Forget about the Government shutdown or any of those nimrods running this country like a second-rate car wash and prioritize what’s important: Tuesday morning’s Oscar nominations announcement! This year’s race has been all over the place and exciting because there’s not one movie running away with everything – the critic’s prizes have been all over the place so Best Picture isn’t necessarily sewn up just yet.
Forget Christmas or New Year’s – Oscar Season is the most wonderful time of the year! If you don’t agree then you can just Get Out? If you had told me a year ago that this little horror movie would be an Oscar nominee – I’d have told you to get out, but in just a few hours it most certainly will be! I don’t know if I’ll get a Best Picture nomination, but it’s a really great film that’s sure to be recognized tomorrow.
I’m not one to launch into a checklist of all the categories with who I think will be nominated because that’s boring and that’s typical and I am neither of those things. We’ll jump around, but let’s talk Best Director. Do I think Lady Bird will get a Best Picture nomination – definitely. Do I think Greta Gerwig will get a Best Director nomination for it? I’m really hoping that I’m wrong, but unfortunately, I’m leaning towards no. Not because she doesn’t deserve it or she shouldn’t be nominated; I want to be wrong on this but I’m leaning towards no based on Oscar history. At this point, I don’t know that there’s anything to stop Guillermo del Toro from winning for The Shape of Water, but the Director’s Branch doesn’t go with the popular vote for their nominations and that’s especially true recently.
It may seem odd to overlook the front runner to one of the most talked about films this year, but there are only five spots and this is an old boys club that might just stick with the veterans like Spielberg and Ridley Scott over newer directors like Greta Gerwig or Jordan Peele. Also, there have only been four women nominated for Best Director and only one female winner. In 90 Years – how is that even possible? That fact in itself is hard to ignore and pushes me towards a Gerwig snub Tuesday morning…
If snubbing Greta Gerwig seems absolutely crazy, remember that this is the same Director’s branch that didn’t give Martin Scorcese a Best Director Oscar until The Departed in 2006! Take that in folks – Eminem was an Oscar winner for 8 Mile years before Martin-effin-Scorcese! Shameful as that is, Christopher Nolan has never even been nominated for Best Director – this nomination for Dunkirk will be his first! This is one branch of the Academy that doesn’t seem to go with emotions or what the public does like the acting branch. In fact, in recent years the Best Director hasn’t even lined up with the Best Picture winner which, historically, was never the case.
Remember how great it was when Kathryn Bigelow stormed the stage for The Hurt Locker to win Best Director? That was an anomaly. She was snubbed for Zero Dark Thirty shortly after in the same year that be Affleck was snubbed for Argo – which actually won Best Picture! How the hell does the film winning Best Picture not get a nomination for Best Director? Affleck’s snub was the best thing that happened to Argo; it made them the underdog and they ran on a “shame on you for not nominating Ben Affleck” campaign which gained momentum and won the trophy. That could certainly happen with Lady Bird if Gerwig isn’t nominated tomorrow – it would up the chances in a race that’s not over by a long shot and march Lady Bird right up to the podium!
Along with the snubs are the surprise nominations that come along every now and then; there are always a few head scratchers that seem to just come out of nowhere and I love them. Last year, Amy Adams was snubbed for Arrival which I didn’t love and then her costar Michael Shannon came out of nowhere and got nominated for Nocturnal Animals which he could do again with The Shape of Water. It’s a film that everyone has seen so he could possibly hear his name called if the film builds momentum. It’s extremely doubtful for so many reasons but just know that if he hears his name, Woody Harrelson or Armie Hammer definitely won’t.
Both The Shape of Water and Three Billboards will have three acting nominations but Sam Rockwell – it’s about damn time! Three Billboards will be the first film since Bugsy in 1992 with two supporting actors nominated for the same film. Those nominations are givens, but although quite unlikely, it’s entirely possible for Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game to sneak into Meryl Streep’s The Post spot and Daniel Day Lewis might not get the love people are expecting for Phantom Thread leaving an open spot for Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out.
My big wish for the nominations is to see some love for Mudbound and The Big Sick and not just because I met Kumail Nanjiani and he’s awesome. I don’t think Mary J Blige is gonna make the cut for a Supporting Actress for Mudbound, so I’m rooting for her in the Best Original Song category! Mudbound is a great film, with a great story and a great cast that just happens to be written and directed by Dee Rees and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves. It should land a screenplay nod tomorrow, but getting a Best Picture nomination would be amazing, but it’s a very long shot.
If you think the race is over, consider that final Oscar voting closes on February 27th and the ceremony isn’t until March 4th – that is a lifetime away from now in Oscar campaigning and although Three Billboards has momentum right now, it’ll be hard to maintain that for the next month; I, Tonya could club the competition and surge up to a prime spot between now and then.