Since a while now, the Academy Awards have been accused of being too male, too white, etc. The Academy seems determined to put all criticism to rest with some surprise inclusions and exclusions in this year’s list…
The World War II era epic, Mudbound saw its cinematographer become the first woman to be nominated in the category, besides winning nominations for Best Screenplay Adaptation nomination and also an acting nomination for Mary J Blige.
The largely neglected mid-century drama Phantom Thread has bagged a handful of nominations - Best Actor for Daniel Day Lewis, Best Director for Paul Thomas Anderson, Best Supporting Actress for Leslie Manville and Best Picture.
Christopher Plummer, who replaced Kevin Spacey after the sexual harassment controversy, is nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category. He had been asked to join the film just a month before its release.
Logan, starring Hugh Jackman, became the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Jordan Peele’s Get Out, a horror film about an African-American man who finds himself trapped at his white girlfriend’s house, secured a clutch of nominations for Best Picture, Daniel Kaluuya for Best Actor, Peele for Best Director and Best Screenplay.
The sexual misconduct allegations levelled at James Franco possibly played a part in the actor missing out on a nomination in the Best Actor category. Franco, if you recall, had won the Best Actor Golden Globe this year for his film The Disaster Artist.
Wonder Woman, despite the first stand-alone superhero film with a female lead since 2005, besides being directed by Patty Jenkins who became the highest-grossing female director in Hollywood ever, found itself out in the cold during nomination time.
The Post bagged a nomination in the Best Picture category, but director Steven Spielberg was ignored when it came to Best Director nominations.
This year’s Academy Awards nominations also saw a breakthrough for transgender filmmakers. If Yance Ford, the director of the documentary Strong Island and a trans-man, became the first transgender filmmaker nominated for an Oscar, Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, stars Daniela Vega, a trans-actress, as a transgender singer mistreated in the aftermath of her boyfriend’s death.
“It’s a big day for LGBTQ-inclusive films at the Academy Awards,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO. “Films like The Shape of Water, A Fantastic Woman, Lady Bird, and Call Me By Your Name not only have complex, detailed, and moving portrayals, but prove that audiences and critics alike are hungry for stories which embrace diversity. These important stories move the needle forward on LGBTQ acceptance at a time when media images are often the front lines for marginalized communities,” she averred, referring to film featuring prominent gay characters.