Oscar season: A time of glitz and glamor as Hollywood gathers to celebrate its finest offerings of the year. If you’re Peter Travers, however, it’s a time of unquenchable rage. With nominations arriving this morning, Rolling Stone‘s fearless movie critic has just three words for the folks at the Academy: “Damn you, Oscar!”
Once again, this year’s list of nominees was riddled with glaring omissions, chief among them Ava DuVernay’s getting snubbed for Best Director for her work on Selma. While the Civil Rights-era drama scored a Best Picture nod, Travers points out that the Academy had the chance to nominate the first ever black woman for Best Director in its 87 year history. “And what do you say?” Travers asks. “‘Oh no, it’s one of the best pictures, but nobody directed it — she didn’t do anything at all!'”
Equally egregious was the absence of Selma star David Oyelowo. Despite garnering universal acclaim for his portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr., the British actor was left off the Best Actor category in favor of, as Travers puts it, “the usual white guys.”
Indeed, it was a bad year for black and female filmmakers and performers, but Travers says that youth was also noticeably absent from this year’s nominees. Travers highlights several fantastic performers that didn’t get a look including Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler, Chadwick Boseman in the James Brown biopic Get on Up and Miles Teller in Whiplash.
Capping of this year’s Oscar controversies is perhaps one of the most surprising: The snub of the beloved The Lego Movie for Best Animated Feature. While Travers suggests that many in the Academy may have overlooked it, thinking it was being sold by Lego, he points out: “It’s a satire, it’s a parody of how we use product placement in movies. It’s the smartest animated movie of many years, and you say, ‘Not nominated!'”
While it wasn’t all bad, Travers will touch on the nominations he thinks the Academy got right at a later date. For now, there’s only one way to close out this righteous tirade: “Stupid, stupid, stupid. Damn you, Oscar!”