2018 Oscar Nomination Reactions

Ken Jones

Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and everybody and their mother is bound to have a hot take of some kind, so why not me (my mom could care less, though)? There’s bound to be a lot of huffing and puffing out there. You can view the all of the nominees here, so let’s take a look at some of the major categories.

Odds & Ends:

-I’m incredibly happy that Sufjan Stevens, one of my favorite musical artists, received a nomination for Original Song with “The Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name. I think/hope that he is the favorite alongside “Remember Me” from Pixar’s Coco.

-Original Score features five nominees that are all great, and I think that race is wide open.

-Coco has to be the favorite to win Best Animated Feature. I’m surprised that The Boss Baby got a nomination over Captain Underpants.

-I have not seen it yet, but I have heard nothing but glowing things for Agnes Varda’s Faces Places, so I’m hoping that wins Best Documentary.

-No nominations for Wonder Woman? This feels like a bigger snub than it really is, I think. I can’t see giving Patty Jenkins a Best Director nod over any of the nominees, nor Gal Gadot over any of the Best Actress nominees, but a case could have been made for something, somewhere, even if it was in the technical categories.

Cinematography:

This category made some history as Rachel Morris became the first female nominee in this category for Mudbound. Mudbound, which had a Netflix release, did look amazing. Same for The Shape of Water and Dunkirk. I still have yet to see Darkest Hour, so I can’t speak to its merits. The standout in this category should be Roger Deakins for Blade Runner 2049. It’s a crime that Deakins has not won to this point, and Blade Runner 2049 should absolutely be the film that seals the deal for him.

Adapted Screenplay:

Logan is a pleasant surprise. All of these nominees are fine, though none really stand out to me. This is probably the category I would make the most changes to, as I would have preferred to see Wonder, Wonderstruck, Wonder Woman, Captain Underpants, The Lost City of Z, or maybe even I, Tonya or It.

Original Screenplay:

This is a very strong category and I can’t really argue with any of the nominees here.

Best Director:

To my eye, this is the strongest category from top to bottom on the ballot. Frankly, all five of these nominees have a legitimate case to win. If I had to guess, I would say this is a three-person race between Guillermo Del Toro, Greta Gerwig, and Jordan Peele.

Best Supporting Actress:

Another stacked category. Janney and Metcalf are the clear frontrunners. Having seen all of these performances, I have not moved off my stance in my review of Lady Bird that I thought Metcalf deserved this award. Also, I loved The Shape of Water and Octavia Spencer in it, but based on what I had heard about it, I would swap her out for Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip. I still have yet to see it, but the impression I got was that it was like Melissa McCarthy’s Oscar-nominated performance in Bridesmaids. Holly Hunter would have been perfectly fine from The Big Sick.

Best Supporting Actor:

No real complaints here, but Plummer feels like an overcorrecting move on the part of the Academy, given that Kevin Spacey was in the role and Ridley Scott re-cast it and re-shot his scenes with Plummer. Of the five, he’s at the bottom of the list for me. In fact, I would have preferred Jason Sudekis in Colossal, Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky, or even Ray Romano in The Big Sick personally.

Best Actress:

All of these actresses are deserving, but I would have considered Kristen Stewart in Personal Shopper, Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game, Jennifer Lawrence in mother!, and even Anne Hatheway in Colossal in Streep’s spot. Maybe even young Brooklyn Prince for her role as Moonee The Florida Project.

Best Actor:

Gary Oldman seems like a foregone conclusion here, as his performance as Churchill in Darkest Hour is something I have heard about for months now. Daniel Kaluuya getting a nomination for Get Out is a nice surprise. Denzel’s nomination seems like a reputation pick, the male equivalent of nominating Meryl Streep. I mean, did anyone even see Roman J. Israel, Esq? If we’re going with impressive performances in movies practically nobody saw, I would have preferred Jake Gyllenhaal in Stronger. Could Kumail Nanjiani have been a dark horse candidate too? James Franco getting passed over is not the least bit surprising. I know it didn't garner any recognition elsewhere, but I liked Wind River a lot and thought Jeremy Renner was fantastic.

Best Picture:

I’ve seen every one of these except for Darkest Hour and Call Me By your Name. I will be seeing those shortly, though I don’t think they are serious contenders to win this category. It should be a three-to-five picture race between Three Billboards, Lady Bird, Get Out, Dunkirk and maybe The Shape of Water. Not exactly fair to say that I would swap out either of the two movies I haven’t even seen, but I would have loved a nomination for The Florida Project.

The Academy Awards will be held on March 4th.