Reactions to the 2018 Oscar Nominations

Biggest Snubs (in order from most to least egregious)
1. Call Me by Your Name – Supporting Actor
“Nature has cunning ways of finding our weakest spot.” And boy did I feel weak after knowing one of our greatest character actors (Michael Stuhlbarg) and one of the best supporting performances of the year would go unheralded for another year. He likely split votes with Armie Hammer (also worthy, though he’s arguably a lead), which is a real shame. Guess I’ll go cry by the fire.

2. Phantom Thread – Actress
Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film had a surprisingly strong showing. In addition to Actor and Costume Design, it also picked up nods for Picture, Directing, Supporting Actress and Original Score. While all of that is nice, it’s a damn shame Vicky Krieps wasn’t a recipient of that love. The relatively new actress from Luxembourg went toe-to-toe with arguably the greatest actor alive, and won. That’s an incredible feat, and would have been worth snubbing Meryl Streep for (and yes, I’m glad Meryl is nominated).

3. The Big Sick – Picture, Supporting Actress
Though I’m happy with the Original Screenplay nomination (which wasn’t a guarantee given the stiff competition in that category), I’m a little miffed such a joyful movie didn’t get nominated for Best Picture, and that in the Year of Moms, the radiant Holly Hunter didn’t make the cut in Supporting Actress.

4. Mudbound – Picture, Director
Netflix’s biggest foray into feature films yet wasn’t totally ignored. It got the expected screenplay nod, in addition to nominations for Mary J. Blige (twice!) and Rachel Morrison’s excellent cinematography. But it should have been a much bigger player, and I really would have loved for it to have been up there for the biggest award, as well as for Dee Rees to make history as the first woman of color to be nominated for directing.

5. Molly’s Game – Actress
A stacked category, I’ll admit. Yet once again, the best actress on the planet (Jessica Chastain) gets snubbed, which has sadly happened the last four years. At least Sorkin didn’t get the shaft again.

6. Lady Bird – Supporting Actor
Greta Gerwig’s lovely debut picked up several nominations, all of them deserved. But in the absolutely loaded Supporting Actor category, there was unfortunately no room for Tracy Letts, so great (in a more subtle role) as Lady Bird’s father.

7. The LEGO Batman Movie – Animated Feature
Why oh why does the animation branch hate LEGO movies? The only reason I can think The LEGO Movie got snubbed in 2014 was because it featured some live-action sequences. This one didn’t, was a huge hit, and with the rule change allowing members of other branches to be part of the nominating process, it seemed like a shoo-in. I get the competition in the categories above may have made nominations for those people and movies impossible, but there’s no excuse when The Boss Baby and Ferdinand made it in.

8. The Disaster Artist – Actor
The L.A. Times story about James Franco’s sexual misconduct allegations broke two days before voting ended. While it played a factor, it certainly wasn’t the only factor. I long thought Franco’s performance was too “out there” for most Academy voters. Plus, hearing his name called in the midst of #MeToo would have made for an awkward morning and telecast. His performance is worthy of acclaim, even if he is not. Still, I’m not going to lose any sleep over this one.

9. Wonder Woman – Costume Design
Even after all that campaigning for the last half of 2017, Wonder Woman came up empty. I just re-watched it and think it’s one of the better comic book movies of the year. But it honestly didn’t deserve any Oscar nominations, except for this one. Its costumes – both the armor of the Amazons and the war fatigues of the troops – were fantastic, and certainly deserved a spot over the more drab outfits of Darkest Hour.

10. Wonderstruck – Original Score
It was never going to happen, but this was Carter Burwell’s best score this year, and the best score of the year period.

Most Pleasant Surprises (in no particular order)
Phantom Thread nominated for Picture, Director and Supporting Actress
Released at the tail-end of 2017, and missing out on a lot of nominations from most award-giving bodies, it seemed that it would only get love for Daniel Day-Lewis’ final performance and the exquisite costumes (and maybe Jonny Greenwood if he was lucky). But lo and behold, it surprised with three well-deserved nods on top of that (though sadly no love for Vicky Krieps).

Logan nominated for Adapted Screenplay
Though technically beaten to the punch by Ghost World and A History of Violence, Logan is the first true comic-book movie to get nominated for its screenplay. I didn’t think a superhero movie would ever be honored in this category, but the excellent script from Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green (2017’s writing MVP) got its due.

Mudbound nominated for Cinematography
Rachel Morrison made history as the first woman ever nominated in this category. Even if it wasn’t history-making, it would be well-deserved, as the shot composition is essential to the story being told.

A solid Original Screenplay category
Even with a ton of competition, and at least another five good-to-great nominees, this is one of the most satisfying categories of the year. A horror movie, an exceptional coming-of-age story, two offbeat romances and the most polarizing movie of 2017 all together, all deserving.

Victoria & Abdul nominated for Make-up & Hairstyling
Even though it might have been your grandma’s favorite movie of the year, this one was actually quite good. While I predicted a nomination for its period costumes, its top-notch make-up and hairstyling wasn’t assured. But the Academy didn’t go for any comic book or sci-fi flicks in that category this year, giving us this delightful nod instead.

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