The 90th Academy Awards are almost here and the nominations have been announced. This year’s nominations seem rather unconventional in contrast to the past years, or as some may say there is finally a change in Hollywood. For instance, although films in the horror genre rarely receive attention from the Academy, the horror film Get Out received four nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor. This film is special in the way that it focuses on racism in America. We see African-American Chris who visits the parents of his white girlfriend for the first time for a weekend in their house in the woods begins to notice strange behaviour from the black employees of his girlfriend’s parents. As the weekend progresses several disturbing incidences reveal an upsetting truth that I won’t spoil now.
Other nominations for Best Picture include The Shape of Water which received 13 nominations in total and follows a mute custodian working in a high-security government laboratory who befriends a captured humanoid-amphibian creature, Dunkirk which depicts the Dunkirk evacuation during World War II, and Call Me By Your Name, which focuses on the romantic relationship between two men. The nominated films range from low-budget films to high-budget ones and feature independent films, as well as big studio productions.
After harsh critique in past years, the Academy Awards critics seem to have finally listened to complaints about male and white centric nominees. Get Out’s Jordan Peele is the first African-American ever nominated for Directing, Writing and Best Picture in the same year, Dee Rees is the first African-American woman to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for her work on Mudbound and her collaborator Rachel Morrison is the first woman nominated for Best Cinematography, while Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) is the fifth woman to be nominated for Best Director.
Apart from that, Logan became the first live-action superhero movie ever nominated in a writing category (Adapted Screenplay). A surprise for many, however, was that Wonder Woman failed to pick up a single nomination but the film’s lead actress Gal Gadot says “I was very moved and touched by the people who were disappointed that Wonder Woman wasn’t nominated, but we certainly never did the movie for that.” Many believed that Wonder Woman would get nominations for a technical award category or for director Patty Jenkins but the franchise may soon have the chance to win Academy Awards in the future since a sequel is planned for 2019.
This year’s nominations for best actress are Margot Robbie for her performance in I, Tonya, Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water, Saoirse Ronan Lady Bird, Frances McDormand Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Meryl Streep for The Post. By tradition, Casey Affleck, who won Best Actor for Manchester by the Sea in 2017, would have been expected to present the Best Actress award but has pulled out this year because of the sexual harassment claims that were made against him in 2010 by two female crew members. Attention to the incidents has been revived after the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein and the recent #metoo movement. It is not yet clear who will replace Affleck to present Best Actress but in recent years, when a person has been unable to return, producers have in many cases chosen to go with a prior winner of the same category.
The nominations for Best Actor are Timothee Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name, Daniel Day-Lewis for Phantom Thread, Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out, Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour, as well as Denzel Washington for Roman J. Israel, Esq.
We will be able to see the results on March 4th when the 90th annual Academy Awards will be hosted by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. The event will be held at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood and Highland Centre in California and it is considered as the highest honour in film to receive recognition for work on and off screen.