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Oscar Nominations Shake Up Award Season

The 2018 award season has been one shrouded in controversy and mostly safe choices. Controversy arose in the face of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, leading to numerous accusations of sexual assault against countless numbers of actors. There is no doubt this much-needed purge of Hollywood has led to a new beginning for award season. Many shows like the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards had to adjust their nominations (i.e Christopher Plummer being nominated for All the Money in the World in the face of the Kevin Spacey allegations). And most recently James Franco’s chances at a Best Actor Oscar nomination for The Disaster Artist have fallen fast after he was accused of sexual assault by multiple women following his Golden Globe win. Heading into the Oscar nominations, the new state of Hollywood weighed on the minds of voters so how did they pan out? Did it affect the nominations? There were some clear favorites (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for Best Picture, Gary Oldman for Best Actor), but the Academy has been known to shake things up from time to time. Where’s the fun in knowing who’s going to win before the show even starts?


The nominations were announced at 5 am (PST) this morning and as always, it’s not award season without some surprises and some snubs. Guillermo Del Toro’s monster love story The Shape of Water led the way with 13 nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress for Sally Hawkins, and Best Director. Following behind is Martin McDonagh’s revenge tale Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with seven nominations including, Best Picture, Best Actress for Frances McDormand, and Best Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell. Interestingly enough, McDonagh was not nominated for Best Director, a rare occasion for one who’s movie is nominated for Best Picture.


The most surprising nominations, or lack thereof, include the complete omission of James Franco’s  The Disaster Artist which was a favorite just a month ago. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project also failed to garner a Best Picture nomination, which I believe it fully deserved. And maybe not as surprising, but definitely deserved, is Jordan Peele’s horror film Get Out’s success. Get Out was nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, Peele was nominated for Best Director, and Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for Best Actor. This is an incredible feat for a horror film, a genre the Academy has come to ignore in many ways.


Some other honorable mentions include: Greta Gerwig’s Best Director nomination on her directorial debut for Lady Bird, a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for the comic book movie Logan, John Williams getting his 51st Oscar nomination for his score for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (and not for The Post, as predicted), and finally, Christopher Nolan getting a Best Director nomination for his World War II film, Dunkirk. Nolan’s nomination isn’t necessarily a surprise, but it is surprising that this is his first Best Director nomination.


The Academy Award nominations surely added some fire into an award season that has been, for the most part, unremarkable so far. The Best Director category in general is fascinating as it features a Mexican man, a woman, and a black man, showcasing the most diverse lineup for that category ever. I’m looking forward to seeing if the surprises go beyond just the nominations.


Here is the full list of nominations for the big categories:

Best Picture:

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour


Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 


Best Director:

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

Jordan Peele – Get Out

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water


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 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 Supporting Actor: 

Willem Dafoe — The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson — Three Billboards 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 Supporting Actress: 

Mary J. Blige — Mudbound

Allison Janney — I, Tonya

Lesley Manville — Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf — Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer — The Shape of Water

You can view the full list of nominations on the Oscars’ website.

The 90th annual Academy Awards will be held on March 4th at 8 pm (EST). ABC will air the ceremony, Jimmy Kimmel returns to host.

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