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Behold The 2018 Oscar Nominations, And Embrace The Most Unpredictable Oscar Race In Years

For the first time in recent memory, I have no idea what will win Best Picture. And that’s good!

If you spend as much time reading about film on the internet as I do (which, come on, you do), you would know just how much time and attention is spent on predicting the Oscars every year. Deserved or not, they are a big deal in the field, both within the industry and in covering the industry, and much is made ever Fall season in trying to predict them. Usually, it’s an easy thing — the Best Picture frontrunner arrives months in advance, and tends to dominate all the other awards (PGA, WGA, SAG, Golden Globes, etc.) in its lead up to winning the big prize.

But, last year, something change. The Oscar frontrunner, La La Land, failed to win the big prize (and did so in a pretty memorable way, in fact.) Instead, underdog Moonlight won, which was as shocking as it was deserved (even for someone like me, who had La La Land as his number one film of 2016 — that film didn’t need any more awards to secure its legacy.) But giving Moonlight the big prize proved that the new Oscars (which underwent a massive membership change a few years ago after #OscarsSoWhite) would be far less predictable than in the past. And this year’s Oscar season has certainly proved that to be true.

It’s been a wild one for sure, with so much division amongst the big awards and critics circles in who gets the big prize. The Golden Globes gave Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri its Best Picture prize…but being the Golden Globes, gave its OTHER Best Picture prize to Lady Bird, an equally worthy contender. The Producers Guild gave its Top Prize to The Shape of Water, who also has a chance simply due to Guillermo del Toro’s Directing win at the Globes. And then there’s Get Out, which is the clear audience favorite.

In recent weeks Three Billboards has gained momentum as a frontrunner, but I don’t think its lead over the others is as substantial as you might think. The film has its fair share of (I would argue unfair) backlash, and it’s very likely that it could end up the La La Land of this year’s Oscar race. But if it becomes La La Land, what the hell becomes Moonlight? I literally have no idea, which more than anything speaks to how strong a year it has been for film. Pretty much all the nominees (announced earlier today) are deserving of the big prizes, and though some categories are easier to predict than others, I think we’ll still be in for some surprises come Oscar night. Which, by all means, I approve of. Unpredictability can be fun, no?

But, for now, at least the nominations are set in stone. Below is the complete list of 2018 Oscar nominations, alongside some commentary for the bigger awards:


Best Picture

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

Commentary: Come on Academy, you have 10 available slots! You couldn’t have thrown The Big Sick or The Florida Project in there? I don’t know why they unofficially decided nine nominees was the way to go (it’s been that way for a few years now), but it bugs the crap out of me. Go big or go home, Oscars!


BEST DIRECTOR:

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

Commentary: No complaints here! Nice to see Paul Thomas Anderson squeeze in for the Phantom Thread, though it did take down Spielberg’s spot for The Post. Only so much room, unfortunately. And nice to see the Oscars correct the Golden Globes egregious mistake and give Greta Gerwig her due for Lady Bird.


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Commentary: Washington clearly subbed in for James Franco here — otherwise, I can’t see how something as forgettable as Roman J. Israel, Esq. could land an Oscar nom. Should have been Jake Gyllenhaal for Stronger, IMO.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:

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

Commentary: This was the most locked category for a while now, with no real surprises here. But all five are fantastic, so no complaints here.


ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

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

COMMENTARY: Excited about Richard Jenkins getting in (he’s incredible in The Shape of Water), but disappointed that Michael Stuhlbarg couldn’t get SOMETHING. And though it was the longest of long shots, Patrick Stewart REALLY deserved a nom for Logan, in a perfect and just world.


ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

COMMENTARY: A few surprises here, including Mary J. Blige in Mudbound, Lesley Manville in Phantom Thread (which overall performed much better than I thought it would at the awards), and Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water. All deserving I suppose, although it sucks that it pushed Helen Hunt out of the race. She was so damn good in The Big Sick.

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay):

Call Me By Your Name
The Disaster Artist
Logan
Molly’s Game
Mudbound

Commentary: Overall, a solid list. It was kind of a light year for Adapted Screenplay (surprisingly), but some good stuff here. LOVED Logan scoring a nod, because at least it got SOMETHING. Shame Blade Runner 2049 couldn’t shove in here too, though.


Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Big Sick
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Commentary: No beef here with any of these. And at least The Big Sick got a screenplay nod, even though it was pushed out of Best Picture. :/


Best Animated Feature:

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Commentary: THE BOSS BABY?? THE FREAKING BOSS BABY? Shameful, Academy, especially because The Lego Batman Movie absolutely deserved the nod. What is with the Oscars and their hatred of the Lego movie franchise? They must be a MegaBlocks organization.

Best Cinematography:

Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Mudbound
The Shape of Water

COMMENTARY: YEAH, GO DEAKINS. FINALLY GIVE THIS MAN AN OSCAR FOR THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FILM OF 2017, ACADEMY. C’MOOOOOOON.


Best Film Editing:

Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Commentary: Sweet to see Baby Driver here, because man is the editing in that film wonderful. But this is Dunkirk’s Oscar to lose, and I would argue deserves the prize with its hands tied behind its back.


Best Visual Effects:

Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Commentary: Oh man, I am so torn on this one between Blade Runner 2049 and War for the Planet of the Apes. Both look absolutely amazing, but my gut says the Academy will give it to Blade Runner. We will see, though.

Best Original Score:

Dunkirk
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Commentary: Overall a great assortment of scores. I would have loved for Giacchino to get something for his incredible work in War for the Planet of the Apes, but other than that can’t complain. The fact all of them conceivably have a chance to win is telling.


And here’s the rest of the categories, which I have no particular comments on.

Best Foreign Language Film:

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult, Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon)
Loveless, Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

Best Documentary Feature:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Strong Island
Last Men in Aleppo

Best Production Design:

Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water

Best Costume Design:

Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria and Abdul

Best Make-Up and Hairstyling:

Darkest Hour
Victoria and Abdul
Wonder

Best Original Song:

“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Mystery of Love,” Call Me By Your Name
“Remember Me,” Coco
“Stand Up for Something,” Marshall
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Best Sound Mixing:

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Sound Editing:

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Short Film (Live-Action):

Dekalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

Best Short Film (Animated):

Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Edith+Eddie
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

The 90th Annual Academy Awards airs on ABC on March 4.


Also published on Medium.

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Written By

Matthew Legarreta is the Editor and Owner of Freshly Popped Culture. A big ol' ball of movie, TV, and video game loving flesh, Matthew has been writing about pop culture for nearly a decade. Matthew also loves writing about himself in the third person, because it makes him feel important (or something.)

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