Thursday, January 25, 2018

90th Academy Awards Nominations

Recently AMPAS announced the nominations for the 2018 edition of the Oscars honoring films released in 2017.  The announcement was made by Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis; Haddish performance was not really adequate to be reading the most famous, most expected award nominations where names mean everything for those being honored with an Oscar nomination.

Nevertheless, Haddish and Serkis announced online the nominees in 11 categories at 5:22am PT, with pre-taped category introductions by Academy members Priyanka Chopra, Rosario Dawson, Gal Gadot, Salma Hayek, Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, Molly Shannon, Rebel Wilson and Michelle Yeoh. Haddish and Serkis announced online and live TV in many countries of the world, the remaining 13 categories at 5:38 a.m. PT.

Will not deny that highly enjoyed the format of the first part where categories were introduced with a short video exemplifying what the category was all about and starring female actors.  Perhaps because was the first video or maybe because I like Gal Gadot but for me her video was the best category presentation.

As the nominees were announced had some gasps with unexpected nominees but before the second part started already knew (and confirmed what everyone was expecting) The Shape of Water was going to have the most nominations as was collecting noms in almost all craft/tech categories.  So, nope, no surprise when film was named leader of the pack and perhaps was a bit surprised of the 13 nominations and the distance to number 2, Dunkirk which collected 8.

There are so much to say about the nominations as there are many notable issues, so will have to order my thoughts to be able to mention a few.  Believe none is more notorious than having a female cinematographer nominated for the first time ever!  Which means that in the past 89 years of Academy Awards there was NO female cinematographer nominated!!!  As her work in Mudbound is remarkable, Rachel Morrison absolutely deserved this and more honors that no doubt will come her way.   Then there is also very-well-deserved nomination to Greta Gerwig, who becomes the 5th female director to be nominated in 90 years of AMPAS history and the first female director to land a nomination with her directorial debut.  Most remarkable are Mary J. Blige who becomes the first woman to be nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song in the same year.

This edition has also a remarkable milestone as is the first time the Academy honors a trans director, Yance Ford with his documentary Strong Island and there is a film starring a trans actress with a nomination, Daniela Vega in The Fantastic Woman. So, not only in gender there were broken barriers but also in a LGBT minority.

Even if I question the reason why Christopher Nolan got a nomination for Dunkirk, will not deny the fact that is about time Nolan gets a nomination!  Yes, it's the first he ever gets.  Unbelievable, isn't?  There are a couple of his films that deserved his nomination as more clearly showcased his directorial outstanding skills, but well, the Academy is famous for doing this kind of honor for the wrong film. Sigh.  Yes, Meryl Streep becomes the actor with the most nominations breaking once again her own Oscar record; it's her 21st Academy Award nomination.  But as much nods Streep has she's not the top individual with Oscar nominations, the title belongs to composer John Williams who just got his 51st nomination.

If we go on with people records there is one that's notable as no one doubts the outstanding cinematography by Roger Deakins -in so many films- who just earned his 14th nomination and has won NO Oscar.  That's odd, isn't? One of the biggest surprises was Paul Thomas Anderson nomination, who now becomes the most nominated non-tech filmmaker without an Oscar as there is no writer, director or actor who has more nominations (8) without a win.

On top, age had a milestone as none other that Christopher Plummer (88) becomes the oldest Oscar acting nominee in history.  Also 22-years-old Timothee Chalamet is the youngest Best Actor nominee in almost 80 years as record-holder 19-years-old Mickey Rooney got a nomination in 1944.

There are more first-ever like Logan being the first live-action superhero movie nominated for its screenplay, Lebanon gets it's first-ever nomination, Octavia Spencer became the only black actress to follow up an Oscar victory with two nominations, and more, but will stop here.

The major snub for me is in the documentary category as is hard to understand why Jane was not nominated after getting so-many honors in current awards season -still I'm hopeful now Faces Places could win and Agnes Varda will become the first person to win an Honorary and a Competitive Oscar in the same year.  Fatih Akin's In The Fade got snubbed after collecting some honors, sigh.  Alright there was no spot left but yes, agree with those who say Florence Pugh's powerhouse performance in Lady Macbeth deserved a Best Actress spot.

Will not get into who will win as hope to do traditional Oscar predictions,  but we all know there are some categories that have to be locked and we all know the winner.  The only disruption to  sure-things is the inclusion of Phantom Thread, which have to figure out how could influence Academy voters decision.

The Nominations

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Loving Vincent

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Una Mujer Fantástica (A Fantastic Woman), Sebastián Lelio, Chile
قضية رقم ٢٣ (aka قضية رقم 23) L'Insulte (The Insult), Ziad Doueiri, Lebanon
Нелюбовь Nelyubov (Loveless), Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia
Testről és lélekről (On Body and Soul), Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary
The Square, Ruben Östlund, Sweden

Best Documentary Feature
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Steve James, USA
Visages, Villages (Faces Places), JR and Agnes Varda, France
Icarus, Bryan Fogel, USA
Last Men in Aleppo, Firas Fayyad, Steen Johannessen and Hasan Kattan, Denmark and Syria
Strong Island, Yance Ford, USA

Achievement in directing
Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk
Jordan Peele for Get Out
Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird
Meryl Streep in The Post

Performance by an actress in supporting role
Mary J. Blige in Mudbound
Allison Janey in I, Tonya
Lesley Manville in Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Timothee Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out
Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington in Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins in The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Adapted screenplay
James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber for The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Mike Green for Logan
Aaron Sorkin for Molly's Game
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees for Mudbound

Original screenplay
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani for The Big Sick
Jordan Peele for Get Out
Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Achievement in cinematography
Roger A. Deakins for Blade Runner 2049
Bruno Delbonnel for Darkest Hour
Hoyte van Hoytema for Dunkirk
Rachel Morrison for Mudbound
Dan Laustsen for The Shape of Water

Achievement in visual effects
John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover for Blade Runner 2049
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus for Kong: Skull Island
Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanian and Chris Corbould for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Jon Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist for War for the Planet of the Apes

Achievement in film editing
Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos for Baby Driver
Lee Smith for Dunkirk
Tatiana S. Riegel for I, Tonya
Sidney Wolinsky for The Shape of Water
Jon Gregory for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Achievement in production design
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

Achievement in costume design
Jaqueline Durran for Beauty and the Beast
Jaqueline Durran for Darkest Hour
Mark Bridges for Phantom Thread
Luis Sequeira for The Shape of Water
Consolata Boyle for Victoria & Abdul

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick for Darkest Hour
Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard for Victoria & Abdul
Arjen Tuiten for Wonder

Achievement in sound editing
Julian Slater for Baby Driver
Mark Mangini and Theo Green for Blade Runner 2049
Richard King and Alex Gibson for Dunkirk
Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira for The Shape of Water
Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Achievement in sound mixing
Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H. Ellis for Baby Driver
Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth for Blade Runner 2049
Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker and Gary A. Rizzo for Dunkirk
Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern and Glen Gauthier for The Shape of Water
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Stuart Wilson for Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original Score)
Hans Zimmer for Dunkirk
Jonny Greenwood for Phantom Thread
Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water
John Williams for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Carter Burwell for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original Song)
Mighty River from Mudboud
Mystery of Love from Call Me by Your Name
Remember Me from Coco
Stand Up for Something from Marshall
This is Me from The Greatest Showman

Short Films

Best live action short film
DeKalb Elementary,  Reed Van Dyk, USA
The Eleven O'Clock, Derin Seale, Australia
My Nephew Emmett, Kevin Wilson Jr., USA
The Silent Child, Chris Overton, UK
Watu Wote: All of Us, Katja Benrath, Germany and Kenya

Best animated short film
Dear Basketball, Glen Keane, USA
Garden Party, Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon, Florian Babikian, Vincent Bayoux, Theophile Dufresne and Lucas Navarro, France
Lou, Dave Mullins, USA
Negative Space, Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, France
Revolting Rhymes, Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer, UK

Best documentary short subject
Edith+Eddie, Laura Checkoway, USA
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, Frank Stiefel, USA
Heroin(e), Elaine McMillion Sheldon, USA
Knife Skills, Thomas Lennon, USA
Traffic Stop, Gina Kamentsky and Julie Zammarchi, USA

To check nominations at official site go here (pdf file) or here. Active members of the Academy (7,258 as of 12/21/17) are eligible to vote for the winners in all 24 categories beginning Tuesday, February 20 through Tuesday, February 27.

The Oscars hosted by Jimmy Kimmel will be held on Sunday, March 4, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood and will be televised on ABC at 6:30pm ET/3:30pm PT.  The awards show will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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