The Academy Award nominations were announced in Los Angeles and while there were few surprises among the names vying for an Oscar — critical darlings La La Land, Moonlight, and Manchester by the Sea all came away with a clutch of nominations — there were a few unexpected twists. You can usually count on seeing Martin Scorsese‘s name, but Silence, his epic story of Jesuits in Japan got only one nod, for cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto. The film’s star, Andrew Garfield, was philosophical about the film’s lack of nominations, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “The good news is that I think it is one of those films that will last the test of time … it will wheedle into the consciousness of people and will change people in a deep way, unlike maybe films that get recognized immediately but are less impactful in the long run.” *cough* La La Land *cough*
Garfield himself is nominated for Best Actor for another film about faith that the Academy recognized this morning with six nominations, and that too is something of a surprise considering who’s directing it. The once-reviled Mel Gibson has disproved F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s theory that there are no second acts in American life. Gibson’s World War II epic Hacksaw Ridge (based on the remarkable true story of conscientious objector Desmond Doss) received nominations for Best Picture and Best Director for Gibson. The gory pacifist tale will probably not win much on February 26th, but I doubt that Gibson cares: what matters to him most is that he gets to eat at the big kids table again. The man who was once a Hollywood pariah has staged a remarkable comeback.