Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced earlier this week, with “The Shape of Water” leading the pack with a whopping 13 nominations.
Many of the categories were wide open in what was the most up-in-the-air Oscar race in years. So predictably, there were some surprises and snubs. But Oscar also got a lot of things right. Here’s a look:
▪ Greta Gerwig gets a nomination for best director for “Lady Bird.” She becomes only the fifth woman to be nominated in this category, following Lina Wertmuller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow (who is the only woman to win for “The Hurt Locker”).
▪ Jordan Peele gets a nomination for best director for “Get Out.” He becomes only the fifth black director to be nominated (after John Singleton, Lee Daniels, Steve McQueen and Barry Jenkins) and the first to land three nominations in one year (he also drew nods in the original screenplay and best picture categories). Peele is also the third person to receive all three of those nominations for his first feature film, following Warren Beatty (“Heaven Can Wait”) and James L. Brooks (”Terms of Endearment”).
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▪ Rachel Morrison gets a nomination for best cinematography for “Mudbound.” She becomes the first woman ever to be nominated in this category.
▪ “Logan” gets a nomination for best adapted screenplay. Yay! And it’s well deserved, a first for a superhero film, mainly because it defied genre trappings and delivered real emotion.
▪ Christopher Plummer gets a nomination for best supporting actor. He was a last-minute replacement for Kevin Spacey on Ridley Scott's “All the Money in the World,” proving that he was absolutely right for the role. The 88-year-old becomes the oldest acting nominee.
▪ Dee Rees gets nominated for best adapted screenplay. The “Mudbound” writer becomes the first black woman nominated in this category.
▪ Netflix gets love with “Mudbound.” A Sundance favorite that was picked up by Netflix, the film received four nominations. This gives some serious cred to Netflix as a distributor (even though the film failed to land a best picture nomination).
▪ No best actor nomination for James Franco. It was iffy for the “The Disaster Artist” actor, especially since he was accused of sexual misconduct by several women after his Golden Globe win and just one day before Oscar ballots were due. Denzel Washington probably took his slot for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” – it’s his ninth Oscar nomination (he’s won twice).
▪ No best supporting actress nomination for Holly Hunter. The “The Big Sick” actress had been a constant all through awards season, but Leslie Manville likely took her place with a surprise nomination for “Phantom Thread.”
▪ No best supporting actor nominations for Armie Hammer or Michael Stuhlbarg. Their tender performances in “Call Me by Your Name” were considered front-runners, but it was an awfully crowded field in a year full of excellent performances.
▪ No Steven Spielberg or Tom Hanks. Spielberg didn’t land a directing nod in a tight race, nor did Hanks for best actor in an equally crowded category.
▪ No directing nomination for Martin McDonagh. The “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” director was considered almost a lock, especially since he earned a Directors Guild Award nomination. But all is not lost, McDonagh did get a nomination for his original screenplay.
▪ “Boss Baby” gets nominated for best animated feature. Wait, what? The film has only a 52 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and critics weren’t kind. But what do critics know, right?