Early this morning, nominees for the 90th Annual Academy Awards® were announced, kicking off the final leg in Hollywood’s race toward the big event on March 4. The ceremony will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel once again, and promises to be a night full of moving speeches, fierce fashion . . . and probably more than a bit of controversy. Even if there aren’t any envelope mishaps this time around.
In the major categories, there were a lot of expected nominees, as well as a few surprises — and a couple of snubs.
Best Picture Nominees
Call Me By Your Name
Depending on how votes shake out each year, the Academy can nominate between 5 and 10 films for this category. This year they ended up with 9, and I believe — based on the winners at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Producers Guilds Awards, the Directors Guild Awards, the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Golden Globes (even though there are no overlaps in membership between the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Academy members), the edge goes to Three Billboards.
The biggest surprise to me was the exclusion of Mudbound, which you may recall was one of my favorite films of the year . In my opinion, Mudbound’s devastating tale of life during World War II for two farm-based families deserved a nomination much more than the timely — but overacted — The Post.
On a happier note, I’m thrilled to see Get Out make the cut, as horror films tend to be overlooked. I’m positive that the movie’s cutting social commentary earned it a spot.
Best Director Nominees
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
While there were 9 Best Picture nominees, the Best Director category is still limited to 5 entries, as are the rest of the award categories. While some might be surprised that Steven Spielberg didn’t make the cut for The Post (I’m not — like I said, I thought the film was good but a bit overdone), I’m more thrown that Martin McDonagh isn’t on the list for Three Billboards .
While I have a feeling the statue will ultimately go to del Toro, I would love to see it go to Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk — a film that I consider a true directing feat, with its multiple timelines and vantage points during the notorious World War II battle.
Best Actress Nominees
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
If this one does NOT go to McDormand for her role as a butt-kicking mother out to spur the local police department into action on her daughter’s unsolved murder case, then everything is wrong in the world. She is simply phenomenal.
Best Actor Nominees
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, The Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Oldman was a shoo-in, as he’s swept the competition so far with SAG, Critics’ Choice and Golden Globes wins. And for good reason — he completely transforms into Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour. Though Oldman will likely take home the golden statue in March, he should look over his shoulder for Timothée Chalamet, a 2017 breakout star with memorable roles in two coming-of-age indies: Call Me By Your Name and Lady Bird.
Best Supporting Actress Nominees
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Leslie Manville, Phantom Thread
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Janney is the frontrunner for her incredible turn as Tonya Harding’s empathy-lacking mother, LaVona. I believe she deserves the win, but I loved Blige and Manville’s performances as well.
Best Supporting Actor Nominees
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
Rockwell is the favorite to win because he’s already racked up several awards for his performance as an egregiously racist, violent police officer. Who’s missing from this list is Armie Hammer, for his role in Call Me By Your Name. Hammer was in ALL of that film, whereas Dafoe had a fairly small role in the indie The Florida Project, so I personally wish Hammer would’ve taken Dafoe’s spot.
And now we wait until March 4!