Nominations for 90th Oscars provide a few surprises, break a few barriers

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Out of the many contenders for Best Picture, The Bark staff writer Abby Ann Ramsey would choose "Lady Bird" as the most deserving.

Abby Ann Ramsey, Staff Writer

The Academy revealed nominations for the 90th Oscars ceremony last week, naming contenders in 24 categories ranging from Best Picture to Best Animated Short Film.

Leading the pack, Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water, a beautiful story of love overcoming cruelty, received 13 nominations including Best Picture. Not surprisingly, this category also contained the movies of acclaimed directors Steven Spielberg and Paul Thomas Anderson with The Post and Phantom Thread, respectively. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri stands a good chance against these titles after beating them all out to win Best Drama at the Golden Globes and taking away three SAG Awards. Dunkirk, a World War II action movie, Darkest Hour, a Winston Churchill biopic, and Call Me By Your Name, a coming-of-age, romance picture were also nominated.

But perhaps the most impressive movies nominated for Best Picture were Lady Bird and Get Out, both coming from directors making their debuts. Each was also nominated for Best Directing and Best Original Screenplay. Greta Gerwig, director of Lady Bird, is the first woman to be nominated in this category in five years, and Jordan Peele, director of Get Out, is the first person of color to earn nominations in directing, writing, and best picture for the same film.

Also taking a large step in history is Rachel Morrison, a nominee for Best Cinematography for her work on Mudbound. This was the first time a female cinematographer has ever been nominated.

Other notable, surprising nominations include Woody Harrelson for Best Supporting Actor in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon for Best Original Screenplay in The Big Sick. Harrelson is deserving of the nod, but many people said he and Sam Rockwell would not both be nominated for the same movie in the same category (the first time this has happened since Christoph Waltz, who won, and Leonardo DiCaprio were nominated for Django Unchained in 2013). The Big Sick, an incredibly funny, romantic movie, has been ignored almost the entire award season, so this nomination came as a surprise to some.

As always, there were many noteworthy snubs in this year’s nominations, the most significant being The Florida Project, The Lego Batman Movie, and Wonder Woman.

Extremely critically-acclaimed The Florida Project received only one nomination, when it was expected to earn many more, including Best Picture. The exclusion of The Lego Batman Movie is not all that surprising after the snub of its predecessor, The Lego Movie, but it could have been a front runner for Best Animated Feature, if given a chance. Lastly, Wonder Woman, one of the highest-grossing movies of the year, received zero nominations, while movies with much lower ratings, such as Kong: Skull Island, sit in the Best Visual Effects category.

Click here for the full list of nominations for the 90th Academy Awards, which will be held on March 4.