Tuesday, January 23, 2018

2017 Oscar Nominations: What happened

This morning, Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis announced the nominations for the 90th Academy Awards. Despite Haddish's trouble pronouncing certain names (she was funny but after a while I felt bad for the nominees whose names were being mangled), I thought she and Serkis did a great job, much better than the convoluted announcement from last year.

Yesterday I posted a list of my predictions for the Oscar nominations in the major categories. I certainly didn't expect to be totally right (it's always a bit of a crapshoot), but I didn't do that badly. There were some surprises, some definite snubs (a few of which incensed me), and some exciting milestones as well.

For example, Rachel Morrison became the first female cinematographer nominated (for Mudbound) ever. Christopher Plummer is the oldest acting nominee ever, at 88. Mary J. Blige became the first person to be nominated for an acting award and Best Original Song in the same year. Lesley Manville and Gary Oldman, who used to be married to each other, are the first couple since Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to be nominated for acting Oscars in the same year. Fun stuff.

And now on to the nominations:

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

Analysis: I went 7/9 in my predictions, picking The Big Sick and I, Tonya instead of The Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread. The latter film's success in the nominations was a bit of a surprise, particularly here and in Best Director.

Best Actor
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.

Analysis: I went 4/5 here, although I did say that there was a possibility James Franco would get left out for Denzel Washington, whether because of the allegations of sexual impropriety and harassment or because Academy voters thought his performance was too light. With his eighth nomination, Washington breaks his own record as the most-nominated African-American actor. I'm super excited about Chalamet and Kaluuya's nominations, and if this really is Day-Lewis' last film ever as he's said, I'm glad he was nominated.

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

Analysis: I went 5/5 here. Streep gets her 21st nomination, amazingly. I'm pleased with this category although I wouldn't have minded seeing Annette Bening or Jessica Chastain in Streep's slot.

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

Analysis: I went 3/5 here, mainly because I voted with my heart and not my head. I truly am sad that Michael Stuhlbarg and Armie Hammer (in that order) were passed over for Call Me By Your Name. Neither Harrelson or Plummer's nominations surprised me; Harrelson played the slightly more sympathetic ying to McDormand and Rockwell's yang, and Plummer, essentially, was given an atta boy nomination for stepping in for Kevin Spacey and shooting all of his scenes in seven days. (If I'm being honest, I thought Plummer's performance was a little too C. Montgomery Burns in The Simpsons for me.)

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

Analysis: I went 4/5 here. I did mention Lesley Manville as a possibility, but I was pulling for Holly Hunter to get in for The Big Sick. While I loved Allison Janney's performance and she seems the one to beat, should Laurie Metcalf win the Oscar, she'll be three-fourths of the way to the EGOT, as she has already won Emmys and a Tony. Just saying.

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

Analysis: Again, I went 4/5 here. I did say I expected the Oscar nominees to differ slightly from the Directors' Guild Award nominations—I just didn't think Martin McDonagh (for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) would be the one to get snubbed. I had mentioned Anderson as an outside possibility; I am still a little surprised, however, at how well his film fared today. I'm disappointed, although not surprised, that Luca Guadagnino didn't get nominated for Call Me By Your Name, but I'm thrilled for Gerwig, Peele, Del Toro, and Nolan.

Who will win? The Oscars will be handed out March 4.

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