‘Phantom Thread’ is in, James Franco is out, and more takeaways from Tuesday’s Academy Award nominations
Surprises, snubs, and quick takeaways from Tuesday’s Academy Award nominations:
■“The Shape of Water” led all nominees with 13 nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Guillermo Del Toro’s fairy tale love story also cleaned up in the technical categories and will likely be the evening’s big winner come March 4.
■“Phantom Thread” had an unexpectedly strong showing, scoring nominations in the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Score categories. Those nominations managed to shake up several categories: by landing Best Picture, it took a slot that was thought to be reserved for either “I, Tonya” or “The Florida Project,” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s inclusion in the Best Director field left “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’s” Martin McDonagh on the outside looking in. Meanwhile, Lesley Manville sneaking into the Best Supporting Actress, race gave the boot to “Girls Trip’s” sentimental favorite Tiffany Haddish, not that she seemed perturbed. Her live announcing of the nominees made for the liveliest Oscar nomination ceremony in memory.
■The Best Supporting Actress race had several surprises. Holly Hunter, thought to be a shoo-in for a nomination for “The Big Sick,” was left off the list, while Mary J. Blige was honored with a nomination for the gritty Netflix entry “Mudbound.” “Mudbound” also scored a nomination for cinematographer Rachel Morrison, who becomes the first female to ever be nominated in the Cinematography category.
■“Lady Bird’s” Greta Gerwig and “Get Out’s” Jordan Peele are among the four first-time nominees in the Best Director field; only “Phantom Thread’s” Paul Thomas Anderson has been nominated in the category before (for “There Will Be Blood”). Gerwig is the first woman in the Best Director field since Kathryn Bigelow won for “The Hurt Locker” and the fifth woman ever to be nominated for the award.
■James Franco, who found himself caught up in allegations of sexual misconduct earlier this month, was left out of the Best Actor race for “The Disaster Artist.” That opened things up for Denzel Washington, who strolled in with his fifth Best Actor nomination (and second in a row, following last year’s “Fences”) for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” in which he plays a lawyer battling a crisis of conscience.
■Woody Harrelson earned his third Oscar nomination (following previous noms for “The People Vs. Larry Flynt” and “The Messenger”) for his role in “Three Billboards,” taking a Best Supporting Actor slot that was thought to be going to either Armie Hammer or Michael Stuhlbarg for “Call Me By Your Name.” Christopher Plummer also scored a Best Supporting Actor nomination for a role he didn’t even have until a month before the movie opened, when he replaced Kevin Spacey in “All the Money in the World.” The nomination gives Plummer his third Best Supporting Actor nod this decade, a category he won for his role in “Beginners.”
■“Get Out” is the first horror movie to score a Best Picture nomination since, well, it depends on whom you ask. “Black Swan” was nominated for Best Picture in 2010 and “The Sixth Sense” scored a Best Picture nomination in 1999, but while they have elements of horror in their DNA, they fit better under the psychological thriller heading. “The Silence of the Lambs” won Best Picture in 1991, and while many consider it a horror movie, others peg it, too, in the thriller category. For a straight up, inarguable horror movie in the Best Picture race, you have to go back to “The Exorcist” in 1973.
■“The Boss Baby?” Really? The much-maligned-by-anyone-except-five-year-olds-and-Alec-Baldwin tale scooped up a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category, besting the more deserving “The Lego Batman Movie.” Did we miss something here?
■Native Detroiter Sufjan Stevens snagged a nomination for Best Original Song for “Mystery of Love,” one of three songs he contributed to “Call Me By Your Name.” He’s got some competition in the category, though: Mary J. Blige is also nominated for “Mighty River,” from the “Mudbound” soundtrack. Joining Stevens among Oscar nominees with local ties is Ann Arbor native Laura Checkoway, whose short film “Edith+Eddie” was nominated for Best Documentary, Short Subject. The film tells the story of America’s oldest interracial married couple.
■Michael Stuhlbarg may not have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but he managed to pull off a rare feat by appearing in three films nominated for Best Picture: “The Post,” “The Shape of Water” and “Call Me By Your Name.” All hail the Stuhl.