We’ve had this year’s Oscar nominations, and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has more than a few. Among them are Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture, but Josh Brolin, one of the science fiction movie stars, finds one omission glaring.
In a video posted to Instagram, Brolin congratulates his fellow Dune filmmakers for all the recognition, before expressing his distaste for Villeneuve not getting a Best Director nod. “Congratulations to Legendary, Warner Bros, everybody who got nominated for Dune,” he says, listing some of the categories, then stating: “And the unbelievable, almost numbing, flummoxing I feel for Denis Villeneuve not being nominated for best director. It’s just one of those things that you just go, ‘Huh? What?'”
Brolin says he doesn’t know how you can get ten nominations at the Academy Awards, and then the director who did “the impossible with that book” isn’t in a category to himself. He ends by pointing out that awards season is amazing, but also “fucking, totally dumb”. Other filmmakers have noted the paradoxical separation of Best Picture and Best Director before, recurring MCU director James Gunn tweeted about it in 2016, asking if the Academy understands what directors do.
Brolin’s phrasing that “it’s all amazing, and then it’s all fucking, totally dumb” is a decent summation of the run-up to Oscars. The grandeur and spectacle are incredible, but a lot of it is very arbitrary, what with Oscar bait, and the gulf between the Academy’s taste and the rest of the world’s.
Even this year, we’ve had people think that Spider-Man: No Way Home was somehow snubbed, despite being one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, and beloved by millions. Dune doesn’t need the Academy’s approval, it’s a great action movie, and that’s that.