The Oscar nominations have been announced. So Oscar campaigning is now in its most intense stretch, especially with so many tight races across the board, including Best Picture.
One of the big campaign stops that brought out several contenders this weekend was the AARP Movies for Grownup Awards. AARP used to stand for “American Association of Retired Persons” and while they’re just going with the acronym now, the demographic doesn’t change. This is not for TikTok, we’re talking about proper adults here, and it’s become critical to Oscar season because the Academy’s voting population still skews older. According to the AARP, the Best Picture of the Year was Top Gun: Maverick. TG:M is not a Best Picture favourite at the Oscars but it does have a chance now that it’s cleared the nomination phase. The people who love the movie within the Academy REALLY love the movie and what the movie represents about the theatrical experience.
In the other categories, Baz Luhrmann won for Best Director, presented by the star of his film, Austin Butler. But Best Actor went to Brendan Fraser for his work in The Whale. At this point, Brendan might have a slight edge over Austin for Oscar but I’m not sure he’s totally in the clear. And is Ke Huy Quan totally in the clear because the AARP went with Judd Hirsch in the Supporting Actor category, which is one of the few awards that Ke has lost this season. Interesting to see Brian Tyree Henry there – his nomination is also in that category. I mean the only reason Brian is showing up at AARP is because he is campaigning. So no one is giving it away at this point.
Meanwhile Jamie Lee Curtis, who is one of the five nominated for Best Supporting Actress, was honoured with the career achievement award and she told media at the event that she was really emotional about being nominated (for the first time) in the same Oscar category as her mother. Supporting Actress is a tight category. And even though Angela Bassett won both the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice, and is probably the frontrunner right now, if she has a lead, it’s a slim one. Jamie Lee Curtis could definitely make a charge.
Sarah wrote earlier today about the Andrea Riseborough controversy and now I’m curious about whether or not she’ll be campaigning. With people side-eyeing her nomination it definitely changes the strategy and the optics of her out there gladhanding at all these events. How much of a presence will she have on the circuit?