And so the Oscars begin...

It's Oscar nominations day, which for a nerd like me is oddly exciting. Here's some things that happened today:

Nominations that I'm particularly happy about

  • Jonny Greenwood has finally received an Oscar nomination, and this might be my favourite thing to have happened in 2018 so far. His score for Phantom Thread is one of his most romantic compositions to date, and marks the correction of a long-standing oversight on the part of the Academy.
  • Sticking with music, Sufjan Stevens has received a nomination for Mystery Of Love, one of his original songs written for Call Me By Your Name.
  • This is a really strong Best Picture category, much more so than in recent years, with a strong presence across the board from Get Out and Lady Bird. Of the five out of the 9 I've seen, only one (Darkest Hour) was disappointing, and the remaining four range from moderately acclaimed to universally acclaimed, so I'm excited to get those in as soon as they're all out here.
  • As ever, the Original Screenplay category showcases some of the most interesting films in the list, highlighting the best of the Best Picture race and also getting a shout in for The Big Sick.
  • The West Wing is representing this year, with Aaron Sorkin receiving a Best Adapted Screenplay nom for Molly's Game, and Allison Janney receiving a Best Supporting Actress nom for I, Tonya (and is already leading the race).
  • Rachel Morrison was nominated for her work as director of photography on Mudbound, marking the first time a woman has been nominated in the Best Cinematography category, which is frankly ludicrous. Mudbound was a beautifully shot film, so there can be no accusations of tokenism in this nomination - she would be a deserving winner, but it seems like its Roger Deakins' for the taking this year.
  • It's pleasing to see Wonder get a nod, even if it's just the one nomination for Makeup and Hairstyling. The team did a wonderful job with Jacob Tremblay.
  • I've already seen two out of the 5 Best Foreign Language Film nominees! These were On Body and Soul, and The Square, both of which I greatly enjoyed.
  • An animated adaptation of Revolting Rhymes has been nominated for Best Animated Short Film, which will always hold a special place in my heart, after my time playing Jack in year 6 in our school play of the version of Jack And The Beanstalk in Revolting Rhymes.

Aspects that I'm not particularly happy about

  • The Florida Project got royally snubbed. Seriously, that deserved a spot in Picture, Actress, Supporting Actress, and Original Screenplay, at the very least.
  • Call Me By Your Name was slightly less snubbed, but no nod for Luca Guadnigno for Director or for either Armie Hammer or Michael Stuhlbarg for Supporting Actor is disappointing.
  • Jessica Chastain missed out on a Best Actress nom for Molly's Game, which was an excellent performance.
  • No "In A Heart Beat" for Best Animated Short, which seemed destined to be the populist choice whilst still being utterly adorable. A real shame.
  • The Academy seem to have become lazy on the distinction between Sound Editing and Sound Mixing again, when it can really be noticeable watching a film when one works and the other doesn't (I can see Sound Editing for The Last Jedi, maybe less so Sound Mixing, for example)
  • The Boss Baby's nomination
  • The Boss Baby's existence

Other observations on which I'm largely neutral but are interesting to note

  • A rare double nomination in the same category for Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri; namely, Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson in Best Supporting Actor - it's Rockwell's to lose, but it's good to see Harrelson in the mix.
  • I've not seen All The Money In The World yet, but given the circumstances under which Christopher Plummer gave his performance, one wonders how much this nomination is just symbolic.
  • There's much more of a mismatch between Best Film Editing and Best Picture than usual, the former often being a good predictor for the latter. Normally, the five nominees for Editing are a subset of the Best Picture nominees, or maybe a dark horse fifth choice slips in, but this year we've got both Baby Driver and I, Tonya featured amongst the Editing nominees, but nowhere to be seen in Best Picture. Something interesting has happened there.
  • Best Documentary (Feature Length) is quite a closed race - only Faces Places has really gathered any notice in the usual places, it's hard to imagine that won't win at this point.