Oscar Nominations 2018: The good, the snubs and the ugly

In about a month, the Academy will put an end to the campaigns and arguments of 2017’s best films. Viewers woke up early on Jan. 23 to see which artists were nominated for their craft in categories like producing, directing and acting.

Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water”leads the race with 13 nominations, just a nod shy of the record 14. Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” trails behind with eight nominations and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” follows with seven.

Meryl Streep broke an Oscars record and by record, I mean her own. Streep originally held the record for the most Oscar nominations with 20, but her role as Katherine Graham in “The Post”earned her another nod, making it 21. Twitter users showed mixed emotions with some celebrating Streep’s milestone and others condemning the actress for her past partnership with Harvey Weinstein.

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison and actress/singer Mary J. Blige both receive honors that mark a historical stepping stone for women. Morrison’s work in “Mudbound” earned a cinematography recognition, making her the first woman to ever receive a nomination within the awards’ 90-year run. As for Blige, her work in “Mudbound” earned her a nod for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song (“Mighty River”) making her the first to ever do so.

In the Best Director Category, Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele, Paul Thomas Anderson, Del Toro and Nolan were announced as nominees, leading to exaggerated reactions on how this category is anyone’s game.

Both Peele and Gerwig made their directorial debuts in highly acclaimed films like “Get Out”and “Lady Bird.” The Best Director nominations marked Peele as the fifth African American and Gerwig as the fifth woman to be nominated in this category.  

“Call Me By Your Name,” “Dunkirk,” “Darkest Hour,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “The Post,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri,” “Phantom Thread” and “The Shape of Water”are all up for Best Picture.While the nine listed films are all capable of taking home the gold, “Three Billboards”and “The Shape of Water”appear to be the front-runners with “Call Me By Your Name”as the dark horse.

“Wonder Woman”fell short of any recognitions, but the film “Logan” earned itself a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay making it a breakthrough for superhero films.

Viewers were shocked to see James Franco missing from the Best Actor category for his portrayal of Tommy Wiseau. Critics commended Franco for his performance, earning him a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild nominee and other prestigious recognitions.

Subsequent to Franco’s Golden Globe win, headlines broke with reports of five women accusing the actor of sexual harassment. Many believe this to be the reason Franco was excluded from the category.

Some Twitter users were upset with this snub and even questioned why Oldman– an accused abuser– was on the ballot. 

On a related note, last year’s Best Actor Casey Affleck will not be present at this year’s awards. The actor, who faced sexual allegations last year, has withdrawn from the Oscars. His replacement has yet to be determined.  

As the preparation begins for the award show in early March, headlines will continue to name all the critiques and praises for this year’s nominees. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air March 4, 2018.