Oscar Nominations 2018: Snubs and Surprises

2018 Oscar nominations and predictions

The 2018 Oscar nominations arrived this morning and, more or less, they ended up being pretty close to what we were expecting. However, it wouldn’t be a nomination announcement day without a few shocking nominations to keep the conversation going. Here are just some the snubs and surprises with the nominations that went down.

Snubs:

The Lego Batman Movie

I had hoped that the Animation branch would get it right after snubbing The Lego Movie, which was even better than The Lego Batman Movie. But it seems that the branch has some sort of personal gripe with the films or they didn’t even give them the light of day, casting them off as silly product placement movies. What a shame as it was one of my favorites of the year and something tells me probably better than Boss Baby and Ferdinand (though I admit I have yet to see either). Maybe the third time will be the charm?

The Florida Project

The sole nomination for The Florida Project was just Willem Dafoe’s well-deserved nomination for Best Supporting Actor. It’s not a total surprise that it didn’t make the final cut for Best Picture knowing the Academy loves their safer Oscar-bait biopics like Darkest Hour, but it’s still a shame that The Florida Project was hung out to dry.

I, Tonya

Same deal as The Florida Project. It seemed I, Tonya picked up a lot of buzz in recent weeks and definitely had a case of being in the Best Picture field. With that said, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised it didn’t make it in, but it’s still frustrating to see Darkest Hour get in over it.

Holly Hunter

I am not as much surprised that The Big Sick didn’t do as well as it should’ve with nominations (aside from screenplay), but it’s criminal that Holly Hunter didn’t get Best Supporting Actress, something I thought she was a lock for. I may have underestimated the Academy’s love for Octavia Spencer – not to mention their awareness of “Oscars So White” and being more inclusive. Spencer was good as always in The Shape of Water, but I don’t think it holds a candle to Hunt’s layered performance in The Big Sick.

James Franco

Maybe the comedic aspects of Franco’s performance in The Disaster Artist held him back from making the Best Actor cut. Even though he won a Globe for it, that doesn’t guarantee Oscar success. The recent allegations against him sure didn’t help, although they came with only 48 hours left for voters to cast their ballots. So we will never know how much that truly hurt, but it definitely didn’t help.

Martin McDonagh

Considering the momentum of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, it seemed like Martin McDonagh was a lock to get in there for Best Director. But it’s always a crowded field with at least most of the directors behind the films nominated for Best Picture in the running. Yet it’s hard to argue with their choices of Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele. In this case, it’s just a matter of there only being five spots.

Armie Hammer/Michael Stuhlbarg

It’s not a total shock to see Armie Hammer left out for Best Supporting Actor but I can’t say it is a total surprise either. It seems that people just aren’t quite that fond of him as an actor and it’s a shame as he offers his best work since The Social Network. It seems that the Academy simply favored Christopher Plummer’s last minute saving of All the Money in the World. Personally, I’m more bummed for Michael Stuhlbarg who gave a tremendous performance and participating in the most crucial scene of Call Me By Your Name which to me was the best scene of the entire year. Someday, Stuhlbarg’s day will come. He’s long overdue at this point.

The Post

The Post was thought to be a potential favorite to take home many big prizes but its momentum has seemed to totally evaporate as it scored only Best Picture and Best Actress with yet another nomination for Meryl Streep. It could be that the film got too late of a release/push but that sure didn’t seem to hurt Phantom Thread.

Surprises:

Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread was always in the running, you can never count out a Paul Thomas Anderson film, especially one starring Daniel Day-Lewis. It’s late release/awards push made some skeptical that enough voters would see it or come around to its offbeat nature but that seemed to be totally off base. Not only did it score Best Picture, but Paul Thomas Anderson scored a Best Director nomination, bumping out favorites such as Steven Spielberg, Luca Guadagnino, and the previously mentioned Martin McDonagh.

Mudbound

People were skeptical of Mudbound’s potential for awards because of it being a Netflix film. While it didn’t score Best Picture or Best Director for Dee Rees, the film cleaned up nicely, scoring Best Supporting Actress for Mary J. Blige, Best Adapted Screenplay for Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Best Cinematography for Rachel Morrison and Original Song, another for Mary J. Blige.

Denzel Washington

You could never count out Denzel Washington and many pundits seemed to keep him at the bottom 5-6 of their predictions which should’ve been a sign that he was never out of the race. Yet, I don’t know anyone who saw Roman J. Israel, Esq. (myself included), so it seems that this was likely a case of Academy going with the name they know and love (not to mention strides of being inclusive)

Ferdinand/Boss Baby

As I said before, it seemed safe to think the Animated branch would right the wrongs of the past and give The Lego Batman Movie a nomination.