Two movies about World War II – Dunkirk and Darkest Hour – are among the multiple and diverse nominees for 2018 Oscars, but it is a fanciful film about a young mute woman’s love for an exotic sea creature – The Shape of Water – that leads the pack with 13 nominations.
The nominees for the 2018 Academy Awards are wide-ranging and diverse, including two movies about racial conflict – Get Out and Mudbound – and one coming-of-age drama about a gay teen boy, Call Me By Your Name.
Get Out, about a young African-American man’s terrifying first visit to the home of his white girlfriend’s parents, earned a Best Original Screenplay and a Best Director nomination for Jordan Peele. Peele’s nomination as Best Director is only the fifth time that an African American has been nominated in the category. The movie’s star, David Kaluuya, was nominated for Best Actor. The movie itself is nominated for Best Picture, one of nine nominees in the category.
The other Best Picture nominees are Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Timothee Chalamet received a Best Actor nomination for his role as a gay teen in Call Me By Your Name. Chalamet was also seen in 2017 in Lady Bird, which was also a teen coming-of-age drama that earned multiple Oscar nominations.
The Lady Bird nominations included Best Picture, Best Actress for star Saiorse Ronan, Best Supporting Actress for Laurie Metcalf, Best Director for Greta Gerwig and Best Original Screenplay (also for Gerwig). Gerwig is only the fifth woman to be nominated for a Best Director Oscar.
Mary J. Blige is nominated for a Best Supporting Actress for the other Oscar-nominated movie about race relations, Mudbound, which took place in the segregated Jim Crow South following World War II. Mudbound was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (director Dee Rees and Virgil Williams) and Best Cinematography. The film’s director of photography, Rachel Morrison, is the first woman ever nominated in the category.
World War II – specifically the British experience in the war – was the subject of two 2017 movies that both received multiple Oscar nominations. Darkest Hour, about Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s leadership on the eve of war, received a Best Picture nomination, plus a nomination for its star, Gary Oldman, in the role of Churchill.
Dunkirk, about the miraculous evacuation by the British army from the French coastal town as it was about to be overrun by the German army early in the war, is also a Best Picture nominee. Dunkirk director Christopher Nolan is nominated in the Best Director category. Dunkirk received a total of eight nominations, including Best Cinematography.
Oldman is among the few stars of 2017 movies to be nominated for playing real-life figures. The others were Margot Robbie, who earned a Best Actress nomination for playing Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, and Allison Janney, who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for playing Harding’s mother in the same film.
Meryl Streep received her 20th Oscar nomination for The Post, in which she played legendary Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham. The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg and co-starring Tom Hanks, is also nominated for Best Picture. The movie told the story of how The Washington Post came to publish the incendiary Pentagon Papers – government documents about the Vietnam War that were not supposed to go public – in 1971.
Also nominated, in the Best Animated Feature category, is Loving Vincent, about the life of impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh.
In addition to a Best Picture nomination, the nomination leader, The Shape of Water, earned Oscar nominations for Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), Best Director (Guillermo del Toro) and Best Original Screenplay (also del Toro).
One of the other big nominees for Oscars this year is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which starred Frances McDormand as an angry mother taking the local police department to task for failing to solve the murder of her teen-aged daughter. The movie earned a total of seven nominations including Best Actress (McDormand) and Best Supporting Actor (Sam Rockwell). McDormand’s nomination is her fifth (she won once, for Fargo, in 1997).
The 90th Academy Awards will air live on ABC on Sunday, March 4th, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
Here are the 2018 Academy Award nominees in the top categories:
Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Timothee 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.
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
Best Supporting Actor
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
Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water