The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences continued their annual tradition of unveiling this year’s Academy Award (aka Oscar) nominations. And once again, horror fans were left wondering if a single movie of theirs would even be recognized.
We’ve had minor success in the past with Silence of the Lambs winning the “Big Five” (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress) and in more recent years Jordan Peele’s Get Out was up for Best Picture and even won Best Original Screenplay. That very same year, Guillermo Del Toro won Best Director and Best PIcture for his monster movie turned love story The Shape of Water (it won Best Production Design and Score as well).
So it is most likely with a love of Guillermo Del Toro that the Academy took notice of his 2021 reimagining of Nightmare Alley. Not quite a horror movie, Nightmare Alley is a dark and brutal twist on an old film noir. In a much deserved move, the Academy nominated the movie for:
Best Production Design
Best Costume Design
Honestly, it’s equally deserving of more nominations, particularly for Bradley Cooper in Lead Actor and Cate Blanchett in Supporting Actress. But as horror fans, I suppose we should just be grateful that it was nominated at all. The technical ones are a testament to Del Toro’s amazing visual style that feels like a modern day Tim Burton (the version of Burton we liked better 30 years ago).
And while it faces some serious competition from sci-fi epic Dune in the technical awards, it has a real shot at Production Design or Costume Design, since period pieces tend to fare better there. As for Best Picture, it sadly will be an underdog, but who knows? Back in 2017, no one actually expected his dark fantasy monster love story to take away the big award of the night, but miraculously it did.
Granted, it’s frustrating to see amazing horror films like Last Night In Soho completely overlooked, but for now, we’ll take what we can get. Horror films aren’t exactly “made” for award shows, but it would be nice to see them recognized one day.
What did you think of Nightmare Alley? What other horror movies do you wish to see recognized and nominated? Let us know in the comments!
Nightmare Alley is currently streaming on HBO Max
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