The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards have been announced, and “The Shape of Water” leads the field with 13 nominations. “Dunkirk” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” were also among the top nominees with eight and seven nominations, respectively. Stay tuned for more updates including the complete list of nominees, reactions, analysis and more.
Recently, "Shape of Water" star Sally Hawkins listened as Guillermo del Toro, the movie's writer-director, described the plot of the lush, romantic fantasy, which revolves around a mute female janitor in a 1960s government lab.
Punctuating his explanation that a woman drives the entire story, Hawkins waited a beat and then said:
"It's about time."
The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards, which were announced on Tuesday, contained a great many "it's about time" moments. Jordan Peele, the mastermind of "Get Out," a social thriller about American racism, became the first African American to earn producer, director and writer nominations for a single film; the academy nominated a female cinematographer, "Mudbound's" Rachel Morrison, for the first time in its 90-year history; and Greta Gerwig became just the fifth woman recognized as a director, feted for her wry, observational coming-of-age story "Lady Bird."
Arriving in the midst of the #MeToo movement, more than half of the nine movies nominated for best picture featured women at the center of the story. Women were among the producers on six of those nine movies. Women had a hand in writing four of the 10 screenplays nominated and earned nods for foreign film, animated film, documentary, editing, production design, song, makeup, costumes and sound mixing.
And, again, that historic nomination for Morrison.
"Literally, it's a dream come true," she told The Times.
Los Angeles Times film critics Kenneth Turan and Justin Chang discuss the 2018 Academy Award nominations they were glad to see and where they felt the academy fell short.
If you look back in history, some of the greatest films of all time were genre films that really had something to say about where we are in the world. And 'Get Out' is a reflection of a really dark time in our country.
When Jordan Peele got the news that the biggest gamble of his career had just earned four major Academy Award nominations, including best picture, best director and best original screenplay, he got on the phone with his "Get Out" star, Daniel Kaluuya — and broke down in tears.
"It was very emotional," said Peele, the comedian-turned-director who made his directorial debut with the race-themed social thriller, made for a modest $4.5 million, about a young African American man (Kaluuya) who goes to meet his white girlfriend's family only to find himself trapped in a sinister nightmare.
"Whenever I talk to him about this stuff, I just break down," Peele said Tuesday morning. "We both went from knowing we were taking this huge risk and that we could very well be hated for the risk, to being here and getting the acknowledgment of our peers — peers who, by the way, we didn't even feel like we could call our peers a year ago."
Peele's nods launch him into the annals of Oscars history with poignant distinction: He is only the fifth black filmmaker in 90 years to be nominated for directing. And he's the third first-time filmmaker to hit the nominations trifecta — picture, director and screenplay — all at once.
The academy honors remind Peele that he had once sidelined his aspirations of directing because of how improbable they seemed.
"Get Out" star Daniel Kaluuya was elated and bursting with infectious energy Tuesday after learning of his Oscar nomination for actor in a leading role and the movie's nods for director, original screenplay and best picture.
"I know you've got to be professional, but this is funny, you have to enjoy it with me!" the Brit exclaimed to The Times. "Like, joyous vibrations."
The recognition, he said, is an achievement like a master's degree: "You've given your flippin' all to something and someone says, 'Well done.' Especially coming from where I'm from. This is mental."
To skirt the anxiety-inducing ordeal of Tuesday morning's announcement, he had a plan to sleep through the nominations — until he woke up early from nerves and got a call with the good news.
I'm so happy for Jordan [Peele], man. It's a team effort. I spoke to [producer] Sean McKittrick this morning, and it's a team effort; we did this together. It was a 23-day shoot and Jordan was the captain, but everyone had to collectively give their all for this film to get made and to get over the finish line.
When the dust settled Tuesday morning after announcement of this year's Oscar nominees, it was clear that Academy Awards voters had diversity and inclusion on their minds. Among the nominees are Pakistani American Kumail Nanjiani for "The Big Sick" (who wrote the original screenplay nominee with wife Emily V. Gordon, inspired by their courtship), "Mudbound" actress Mary J. Blige (in the supporting actress and original song categories, the latter of which she shares with Raphael Saadiq) and three directors — Jordan Peele ("Get Out"), Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird") and Guillermo del Toro ("The Shape of Water") — who don't fit their category's historically white male template.
Making history, however, are the foreign film "A Fantastic Woman" and feature documentary "Strong Island," projects with transgender voices, making it quite possible that the work of an openly trans person could earn one of the industry's top prizes in March. "Mudbound" cinematographer Rachel Morrison also made history as the first woman nominated in the category.
"Seeing two out transgender people [represented] in this year's Oscar nominees is a big step forward toward more inclusive and diverse content in Hollywood," said Nick Adams, GLAAD's director of transgender media and representation, in a statement to The Times.
I left my dream of being a director behind long ago, and I think that was because, while I have a great respect for film, I didn't really believe there was a place for very many black directors.
From his days spoofing President Obama on the Comedy Central sketch series “Key & Peele” to writing and directing one of the most talked about movies of 2017 — the smash horror/social satire hybrid “Get Out” — Jordan Peele seems to have his finger on the pulse of America.
And now he has three Oscar nominations to prove it (becoming only the third person in history to earn nominations for best picture, director and screenplay for his directorial debut). The Times spoke with Peele on Oscar nominations morning to catch up and discuss the enduring appeal of “Get Out.”
Congratulations! How are you feeling right now?
I'm overwhelmed, in a very good way. I feel very at peace right now.
That's a lovely way of putting it. You tweeted about having a very emotional exchange with Daniel [Kaluuya] upon hearing the news. What was that phone call like?
It was very emotional; whenever I talk to him about this stuff I just break down. He's got a little bit more composure than I do. But we both went from knowing we were taking this huge risk and that we could very well be hated for the risk, to being here and getting the acknowledgment of our peers — peers who, by the way, we didn't even feel like we could call our peers a year ago. There's a camaraderie there that I don't have with many people.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed its rules this year for the animated feature category, opening up the nominations to the entire membership. Whereas that could have tilted the field away from the indie and foreign "Davids" and toward the massively marketed major-studio "Goliaths," the five nominees announced Tuesday represent what has become the category's hallmark mix of giants and kids with slings.
Together, Disney's "Coco" and Fox's "The Boss Baby" and "Ferdinand" have grossed in the neighborhood of $1.4 billion worldwide and each enjoyed domestic distribution to more than 3,200 domestic venues. "Loving Vincent," released in the U.S. by Good Deed Entertainment, has quietly grossed over $6.5 million while never playing in more than 218 theatres. GKids release "The Breadwinner" has a domestic gross under a quarter-million dollars, and has not expanded beyond 43 theaters.
That doesn't mean the smaller films didn't have global ambitions, or the larger ones didn't tell personal stories.
I dreamed a dream of Oscar on Monday night. Not of winning one, nothing so presumptuous as that. My dream was that I'd completely slept through the nomination announcements. That scared me so much I immediately woke up and got to the TV on time. True story.
I had Oscar anxiety not only because these awards have meant a lot to me since childhood but because I was intensely curious about the results. This was supposed to be the most up in the air Oscar race in years, and I wanted to know how, no pun intended, things would shape up.
For though we live in an age awash with awards prognosticators and websites that claim to chart who is up and who is down on an almost daily basis, nothing predicts the Oscars like the Oscars, and no amount of reading Golden Globes and SAG tea leaves can give you a clear idea of what those voters will do.
For with its 8,000-plus members spread across all the motion picture crafts, the academy is its own beast, an organization with its own particular dislikes and likes, for instance recognizing Denzel Washington's strong work in the little-seen "Roman J. Israel, Esq." while other groups did not.
Also, because of the academy's recent push for diversity, its welcome decision to add new members, the voting mix is even more volatile and unpredictable than usual.
Would these new voters change the academy or would the academy change them? What would this reconstituted group end up liking?
The answer to that question is, overwhelmingly, Guillermo del Toro's masterful "The Shape of Water," which easily led all comers with 13 nominations.
Allison Janney’s morning did not proceed as scheduled.
The Los Angeles Times spoke with Janney on Tuesday morning during a break in filming on her sitcom “Mom,” and she shared how her morning actually played out, plus gave the inside scoop on how a jealous costar is holding up.
Being nominated for an Oscar is like a dream that you never thought would come true.
Sorry, everyone. Those loud noises you heard around 5:30 this morning were almost certainly my shouts of delight and surprise at learning that "Phantom Thread" — generally perceived to be an awards-season also-ran — had received an unexpected but richly deserved haul of six Academy Award nominations.
Paul Thomas Anderson's 1950s London chamber drama was expected to receive at least three of those six, for Jonny Greenwood's score, Mark Bridges' costumes and Daniel Day-Lewis' lead performance as a petulantly exacting couturier named Reynolds Woodcock.
Far fewer industry observers were predicting the film to factor into the highly competitive races for best picture, director and supporting actress, where Lesley Manville received a nomination for her magnificently icy turn as Woodcock's sister and business partner.
There were reasons to be skeptical, especially in a year where "relevance" and "diversity" have become necessary if inevitably overused watchwords. "The Shape of Water," "Lady Bird" and "Get Out," all of which did expectedly well in the nominations, made significant strides for greater inclusiveness, in terms of the stories they told and the filmmakers they employed. "Call Me by Your Name" gracefully ushered the gay love story closer to the mainstream, while "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" showily engaged the zeitgeist as a thriller about sexual assault and race relations in small-town America.
Greta Gerwig is celebrating her Oscar nominations by yelling on the phone.
The “Lady Bird” writer and director, who was snubbed in the directing category at the Golden Globes earlier this year, but was later nominated for a DGA Award when they were announced a few days later, was recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday in the directing and writing categories. “Lady Bird” was also nominated for best picture, a prize awarded to a film’s producers.
When reached by the Los Angeles Times after the announcement, Gerwig was still coming to terms with her achievements: She is only the fifth woman ever to be nominated in the academy’s directing category and that honor was not lost on her.
I hope that girls or women who want to be filmmakers ... look at this and they feel like, ‘Yeah, I'm going to go make my movie.’ ... Because I selfishly want to see those movies. … I couldn't be more excited for the next generation of women who want to make movies.
The most unpredictable Oscar season in years finally came into focus Tuesday morning as the 90th Academy Awards nominations were announced, with nine films representing a wide range of genres earning best picture nods and Guillermo del Toro's fantastical fable "The Shape of Water" leading the field with 13 nominations.
Best picture nominations went to the romantic drama "Call Me by Your Name," the Winston Churchill biopic "Darkest Hour," the World War II thriller "Dunkirk," the horror satire "Get Out," the coming-of-age dramedy "Lady Bird," the period romance "Phantom Thread," the Pentagon Papers drama "The Post," "The Shape of Water" and the dark morality tale "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."
Scoring nods for directing were Christopher Nolan ("Dunkirk"), Jordan Peele ("Get Out"), Paul Thomas Anderson ("Phantom Thread"), Del Toro and Greta Gerwig ("Lady Bird"), who became only the fifth woman ever nominated for best director.
To have been a part of a film like ‘Lady Bird’ was a true privilege, and I am incredibly grateful to the academy for recognizing this wonderful story about the beauty and strength of women. I am especially thrilled to share this moment with [costar] Laurie Metcalf and our leader and director, Greta Gerwig, who, like Lady Bird, is an incredible woman and a dear friend.
Mary J. Blige’s inclusion in awards season conversations is surely a surprise — not because the Queen of Hip Hop Soul’s performance in “Mudbound” is anything less than stellar, but who would’ve expected that the “Rock of Ages” and “I Can Do Bad All by Myself” actress would turn out a deeply emotional and dramatic rendering? But Tuesday morning, Blige became a double Oscar nominee, for her supporting role in Dee Rees’ Jim Crow-era epic and for the original song “Mighty River” with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson.
“It feels really good to be recognized, with all these nominations, because it shows that someone recognizes my hard work and the dedication and the time and how serious I’m taking this craft,” Blige said in an interview with The Times. “That means a lot because I never wanted to take this lightly, [and] I didn’t want people to look at me like I didn’t take it seriously — because you have the Queen Latifahs and the Tarajis [P. Henson] and the Angela Bassetts and the Viola Davises, who worked really hard to pave the way for us. I really want them to be proud of me as well.”
“Mudbound” follows two soldiers — one black, one white — who’ve returned to small-town Mississippi following World War II to discover that their ideas about race have been dramatically altered, although those of the people around them have not. Their families are connected by land with the Jacksons, black sharecroppers, claiming an ancestral connection to the soil they till while the McAllans have just recently purchased the farm. Blige plays Florence, the matriarch of the Jackson clan, opposite an ensemble cast that includes Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke and Jonathan Banks.
Of her character, Blige has said, she “is like every woman.”
The actress, 60, won her first Academy Award more than 20 years ago for her role as the pregnant police chief in the Coen brothers’ black comedy "Fargo" and currently stands one Grammy shy of EGOT status. This year, she’s nominated in the lead actress category for her portrayal of a bereaved mother in director and screenwriter Martin McDonagh’s best picture-nominated film.
In an interview with The Times on Tuesday morning, McDonagh called McDormand "probably the best actor of her generation."
"She's got an integrity to her and a fierceness," he said. "There's an integrity to everything she does that is completely perfect for [this] part. And she's not sentimental about her choices and that was especially what we needed.”
This role is written for her. There's a kind of relentless pursuit of the truth. Like a real kind of soothsayer, like she's trying to find the truth. She doesn't want any b.s. in her portrayals, in her lifestyle.
Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman in Oscars history to be nominated for best director on Tuesday, and she also picked up a nomination for best original screenplay for “Lady Bird.”
The meaning of that best director nomination is not lost on Gerwig, who recalled her feelings when Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar for best director for “The Hurt Locker” in 2010.
I remember crying and feeling so excited and feeling like she did it and there she is and so much more feels possible. And I hope that girls or women who want to be filmmakers look at this, and they feel like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to go make my movie.’
Geographically, the five nominated titles in the foreign language film category stretch from the discos of Santiago, Chile ("A Fantastic Woman") to the outskirts of Moscow ("Loveless") with stops in Lebanon ("The Insult"), Hungary ("On Body and Soul") and Sweden ("The Square"). The tales — from some of the world's most insightful and idiosyncratic directors — include a modern-day fable of love, a hate born from war and an unreconciled past, and a satirical skewering of a well-heeled, ego-driven art world that often falls short in its espousals of human empathy.
“Dunkirk” producer Emma Thomas is a bit superstitious, she said Tuesday morning, so she didn’t set her alarm to hear the Oscar nominations in real time. Besides, with four kids, their place is busy enough in the morning even on an ordinary day.
Then, she said, “I looked at my phone and it was just going crazy .... I have to say it was a wonderful way to wake up.”
No doubt: The World War II movie that hit big at the summer box office garnered eight nominations, including the first directing nod for Thomas’ husband, Christopher Nolan, and a best picture nomination for both of them.
With Time’s Up and everything that’s been happening in the industry, what’s it like being nominated for a movie with an essentially all-male cast?
Time's Up is a great thing, and I’m very happy that things are finally feeling like they’re beginning to change for women. As a female producer, I'm well aware of the issues.
The day they were nominated for a Golden Globe for the song “Remember Me” in the Pixar animated film “Coco,” husband and wife Robert Lopez and Kristen-Anderson Lopez had to put down their terminally ill 11-month-old kitten, Finn McCool.
So on Tuesday, when the couple earned an Oscar nomination in the original song category, were their plans for their family of four any more festive?
“We have to take everyone for flu shots,” Anderson-Lopez said.
She and her husband won an Academy Award in 2014 for writing the song “Let It Go” for “Frozen.” They had just come from a rehearsal for Disney’s Broadway adaptation of that film. The musical begins previews in late February, and it was nice, they said, to be surrounded by people offering congratulations.
“Usually it’s just me and Kristin,” Lopez joked.
The songwriters, who often work alone in their home, said they watched the nominations announcement with their 8-year-old daughter sandwiched between them on the couch.
“This was the first time we said if we got nominated we would take them,” Anderson-Lopez said of the March 4 awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. “So they had a very strong agenda.”
Their 12-year-old had already left for school, but instructed them to text her when they got the news.
“I’m really excited to experience the Oscar madness as a family,” Anderson-Lopez said. “That’s what this movie is about: family.”
Speaking of the themes of “Coco” and the nominated song, Lopez added: “We feel good about this song. It seems to have hit a chord in some people — providing comfort for those who have lost loved ones. Also, what it’s meant in Mexico has been really nice. The song itself has been an award for us in the reaction.”
Anderson-Lopez agreed, elaborating on a film that explores the Mexican tradition of Dia de Los Muertos. “We feel pressure from people who have reached out from Mexico,” she said. “This song celebrates their culture at a time when their culture is …”
“Under attack,” Lopez said.
Anderson-Lopez concluded: “So they should get the credit — not us.”
No matter who is honored in March, flu shots will come first, followed by sushi.
Though she wasn’t able to break into the highly competitive directing category, Dee Rees still managed to make history Tuesday.
Rees, who directed Netflix’s “Mudbound,” earned an Oscar nomination for her work adapting the film’s script alongside Virgil Williams. That makes Rees the first black woman to be nominated in for adapted screenplay category.
Suzanne de Passe was the first black woman nominated for an original screenplay Oscar in 1973, for co-writing “Lady Sings the Blues.”
“Mudbound” earned three other Oscar nominations Tuesday, for supporting actress Mary J. Blige, cinematographer Rachel Morrison and original song “Mighty River.”