The nominations for the 91st Academy Awards have landed and as ever there are a few surprises, a few snubs and a few ‘yeah obviously’ nominations.
Here’s a quick digest of the runners and riders as along with a few cheeky guesses and what we think might come up on top.
The front runners in terms of sheer numbers were Roma and The Favourite, bagging 10 noms each, with both of them up for Best Picture and Best Director. Close behind was A Star Is Born with eight nominations including Best Picture, while Blackkklansman bagged six. Slightly surprisingly (but absolutely deservedly) Black Panther reeled in an impressive seven nominations including Best Picture making this the FIRST SUPERHERO MOVIE EVER to be nominated for the top award.
Here’s a bit more of a breakdown.
First of all let’s talk some more about Black Panther. Ryan Coogler’s bold, political Marvel movie managed to buck age old trends by grabbing a whole armful of noms. Yep it really is the first superhero film to get a nod for the top spot. True, Heath Ledger won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight but the film didn’t manage to squeeze into the Best Picture list. In all likelihood it won’t win though it has a good shot at some of the other awards. It has a reasonable chance at Best Production Design for its impressive realisation of Wakanda, while Best Costume Design is also a possible (though we fancy The Favourite for this one). It’s also up for Original Score, Sound Mixing and Best Original Song for ‘All The Stars’ all of which are possibles.
Though it bagged the most nominations jointly with Roma, The Favourite isn’t actually a favourite to take the top spot – Roma seems like a hotter tip for the big one. Instead Olivia Colman is the one to beat for Best Actress (though it’s a very strong category this year – Glenn Close for The Wife, Yalitza Aparicio for Roma, Lady Gaga for A Star is Born and Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me? would all be front runners any other year).
Will Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz’s double nominations for Best Supporting Actress split the vote and mean neither will win? It’s highly probable and hard to choose between them. This one could be a front runner for some of the technicals – it’s nominated for Cinematography, Production Design, Costume Design and Editing and we reckon it’s got a very good chance of taking the award for Best Original Screenplay.
It might be just us but we’ve been crossing our fingers for Hereditary since its release last summer. It wasn’t to be. No nom for Toni Collette for best actress, and not even a nod for production design.
In fact the only horror to even get a mention was A Quiet Place, which is up for Best Sound Editing. Oscar never really goes for horror but we were hoping Get Out might have changed that.
Other notable omissions are Claire Foy for First Man, Timothée Chalamet for Beautiful Boy and John David Washington for Blackkklansman – Adam Driver got a Best Supporting nod so we’re sad to see Washington overlooked here.
A Star Is Born raked in loads of noms but Bradley Cooper for Best Director wasn’t one of them – when there are eight Best Pic noms and only five Best Directors there’ll always be some discrepancies. Slightly surprising though that Cold War didn’t get a Best Pic nom since Pawel Pawlikowski is up for Best Director – it’s nommed in the Best Foreign Film category but we’d be very surprised to see that award go to anything other than Roma this year, which made the cut for both Best Pic and Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron. Pleasingly Spike Lee did get a Best Director nomination for Blackkklansman – slightly unbelievably this is his first ever Best Director nom.
Once again there are no women nominated for the Best Director award. Not wildly surprising since only five female directors have ever been nominated in this category (Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties, Jane Campion for The Piano, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation, Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker and Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird with Bigelow the only winner). This year we might have hoped to see Marielle Heller for Can You Ever Forgive Me? which bagged noms for its stars Melissa McCarthy and Richard E Grant, or Debra Granik for Leave No Trace. In fact Leave No Trace was overlooked entirely.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse was one of our favourite films of the year and while we’re really pleased it got a nom in the Animated Feature category we were hoping it might have pick up a best picture nom. This hardly ever happens. The first animation ever to get a best picture nod was Beauty And The Beast in 1991 and since then Up and Toy Story 3 both got noms. Not only an animation but also a superhero movie, Spider-Verse was never going to make the list but we can always dream.
The rock-tastic Freddie Mercury biopic continues its awards-season momentum, despite being dogged by behind-the-scenes controversies and mixed reviews. The film has picked up an impressive five nominations, including two of the biggies – Best Picture and Best Actor, for Rami Malek’s transformative turn as the Queen frontman. After its surprise wins in both those categories at the Golden Globes earlier this year, we wouldn’t count this one out just yet. The unashamed crowd-pleaser has already powered its way to a record-breaking $800 million box-office haul (making it the biggest musical biopic ever), thanks to some big performances, big tunes and a staggering recreation of the 1985 Live Aid gig. Perhaps the Academy is finally starting to take popular opinion into account (given that their ill-fated ‘popular movie’ award is no longer a thing).
Netflix kills it
The streaming giant has massively upped its original film content over the last few years, tempting big-name talent both in front of and behind the camera with the carrots of creative freedom, decent budgets and an innovative distribution model that potentially gets its film out to a much broader audience. And while lofty film festivals like Cannes are still giving Netflix movies the cold shoulder, the Academy is clearly getting on board. Not only is Roma, Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white passion project, tying for the most nominations this year with 10 nods – it’s also the first Netflix movie ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Elsewhere, The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs – the Coen brothers’ western anthology – has picked up three nominations, including Adapted Screenplay. Sadly, sci-fi horror Annihilation didn’t make the cut – a bit too genre-y, perhaps?
The 91st Academy Awards will take place on the 24th February.