Film’s Biggest Night Is Full Of Tough Competition

The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences announced their nominations for the 90th Academy Awards on Jan. 25 and, with it, the regular hysteria that ensuesthe snubs, surprises and the upteenth Meryl Streep nomination.

Me? I’m just hoping Call Me By Your Name wins Best Picture.

It’s certainly up against a stacked field, one in which it’s not the favorite. The race, a virtual three-way contest between Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Shape of Water and Lady Bird, has been thrown curveballs of precursor awards distributed all over the place and the #MeToo movement sending shockwaves through the industry.

Early favorites like Call Me By Your Name, about a passionate romance between a 17-year-old and 24-year-old, has seen mild criticism over its age gap while The Disaster Artist, detailing the unusual process of creating Tommy Wiseau’s equally unusual opus, The Room, managed to garner only a single nomination (Best Adapted Screenplay) after sexual harassment allegations surfaced against James Franco, the film’s star and director.

It says something about the strength of the movement, as Franco was widely expected to earn a Best Actor nomination and the film could’ve easily filled the remaining slot in the Best Picture category.

That remaining slot is also something worth mentioning since the Academy continues its baffling decision to not use the 10-film rule they voted to implement.

Films like Wonder Woman had heavy campaigning and a women-empowerment message and Blade Runner 2049 earned high praise throughout the year. It’s incredibly surprising that the Academy refuses to acknowledge the creativity of big-budget studio films. Especially in the case of Wonder Womanwhich was completely shut out of the awards while DC’s prior (and critically-panned) effort Suicide Squad earned an Oscarit’s almost an injustice to the diverse year that was 2017.

That’s not to say the nominations didn’t have pleasant surprises. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, Daniel Day-Lewis’s final film (until he’s undoubtedly brought back for a film that “spoke to him”), drew in six nominations, including Best Picture, Director, Actor and Supporting Actress.

Christopher Plummer, the only great piece in Ridley Scott’s good All The Money in the World, also earned a Supporting Actor nomination, becoming the oldest person to ever be nominated for a competitive acting award. That’s to say nothing about the Best Director race, with Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Jordan Peele (Get Out) both nominated for their directorial debuts.

It’s hard to make definitive predictions on what will win since the awards aren’t for another month and a half. However, as the next stage of awards season arrives and the #MeToo movement continues to power on, this year’s Oscar nominations are certainly an interesting culmination of 2017’s year in film.

The 90th Academy Awards will be presented on March 8 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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