The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards are in, as presented by War for the Planet of the Apes' Andy Serkis and Girls Trip's Tiffany Haddish. Here's our breakdown of this year's triumphant nominees and surprise omissions.
Having been largely shut out of the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, it's terrific to note Get Out's strong showing at the Oscars. Nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Jordan Peele), Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya) and Best Original Screenplay, the topical and ghoulishly funny horror satire clearly played well with the Oscar votes. It also helps alleviate the allegations of whitewashing that have been levelled against the Academy in recent years.
How strongly it'll fare against the competition remains to be seen. Even so, the presence of breakout star Kaluuya being nominated for the highest possible accolade is tremendously exciting, and will no doubt open many more doors for him. Meanwhile, Peele becomes the latest black filmmaker to be recognised on both the directorial and writing fronts – he joins company like 12 Years a Slave's Steve McQueen (whose movie, some critics claimed, acted as an influence on Peele's film).
The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro's gorgeously designed movie is the pack leader with 13 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Best Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins) and Best Original Screenplay (shared with Vanessa Taylor). Additional nods include Best Original Score for Alexandre Desplat. (Had the movie achieved 14 nominations, it would have set a new record).
Del Toro would appear to lead the directorial race given he's already scooped the Golden Globe for Best Director. The movie's crowd-pleasing sense of romance, cinema pastiche, comedy and horror has won critics over (the movie boasts 93% on Rotten Tomatoes), and the sheer luxurious craft on display will surely be hard to ignore when it comes to the crunch.
Whether that necessarily guarantees The Shape of Water a shot at Best Picture is another matter. That said, the relatively unique qualities of Hawkins' superb performance (playing a mute, she's the only one of this year's nominees to have to work without dialogue), may steer the odds in her favour.
Talking of movies that have been overlooked, Christopher Nolan's World War II epic Dunkirk defied the odds to land eight Oscar nominations. This includes – yes! – his first ever nomination for Best Director, which pretty much defines 'overdue'. The intense and overwhelming drama also landed Best Picture and a clutch of noms in the expected technical categories, including Hans Zimmer for Best Score and Best Editing (Lee Smith).
Nolan may have the edge here. Long esteemed as one of Hollywood's finest purveyors of intelligent blockbuster entertainment, the Academy may feel it's time to recognise two decades of thought-provoking filmmaking that has been routinely overlooked in the past.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
As expected, there was a strong showing for Martin McDonagh's savagely funny black comedy. The movie picked up all the expected nominations – Best Picture and Original Screenplay, although no Best Director (more on which below) – and really triumphed in the acting categories. Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell were all recognised in the Actress and Supporting actor categories, respectively.
That means Three Billboards is neck and neck with The Shape of Water in terms of the most acting nominations this year. It's all to play for, but considering both McDormand and Rockwell have already won Golden Globes, consider them the frontrunners for now.
On another note, can we just celebrate Rockwell getting his first-ever Oscar nomination? Along with the recognition for Daniel Kaluuya and Jordan Peele, this makes it one of the most satisfying array of nominations in recent memory.
Paul Thomas Anderson's elusive story of a repressed English dressmaker looked like it may be defined by Daniel Day-Lewis' performance more than anything else. It is, after all, the legendary actor's final film (reportedly). But while Day-Lewis predictably scooped up a nod for Best Actor, the movie did better across the board than the Golden Globes and BAFTAs perhaps indicated.
Recognised for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville), among others, it sustains Anderson's reputation as an Academy favourite. Still, we reckon if anyone's going to win here, it's Day-Lewis.
Call Me By Your Name
Luca Guadagnino's sensual romantic drama Call Me By Your Name received several Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (for James Ivory), Best Actor (Timothee Chalamet) and Best Original Song ('Mystery of Love' by Sufjan Stevens).
Disappointingly, Guadagnino wasn't nominated, nor was Armie Hammer for his sensitive performance (many had tipped him for Supporting Actor, although we should be happy Willem Dafoe was nominated for The Florida Project). Nevertheless, the love for relative newcomer Chalamet is another pleasing indicator that this year's nominations show plenty of love for Hollywood's exciting up-and-comers.
Lady Bird's Greta Gerwig becomes the fifth woman in Academy history to be recognised for Best Director. It's another way in which the Academy have staved off earlier awards controversies – Gerwig was shut out of both the Globes and BAFTAs, leading to talk of discrimination, particularly in the wake of the #MeToo movement's presence at the former.
Gerwig joins the likes of The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow (who translated her nomination into a win) and Jane Campion (for The Piano) in this rarified company. Can we hope to see more equal representation in the Oscars going forward? With further nominations for Best Actress (Saorise Ronan) and Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), Lady Bird is leading the charge in this year's call for equality.
On a side note, with Gerwig going head-to-head with Jordan Peele, this could become a battle of the directorial debuts...
The World War II drama is nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, although Joe Wright has been ignored as Best Director. Nominee Gary Oldman is surely a lock for Best Actor, especially when you factor in his Golden Globe and SAG wins. However, his remarkable make-up job (orchestrated by veteran designer Kazhiro Tsuji) has been hailed as an industry landmark, and could also win.
In addition to relative newcomers like Daniel Kaluuya and Timothee Chalamet, it's terrific to see Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon nominated for their Big Sick screenplay. The sensitive and funny rom-com was hailed by critics and audiences alike as being one of the most truthful in years, a crowd-pleaser that stands a real chance of winning.
And quietly making her mark on Oscar history is cinematographer Rachel Morrison. She's the first female director of photography to ever be nominated at the Academy Awards, for Netflix's World War II, Deep South-set drama Mudbound.
It's a rare year when Steven Spielberg is shut out of the Best Director race. His movie The Post picked up a relatively tiny two nominations, although they are both significant (Best Picture and Best Actress for Meryl Streep). Also, nothing for Call Me By Your Name's Michael Stuhlbarg, or additional nominations for Sean Baker's The Florida Project? For shame.
Particularly surprising is the absence of Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards. Seemingly replaced by Paul Thomas Anderson, maybe the Academy are more keen to recognise the words in his script rather than his work behind the camera? There is a precedent for this: in 2009 he was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for In Bruges, another movie for he which he failed to land a Best Director nod.
Perhaps the most overlooked movie is Blade Runner 2049. Neither director Denis Villeneuve nor the writers or actors received any love, although Roger Deakins has got to be a shoo-in for Best Cinematography. With a career comprising the likes of The Shawshank Redemption and No Country for Old Men, yet no wins to his name, this is the time for the Academy to make amends.
The 90th Academy Awards get underway on 4th March. Tweet us your Oscar favourites @Cineworld.