Oscars 2018 snubs and surprises
Awards season mainstays like The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri staked their claim on multiple Oscar nominations Tuesday morning, but the list also included a number of noteworthy snubs and surprises. Read on to see them all.
SNUB: I, Tonya for Best Picture
The Tonya Harding biopic skated away with several high profile nominations: Performances by Margot Robbie and Allison Janney were recognized by the Academy, and the film even appeared among the best film editing nominees. But the film’s controversial subject matter (to many, Harding’s still a tough figure to warm up to) and strong comptetition from late-breaking contenders (Phantom Thread, The Post) likely barred it from the best picture competition.
SNUB: The Florida Project for Best Picture
Sean Baker’s drama has been a critical favorite throughout awards season, but the film’s sunny setting, touching performance by Willem Dafoe (the film’s only nominee), and young breakout star Brooklynn Prince weren’t enough to find the film a place in the best picture category.
SNUB: The Big Sick for Best Picture
It’s been more than a year since Kumail Nanjiani and Emily Gordon brought their real-life love story to the big screen, with The Big Sick debuting at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Since then, the charming rom-com — starring Nanjiani as himself and Zoe Kazan as Emily — has been making audiences laugh and cry, but the Academy left it off of this year’s best picture list despite honoring it with an original screenplay nod.
SNUB: Mudbound for Best Picture
While not necessarily a “snub” (the film registered with SAG and critics circles, but failed to catch on with the Golden Globes, the DGA, or PGA) the exclusion of Dee Rees’ Mudbound is no less disappointing. On paper, it would seem that a film like Mudbound — complete with its diverse, well-respected cast and a powerful story about timely issues of racial tension — might be able to earn Netflix its first best picture nomination, but voters ultimately didn’t agree. The film did, however, become Netflix’s first scripted production to score multiple nominations (including one for its adapted screenplay and anothe for Blige’s supporting performance).
SNUB: Wonder Woman for Best Picture
At first, Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman seemed like just another superhero flick. Then, as the Gal Gadot-starring blockbuster won over fans and critics, it started to look like the princess of Themyscira might have a shot at becoming the first superhero movie to earn an Oscar nomination for best picture. (Superhero movies have been nominated in the past, but never for the Academy’s top prize.) In the end, however, Wonder Woman was shut out. Oh, well: There’s always the sequel.
SNUB: Molly's Game for Best Picture
Aaron Sorkin’s relentlessly entertaining film about “poker princess” Molly Bloom scored a surprise nomination from the Producers Guild of America, but that support didn’t translate into widespread Academy approval on Tuesday, though Sorkin’s adapted screenplay earned the esteemed writer his third nomination; he previously won for The Social Network and was nominated for Moneyball.
SNUB: In the Fade for Best Foreign Language Film
Fatih Akin’s In the Fade traveled the festival circuit as an emotionally taxing, timely portrait of grief and retribution in the wake of neo-Nazi terror. Things looked promising for the German Oscar submission in recent months; after Diane Kruger’s lead performance won best actress at Cannes, the film earned both the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice Award for best foreign language film. The category is traditionally tricky to crack (last year, best actress nominee Isabelle Huppert’s Elle similarly missed out on a nomination despite heavy traction on the awards trail), and In the Fade is, unfortunately, the latest casualty.
SNUB: Luca Guadagnino for Best Director
He poured his heart, soul, and personal roots (seriously, it was shot in and around his hometown in Italy) into the impossibly gorgeous, enthusiastically reviewed same-sex romance Call Me by Your Name, but Luca Guadagnino’s name wasn’t among the best director nominees Tuesday morning. The film did appear in four other categories: best picture, best adapted screenplay, best actor, and best original song, though supporting actors Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg were ignored as well.
SNUB: Steven Spielberg for Best Director
Steven Spielberg is one of the most-nominated directors in Oscar history (he has seven noms in the director category alone), but he was shut out this year, failing to score a nomination for his ‘70s journalism drama The Post.
SNUB: Jessica Chastain for Best Actress
It’s arguably the best performance of Jessica Chastain’s career, but the past Oscar nominee and Molly’s Game star found herself at the mercy of a harsh numbers game — with too many top-flight best actress performances vying for just five slots.
SNUB: James Franco for Best Actor
At the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, James Franco won best actor in a musical or comedy for The Disaster Artist and seemed locked in as a best actor Oscar nominee. Four days later, however, five women accused the actor of sexually inappropriate behavior in a Los Angeles Times report. Franco’s lawyer told the Times the allegations were “not accurate,” and the actor echoed that sentiment in a pair of talk show appearances that same week. But despite his denials, it appears the controversy surrounding the allegations worked against Franco. He was snubbed Tuesday after rolling through awards season as a surefire bet for his hilarious, empathetic, and just plain weird performance as The Room creator and star Tommy Wiseau.
SNUB: Tom Hanks for Best Actor
He’s one of the most celebrated, popular actors working today, but you wouldn’t believe it by looking at Tom Hanks’ recent Academy track record. Yes, he’s one of few who’ve won back-to-back acting trophies in 1993 and 1994, but Oscar has been reluctant to honor him again ever since. Aside from two follow-up nominations for Saving Private Ryan and Cast Away, Hanks hasn’t registered on the Oscar radar since 2001, despite giving well-reviewed performances in films like Captain Phillips, Saving Mr. Banks, and Bridge of Spies. Now, unfortunately, his towering work in Steven Spielberg’s The Post joins that list.
SURPRISE: Denzel Washington for Best Actor
Just one year after scoring a best actor nod for Fences, Denzel Washington is back — this time for Dan Gilroy’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. The film was met with mixed reviews, but the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes both honored Washington for his performance as the titular lawyer. Now, the Academy is also heralding him.
SNUB: Hong Chau for Best Supporting Actress
Usually, securing a nomination at the Critics Choice Awards, the Golden Globes Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards is a sturdy prelude to an Oscar nomination, but not always. Jennifer Aniston nabbed the trifecta of nods for her work in 2014’s Cake, as did Daniel Brühl for his performance in 2013’s Rush, but neither followed up with an Oscar nod. The same goes for Downsizing breakout Hong Chau, undeniably the most celebrated part of Alexander Payne’s latest film. While the project was seen early (SAG’s nominations voting takes place way before most other precursor groups), Chau had momentum on her side, but the field quickly filled with established, veteran actresses (Allison Janney, Laurie Metcalf, Holly Hunter, Octavia Spencer) and A-list superstars known for their work outside Hollywood (Mary J. Blige), leaving little room for a lesser-known performer to hold her ground.
SNUB: Tiffany Haddish for Best Supporting Actress
Haddish’s breakout performance in Girls Trip made her an underdog hopeful for a best supporting actress nomination, but the critical and fan praise (and a New York Film Critics Circle win) weren’t enough to secure her a spot in the supporting actress category on Tuesday morning.
SNUB: Michael Stuhlbarg for Best Supporting Actor
His scenes in Call Me by Your Name are some of the most powerful cinematic moments of the year, but the Academy apparently missed the memo. With several different performances in Oscar-recognized films this year (Call Me by Your Name, The Shape of Water, The Post), we have a feeling Stuhlbarg’s first individual nomination is still on the horizon if he keeps choosing to work on projects similar to those he released last year.
SURPRISE: Christopher Plummer for Best Supporting Actor
After original star Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct, director Ridley Scott brought in Christopher Plummer to replace him — and sped through reshoots to still get the film in theaters weeks later. That gamble paid off on Tuesday when Plummer scored a nomination in the supporting actor category for his portrayal of J. Paul Getty.
SNUB: Armie Hammer for Best Supporting Actor
The Call Me by Your Name star cued a collective swoon from audiences around the world thanks to his passionate portrayal of Oliver, the hunky, older lover of a smitten teen, Elio (Timothée Chalamet), in Luca Guadagnino’s same-sex romance. His charms weren’t enough to win over the Academy, however, as more established actors in higher profile projects likely bounded past him in the home stretch of nominations voting.
SURPRISE: Lesley Manville for Best Supporting Actress
Most of the awards buzz surrounding Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread has focused on the showier performances from Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps. But Lesley Manville, who plays the loyal sister of Day-Lewis’ acclaimed fashion designer, scored a nomination of her own. (It’s also her first!)
SURPRISE: Woody Harrelson for Best Supporting Actor
Critics and awards voters have been showering praise on Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell for their roles in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and now Woody Harrelson has joined them in the Oscar race, picking up a surprise supporting actor nomination alongside Rockwell.