The Academy released the nominees to the 90th annual Academy Awards, and with them came some picks that were expected, some that were pleasant surprises, and a stunning amount of choices that left me disappointed. So, here I will talk about my favorite choices made by the Academy, and the snubs that left me shocked or in a pit of rage.
Gerwig and Rachel Morrison Make History
Greta Gerwig earned a Best Director nomination for her film, “Lady Bird,” becoming the fifth woman ever to be nominated for the award. She looks to join Katheryn Bigelow as the only female winner, and she also has a chance in Original Screenplay and in Best Picture to win some hardware. Rachel Morrison’s camera work in “Mudbound” was also recognized, marking the first time in the history of the Oscars that a woman is nominated for Best Cinematography.
Love for “Dunkirk”
Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece was not overlooked by the Academy this time, as “Dunkirk” earned eight nominations, including Best Picture and, for the first time, a well-deserved Best Director nom for Nolan. The other nominations came in the technical categories, which the movie will likely be a favorite in, but even with the lowering stock on this critically-acclaimed summer hit, the movie should remain an outside contender for the big prize come Oscar Sunday.
“Shape of Water” Leads the Pack
Guillermo Del Toro’s fantasy romance won the nominations announcement, receiving 13 noms, one behind last year’s “La La Land,” including Best Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress among many others. For me, I think this wonderful movie deserved every nomination it got, especially in the major categories, and only time will tell just how many of these categories this brilliantly unique film can win.
“Get Out” Breaks the Academy’s Mold
Jordan Peele’s stunning horror-thriller scored four big nominations in Directing, Lead Actor, Original Screenplay, and Best Picture, which was something considered nearly impossible just a year ago. Peele is just the fifth Black director to ever get nominated, and to do it with a horror film with strong racial themes, while also releasing it in February is nothing short of brilliant. This is a monumental film for many reasons, and I will be hoping that the movie can sneak out a victory in one of those four loaded categories.
“I, Tonya” and “Call Me by Your Name” Get Something
While I wish the success went further, it was nice to see two of my favorites of 2017 landing a handful of nominations between them. “I, Tonya” earned three, including Best Supporting Actress and, thankfully, Best Actress for Margot Robbie’s exceptional turn. “Call Me by Your Name” is nominated in four, with Best Actor and Picture being the major victories for this wonderful little movie. I will be pulling for Timothée Chalamet hard, and hope to see him make up for his counterparts being snubbed.
Hammer and Stuhlbarg Get Absolutely Robbed
When picking my nominees for Best Supporting Actor, my only debate was whether one or two actors from “Call Me by Your Name” would make it, but instead, the Academy chose neither, and the Academy chose wrong. I love “Three Billboards,” but I think that nominating both Rockwell and Harrelson is a mistake, as Harrelson, while great, doesn’t add all that much to a film that is so outstanding already, and I also believe Christopher Plummer’s situation is almost entirely the reason for his nomination. Richard Jenkins and Willem Defoe I have no problems with, but not nominating Stuhlbarg or, more importantly, Hammer, is an absolute disgrace.
“Phantom Thread” Gets Way Too Much Love
Aside from Daniel Day-Lewis and Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread” is severely overrated, and the Academy over-rewarded it. This Paul Thomas Anderson film received six nominations, including Best Director and Best Picture. I truly do not see how this is one of the nine best movies of the year or one of the five best directed, and it’s a shame this spot wasn’t used on a movie that wasn’t as boring or as uninteresting as this slog.
“Boss Baby” Over the Far Superior “LEGO Batman Movie”
Possibly the worst choice made by the Academy came in the Best Animated Movie category, where both “Ferdinand” and “The Boss Baby” beat out the beautifully animated, laugh-out-loud funny, uniquely crafted “LEGO Batman Movie”. I guess the Academy just hates LEGOs, considering this is the second time in a row that the film franchise has been blatantly shafted by an animated movie that is clearly worse. But seriously, how could anyone watch “The Boss Baby” and think this deserves to be an Oscar nominee, that movie was a total mess and “LEGO Batman” is loads of fun for all ages.
“Big Sick” and “Blade Runner 2049” Deserve Better
Two of my favorite movies of 2017 did indeed get recognized by the Academy, but not nearly enough. “The Big Sick” landed only one nomination, a much-deserved one for Original Screenplay, but was snuffed in Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, and Best Picture. This movie was one of the best romantic comedies ever made, was widely loved by critics and users alike, but was instead passed up in a category that still had a spot remaining to give out. Well, if not “Big Sick,” maybe “Blade Runner 2049,” right? Wrong, as Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi masterpiece was nominated for five Oscars, but all in technical categories, when it’s storytelling was certainly impressive enough to land noms in major categories.
While I was happy to see love for some more diverse choices, I do think the Academy could have done better. Armie Hammer simply needed to be on that list, and “The Big Sick,” “Blade Runner 2049,” or “I, Tonya” should have made the Best Picture list over “Phantom Thread” or “Darkest Hour”. Still, of course I am excited for Oscars Sunday come March, and let’s just hope the winners are more satisfying than these nominees.
Did the Academy get the major categories right? Who do you think got snubbed? Comment below with your thoughts.