Rachel Zegler, the lead actress from Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, was not invited to the Oscars, and people are mad; why CODA is being compared to Crash; stories from the Deep Water snail wrangler. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Rachel Zegler’s Oscars Disappointment: People on Twitter are outraged that the star of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, which is nominated for seven Oscars, has not been invited to the awards ceremony. Rachel Zegler herself revealed that sad fact on Instagram, noting that she was “disappointed.” Honestly, rude. I hope the Oscars change their mind, and so does original West Side Story actor Russ Tamblyn.
But Don’t Worry: At least Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas will be there to perform their Bond anthem No Time to Die, according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s exclusive report. The bop is nominated for best original song.
Gatecrasher: The Daily Beast says some film buffs will be very annoyed if the Sundance darling CODA wins best picture over The Power of the Dog. The Beast‘s Kevin Fallon contends that because CODA has won some Oscar bellwethers, including the SAG Best Ensemble prize and the PGA trophy, “some Oscar purists are aghast that CODA, heartwarming as it is, could be this year’s big winner. My beloved lil’ tearjerker is even being branded the much-feared Oscar ‘villain’ because of this late-breaking surge.”
Oh Please: Some even compare the situation to when Crash won over Brokeback Mountain in 2006 — not that CODA and Crash can really be compared, for a host of reasons.
Speaking of: Here’s a sweet interview I did with CODA star Emilia Jones for our Flash Forward print feature. She is simply a delight!
All About Snails: If you’ve seen Hulu’s new erotic thriller Deep Water, which stars Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas as two people in a very unhealthy marriage, then you might be rethinking a lot of things you thought you knew about snails. I myself am a big fan of escargot, but after this movie… it’s going to be a while before I eat snails again. Especially considering this very informative interview that Entertainment Weekly did with Deep Water‘s official snail wrangler.
My Burning Question: The snail wrangler answered pretty much every other question (at least about snails) I had after watching Deep Water, except for one, which, to be fair, is more of a question for the filmmakers: Why does Ben Affleck have a box of empty snail shells in the back seat of his car in that one scene towards the end when he takes you-know-who to you-know-where and does you-know-what to him? Please, sound off with your theories in the comments. I thought he loved his snails! After everything he did to stop Finn Wittrock and Ana de Armas’ characters from eating them, I have a hard time believing that he killed them and just decided to keep their shells in a creepy cardboard box. Is this a metaphor I’m missing?
Sarma Speaks: Another of my favorite things to stream lately has been Netflix’s Bad Vegan documentary, which is almost too bizarre to be true — and yet, it is. Sarma Melngailis, whose now-shuttered but once wildly popular NYC raw vegan restaurant Pure Food and Wine centers at the heart of this story (along with her ex-husband’s promise that he could make her and her dog immortal) wrote a blog post about the things she feels the documentary got wrong.
This Has Nothing to Do With Movies: Or does it? I can’t stop thinking about how Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott have changed their brand new baby’s name from Wolf to some undisclosed other name, which they feel is better suited to him. Jenner said on her Instagram Story that she and Scott “just really didn’t feel like it was him.” I’m sure they’ve already chosen a new name for him, but just in case they haven’t, I’d like to submit an idea: name him after this year’s Oscars best picture winner. Options include, but are not limited to: Coda Scott, Power Dog Scott, Licorice Pizza Scott, Dune Scott, King Richard Scott, Belfast Scott, and my personal favorite, Nightmare Scott.
I’ll Leave You With This: A short film that Jenner posted on her YouTube channel called To Our Son. Clocking in at 9 minutes and 42 seconds long, it has gotten nearly 12 million views in 24 hours. Also, I would love to have a debate some other time about whether YouTube videos should be considered short films. I kind of think they should be. Anyways, here it is:
Main Image: Rachel Zegler in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (2022). Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.