Oscars 2018: And the nominees are…

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The battle is on for Hollywood’s most coveted awards. After weeks of predictions, the Academy has finally unveiled the list of nominees who will fight for glory at the Oscars on March 4th. This year’s diverse nominations and wins during awards season gave room for debate on who would claim a spot in the final roster – except for a few exceptions: Would Greta Gerwig become the fifth woman nominated for Best Director after her snub at the Golden Globes? Would the Academy embrace Jordan Peele’s horror movie Get Out? Would the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement affect this year’s nominations? These questions have been answered and it turns out the 7.258 Academy voters had an ace up their sleeves, with surprising nominees and snubs.

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The race for Best Picture seems to have been reduced to PGA and Critic’s Choice winner The Shape of Water vs Golden Globe and SAG Award winner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. In a year when it seemed like nominations for Best Picture could bring some surprises (The Big Sick, Mudbound), one thing seemed for sure: these two movies would top the list. Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy drama leads with 13 nods, 13, both in major categories (Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Screenplay) and in specialty categories (Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing). On the other hand, frontrunner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, snatched six nominations and was at the center of one of this year’s most shocking snubs: Martin McDonagh in the Best Director category, a decision that seems not only strange but also inexplicable, considering the praise the movie has received this Awards Season… Are we to believe the movie directed itself? In any case, it seems clear that this move affect Three Billboards’ bid for Best Picture, although Argo, in the same situation, claimed the top prize. Many critics were also hoping The Big Sick would get a nomination in the Best Picture category after its SAG Awards nomination, but Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani’s indie comedy was instead nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

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Leaving aside Martin McDonagh’s snub, the Best Director category has turned into everything we could have wished for – and feared, considering the Academy’s lack of diversity. Although Mexican director Guillermo del Toro is expected to take home the award after his Golden Globe win, the Academy made room for Get Out director Jordan Peele and Lady Bird creator Greta Gerwig. Gerwig, who also scored a Best Original Screenplay nomination is the first woman to be nominated in this category since Kathryn Bigelow in 2009. Peele on the other hand scored Best Picture, Director and Screenplay, an astounding achievement for a first film. After a Golden Globe edition where all the nominees in the category were male, the Oscars have decided to once again embrace diversity and nominate an African American, and Hispanic and a woman. I feel embarrassed just writing this like it’s a milestone, and I hope that in the future having a woman or a non-white person nominated in this category will not make headlines. On a side note, only 28% of Oscar voters are women, which is something we should also look into.

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Acting categories generally followed what experts had predicted, with one major surprise: James Franco, who had been considered a sure bet in this category since his Golden Globe win in early January, was left out of the race for Best Actor. Many wondered if the recent allegations of sexual misconduct would affect his chances of getting an Oscar and the general consensus was that they wouldn’t, since most voters had already cast their ballot. It seems like they did, and after honoring alleged abuser Casey Affleck last year the Academy has decided to do the right thing at a time when hundreds of women in the industry are raising their voice to denounce sexual harassment and discrimination. His spot was taken by Denzel Washington for Roman J. Israel, Esq. In a predictable move, Tom Hanks was left out of the race for Best Actor after the Post – with two nominations – lost momentum after the Golden Globes. In any case, Gary Oldman will take home the statuette for his portrayal of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

There were no surprises in the Best Actress category. It seems clear that Frances McDorman is the favorite to win her second Oscar for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. On the other hand, Meryl Streep broke her own record yet again and claimed her 21st nomination for The Post, after being snubbed at the SAG and BAFTA Awards. Sally Hawkins, Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan complete the list of nominees.

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Supporting categories were generally predictable, with one exception: Holly Hunter’s critically acclaimed performance in The Big Sick was left out by Oscar voters who instead nominated Lesley Manville for Phantom Thread. As a matter of fact, voters loved Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest movie, which received several nominations in top categories, including Picture and Director – leaving out, for instance, legendary director Steven Spielberg. After an unprecedented edition last year, the Best Supporting Actress race was the most diverse acting category, with Mary J. Blinge and Octavia Spencer on the ballot (Denzel Washington is the only other person of color to be nominated in an acting category). In a bold move, Christopher Plummer clinched a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for All the Money in the World, a decision many critics did not predict, since the veteran actor replaced Kevin Spacey overnight after claims of sexual assault were made public. In any case, it seems like Academy voters are sending a clear message and hopefully more than symbolic message to the #MeToo movement. Sam Rockwell is still the favorite to claim the title in March, after defeating initial frontrunner Willem Dafoe – who scored the Florida Project’s only nomination.

Golden Globe winner In the Fade was left out of the race for Best Foreign Language Film. A Fantastic Woman, The Insult, Of Body and Soul, Loveless and The Square will fight for the coveted prize, although Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or film is expected to win.

For the second year in a row, and in yet another effort to modernize the show, the nominations announcement format was altered. The ceremony, presented by actors Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis, followed a two-part structure, with the first – below-the-title-categories- introduced by prerecorded segments featuring actors including Gal Gadot or Salma Hayek.

The 90th Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre on March 4th 2018.

Full list of nominees:  

Best Picture

Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Actress

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Best Actor

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Best Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Director

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best Original Screenplay

The Big Sick
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Adapted Screenplay

Call Me by Your Name
The Disaster Artist
Logan
Molly’s Game
Mudbound

Best Film Editing

Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Production Design

Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water

Best Costume Design

Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria and Abdul

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Darkest Hour
Victoria and Abdul
Wonder

Best Cinematography

Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Mudbound
The Shape of Water

Best Visual Effects

Blade Runner 2049
Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Documentary Feature

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

Best Original Song

“Mighty River”, Mudbound
“Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name
“Remember Me,” Coco
“Stand Up for Something”, Marshall
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Best Original Score

Dunkirk
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Animated Feature

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Best Sound Editing

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Sound Mixing

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Foreign Language Film

A Fantastic Woman
The Insult
Loveless
Of Body and Soul
The Square

Best Animated Short Film

Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

Live Action Short

DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

Best Documentary Short

Edith+Eddie
Heaven is a Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

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