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The Joyful Nominations. Which were yours?

by Nathaniel R

img srcIt's part two of our Team Experience Oscar Nomination response... and then we can move on to both Oscar chart fun and back to cinema proper. The latter some of you will surely be itching for if you're not all-the-way obsessed with Oscar minutiae.

This morning we shed final tears for the snubs and now, the nominations that brought us the most joy in the acting categories and elsewhere.


CHRIS FEIL: Agnès Varda is finally a competitive Oscar nominee, which is doubly rewarding considering Faces Places will likely be her final film. (We love you too, JR.) With Jane out of the way she may even be the frontrunner, giving her Honorary Oscar a friend on its shelf - a lovely thought considering Faces Places is partly an ode to partnership.

GLENN DUNKS: Rachel Morrison becoming the first nominated woman in Achievement in Cinematography is pretty great and a major win for Netflix considering most people would have seen it on their smaller screens...

Likewise I am thrilled for Gerwig and Peele who had directing efforts that not too long ago would have been inconceivable. Yet, I think I am most happiest for Yance Ford. Not only is Strong Island an extraordinary film that somehow took its potentially polarizing format all the way to a nomination for Best Documentary, but in doing so becomes the first openly transgender filmmaker to be nominated.

ERIC BLUME: Without question Rachel Morrison's nomination for Cinematography for Mudbound.  She's the first woman DP ever nominated, and her work made that film soar with so much texture and atmosphere.

KATEY RICH: Yance Ford really laid his heart on the table for Strong Island, and is now the first trans director of an Oscar-nominated film ever. 


TEO BUGBEE: James Ivory for Best Adapted Screenplay. Call Me By Your Name would have been a better film if James Ivory had directed it, and I'll die on that hill, but his screenplay adaptation highlights yet again that he is one of the sharpest readers among filmmakers.


MATTHEW ENG: How is it possible that Abacus: Small Enough to Jail marks the first occasion in which the incredible Steve James has ever received a Best Documentary nomination? Abacus may not be the incisive and all-absorbing masterwork that Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters were, but it’s a warm, edifying, and rightfully furious achievement all the same, spotlighting and immersing itself within an ethnic community (New York’s first-and-second-generation Chinese working-class) that is rarely afforded such loving attention on the big screen. I’ll be savoring the film — and its long-overdue recognition for this sublime documentarian — for months to come.

DEBORAH LIPP: Never has a movie deserved an editing nomination more than Baby Driver. Never have I understood editing as a category better than for Baby Driver.

TIMOTHY BRAYTON: Jonny Greenwood for Best Score. After his failure to make any dent here previously, I figured they just hated him for no good reason, and the fact that the year's lushest, most swooning music now has a good shot at winning an award is the most optimistic I've felt since this season began.

JOHN GUERIN: I screamed when Jonny Greenwood's exquisite score for Phantom Thread earned its rightful nomination. Rapturous, lush, circumspect, clearly riffing on Bernstein and Herrmann, but undoubtedly its own mix of tension and release, in perfect service to its film.

NATHANIEL R: Strangely I was not particularly thrilled by any well deserved craft nomination this year (mostly because the only ones I was rooting for were locked up or snubbed) so I have to give a shout out to On Body and Soul, Hungary's Foreign Film nominee. It's eccentric and endearing but harsher than whimsical which that combo of adjectives would usually imply. I was mesmerized. It's also nice to have Greta Gerwig not be alone among female directors honored.  Ildikó Enyedi first hit the world cinema stage by winning the Camera D'Or at Cannes in 1989 for My Twentieth Century but though Hungary submitted her breakout picture, Oscar didn't bite. So this has been a long time coming... 28 years to be exact.

JASON ADAMS: I've been in love with Sufjan Stevens and his music since I stood dreamily staring up at him playing his keyboard literally a foot away from me within a small crowd at the Bowery Ballroom way way wayyyy back in the day, so it's going to be quite a thing to see him perform on the mf'ing Oscars.

ILICH MEJIA: Sufjan Steven’s “Mystery of Love” underscores the dreamlike quality of Call Me By Your Name without making the dream seem any less likely to have actually happened. It’s hopeful reminiscing that summons too many emotions to contain, too deserving thanks to Steven’s words and composition. Also he is notable look provider so watching him on the red carpet will be a hoot.

SEÁN MCGOVERN: Aside from the absence of BPM (Beats Per Minute), it's a very strong Foreign Language category and I'm overjoyed for Loveless. When all we hear about Russia in the media is interference and espionage, it's important to remember that it's not without its own dissenting artistic voices. Loveless distills the entire pain and anxieties of this complex nation all in one family's tragedy.


NICK DAVISLast Men in Aleppo for Documentary, because it's such a searing document and so resourcefully made, amid such inhospitable conditions. That field often rewards easier work than this, so I'm delighted to see it appear here.

SALIM GARAMI: Virgil Williams & Dee Rees for Best Adapted Screenplay. I was always holding my breath that Mudbound would break the Netflix glass ceiling.

LYNN LEE: Greta Gerwig for director, because Lady Bird slayed me and because it's about time the Academy recognized that "girls' stories" are stories for everyone.  It's harder than it looks to put together a series of snapshots from a year in the life of a teenage girl and make each one sparkle.

and file this under "I didn't know we had so many Big Sick fans in the house!

BEN MILLER: I was so worried The Big Sick would walk away empty handed, but a screenplay nomination came for the two people who mean the most to the story.  Their adorable post-nomination Twitter banter just adds to the joy.

MURTADA ELFADL: Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon for writing The Big Sick. In a time when even allies and friends are repeating the word “shithole” at us - no matter the context - and of course the racist regime we all live under which originated that vile word, it was heartwarming to see another immigrant of color get recognized for telling a very specific love story that also speaks to all of us in the diaspora. 

SPENCER COILE: With so many contenders in the category, I am relieved to see The Big Sick appear in Original Screenplay. Not only was it a refreshing take on the rom-com genre, but Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon are an absolute delight on the awards circuit. 



LYNN LEE: Meryl Streep for The Post.  No, she didn't deserve the nod just because she's Meryl.  She deserved it for the least "actorly," most understated performance we've seen from her in years.  The evolution of a woman who's too polite to talk over men in the boardroom to the decisionmaker who tells them to cut the mansplaining is the beating heart of the movie, which Streep captures with all the intelligence and nuance that the character demands. 

SALIM GARAMI:  First Christopher Plummer will steal your role, then he'll steal your Oscar nomination. And he'll earn every ounce of it at the last second.

MURTADA ELFADL: Saoirse Ronan for best actress. Lady Bird is her Annie Hall. It’s the one she’ll be remembered for and used as shorthand to describe her for many years to come. Come on now don’t miss the chance to give her the Oscar! 

GLENN DUNKS: The thing that I love about Saoirse Ronan's three Oscar nominations is how wildly different they all are and how they go against so much of what we all cynically joke about (but kinda think is true) the Academy for - she played a very unlikable girl in Atonement, then was nominated for an old-fashioned romantic drama in Brooklyn, and now a teen coming-of-age comedy. Her career is a delight and I'm so glad that she's clearly on her way to eventually winning an Academy Award.

SEÁN MCGOVERN: Saoirse Ronan. There's nothing inauthentic about her. No other young actress is capable of such range while still being entirely without artifice. Every interview with her is pure joy, and she's a champion for all of us who call our mothers "Mam".

CHRIS FEIL: Lesley Manville went right through me and it was me that ended up on the floor.

TEO BUGBEE: Lesley Manville. Because if she hadn't been there it would have hurt my ears.

TIMOTHY BRAYTON: Lesley Manville, because any time the Academy goes for "most subtle" rather than "most", it broadens what "counts" as greatness. Also, because it means two Mike Leigh veterans are nominated in the same year.

DANCIN DAN: Lesley Manville gives a DELICIOUS performance in Phantom Thread - I ate up every bitchy bon mot and withering eyebrow raise - and since she missed every precursor but BAFTA, I had accepted that she wasn't going to be nominated. So I gasped and jumped up and down when her name was read - a move Cyril surely would have rolled her eyes at, but I didn't care one bit.

NICK DAVIS:  There are performances I like even better, but I'm thrilled about Denzel Washington landing a nom for a genuinely interesting movie that people were weirdly resistant to seeing. Even his Globe and SAG nods got treated a bit like "Oh, they'll nominate him for anything" or "Yeah, but he won't make it all the way to AMPAS." Roman J Israel, Esq is an uneven film but the best bits have really lingered with me, and I hope (and assume) more folks will now check it out.

JASON ADAMS: I suppose it's unsurprising all of my answers are about Call Me By Your Name to anyone who's had to listen to me for the past six months but come on, Timothée Chalamet gave the performance of the year, maybe even the decade. There was not a single second he was on screen where I didn't know exactly what Elio was feeling, and not just know it, but wince with the truth of it. 

ERIC BLUME: Timothée Chalamet.  It's a performance for the ages but usually Oscar gets skittish about young actors. 

MATTHEW ENG: It isn’t hard to imagine Get Out still bowling us over and keeping us firmly embedded in Chris’ perspective with a less engaged or emotionally pliable performer in the lead. But Daniel Kaluuya never coasts or detaches. The reservoir of palpably heartsore poignancy that the Actor amasses in Jordan Peele’s debut would have been all too easy for Oscar voters to overlook or underrate in a different era of the Academy. What a relief that Get Out has arrived at this specific moment and that Kaluuya’s selfless, soul-stirring work (in a politically-attuned horror film, no less) has reached audiences and received its just acclaim.

BEN MILLER: Laurie Metcalf, just because I pessimistic until her name was called.  She isn't super-famous, she doesn't do a bunch of movies and it is a prickly character.  Now if she can sneak past the overrated hype-machine that is Janney's performance, then I will really be happy.

KATEY RICH: I, Tonya isn't for everyone, but by all accounts Margot Robbie really muscled that film into existence, and it's great to see a star use her power on a small, difficult film and to see that work rewarded. And she's great in it!

ILICH MEJIA: Sally Hawkins is always such a kind presence onscreen, impossible to root against. It is possible I am still mad about her Happy-Go-Lucky snub, so I've been shrieking every time she’s given her due since then.

SPENCER COILE: Without a doubt, Tiffany Hadd— Oh wait. For me, it has to be Willem Dafoe. He is truly the heart of The Florida Project and represents the film as a whole. With most of the characters in this category being douchebags, Dafoe is the beacon of light we desperately need. 

KIERAN SCARLETT: Mary J. Blige for Mudbound. This is such a cool nomination that no one a year ago could have predicted and I'm glad it ultimately came to pass.

Your turn. Which nominations gave you a blissful moment these past 24 hours?

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Reader Comments (48)

Lesley Manville 4EVAH!!!

Paul Thomas Anderson with his... gulp... second nomination so far!

It goes without saying Sujan Stevens. This in NOT the nom I was expecting for CMBN below the lines (that was cinematography, perhaps) and in a branch that is the dullest by far in the Academy. They like things both pablum and bombastic, which is NOT SO Sufjan!

(Mocking Maryl) That's all.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Lesley Manville was a very nice surprise, I kept thinking while watching Phantom Thread 'how can they not nominate this performance if they see it' . I would be happy if she or Metcalf won that category.

I was also very excited that Kaluuya and that Get Out in general made it through , I was genuinely worried that the film's genre might hurt it's chances with AMPAS despite all the precursor support.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami


Strong Island is not the kind of documentary that gets nominated by the Academy -- poetic, personal, mournful, deadly serious, precisely shot and cut. I'm amazed to see such a quiet, powerful film being rewarded in a category that has gone for accessible, celebrity-driven fare in the past few years.


Daniel Kaluuya and Timothee Chalamet. Think about it: a young black British actor with a hard to pronounce last name (hi, Tiff), playing a largely understated role in a horror-comedy, and an even younger unknown American anchoring a wildly romantic gay melodrama, are now best actor nominees alongside Daniel Day Lewis, Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman. It's astounding.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

One more thing...

I would forgive all the snubs past and present (well, NOT Huppert, but alas) if Manville pulls a Binoche/Swinton upset for the ages.I will totally ok with Metcalf. I will be annoyed to no end with Janney (whom I adore often; just not this time around)

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Oh, and in a fair world, Chalamet should be a no-brainer.

I'm tempted to say he's in a breakthrogh-lever of Day-Lewis My Left Foot's proporsions, if not for Day-Lewis himself being criminally overlooked in My Beautiful Laundrette before!

Either him or Kaaluya. Which won't happen.

Oldman and Janney seem so passé winners to me. The Old Academy patting themselves on the back. And don't get me started about Rockwell's role.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

I'm happiest about all the love for Phantom Thread, and as a huge Sufjan Stevens fan, I'm delighted that he is an Oscar nominee--hopefully an Oscar winner in March.

Acting-wise, I'm happiest about Lesley Manville's inclusion, and I'm relieved that Timothee Chalamet was nominated and not dismissed by the Academy's persnickety voters.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I did like that a superhero comic adaptation finally got in for Adapted Screenplay. Good. Less good is which one was pushed forward (it wouldn't be so bad as one of many, but DA FIRST being one of those ones that tries to reject the genre as much as possible?), and what it took for even THAT to get in. As a first nominee, here are ten superhero scripts that would have been a more fitting first nomination, and what they could have cut with no long term Academy regrets.

1978: Superman: The Movie, over Bloodbrothers or Same Time, Next Year
1992: Batman Returns over...every nominee OTHER THAN the winner, Howards End.
2002: Spider-Man over The Hours.
2008: Iron Man over... any of the nominees, even the winner.
2011: Captain America: The First Avenger over The Ides of March.
2014: Captain America: The Winter Soldier over...any of the nominees, even the winner. 2014 Adapted Screenplay is just an OBNOXIOUS ballot. (Three of the nominees are dull as dirt true stories, such that even the delivery of them leaves you wondering what the writers branch was SMOKING that year, Inherent Vice is wasted effort on no one sane's favourite Pynchon novel and Whiplash is one of the most textbook examples of passionate delivery trumping the words. Those terrible, terrible words, that somehow got him two nominations. There's a reason I'm looking forward to the kind of movie Chazelle can make, NOT directing his own dialogue.)
2014: Guardians of the Galaxy, likewise.
2016: Captain America: Civil War over Lion or Fences.
2017: Thor: Ragnarok over Molly's Game or Logan
2017: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 over Molly's Game or Logan.
(Note: Yes, I'd also argue that The Dark Knight, as great as that movie and script is (and, yes, I am in the camp of loving that script, as self important as it is), also wouldn't be justified being DA FIRST superhero adaptation to get an Adapted Screenplay nom, for a lot of the same reasons Logan isn't.)

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Greta Gerwig in Director
Johnny Greenwood in Score
Phantom Thread in Picture
PTA in Director

I must say that I’m happy for Lesley Manville, who deserved a nom in 2010 for Another Year, but it detracts somewhat from the nomination that Vicky Krieps was better than both her and DDL and wasn’t even in the conversation.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

My two biggest fist-pumping moments were for "Faces Places" and Lesley Manville. I was also thrilled by the nominations for "The Square" (after Östlund was shockingly left out for "Force Majeure"), Paul Thomas Anderson, Greta Gerwig, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

Less to be excited about in the crafts categories because they show very little imagination this year, even though many of the best achievements below the line never had a shot in the first place.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Danny Kaluyya, Sersh and Timmy <333

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEmma

Greenwood's score is the best thing about "Phantom Thread"

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

I Tonya girls!!

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDanny Crave

Sufjan and Chalamet, by far. But also Manville and Nolan.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

Jonny Greenwood's evocative score for Phantom Thread, along with Lesley Manville's performance. As an aside, I'm disappointed and a bit perplexed that Vicky Krieps never entered the conversation for Best Actress. At least Chicago and Boston critic's organizations nominated her.

The ladies of Lady Bird and the gentlemen of Get Out and Call Me by Your Name.

Christopher Nolan finally nabbing a Best Director nomination. I'm a fanboi. Also, Paul Thomas Anderson.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I’m genuinely curious why everyone seems to shit on Rockwell. He was great. If it’s a problem who his character is well then let’s go back and not reward Mo’nique’s abusive mother or Waltz’s sadistic Nazi while we’re at it.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami

I wasn't pessimistic about Laurie Metcalf, who I think is a genius, so my YASSS moment came right before her name, when Lesley Manville finally got her due.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

I'm happy for all of the nominees for Best Director as that is pretty much an elite class. There's not a bad pick and it would be hard to choose.

I'm stoked that Phantom Thread is getting some love in the Oscars as I hope Jonny Greenwood wins Best Score. Maybe one day, there can be a NIN vs. Radiohead showdown at the Oscars.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99


I'm not just pleased that the Academy nominated a woman, though it is significant that she is only the 5th female best director nominee in 90 years. But I think it's important that the Academy nominate a variety of directors - not only directors who create large spectacles, visual feasts and event films but directors who perfectly cultivate a mood or foster an incredible ensemble of actors.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I'm still upset that Jonny Greenwood's incredible score for There Will Be Blood was never nominated (for arcane reasons I still don't understand), so I'm beyond thrilled to see him nominated here. Is he considered the frontrunner?

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Leslie Manville, Call Me By Your Name for everything, Lady Bird for everything, Get Out for everything, Meryl Streep. Sufjan Stevens.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRob

I was thrilled to see Daniel Kaluuya make it in. I was nervous he wouldn't because I feared that they would only make room for one newbie with Timothee Chalamet. But I'm thrilled he and Chalamet made it in.

Also, Academy Award Nominee Dee Rees. Has a wonderful ring to it.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMatt St.Clair

Timothee, Sufjan and Faces Places.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

Hat trick for CMBYN!

James Ivory for Adapted Screenplay

Sufjan Stevens for "Mystery of Love"

and Timothee Chalamet for Best Actor

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

Greta Gerwig in directing, Baby Driver in editing, Mystery of Love and Saiorse were my favorites!

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

My Joys 😁

All the Lady Bird's Luv.. Saoirse, Greta, Laurie!! Hooray!!

Phantom Thread's unexpected windfall... Welcome back PTA! Well hello there, Mrs Danv....opps I mean Lesley Manville

The Shape of Luv...opps Water... If not Saoirse, then let it be Sally!! Plzzz...🙏 Hawkins technically has to the hardest role to play n she's oso so wonderful in the little seen Muadie..

Also a big warm welcome back, Woody!! I rather he wins it over his co star. He's a well-liked, overdue veteran, juz like Dafoe.

The Big Sick getting into the super competitive Org Screenplay.

@Evan: Vicky Krieps is indeed a new-found gem, but the best actress race is simply too insanely competitive!! If Chastain, a well liked Hollywood glam queen, campaigning hard for a strong female, Oscar friendly role, can't even make the cut, wat chance thr is for a relatively unknown Luxembourg actress who literally pops outta nowhere? She shld at least nabbing all the newcomer's prizes tho..

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Rami -- i hear you. People are being so weird about THREE BILLBOARDS. He is an actor playing a role. He is not that character. Just like Alexander Skarsgard is not a wife-beater and Meryl Streep is not a timid newspaper owner. And Frances McDormand is not a grumpy older woman who gives zero fucks about what you think of h---- oh wait.

Anyway, there's lots of conflating going on every which way with that movie. I keep reading things about "how dare they make a racist a hero?" and i'm wondering what movie other people saw? He was decidedly not heroic in that movie. [SPOILERS] He was a violent racist who was also terrible at his job but started to think that maybe he should listen to his boss (the only person we know of within the world of the movie who was ever kind to him) about being a better person himself and he made one itty-bitty step towards doing that by deciding he should actually try and help Mildred with the cold case. How does that make him a hero? Or redeemed? Unless you buy the idea that vigilante assassinations are a good thing (the movie pointedly does not endorse them with its tentative 'should we be doing this?' finale). Nowhere (that I recall) does the movie ever suggest that he or Mildred are actually good people. [/SPOILERS]

. But that seems to be in the air in general these days, conflation. If you dont approve of somebody or something, you must condemn everyone and everything in their general vicinity. YOu must even retroactively demand apologies from people who had nothing to do with the crime.

It's strange. And I cant see how it ends happily for society unless people calm down and learn to be measured in their unhappiness / condemnations.

Evan -- i'm willing to see the movie again but I don't see it. The part was interesting but to me she was only good, not great like Manville... though her part was probably far more difficult.

MDA -- what i recall happning with the Greenwood score was they determined that there was too much preexisting music. For context it's probably important to note that AMPAS got a lot of flack the year before for givine Santoallal Best Score for BABEL though there was only 17 minutes of original music (or something really small like that) but mostly it was preexisting music.

Suzanne -- hear hear! well said. Different styles of directing are often lacking so that was wonderful to see.

January 24, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Greta Gerwig for Original Screenplay. Director is more than I ever imagined, but this should easily have been her second nomination in Original Screenplay after Frances Ha. I think Gerwig is one of the best new writers we have writing directly for the screen and I'm always excited to see what she comes up with next. And now that she's an Academy Award-nominated writer/director, imagine what she'll be able to do with a budget and industry backing.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Non-acting - The Big Sick was my shout out with joy moment as I was worried it was going to be blanked. Acting - it was Timothee as ,although I was totally expecting it, seeing him recognised for his beautiful performance got me quite emotional.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterChrisD

God. Can Lesley Manville please pull a Tilda Swinton? Or a Marcia Gay Harden or whatever you want to call it.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

Jeez... How has no one here cited the legendary GLENN KEANE as their favourite non-acting nomination? Who cares if it comes attached to the "Academy-Award-nominee-Kobe-Bryant" punchline? By hook or by crook, the man who breathed life into Ariel, Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas (and more) is long overdue for a moment in the sun.

January 24, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterN8

Rami and Nat

Since you are both refering to my comment: Do you really think I'm THAT obtuse? That the morality of character is paramount to be judgemental of a performance???

Haven't I've been pretty clear in this site that Huppert's was by far my fav performance last year of a morably ambiguous and often nasty character?

It's in the NUANCE, gentlemen. Sam Rockwell's has NONE. You can be ignorant and racist without resorting to charicature (ABBA scene, anyone?)

But I still think it's all MsDonagh's misguided script.

Please, give some credit to posters. If you think I judge that movie for the nasty characters portrait in it, you don't know me very well.

Movie has more important and problematic issues than its character's perdonal traits or (lack of) morals.

I think your reading is superficia about what's wrong with that movie for some people like me.
Please,don't put me in the bag of crooks that think Rockwell's redemtion was bad. I just think he didn't earn enough empathy to EARN one; unlike Michele Leblanc.That's a difference.


January 24, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Chofer I’ve seen a few comments not just yours and most seem to have issue with how the role is written. Not performed. It’s totally subjective of course but I liked his performance and I’m genuinely curious why people don’t like it as much. To each his own :-)

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Here's a little game I like to play with each new set of acting nominees. How many connections are there between the actors (beyond the ones who are co-stars in their nominated performances)? Here are the ones I've found so far:

Mississippi Burning: Frances McDormand and Willem Dafoe
Finding Nemo: Willem Dafoe and Allison Janney
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Saoirse Ronan and Willem Dafoe
The Way Way Back: Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney
The Manchurian Candidate: Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep
The Help: Allison Janney and Octavia Spencer
The Man Who Wasn’t There/Burn After Reading/North Country/Olive Kitteridge: Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins
Seven Psychopaths: Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell
Fantastic Mr. Fox: Meryl Streep and Willem Dafoe
A Prairie Home Companion: Meryl Streep and Woody Harrelson
The Hours: Meryl Streep and Allison Janney
Malcolm X: Denzel Washington and Christopher Plummer
Vera Drake: Sally Hawkins and Lesley Manville
Seven Pounds: Woody Harrelson and Octavia Spencer
JFK: Gary Oldman and Laurie Metcalf
The Book of Eli: Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRichter Scale

Gerwig making the grade a couple times was very nice.

I was the most pleasantly surprised by both Woody and Christopher making the Supporting Actor line up.

It wasn't a surprise and there are different styles of performing which makes the idea of picking only "one best" performance each year silly, but I thought Chalamet gave the most unforgettable performance last year, and deserves all the resulting accolades. Franco was second IMO for a very different type of portrayal, but he unfortunately is a fitting response to another post now.

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterShawn

Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon

Janney + Manville + Metcalf = HEAVEN

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

It seems to me the Rockwell controversy is akin to Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction." Obviously a strong performance, but in the service of a dubious conception of a character (racist cop really is a nice fella!) Close would have clearly won for "Fatal Attraction" had they not changed the ending and made the film a backlash against feminism--that just turned too many people off, even though technically it's still probably the best performance of its year.

As for my loves, all the "Phantom Thread" nominations: more than expected. It's far edgier, funnier, and more passionate than the trailer makes it seem (how'd that happen?) It may be the most perfect PTA film yet. Also: Varda!!

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDanniella

Also extremely happy about Chalamet and, to a lesser extent but still also happy for him, Kaluuya. As others have pointed out, it would be easy to imagine a scenario where neither get nominated. They both have to overcome significant hurdles to be there and both are deserving.

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Greta for director and Woody and Christopher for Supporting Actor

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

When Sufjan Stevens got the nomination I almost had a stroke! In a good way. I really did not expect him to get the nod. I'm a long time fan. In fact, I haven't removed his CD, Carrie & Lowell, from my player since 2015 (well maybe a I did a few times; not all of my friends are morose).

And being a cup-half-empty kind of guy, I was disappointed in the Christopher Plummer nomination (I generally root for Canadians, being one myself, and I've been in awe of so many of his performances at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Ontario)). But he almost certainly pulled the rug out from Armie Hammer, and especially Michael Stuhlbarg. It was a heart-breaker moment for me. I also felt that the nomination was a little vindictive; in other words, a final nail in Spacey's coffin, or some other cliché. I know it's probably too early to feel some empathy for the guy, but I must admit that I do. I know, I know, most likely better left unsaid. So never-mind.

Finally, I was very happy with the recognition for P.T. Anderson. Because if Luca Guadagnino was going to be passed over for best director, Anderson's nod was sweet medicine.

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIshmael

Oh, I almost forgot: "Later".

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIshmael

Non acting: Logan. Amazing screenplay, I am still in shock, the AMPAS got over the genre bias and nominated it.

Acting: I am happy for Margot Robbie, Richard Jenkins and Sally Hawkins specially... but the most welcomed are Woody Harrelson (the only saving grace of 3B for me) and Octavia Spencer, who's not getting all the praise she deserves for that performance... she's perfect, leaving the starring characters breathe and shine, and making the most of every tiny moment she becomes center of the screen, serving the film rather than her ego.

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJesus Alonso

1) Logan's adapted screenplay nod. So, so deserving.
2) Sally Hawkins and Margot Robbie getting in. I haven't seen The Post, but the other 4 best actress nominees are so insanely good I'm glad I don't have to vote. Though I'd be leaning towards Hawkins or Robbie.
3) Baby Driver's editing nom. Not because great editing is supposed to be this apparent onscreen, but because the film required this tightrope achievement in order to achieve its vision, and it rose admirably to the challenge.
4) Daniel Kaluuya's nom. Could be so easily overlooked, but not this year.
5) Woody. Yes.
6) Mudbound's cinematography. Yes, the historic element matters, but it's also just quality work.

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKJ

Lesley Manville!
Sufjan Stevens!

January 25, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterRy

Eugh Nathaniel, your point about Three Billboards is why you're my hero

January 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKris01

I'm intrigued by your answer on this Nathaniel on the actor nomination that made your day; don't be greedy you can have just one pick mind :)

January 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew UK

My joyful surprise:

Despite the (bad) rule changes where the animation branch lost agency of its own category, the Academy still nominated two foreign movies for best animated feature (Ironically, in a year with two lego movies, neither nominated, XD).

January 27, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbuttface

But see, there are some of us who don't think Rockwell actually gave all of that good of a performance. He's fine in a role that isn't well written, but I much preferred Harrelson. Whenever he and McDormand were on screen together, I was far more enraptured. I think the script is shoddy and tone deaf to contemporary issues wherein it's notsomuch about "how dare you make a racist the hero", but rather "how dar you make a racist the hero while treating the actual black characters like glorified window dressing in a movie ABOUT race?"

January 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks


- Logan for adapted screenplay. Yes, still today people in the industry look down at "comic book movies". But they miss the point that that other art form also has amazing stories to be told and the one in Logan really gets to anyone that has a heart: a kid looking for a father figure, a man left with nothing in his life and an aging powerhouse who's slowly withering away. It's undeniably beautiful.


- Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water. I think that after so many awards won by McDormand and the fact that Lady Bird rose when no one was predicting it to rise, made Hawkins performance fade away a bit with voters. But she is phenomenal in the movie. She's smart, funny, touching, real and adorable. An amazing actress who deserves an Oscar. Period.

January 28, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPablo

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