnered more than 300 nominations (with 81 wins) completely ignored. The jolt of #MeToo and #TimesUp was so grave that it made the Academy members take notice of the possible repercussions of their nominations. After Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual harassment charges by multiple women from the industry, Hollywood has never been the same again.

James Franco (R) and his brother Dave in a still from The Disaster Artist. YouTube

James Franco (R) and his brother Dave in a still from The Disaster Artist. YouTube

It was a foregone conclusion that James Franco’s brilliant performance in The Disaster Artist will be overlooked by the Academy. It was a clear cut solidarity nod to the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaign. After his victory at the 75th Golden Globes, The Los Angeles Times published accounts of five women who had accused Franco of inappropriate sexual behavior.  By the time the actor brushed aside all the charges while speaking to Stephen Colbert in The Late Show, the damage was already done. Franco’s loss was Denzel Washington’s gain as he managed a nod for his performance in Roman J Israel, Esq – a film which met with a moderate reception.

With Franco losing out on his nomination, the direct impact was also on Tommy Wiseau, whose 2004 film Room was the inspiration for The Disaster Artist.

The second "victim" of the Harvey Weinstein impact is none other than Kate Winslet.

Of late, the British actress has started appearing in fewer films, the Academy is generous enough to give her a nomination most of the time.

Her appearance in Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel was all set to get her a nomination nod but in the end, she was denied a nomination when actors started dissociating from Woody Allen’s current and past films based on the sexual assault allegations of his own daughter Dylan Farrow. The interview that Dylan gave to CBS a week before the nominations turned things upside down.

It was also a slap on Kevin Spacey’s face when Christopher Plummer’s performance in All The Money In The World fetched him a nomination in the best supporting category.

Kate Winslet in Wonder Wheel.

Another film which was expected to garner few nominations but bore the brunt was Wind River. The film had fetched its director Taylor Sheridan the best director trophy at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival. The Jeremy Renner starrer was acquired by The Weinstein Company just before the scandal emerged but armed with a foresight, the director took back control of the film and dissociated any relationship with TWC. The core idea was to bar The Weinstein Company from enjoying the dividends of the film which revolves around the theme of sexual violence.

However, one spot did skip the Oscar’s eye. Kobe Bryant was awarded a nomination for Best Animated Short Film Dear Basketball. In 2003, Bryant was accused of raping a woman though the case was later on dismissed after the accused failed to testify in the court. Whatever the glaring errors be, the Oscars have ensured one thing - Harvey Weinstein will never be thanked again.

Updated Date: Jan 29, 2018 13:37 PM