With some historic nominations, the academy seems to be lurching toward real and consistent progress
Recently, “Shape of Water” star Sally Hawkins listened as Guillermo del Toro, the movie’s writer-director, described the plot of the lush, romantic fantasy, which revolves around a mute female janitor in a 1960s government lab.
Punctuating his explanation that a woman drives the entire story, Hawkins waited a beat and then said:
“It’s about time.”
The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards, which were announced on Tuesday, contained a great many “it’s about time” moments. Jordan Peele, the mastermind of “Get Out,” a social thriller about American racism, became the first African American to earn producer, director and writer nominations for a single film; the academy nominated a female cinematographer, “Mudbound’s” Rachel Morrison, for the first time in its 90-year history; and Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman recognized as a director, feted for her wry, observational coming-of-age story “Lady Bird.”
Arriving in the midst of the #MeToo movement, more than half of the nine movies nominated for best picture featured women at the center of the story. Women were among the producers on six of those nine movies. Women had a hand in writing four of the 10 screenplays nominated and earned nods for foreign film, animated film, documentary, editing, production design, song, makeup, costumes and sound mixing.
And, again, that historic nomination for Morrison.
“Literally, it’s a dream come true,” she told The Times.
Times critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang discuss the Oscar nominations
Los Angeles Times film critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang discuss the 2018 Academy Award nominations they were glad to see and where they felt the academy fell short.
An ‘overwhelmed’ Jordan Peele is living his dream with ‘Get Out,’ but he knows the sunken place is still out there
If you look back in history, some of the greatest films of all time were genre films that really had something to say about where we are in the world. And ‘Get Out’ is a reflection of a really dark time in our country.
— Producer Sean McKittrick
When Jordan Peele got the news that the biggest gamble of his career had just earned four major Academy Award nominations, including best picture, best director and best original screenplay, he got on the phone with his “Get Out” star, Daniel Kaluuya — and broke down in tears.
“It was very emotional,” said Peele, the comedian-turned-director who made his directorial debut with the race-themed social thriller, made for a modest $4.5 million, about a young African American man (Kaluuya) who goes to meet his white girlfriend’s family only to find himself trapped in a sinister nightmare.
“Whenever I talk to him about this stuff, I just break down,” Peele said Tuesday morning. “We both went from knowing we were taking this huge risk and that we could very well be hated for the risk, to being here and getting the acknowledgment of our peers — peers who, by the way, we didn’t even feel like we could call our peers a year ago.”
Peele’s nods launch him into the annals of Oscars history with poignant distinction: He is only the fifth black filmmaker in 90 years to be nominated for directing. And he’s the third first-time filmmaker to hit the nominations trifecta — picture, director and screenplay — all at once.
The academy honors remind Peele that he had once sidelined his aspirations of directing because of how improbable they seemed.
‘Get Out’ star Daniel Kaluuya celebrates his ‘mental’ lead actor nomination but acknowledges the whole team
”Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya was elated and bursting with infectious energy Tuesday after learning of his Oscar nomination for actor in a leading role and the movie’s nods for director, original screenplay and best picture.
“I know you’ve got to be professional, but this is funny, you have to enjoy it with me!” the Brit exclaimed to The Times. “Like, joyous vibrations.”
The recognition, he said, is an achievement like a master’s degree: “You’ve given your flippin’ all to something and someone says, ‘Well done.’ Especially coming from where I’m from. This is mental.”
To skirt the anxiety-inducing ordeal of Tuesday morning’s announcement, he had a plan to sleep through the nominations — until he woke up early from nerves and got a call with the good news.
I’m so happy for Jordan [Peele], man. It’s a team effort. I spoke to [producer] Sean McKittrick this morning, and it’s a team effort; we did this together. It was a 23-day shoot and Jordan was the captain, but everyone had to collectively give their all for this film to get made and to get over the finish line.
— Daniel Kaluuya
A look at three diversity breakthroughs among the 2018 Oscar nominations
When the dust settled Tuesday morning after announcement of this year’s Oscar nominees, it was clear that Academy Awards voters had diversity and inclusion on their minds. Among the nominees are Pakistani American Kumail Nanjiani for “The Big Sick” (who wrote the original screenplay nominee with wife Emily V. Gordon, inspired by their courtship), “Mudbound” actress Mary J. Blige (in the supporting actress and original song categories, the latter of which she shares with Raphael Saadiq) and three directors — Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) and Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”) — who don’t fit their category’s historically white male template.
Making history, however, are the foreign film “A Fantastic Woman” and feature documentary “Strong Island,” projects with transgender voices, making it quite possible that the work of an openly trans person could earn one of the industry’s top prizes in March. “Mudbound” cinematographer Rachel Morrison also made history as the first woman nominated in the category.
“Seeing two out transgender people [represented] in this year’s Oscar nominees is a big step forward toward more inclusive and diverse content in Hollywood,” said Nick Adams, GLAAD’s director of transgender media and representation, in a statement to The Times.
Jordan Peele ‘didn’t really believe there was a place for very many black directors’
“Get Out” director Jordan Peele says, “The sunken place is this metaphor for the system that is suppressing the freedom of black people.”
I left my dream of being a director behind long ago, and I think that was because, while I have a great respect for film, I didn’t really believe there was a place for very many black directors.
— Jordan Peele
From his days spoofing President Obama on the Comedy Central sketch series “Key & Peele” to writing and directing one of the most talked about movies of 2017 — the smash horror/social satire hybrid “Get Out” — Jordan Peele seems to have his finger on the pulse of America.
And now he has three Oscar nominations to prove it (becoming only the third person in history to earn nominations for best picture, director and screenplay for his directorial debut). The Times spoke with Peele on Oscar nominations morning to catch up and discuss the enduring appeal of “Get Out.”
Congratulations! How are you feeling right now?
I’m overwhelmed, in a very good way. I feel very at peace right now.
That’s a lovely way of putting it. You tweeted about having a very emotional exchange with Daniel [Kaluuya] upon hearing the news. What was that phone call like?
It was very emotional; whenever I talk to him about this stuff I just break down. He’s got a little bit more composure than I do. But we both went from knowing we were taking this huge risk and that we could very well be hated for the risk, to being here and getting the acknowledgment of our peers — peers who, by the way, we didn’t even feel like we could call our peers a year ago. There’s a camaraderie there that I don’t have with many people.
Despite new rules, animated Oscar contenders deliver another battle of the Davids versus the Goliaths
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed its rules this year for the animated feature category, opening up the nominations to the entire membership. Whereas that could have tilted the field away from the indie and foreign “Davids” and toward the massively marketed major-studio “Goliaths,” the five nominees announced Tuesday represent what has become the category’s hallmark mix of giants and kids with slings.
Together, Disney’s “Coco” and Fox’s “The Boss Baby” and “Ferdinand” have grossed in the neighborhood of $1.4 billion worldwide and each enjoyed domestic distribution to more than 3,200 domestic venues. “Loving Vincent,” released in the U.S. by Good Deed Entertainment, has quietly grossed over $6.5 million while never playing in more than 218 theatres. GKids release “The Breadwinner” has a domestic gross under a quarter-million dollars, and has not expanded beyond 43 theaters.
That doesn’t mean the smaller films didn’t have global ambitions, or the larger ones didn’t tell personal stories.
How the academy threaded the needle between old and new
I dreamed a dream of Oscar on Monday night. Not of winning one, nothing so presumptuous as that. My dream was that I’d completely slept through the nomination announcements. That scared me so much I immediately woke up and got to the TV on time. True story.
I had Oscar anxiety not only because these awards have meant a lot to me since childhood but because I was intensely curious about the results. This was supposed to be the most up in the air Oscar race in years, and I wanted to know how, no pun intended, things would shape up.
For though we live in an age awash with awards prognosticators and websites that claim to chart who is up and who is down on an almost daily basis, nothing predicts the Oscars like the Oscars, and no amount of reading Golden Globes and SAG tea leaves can give you a clear idea of what those voters will do.
For with its 8,000-plus members spread across all the motion picture crafts, the academy is its own beast, an organization with its own particular dislikes and likes, for instance recognizing Denzel Washington’s strong work in the little-seen “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” while other groups did not.
Also, because of the academy’s recent push for diversity, its welcome decision to add new members, the voting mix is even more volatile and unpredictable than usual.
Would these new voters change the academy or would the academy change them? What would this reconstituted group end up liking?
The answer to that question is, overwhelmingly, Guillermo del Toro’s masterful “The Shape of Water,” which easily led all comers with 13 nominations.
Allison Janney just scored her first Oscar nomination. Yes, first
Allison Janney’s morning did not proceed as scheduled.
The seven-time Emmy winner has made quite a run through awards season, earning Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice awards for her supporting actress turn in “I, Tonya.”
Still, Janney was taking nothing for granted and planned an early bedtime Monday night with an alarm set for well after the Oscar nominations were announced.
The Los Angeles Times spoke with Janney on Tuesday morning during a break in filming on her sitcom “Mom,” and she shared how her morning actually played out, plus gave the inside scoop on how a jealous costar is holding up.
Being nominated for an Oscar is like a dream that you never thought would come true.
— Allison Janney
In honoring Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Phantom Thread,’ the academy shows there’s more to greatness than relevance
Sorry, everyone. Those loud noises you heard around 5:30 this morning were almost certainly my shouts of delight and surprise at learning that “Phantom Thread” — generally perceived to be an awards-season also-ran — had received an unexpected but richly deserved haul of six Academy Award nominations.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1950s London chamber drama was expected to receive at least three of those six, for Jonny Greenwood’s score, Mark Bridges’ costumes and Daniel Day-Lewis’ lead performance as a petulantly exacting couturier named Reynolds Woodcock.
Far fewer industry observers were predicting the film to factor into the highly competitive races for best picture, director and supporting actress, where Lesley Manville received a nomination for her magnificently icy turn as Woodcock’s sister and business partner.
There were reasons to be skeptical, especially in a year where “relevance” and “diversity” have become necessary if inevitably overused watchwords. “The Shape of Water,” “Lady Bird” and “Get Out,” all of which did expectedly well in the nominations, made significant strides for greater inclusiveness, in terms of the stories they told and the filmmakers they employed. “Call Me by Your Name” gracefully ushered the gay love story closer to the mainstream, while “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” showily engaged the zeitgeist as a thriller about sexual assault and race relations in small-town America.
For Greta Gerwig, Oscar nominations mean ‘excitedly yelling and not making any sense’
Greta Gerwig is celebrating her Oscar nominations by yelling on the phone.
The “Lady Bird” writer and director, who was snubbed in the directing category at the Golden Globes earlier this year, but was later nominated for a DGA Award when they were announced a few days later, was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday in the directing and writing categories. “Lady Bird” was also nominated for best picture, a prize awarded to a film’s producers.
When reached by the Los Angeles Times after the announcement, Gerwig was still coming to terms with her achievements: She is only the fifth woman ever to be nominated in the academy’s directing category and that honor was not lost on her.
I hope that girls or women who want to be filmmakers ... look at this and they feel like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to go make my movie.’ ... Because I selfishly want to see those movies. … I couldn’t be more excited for the next generation of women who want to make movies.
— Greta Gerwig
Oscar voters spread their love far and wide with the 2018 Academy Award nominations
The most unpredictable Oscar season in years finally came into focus Tuesday morning as the 90th Academy Awards nominations were announced, with nine films representing a wide range of genres earning best picture nods and Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical fable “The Shape of Water” leading the field with 13 nominations.
Best picture nominations went to the romantic drama “Call Me by Your Name,” the Winston Churchill biopic “Darkest Hour,” the World War II thriller “Dunkirk,” the horror satire “Get Out,” the coming-of-age dramedy “Lady Bird,” the period romance “Phantom Thread,” the Pentagon Papers drama “The Post,” “The Shape of Water” and the dark morality tale “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
Scoring nods for directing were Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”), Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), Paul Thomas Anderson (“Phantom Thread”), Del Toro and Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), who became only the fifth woman ever nominated for best director.
Mary J. Blige reflects on how her Oscar-nominated role gave her confidence
Mary J. Blige’s inclusion in awards season conversations is surely a surprise — not because the Queen of Hip Hop Soul’s performance in “Mudbound” is anything less than stellar, but who would’ve expected that the “Rock of Ages” and “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” actress would turn out a deeply emotional and dramatic rendering? But Tuesday morning, Blige became a double Oscar nominee, for her supporting role in Dee Rees’ Jim Crow-era epic and for the original song “Mighty River” with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson.
“It feels really good to be recognized, with all these nominations, because it shows that someone recognizes my hard work and the dedication and the time and how serious I’m taking this craft,” Blige said in an interview with The Times. “That means a lot because I never wanted to take this lightly, [and] I didn’t want people to look at me like I didn’t take it seriously — because you have the Queen Latifahs and the Tarajis [P. Henson] and the Angela Bassetts and the Viola Davises, who worked really hard to pave the way for us. I really want them to be proud of me as well.”
“Mudbound” follows two soldiers — one black, one white — who’ve returned to small-town Mississippi following World War II to discover that their ideas about race have been dramatically altered, although those of the people around them have not. Their families are connected by land with the Jacksons, black sharecroppers, claiming an ancestral connection to the soil they till while the McAllans have just recently purchased the farm. Blige plays Florence, the matriarch of the Jackson clan, opposite an ensemble cast that includes Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke and Jonathan Banks.
Of her character, Blige has said, she “is like every woman.”
Frances McDormand has swept the early awards — will the Oscar be next?
After taking home Golden Globe, SAG and Critics Choice awards this season, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” star Frances McDormand could be closing in on the Oscar.
The actress, 60, won her first Academy Award more than 20 years ago for her role as the pregnant police chief in the Coen brothers’ black comedy “Fargo” and currently stands one Grammy shy of EGOT status. This year, she’s nominated in the lead actress category for her portrayal of a bereaved mother in director and screenwriter Martin McDonagh’s best picture-nominated film.
In an interview with The Times on Tuesday morning, McDonagh called McDormand “probably the best actor of her generation.”
“She’s got an integrity to her and a fierceness,” he said. “There’s an integrity to everything she does that is completely perfect for [this] part. And she’s not sentimental about her choices and that was especially what we needed.”
This role is written for her. There’s a kind of relentless pursuit of the truth. Like a real kind of soothsayer, like she’s trying to find the truth. She doesn’t want any b.s. in her portrayals, in her lifestyle.
— Sam Rockwell, actor
With her best director nomination, Greta Gerwig continues to look ahead
Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman in Oscars history to be nominated for best director on Tuesday, and she also picked up a nomination for best original screenplay for “Lady Bird.”
The meaning of that best director nomination is not lost on Gerwig, who recalled her feelings when Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar for best director for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.
I remember crying and feeling so excited and feeling like she did it and there she is and so much more feels possible. And I hope that girls or women who want to be filmmakers look at this, and they feel like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to go make my movie.’
— Greta Gerwig
Directors Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) and Kathryn Bigelow (“Detroit”) discuss the particular power stories wield to humanize the “other.”
This year’s foreign language nominees come from some of the world’s most insightful and idiosyncratic directors
Geographically, the five nominated titles in the foreign language film category stretch from the discos of Santiago, Chile (“A Fantastic Woman”) to the outskirts of Moscow (“Loveless”) with stops in Lebanon (“The Insult”), Hungary (“On Body and Soul”) and Sweden (“The Square”). The tales — from some of the world’s most insightful and idiosyncratic directors — include a modern-day fable of love, a hate born from war and an unreconciled past, and a satirical skewering of a well-heeled, ego-driven art world that often falls short in its espousals of human empathy.
Read MoreRELATED: Ruben Östlund discusses his Oscar nomination in foreign language film for ‘The Square’ and empathy in art
For ‘Dunkirk’ producer Emma Thomas, 8 Oscar noms are ‘the cream on top of the cake’
“Dunkirk” producer Emma Thomas is a bit superstitious, she said Tuesday morning, so she didn’t set her alarm to hear the Oscar nominations in real time. Besides, with four kids, their place is busy enough in the morning even on an ordinary day.
Then, she said, “I looked at my phone and it was just going crazy .... I have to say it was a wonderful way to wake up.”
No doubt: The World War II movie that hit big at the summer box office garnered eight nominations, including the first directing nod for Thomas’ husband, Christopher Nolan, and a best picture nomination for both of them.
With Time’s Up and everything that’s been happening in the industry, what’s it like being nominated for a movie with an essentially all-male cast?
Time’s Up is a great thing, and I’m very happy that things are finally feeling like they’re beginning to change for women. As a female producer, I’m well aware of the issues.
‘Coco’ Oscar nominees say their song celebrates a Mexican culture that’s ‘under attack’
The day they were nominated for a Golden Globe for the song “Remember Me” in the Pixar animated film “Coco,” husband and wife Robert Lopez and Kristen-Anderson Lopez had to put down their terminally ill 11-month-old kitten, Finn McCool.
So on Tuesday, when the couple earned an Oscar nomination in the original song category, were their plans for their family of four any more festive?
“We have to take everyone for flu shots,” Anderson-Lopez said.
She and her husband won an Academy Award in 2014 for writing the song “Let It Go” for “Frozen.” They had just come from a rehearsal for Disney’s Broadway adaptation of that film. The musical begins previews in late February, and it was nice, they said, to be surrounded by people offering congratulations.
“Usually it’s just me and Kristin,” Lopez joked.
The songwriters, who often work alone in their home, said they watched the nominations announcement with their 8-year-old daughter sandwiched between them on the couch.
“This was the first time we said if we got nominated we would take them,” Anderson-Lopez said of the March 4 awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. “So they had a very strong agenda.”
Their 12-year-old had already left for school, but instructed them to text her when they got the news.
“I’m really excited to experience the Oscar madness as a family,” Anderson-Lopez said. “That’s what this movie is about: family.”
Speaking of the themes of “Coco” and the nominated song, Lopez added: “We feel good about this song. It seems to have hit a chord in some people — providing comfort for those who have lost loved ones. Also, what it’s meant in Mexico has been really nice. The song itself has been an award for us in the reaction.”
Anderson-Lopez agreed, elaborating on a film that explores the Mexican tradition of Dia de Los Muertos. “We feel pressure from people who have reached out from Mexico,” she said. “This song celebrates their culture at a time when their culture is …”
“Under attack,” Lopez said.
Anderson-Lopez concluded: “So they should get the credit — not us.”
No matter who is honored in March, flu shots will come first, followed by sushi.
Dee Rees becomes first black woman Oscar-nominated for adapted screenplay with ‘Mudbound’
Though she wasn’t able to break into the highly competitive directing category, Dee Rees still managed to make history Tuesday.
Rees, who directed Netflix’s “Mudbound,” earned an Oscar nomination for her work adapting the film’s script alongside Virgil Williams. That makes Rees the first black woman to be nominated in for adapted screenplay category.
Suzanne de Passe was the first black woman nominated for an original screenplay Oscar in 1973, for co-writing “Lady Sings the Blues.”
“Mudbound” earned three other Oscar nominations Tuesday, for supporting actress Mary J. Blige, cinematographer Rachel Morrison and original song “Mighty River.”
‘All the Money in the World’ star Christopher Plummer ‘stunned but excited’ by Oscar nod
I am absolutely thrilled to have received this nomination by the academy. It was quite unexpected but incredibly gratifying. Everything has happened so quickly of late that I am still a trifled stunned but excited by it all.
— Christopher Plummer, supporting actor nominee
“All the Money in the World” star Christopher Plummer, the veteran actor who at the last minute stepped into the role of billionaire J. Paul Getty when Kevin Spacey was dropped from the completed film amid sexual misconduct allegations, is the oldest acting Oscar nominee to date.
The 88-year-old also remains the oldest acting winner, having won an Academy Award in 2011 at the age of 82 for his supporting role in “Beginners.”
See the complete list of 2018 Oscar nominees here.
‘Logan’s’ James Mangold surprised that Wolverine got him his first Oscar nod
On this film, we really focused on doing something different: a dramatic and character-driven film rather than trying to compete in the arms race of comic-book films
— James Mangold
“Logan” director and screenwriter James Mangold has helped bring mainstream comic book films back to the Academy Awards.
The “Walk the Line” and “Girl, Interrupted” director earned his first Oscar nomination on Tuesday for adapted screenplay for co-writing the final Wolverine film. Mangold teamed up with Scott Frank and Michael Green to write the Hugh Jackman-starring vehicle based on the Marvel comic-book character.
In a chat on Tuesday morning with the Los Angeles Times, the filmmaker said he approached the gritty action flick the same way he did his other critically acclaimed films.
Comic-book movies rarely ever get nominated. Why do you think this film got the academy’s attention?
First of all, I think that there are other filmmakers who have paved the way with their adaptations of comic books that may not have gotten recognition, but have kind of opened people’s minds of the possibility of risk and creative invention in that genre.
‘The Shape of Water,’ ‘Get Out,’ ‘Lady Bird’: See which films scored the most Oscar nominations
Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical romance “The Shape of Water” made the biggish splash Tuesday during the announcement of Oscar nominations, outpacing the competition with its 13 nods.
The fairy tale landed nominations for picture, director and original screenplay. It scored big in technical and acting categories too.
Here is the tally of nominations for all films that scored more than one:
“The Shape of Water” — 13
“Dunkirk” — 8
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” — 7
“Darkest Hour” — 6
“Phantom Thread” — 6
“Blade Runner 2049” — 5
“Lady Bird’ — 5
“Call Me by Your Name” — 4
“Get Out” — 4
“Mudbound” — 4
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” — 4
“Baby Driver” — 3
“I, Tonya” — 3
“Beauty and the Beast” — 2
“Coco” — 2
“The Post” — 2
“Victoria & Abdul” — 2
Mary J. Blige ‘can’t stop crying all these happy tears’ over her two ‘Mudbound’ Oscar nods
I never wanted to just get a role because it’s easy for celebrities to get a role because they’re celebrities. I didn’t want people to look at me like I didn’t take it seriously.
— Mary J. Blige
Musician Mary J. Blige earned her first-ever Oscar nominations on Tuesday for supporting actress and original song for Dee Rees’ World War II drama “Mudbound.”
The nine-time Grammy Award winner reflected on her latest achievements in a morning chat with the Los Angeles Times.
Two-time Oscar nominee. You now get to add that to your resumé.
This feels awesome. It feels so good. I can’t tell you… I feel so overjoyed. I can’t stop crying all these happy tears. Just so grateful and thankful. God is the absolute greatest.
Guillermo del Toro says being nominated is like ‘the greatest prom night in the world’
I think this is a landmark year for the genre that I love.
— Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi romance “The Shape of Water” led Tuesday’s Oscar nominations with 13 nods, including for best picture and best director.
The Mexican filmmaker, who wrote, directed and produced the fantastical drama, was previously nominated for 2006’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” which won three awards.
His latest outing has long been an Oscar contender. Del Toro already scooped up the directing prize at the Golden Globe Awards earlier this month and won the Producers Guild of America’s top honor on Saturday. The highly personal monster film was also recognized when the Directors Guild of America announced the DGA Award nominees earlier this month.
Complete this sentence for me: “Being nominated for an Oscar is like ______.”
The greatest prom night in the world.
You’re the leader of the pack with 13 nominations. How does it feel?
It’s better than morning coffee.
Martin McDonagh on Frances McDormand and the 7 Oscar nods for ‘Three Billboards’
Irish director Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” earned seven Oscar nominations Tuesday morning, including best picture. Lead actress Frances McDormand was recognized along with supporting actors Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, and the film is up for original score and editing too. The Times caught up with the filmmaker, who is nominated in the original screenplay category, shortly after the news Tuesday.
How would you say your awards season is going?
[Laughs] It’s great. We were just at the SAGs a couple of nights ago and had a fantastic time with all the gang there. It was great to get all the actors back together. And I just got back to New York and … just thrilled, thrilled. … I was very hopeful that Frances and Sam were going to get a nod, but I’m delighted that Woody’s in there too, so I can’t wait to have fun with them over the next month, but especially on March 4 [the day the winners are announced].
How does it feel to see Frances get so much love this award season?
It’s amazing. I mean, we all know how brilliant she is, but she really especially hits it out of the park with her performance in this movie, I think. And she gives such a strong performance, and it’s such a strong character, so I’m really happy to be putting a film out there with a woman as strong as Frances in the lead. It’s a great thing to be part of.
Hear all the tunes nominated for original song at the Oscars
Proven movie-music makers will vie against pop-star newcomers for the original song Oscar, nominations for which were announced Tuesday morning in Beverly Hills.
The nominees include tunes from hit movie musicals like “The Greatest Showman” and “Coco,” along with more introspective numbers from “Mudbound” and “Call Me By Your Name,” as well as a sweeping empowerment anthem featured in “Marshall.”
Among the category’s screen veterans, the songwriting duo of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the likely front-runners with “This Is Me,” their flashy show tune from the P.T. Barnum biopic “The Greatest Showman.”
Octavia Spencer thrilled by nomination for custom-written ‘Shape of Water’ performance
Giving a shout-out from the Sundance Film Festival, Octavia Spencer could barely contain her joy over being nominated Tuesday for a supporting actress Oscar. The role in “The Shape of Water” was one she was meant to play.
“My heart is bursting with pure elation for the cast and crew of ‘The Shape of Water,’” Spencer said in a statement. “Guillermo [del Toro] has given us all a dream job and to be recognized by the Academy is so deeply moving. I am jumping for joy from Park City for all of the nominees this morning! Congratulations everyone.”
The part was crafted by Del Toro with Spencer in mind, the 47-year-old Spencer told The Times in November. He’s nominated in the original screenplay and directing categories, and the movie notched 13 nominations total, including one for best picture.
Spencer won an Academy Award in the same category in 2002 for “The Help,” and was nominated but didn’t win in 2017 for “Hidden Figures.”
At 89, James Ivory and Agnès Varda are the Oscars’ oldest nominees
James Ivory, screenwriter and co-producer of the drama “Call Me by Your Name,” is the oldest male Oscar nominee and Agnès Varda, writer-director of the documentary “Faces Places,” is the oldest female nominee. Either of the 89-year-olds could become the oldest winner..
However, if they both won, Varda would take the title — she’s eight days Ivory’s elder.
If either or both were to win, Ennio Morricone would be bumped as the oldest winner in a competitive category. He was 87 when he won the award for original score for “The Hateful Eight” in 2016.
Varda’s feature documentary nomination announced Tuesday is her first, though she received an honorary Oscar last November. The adapted screenplay nomination is Ivory’s fourth and, in a break from his track record, his first in that category after three nods for directing. Ivory is the leading contender in his category this year.
Ivory said he chose this project, a love story, in part because of his crush on its setting.
“I love Italy and go there all the time. The idea of working in Italy was very attractive to me, and I liked the story. I had done another film a bit like that, which was ‘Maurice,’ which I had also written,” Ivory told The Times in December.
One significant alteration to the 2007 novel by André Aciman: He tweaked the ending.
“In the book, it’s told from the point of view of a young man now age 40 looking back and remembering the whole thing. He’s telling his story in a narrative,” the 60-year industry veteran said in December. “At the end of it, they meet up again in Italy and Elio thinks that they could get back together, but they can’t. I didn’t think that was a way to end the film. I thought it would be a downer to do that.”
Ivory previously was nominated in the directing category for “A Room With a View,” “Howards End” and “The Remains of the Day.”
“Call Me by Your Name” is up for four Academy Awards. The other adapted screenplay nominees are Virgil Williams and Dee Rees for “Mudbound,” James Mangold, Michael Green and Scott Frank for “Logan,” Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter for “The Disaster Artist” and Aaron Sorkin for “Molly’s Game.”
FOR THE RECORD:
12:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this article misstated James Ivory’s age as 90. He is 89, and eight days younger than Agnès Varda, making her the oldest Oscar nominee. The article also mistakenly credited Christopher Plummer as the oldest Oscar winner. He is the oldest winner in an acting category. The oldest winner overall is Ennio Morricone.
Gary Oldman on his Oscar nod for ‘Darkest Hour’: Playing Churchill was ‘the opportunity of a lifetime’
I want to congratulate my fellow nominees, both in the acting categories and across the board. To be in such company is deeply, genuinely, humbling. To have the chance to play an iconic leader like Winston Churchill at this point in my career was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I am so happy that my colleagues and partners on this wonderful film have also been honored with nominations. I am overjoyed to be nominated, and proud to be part of this wonderful thing known as movie making!
— Gary Oldman, lead actor nominee for “Darkest Hour”
‘This is mental,’ says Daniel Kaluuya of Oscar recognition for ‘Get Out’
This does not make sense anymore. This does not make sense…. I’m walking around in a daze. I’m so proud of Team ‘Get Out.’ What a ride. What an experience. What a year. What a team. I’m so happy and proud of King Peele. Thank you to the Academy for recognizing us, wow. This is mental.
— Daniel Kaluuya, leading actor nominee for “Get Out,” from an emailed statement
Ildikó Enyedi talks ‘On Body and Soul’ and the hunt for something perfect
Hungarian director Ildikó Enyedi’s “On Body and Soul” is set in a slaughterhouse, where a business manager and a quality control worker discover they share the same dream every night. The mystical romance of their sleep slips into the waking world in an allegory that unfolds against the purity of a winter forest and the industrial precision of the killing floors. The Times caught up with the filmmaker Tuesday, shortly after she learned “On Body and Soul” was nominated for the foreign language film Oscar.
Your film is about lovers who meet in a dream so unlike the dreariness of their real lives. What are you saying with them, and what do their two worlds represent?
We’re tough on ourselves. There’s a hole in us. But somehow we are part of something bigger, part of the universe. Without that sort of realization, you feel very much alone. Our culture tries to fill this hole with efficiency and practicality; you just want to resolve the problems of your life. There is not much space for living through the moment. This is the way babies are born today, the way people are dying in hospitals. All these tubes and medical things, but the very thing that is happening – someone is saying goodbye to life and to their loved ones – there’s no space for that. You have to fight for it.
The juxtaposition of the slaughterhouse and dreamlike forest give such different sensations. What were you trying to create?
I questioned myself about these instinctive choices. Is the slaughterhouse right or not? Is it too much? But I think it’s a right choice. It was very conscious to find such a place but one that was clinically sterile, very efficient. This is the processed meat that arrives on our plates without consideration of what’s happening there. Beings are dying there. When my team and I worked there, we found very surprising and touching the instinctive solidarity and tenderness the slaughterhouse workers had toward the animals before they killed them. What’s happening there is part of our everyday culture but we cover it. We don’t want to see. But you can only make decisions about your own life if you don’t close your eyes. The culture is full of eye-closing.
The couple finds love and redemption in their dream world. Can you turn a dream into real life?
My intention was to have an encouraging end. To show that, even if it’s not perfect – because we are hunting something always perfect and if it’s not then we throw it away. But it’s not bad if it’s not perfect. They continue to be difficult people. They continue to struggle with a lot, but they are not anymore alone and it’s worth a fight to cherish it.
Ruben Östlund discusses his Oscar nomination in foreign language film for ‘The Square’ and empathy in art
Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s “The Square,” a many-barbed satire of the art world, was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film. The ensemble comedy revolves around the impeccable curator of a museum who must control damage after his cellphone is stolen. He is nudged beyond his liberal-minded and financially secure cocoon in what is an exploration of humanity and Europe’s unsettled conscience. The Los Angels Times caught up with the filmmaker shortly after he got the nomination news Tuesday.
Congratulations. Are you in Stockholm?
No, I’m at the Sundance Film Festival. I’m super happy about my nomination. But what I’m most happy about is that I and all the people I’ve been working with on the film can be happy together. It’s really, really a beautiful thing. What you can tell is that Oscar has such a huge impact. Thirty seconds after the nomination was announced, I think I had 50 new text messages on my phone.
The film skewers the elite and the cultured while exploring human empathy. What did you want to say with the story?
What “The Square” is dealing with is that we have to believe in the power of community and organizing ourselves in order to make things happen. To believe in a bigger society and a more connected humanity are things we have to be reminded of in these very individualistic times. That is the core of the film.
We certainly are in a time of inwardness, exclusion and fear of the other. How do we solve that?
It’s the bridge between individuals that has been the most uncivilized. We are very quick at pointing fingers at others who have been doing bad things instead of putting it into a context and looking at what kind of context made these things possible to happen. We need to take attention away from the individual and look on the broader picture a bit more.
How can art and culture do that?
That’s one thing the art world has to be careful with. I was recently at the biggest art fair in Paris. My feeling when I go there is that it’s interior design for the rich. Suddenly, art has been used to make decorations for rich people’s houses. What we need to do is to be critical and ask ourselves which way should we express ourselves in order to create a world we think could be better. It’s the same thing for cinema. We have to ask ourselves what are we missing out on? What do we need to tell? We have to do this without looking at the economical aspect. We have to step back and think: What is the most important thing with art and with expressing ourselves?
Laurie Metcalf explains why her first Oscar nomination ‘feels really personal’
Laurie Metcalf, already a three-time Emmy winner and recent Tony winner, on Tuesday earned her first nomination for an Oscar — a supporting actress nod for “Lady Bird.” The mother-daughter comedy is up for five Academy Awards, including best director (Greta Gerwig) and leading actress (Saoirse Ronan). The Times caught up with Metcalf shortly after the nominations were announced.
Tell me what the Oscar nomination today means to you.
I can’t tell you how happy I am that the film itself got so much recognition. For Greta and Saoirse, everybody who worked on the film just poured their hearts into it and seemed so attached to it. For it to be recognized in this way is so thrilling to me, and really, it just feels really personal.
Just that I loved working with Greta and Saoirse so much, and I feel like my nomination is due to them. And at the same time I’m just so happy for each of them. We just had a remarkable time making it, and now it’s thrilling to see it recognized.
Composer Alexandre Desplat earns ninth Academy Award nod with ‘The Shape of Water’
Alexandre Desplat is no stranger to the Academy Awards: The prolific film composer has now been nominated nine times. He previously won his only Oscar for his work on 2014’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
On Tuesday, he was recognized for scoring Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical love story, “The Shape of Water,” which leads Oscar nominations with 13.
I am grateful to the music branch of the Academy for voting for me as well as all the magnificent musicians who performed on the score. I am also thrilled for [producer] Miles Dale, for the cast and for the crew with so many nominations. I am so thankful to Guillermo for his humanity and his artistic passion; he truly inspired all of us.
— Alexandre Desplat, original score nominee
Cinematographer Rachel Morrison hopes her historic nomination ‘opens the door for more women’
Heading to the Sundance Film Festival, cinematographer Rachel Morrison took a moment to savor and consider her historic Oscar nomination for her work on Netflix’s “Mudbound.”
“Literally, it’s a dream come true,” she said of the nod that made her the first woman nominated in the cinematography category. “I really hope that it opens the door for more women to believe that they can do it and follow their dreams and become cinematographers. I think that once you see 50% of us [in the industry], you’ll see a lot more nominations this time of year.”
First of all, there is no time like the present and I can feel the change. It’s palpable. But I think it’s the best job on set, so they should go for it. Just be persistent and patient and know that nothing happens overnight but if you enjoy the process and enjoy the journey, you’ll get to your destination.
— Rachel Morrison, cinematographer
James Franco, Steven Spielberg miss out on nominations and other snubs and surprises
Nearly two weeks after five women accused James Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior, the actor missed out on an Academy Award nomination for his performance in “The Disaster Artist.”
The 39-year-old had been an early favorite on the awards circuit for his turn as the eccentric Tommy Wiseau, winning the leading comedic actor prize at the Golden Globes on Jan. 7. Four days later, on Jan. 11, The Times published a story detailing the five women’s accounts, all of which Franco has denied. Voting for the Oscars closed on Jan. 12.
Among those to earn a nomination over Franco on Tuesday were “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” star Denzel Washington, whose performance received positive reviews in a movie that bombed at the box office and was generally not beloved by critics. Tom Hanks, who played Washington Post editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee in “The Post,” also did not receive a nomination, while newcomer Daniel Kaluuya, who stars in “Get Out,” did earn recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Front-runners Gary Oldman of “Darkest Hour” and Timothee Chalamet of “Call Me by Your Name” were nominated as expected, as was “Phantom Thread” star Daniel Day-Lewis (who had been overlooked for a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination).
‘Wonder Woman’ shut out completely from Oscar nominations
The Academy has no love for “Wonder Woman.” The 2018 Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday, and the top-grossing superhero film of the 2017 domestic box office was shut out of all 24 categories.
Starring Gal Gadot as the titular superhero, the Patty Jenkins-helmed “Wonder Woman” won over fans and film critics alike. The film went on to gross $413 million domestic and $822 million worldwide during its theatrical run.
Among those to recognize “Wonder Woman” in the lead-up to the academy’s announcement were the Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild. The film was among the nominees for the PGA’s Darryl F. Zanuck Award and nabbed a SAG Award win for action performance by a stunt ensemble in a motion picture.
But it seems Diana of Themyscira’s box-office clout held no sway over academy voters. In fact, “Wonder Woman” is the highest domestic grossing film of 2017 to receive zero Oscar nominations.
The academy recognized both “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Beauty and the Beast,” the only films with higher domestic grosses than “Wonder Woman.” “The Last Jedi” earned four nominations (original score, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects), while “Beauty and the Beast” nabbed 2 nods (costume design, production design).
Even other superhero films fared better than “Wonder Woman.” “Logan” picked up an adapted screenplay nomination, while “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” was among the visual effects nominees.
Jordan Peele joins elite class of black men nominated for director — and could make history
Jordan Peele had a lot to celebrate Tuesday morning, including an Oscar nomination for director.
The honor makes the “Get Out” filmmaker just the fifth black director nominated for the award, a distinguished group that includes John Singleton for 1991’s “Boyz n the Hood,” Lee Daniels for 2009’s “Precious,” Steve McQueen for 2013’s “12 Years a Slave” and Barry Jenkins for last year’s best-picture winner, “Moonlight.”
There is history left to be made, however. Peele could become the first black director to win the Academy Award.
Meanwhile, no female black directors – no, not even Ava DuVernay or Dee Rees – have ever been nominated for a directing Oscar.
Kobe Bryant, Oscar nominee: ‘This is beyond the realm of imagination’
“What?? This is beyond the realm of imagination. It was always expected of me to be in the basketball finals, but never this. It means so much that the Academy deemed Dear Basketball worthy of contention. Thanks to the genius of Glen Keane and John Williams for taking my poem to this level. What an honor to be on this team.”
— Kobe Bryant, producer of Animated Short nominee “Dear Basketball”
Kobe Bryant is an Oscar nominee
An 18-time NBA all-star is now an Oscar nominee: Kobe Bryant won an Academy Award nod in the animated short category Tuesday for his collaboration with artist Glen Keane and composer John Williams on “Dear Basketball.”
Bryant hired Keane to illustrate his “Dear Basketball” letter written in 2015, when the Lakers star announced his retirement. The player-turned-film-producer turned to five-time Oscar winner John Williams to compose the film’s music.
Joining Bryant and Keane in the animated short category are Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon for “Garden Party,” Dave Mullins and Dana Murray for “Lou,” Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata for “Negative Space,” and Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer for “Revolting Rhymes.”
And the first-time Oscar nominees are ...
The early morning had a super-charged feel for eight actors and actresses who earned their first-ever Academy Award nomination on Tuesday.
Timothée Chalamet of “Call Me by Your Name,” Daniel Kaluuya of “Get Out,” Sam Rockwell of “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Margot Robbie and Allison Janney of “I, Tonya,” Mary J. Blige of “Mudbound,” Lesley Manville of “Phantom Thread” and Laurie Metcalf of “Lady Bird” are this year’s first-time Oscar nominees in the acting categories.
Meanwhile, six of this year’s crop of nominated actors have already added “Academy Award winner” to their resumé. That list boasts Daniel Day-Lewis, Frances McDormand, Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer, Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington.
Spencer, Washington and Streep, who increases her lead as the most nominated performer with her 21st nod this year, were also nominated for Oscars last year.
See the complete list of 2018 Oscar nominees here.
See Jordan Peele’s priceless reactions to ‘Get Out’s four Oscar noms
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then Jordan Peele’s initial reaction to being nominated for three Oscars Tuesday morning has to be worth at least 5K.
Peele posted a GIF from his critically acclaimed “Get Out” in response to the film scoring a total of four nominations for picture, director, screenplay and actor (Daniel Kaluuya).
How did that make him feel?
6:40 a.m.: This post was updated with more Twitter reactions from Peele. Story was originally published at 6:25 a.m.
Meryl Streep has a ‘full heart’ with 21st Oscar nomination
I am honored beyond measure by this nomination for a film I love, a film that stands in defense of press freedom, and inclusion of women’s voices in the movement of history. Proud of the film, and all her filmmakers. Thank you from a full heart.
— Meryl Streep, “The Post”
‘Shape of Water’ actress nominee Sally Hawkins thanks Guillermo del Toro for the ‘gift’ of her role
This nomination is for every single one of us who brought our hearts to this film. I am here because of the greatness of others. I stand on the shoulders of giants. Guillermo handed me a gift with this role, this film. I am so delighted for us all. To be honoured by the acknowledgement of my colleagues of fellow actors, filmmakers, writers, crew members is truly humbling. It is a privilege to tell such stories and to be able to make films that show there is a life beyond the life that people know - one that is not always seen. To be considered in this category along side these exceptional women is a real honour and gift in itself. Thank you with eternal gratitude dear Academy!
— Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig is only the fifth woman nominated for a directing Oscar
“Lady Bird” writer and director Greta Gerwig achieved on Tuesday what only four women before her have: an Academy Award nomination for directing.
Gerwig is only the fifth woman to ever be nominated in the directing category, joining the short list that includes Lina Wertmuller for 1975’s “Seven Beauties,” Jane Campion for 1993’s “The Piano,” Sofia Coppola for 2003’s “Lost in Translation” and Kathryn Bigelow for 2008’s “The Hurt Locker.”
Bigelow is the only one who went on to win the Oscar.
Gerwig was snubbed in the category at the Golden Globes earlier this year, but was later nominated for achievement in a feature film when the DGA Awards were announced a few days later.
The other directing nominees announced Tuesday morning were Christopher Nolan for “Dunkirk,” Jordan Peele for “Get Out,” Paul Thomas Anderson for “Phantom Thread” and Guillermo del Toro for “The Shape of Water.”
See the complete list of 2018 Oscar nominees here.
Rachel Morrison makes Oscar history as first woman nominated for cinematography
Rachel Morrison made history Tuesday morning, becoming the first woman nominated for cinematography in the 90-year history of the Academy Awards.
Nominated for Netflix’s “Mudbound,” Morrison made similar history two weeks ago with her nomination in the feature-film category at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards.
“Mudbound” is streaming on Netflix, and Morrison’s cinematography can next be seen in Marvel’s highly anticipated “Black Panther.”
2018 Oscar nominations: Actor in a leading role
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
2018 Oscar nominations: Actress in a leading role
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”
2018 Oscar nominations: Directing nominees
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”
2018 Oscar nominations: Actress in a supporting role
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
FULL LIST OF 2018 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
2018 Oscar nominations: Actor in a supporting role
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson,”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Watch how Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis announced the 2018 Oscar nominations here
If you slept through the early-morning announcement of the 2018 Oscar nominations, you can still watch how it went down — and how “Girls Trip’s” Tiffany Haddish turned the normally sleepy ceremony into a must-watch event. The nominees for all 24 categories were announced in a two-part presentation streamed live from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the headquarters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday morning.
Haddish and Andy Serkis were tapped to host the announcement ceremony. The pair were joined by special guests including Priyanka Chopra, Rosario Dawson, Gal Gadot, Salma Hayek, Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, Molly Shannon, Rebel Wilson and Michelle Yeoh.
The first batch of nominees were announced at 5:22 a.m. This segment included the cinematography, costume design, film editing, makeup and hairstyling, original score, production design, animated short film, live action short film, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects nominations.
Along with best picture, the nominees for actress in a leading role, actress in a supporting role, actor in a lead role, actor in a supporting role, animated feature film, directing, documentary feature, documentary short subject, foreign language film, original song, adapted screenplay and original screenplay were announced during the second segment that kicked off at 5:38 a.m.
The 90th Academy Awards will be held on March 4. Jimmy Kimmel returns to host the telecast that will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Oscars add 6 new envelope rules to prevent another flub
After taking responsibility for the epic best picture flub at the Oscars last year, Tim Ryan of PwC got down to business.
He grilled the partners who made the gaffe, then personally reached out to the dozens of people affected by it: the show’s producers, presenters and stage managers and the filmmakers behind “La La Land” and “Moonlight.”
In the months that followed, PwC met with the academy many times to come up with new protocols and safeguards to prevent such a blunder in the future. Ryan revealed six new reforms to the Associated Press. They include a new process in which the celebrity presenter will confirm they have the correct envelope before stepping onstage, PwC partners attending rehearsals, as well as measures to quickly correct any mistake.
Last year’s mistake happened when a PwC partner mistakenly handed an envelope for the best actress winner category, which went to Emma Stone in “La La Land,” to the presenters of the best picture category, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. That resulted in “La La Land” being briefly named best picture, before one of that film’s producers revealed the error and that “Moonlight” had in fact won.
If our film critic picked the Oscar nominees ...
Filling out an Oscar nomination ballot — even a hypothetical one — can be an exercise in purest agony. That turned out to be especially true this year. I remain startled by the sheer quantity and range of great movies and performances I saw in 2017, which made it even harder than usual to settle on a short list of favorites.
In narrowing down my picks in the eight main Oscar categories, plus a few others, I tried my best to go with my gut and, as much as possible, to set aside the bandwagon mentality that tends to calcify into groupthink this time of year. Awards season always seeks consensus, but happily, this exercise requires a consensus of only one.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences officially closed its nominations voting on Jan. 12 — nominations will be announced Jan. 23 — which means this faux ballot has no practical application for anyone except myself. All things considered, that’s probably for the best.
Motion picture academy opens its doors to 774 new members as push for diversity continues
It’s one of the key rules of Hollywood: The sequel always has to be bigger.
On Wednesday, in its latest step toward diversifying the overwhelmingly white and male institution, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences opened its doors to its largest-ever class of new members. A whopping 774 industry professionals were invited to join the nearly 90-year-old organization — topping last year’s record-setting class of 683 invitees, which itself was up sharply from 322 the previous year.
Ranging in age from 19-year-old Elle Fanning to 95-year-old Betty White, the group of invitees included such boldfaced names as Kristen Stewart, Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, Jordan Peele and Barry Jenkins, who directed this year’s best picture-winning “Moonlight,” as well as many actors, filmmakers and below-the-line professionals whose names would be unfamiliar to even the most die-hard cinephile.
#OscarsSoWhite might not be solved after all
Did the 2017 Oscars signal the beginning of a more diverse Hollywood?
By many accounts, yes. “Moonlight” won best picture and the film academy rewarded more African American actors and filmmakers in more categories than it ever had in a single year.
But just two months before 2018’s Oscar nominations are announced, the projected representation of diversity on film’s biggest night is complicated, at best. The talk around Hollywood is that the 20 acting nominees could be all white once more.
What the SAG Award winners mean for the Oscars
Oscar nominations haven’t even arrived yet. So why does it feel like we already know who’s going to take home the trophies when they’re handed out March 4?
We don’t, of course. The motion picture academy still might add a wrinkle or three into the race when nominations are revealed Tuesday. And after that, there’s still more than a month before voters have to turn their ballots in. Who knows what might happen? Maybe everyone will listen to Frances McDormand and allow one of the “young ones” to take home an Oscar “doorstop.”
The SAG Awards are a pretty trustworthy sign of what is to come at the Academy Awards. And this might be one of those years when the match game lines up perfectly.
Let’s look at why.
Which movies will lead this year’s Oscar race?
It’s that time of year again when the multiplexes are crowded with movies hoping to build that all-important buzz on the way to the 90th Oscars ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 4.
As usual, questions abound. Will the newly diversified group of voters provide a boon to smaller audience favorite films such as “Lady Bird,” “The Florida Project” and “Get Out”? Will Christopher Nolan finally earn a directing nomination? How much will the recent string of allegations of sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood darken the proceedings and render some potential contenders nonstarters?
Here, we turn to six of the most qualified Oscar pundits, film writers and critics to tell us which movies will lead this year’s Oscar race. Check out what they had to say.
‘Get Out,’ ‘Three Billboards,’ ‘The Shape of Water’ among nominees for best picture for 90th Academy Awards
“Call Me by Your Name”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”