Oscars 2017: It's a good time to be a nerd



‘Rogue One’ was nominated for sound and visual effects Oscars.

Image: Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/AP

Musical theater and jazz nerds across the nation were cheering Tuesday morning as the Oscar nominees were announced and the delightful throwback La La Land picked up a record-tying 14 nods. 

Likewise, sci-fi nerds saluted the impressive 8 nominations for Arrival — a genre movie (based on a very nerdy short story by Seattle-based technical writer Ted Chiang) that has so thoroughly inserted itself into the mainstream that most people don’t even recognize it as a genre movie.  

But that was far from the only reason for excitement in the geek sectors of society. The nominations list was replete with more traditional genre movies, too. 

Top of that list has to be Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which blasted its way into both the Achievement in Visual Effects and Achievement in Sound Mixing categories. It’s not as great a showing as its “sequel” — the original Star Wars got a Best Picture nomination at the 1978 awards, where it lost out to Annie Hall — but the motley band of rebels at Lucasfilm can be proud regardless. 

Don’t feel left out, Trekkies. Star Trek Beyond received a nod for Makeup and Hair Styling, matching the one nomination for the previous movie in the series, Star Trek Into Darkness. 

Comic book fans may have expected Marvel’s Deadpool to win at least one nomination somewhere, but the Merc with a Mouth was evidently too much for the Academy. Instead, Warner Bros’ so-so Suicide Squad is carrying the can for the whole comic nerd world with its Makeup nomination. 

Well, that’s not going to intensify the online DC vs. Marvel flame wars or anything. 

Meanwhile, Harry Potter lovers can cheer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which picked up nods in Production Design and Costume Design. 

These mark nominations number 13 and 14 for the Harry Potter series as a whole — though J.K. Rowling’s franchise has criminally been denied an actual Oscar so far. 

Maybe the Academy will finally take pity on the wizarding world, now that we’re seeing its American version — or maybe they’re just a bunch of “no-majs.”     

All in all, it’s shaping up to be a triumphant year for uncool obsessives (personified by Ryan Gosling’s protagonist in La La Land) and world-saving brainiacs (Amy Adams’s alien-loving scientist in Arrival). 

We see a trend here, given that last year’s list was so dominated by book-based movies — and that the 2016 winner, Spotlight, was also about the dogged determination of uncool obsessives. (In that case, journalists.) 

If you needed any more evidence that geekdom has not just entered the mainstream, but has completely colonized it — well, here it is. 



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