Every year, awards ceremonies make a big to-do about the nominees ahead of the actual awards ceremonies. And you know what? Most of these nominations events suck.
Not even in a like “this was kind of boring but I’m glad I know the nominees now” kind of way. More like an “Oh my God this is a trainwreck” kind of way. Awards nominations ceremonies often start late, they often feature hosts who can’t pronounce names correctly or who speak really quickly so that words or nominees run together. There are frequently issues with the live streaming component, as well.
Not this year, however, as this year the 2019 Oscar nominations (at least) were a joy to watch. There were myriad reasons, but the main focus really needs to be on Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross, who really need to host the Oscar nominations event every single year.
Hear me out. Sure, I liked how this year the Oscars capably streamed on YouTube with few snafus. The nominations also started promptly at 5:20 a.m. PT and like usual, the break in the middle of the announcements was great for journalists talking out theories and updating nomination stories.
However, this year’s event was better than normal and I’d like to give the credit where credit is due. Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross were both legitimately funny. They actually added to the production rather than hindering any of it and they made my morning a whole lot better from an enjoyment standpoint and not just a functional one.
In addition, when they announced the nominees, they did it slowly enough that they didn’t overly stumble over names and most words. They also let each nominee breathe, so that viewers could ruminate over each particular nominee. Lots of positives here.
It may not seem like a big deal, but livening up something like the Oscar nominations ceremony is pretty amazing, and I’m assuming everyone who wakes up early because they care about the Academy Awards feels that way. The comfortable setting, the quick jokes and the quiet way both Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross gave each movie its due really elevated the nominations this year.
Sure, if I had a complaint, it would be the weird musical choice made during the down times. It was like someone really wanted to get as far away from elevator music as possible, to the point they went too far in a different, contemporary direction.
In the scheme of things, however, the Oscar nominations were a breath of fresh air in 2019, to the point where I kind of wish that the Oscars hadn’t made a no host decision already.
Look, Kumail and Tracee, I know you guys joked about how you got up before the crack of dawn to don cute outfits and look presentable enough to announce the nominees. I know it was probably a one-off thing you both agreed to, but for the love of movies, if you get the opportunity to do it again next year, please say yes.