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Surprise wins at the WGA

"Well, that's just catapulted bo to the upper echelon of my favourite acceptance speeches" -par3000

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91st Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2018 (for the 2019 Ceremony) - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

AND THE NOMINEES ARE...

Alfonso Cuarón
57 yrs old | 8 films | 2nd nom in this category | 1 previous win in this category


ROMA
Netflix
Nov 21st / Dec 14th
REVIEW

 

Yorgos Lanthimos
45 yrs old | 7 films | 1st nom in this category

THE FAVOURITE
Fox Searchlight 
Nov 23rd
REVIEW

Spike Lee
61 yrs old | 24 films | 1 Honorary Oscar | 1st nom in this category

BLACKkKLANSMAN
Focus
Aug 10th
REVIEW

Adam McKay
50 yrs old | 7 films |
2nd nom in this category

VICE
Annapurna
Dec 21st

 

Pawel Pawlikowski
61 yrs old | 6 films | 1st nomination

COLD WAR
Amazon
Dec 21st

 

survey service
 

 

HOW'D THEY GET NOMINATED?

45%  Passion projects from legendary auteurs have instant media hooks and can be competitive even when they aren't brilliant. But this one was! 
25%
Oscar winner / awards magnet. 
20%  Doing his own cinematography and looking like a master there, too.
10% Netflix has deep pockets too push and push for unlikely miracles like a subtitled, b&w movie becoming a frontrunner
50%  His biggest / most accessible hit after a series of recent momentum builds from Dogtooth through Sacred Deer  - Hollywood already knows him.
20%  Great reviews and precursor love for film
13% Highbrow and salty -- a fresh take on a usually musty genre
11% Olivia and her bitches
6% The directors branch was definitely in a foreign directors mood this year
35% Reputation and do-over. An iconic director who'd never been so honored. Sorry about Do The Right Thing!
30%  His biggest hit and best film in several years. Critically adored and guild supported, too. 
16% Timely themes - plus the world has caught up to him
12% Cannes gave him an early boost and his movie instant highbrow cred
7% Had the summer all to itself to percolate as Best Picture worthy!
37%  Preaching to the choir. In the hellish age we live in, perhaps it's cathartic for liberals to rage against the past demons who doomed us?
28%  Recency power. Precursors latched onto its flashiness right away and showered it with noms.
16% Mid movie credits swing for the fences.
15% Bale, Adams, Rockwell
3% The Big Short?
1% Less controversial than Peter Farrelly
33% Great reviews, compelling story, glorious images / music
30% Career momentum has been building. Ida!!!
22% Europeans love it (see the EFA sweep and the early Cannes win) and their ranks are growing in AMPAS
10% Passion project. 
4% A-listers want to work with him (He basically put Emily Blunt on the map and now Joanna Kulig)
1% Recency. Brand new in theaters during voting

 

WHO WILL WIN?

Alfonso Cuarón has utterly dominated the precursors for his personal memoirish tribute to his childhood maid growing up, fictionalized through Roma. Unless somehow else finds a way to rev up a killer campaign, the award is his. 

 

WHO SHOULD WIN?

You could make a solid case for four of these five men as deserving which is why this is basically a pretty great category this year.  discuss on the blog

 

WHO WAS LEFT OUT?

If you go by the precursors Peter Farrelly (Green Book) and Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born) had every reason to hope for a nomination in this category. I myself am a bit frustrated that Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) never got any traction.


 discuss on the blog

 

TRIVIA ON THESE NOMINEES

• He has tied Warren Beatty's record of most nominations for a single film with 4 (strangely foreign film directors are not considered official nominees for Best Foreign Film or it would be 5 and he would hold the new record)

• He previously won for Gravity (2013) though Gravity did not win Best Picture. If he wins and Roma loses, he'll have one twice without his film winning either time which has only happened twice before in history: George Stevens (A Place in the Sun & Giant) and Ang Lee (Life of Pi & Brokeback). Though one note about this record: John Ford won director three times without his film winning (The Informer, The Grapes of Wrath, and The Quiet Man) but he doesn't fit this description since he did win Best Director for a Best Picture winning film also (How Green Was My Valley)

• Though other directors with Greek ancestry have been nominated, Yorgos Lanthimos is only the second director born in Greece to be nominated. The first was Costas-Gavras nominated for "Z" (1969)

• Yorgos Lanthimos is the very first person born in Greece to be nominated for Best Picture, though.

• Spike Lee is  only the third person to receive their first competitive Best Director nomination AFTER winning an Honorary Oscar. The first was Sir Laurence Olivier who was nominatd for Hamlet (1948) two years after an Honorary for Henry V. The second was Cecil B DeMille who was nominated for The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) three years after his Honorary. Neither of those previous men won that Director trophy after their Honorary so if Lee does, he'll be the first. It's interesting that in all three cases it was very soon after the Honorary. 

Note: Clint Eastwood won a Best Director both before and after his Honorary because Hollywood is insane and for about 12 years they couldn't stop handing him trophies for existing. 

• The first SNL alum nominated in this category!

• Even though Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade) was left out we somehow still ended up with a giant (vertically speaking) in the shortlist. Adam McKay, like Burnham, is 6'5", towering over the other nominees this year. 

 discuss on the blog

• Pawlikowski & Cuarón share the distinction of being the first two directors of foreign language films to compete in the best director category since 1976 when Lina Wertmuller (Seven Beauties) and Ingmar Bergman (Face to Face) did it. This is, however the only time in history that two directors have been nominated in this category for films also nominated in Best Foreign Film (Face to Face was not submitted by Sweden). Curiously both Cuarón and Pawlikowski became famous as English language cinema directors before making a significant mark in their home countries.

• Pawlikowski is only the second director in the Expanded Best Picture era (2009 forward) to be a "lone director" and make the list without his movie nominated in Best Picture. This used to happen nearly every year of course but with more Best Picture spots it's now rare.

• Pawlikowski is the third Polish director nominated after Polanski (multiple times) and Krystof Kieslowki (Red)