This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
- RuPaul heads to Netflix. Werk?
- Oscar predictions. (#OscarsSoWhite again?)
- Behold Kim Kardashian’s refrigerator
- The Nanny!!! On Broadway!!!
- A Mariah Carey update. Duh.
The Oscar nominations are going to be announced Monday morning and, have your sunglasses ready, because it’s looking like there’s a very real possibility that they’ll be blinding. #OscarsSoWhite could happen again. If there’s anything awards voters enjoy more than never learning from the mistakes of their past or evolving in anyway meaningful way...it’s white people!
The panic button was slammed with the force of an elephant falling off the Empire State Building earlier this week when BAFTA voters did just that: Nominating not a single performer of color in the acting races.
That’s jarring for several reasons. Major contenders Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Song Kang Ho (Parasite) and Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy) were all uniformly passed over. When a pattern can be described as uniform, it is purposefully impossible to ignore. For White God’s sake, Margot Robbie was nominated twice in Best Supporting Actress, rather than a slot going to Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers) or Zhao Shuzhen (The Farewell).
There’s only a thin argument for coincidence when a blind spot like this is so institutional that the organization has ordered a major review of its membership and voting after the embarrassing and shameful lack of diversity in its nominations. As Kyle Buchanan noted at The New York Times, BAFTA has never nominated Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman, two men who have 13 nominations and three Oscar wins between them.
Considering how much voter overlap there is between BAFTA and the Academy, and looking at the contenders who have showed up in precursor ceremonies, it’s a real possibility that an all-white lineup could repeat in the Oscar nominations. And after it was the case with BAFTA, the Golden Globes, and the Directors Guild of America Awards, an all-male directors slate is likely, too, something that’s baffling in a year that included Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), and Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers).
This matters not because of “unwoke” optics. Systemic bias against racial and gender diversity and the stories and craft that reflect those identities matters in institutions that are the standard bearers of what is deemed worthy and influential in a multi-billion dollar global industry that drives cultural conversation and change. Also, freaking hell! Nominate Banderas, Murphy, Kang Ho, Lopez, and Shuzhen. They deserve it!
In any case, I am not the best at predicting Oscar nominations, as I do not have much in common with the sensibility and whims of old straight white men. But ahead of Monday, here are my best guesses, tinged with a little bit of pipe dreaming, at what will be nominated.
Best Picture: 1917, Bombshell, Ford v. Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, Parasite
Best Director: Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Bong Joon Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood)
Best Actress: Awkwafina (The Farewell), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renée Zellweger (Judy)
Best Actor: Christian Bale (Ford v. Ferrari), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)
Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Nicole Kidman (Bombshell), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
Best Supporting Actor: Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood)
I have never felt like I had more in common with Kim Kardashian—scratch that—I have only ever felt like I had anything in common with Kim Kardashian when she posted a photo on her Instagram standing in front of her refrigerator, revealing a barren wasteland of a few containers of milk, a mostly empty jar of unidentifiable liquid, and a smattering of vegetables that have yet to be eaten/possibly may never be eaten.
People were horrified! I felt seen!
Social media and the blogosphere lit up. Sure, all Kim Kardashian has to do is wink and this will happen, but of all silly Kardashian Kontroversies, this is by far my favorite. All about an empty refrigerator! Kim, I get you, girl! (My colleague, Alaina Demopoulos interviewed food psychologists about what we are to glean from all this, a piece of journalism I will cherish forever.)
All of the fun was ruined (or was it dialed up—one can never be sure with this one) when Kardashian responded to the hoopla by offering a tour of her actual, palatial, restaurant-grade, open-plan pantry, complete with a frozen yogurt machine. I am shocked to learn I have less in common with Kim Kardashian than I thought.
Watch out, CC! From a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens, to the GREAT WHITE WAY, it was announced this week that a Broadway musical version of The Nanny is in the works, with the sitcom queen herself, Fran Drescher, producing and—this is so good—Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom working on the score with her music partner from the show, Adam Schlesinger.
Harry and Meghan heard that they were doing a The Nanny musical and came running.
Another, perhaps final update on Mariah Carey’s record-breaking “All I Want For Christmas Is You” run. This last week, it set another record...for being the first song to ever fall completely off the chart from number one on the Billboard 100. (Duh, it’s not Christmas anymore.) Carey’s response was perfect:
What to watch this week:
Grace and Frankie: It’s my favorite show and I don’t care who knows it.
Underwater: It’s cuckoo and fun. Would watch again!
The New Pope: Or just wait for screenshots of the Jude Law speedo scene.
What to skip this week:
Medical Police: What does “medical police” even mean?
Like a Boss: Rose Byrne deserves better. How dare they.