Oscar Nominations Post-Mortem: The Start Of The #METOO Era

Every year, the Oscar nominations offer us surprises and shocks, but what effect will the #METOO movement and its anti-harassment/female empowerment mission have on the nods? Well, it helped it to make history.

1. Rachel Morrison becomes the first woman to be nominated in the Best Cinematography category.

One of the tenets of the #METOO movement is to get women recognition for doing well in male dominated jobs. That mission was greatly helped by Rachel Morrison’s nomination in the Best Cinematography category for her work on Mudbound. Morrison becomes the first woman to ever be nominated in that category in Oscar’s 90 year history.

It’s a well deserved nomination. Morrison is one of the best cinematographers working today, with quality work in films like Fruitvale Station, Cake and Dope on her resume. She also worked on Black Panther as well. Congratulations to her.

2. Harassment claims might have cost James Franco an Oscar nomination.

One of the biggest questions heading into today was whether or not James Franco, who won a Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor in a Comedy for The Disaster Artist, would earn an Oscar nomination. Several days before Oscar nominations were closed, five women came forward on Twitter and accused Franco of sexual misconduct, and many thought in current climate that would cost him a chance at Oscar gold.

It appears that they were right. Franco was snubbed, and likely Denzel Washington took what would have been his spot in the list of Best Actor nominations.

Now, Washington did get a number of nominations along the way and Franco would have probably end up losing to Gary Oldman anyway, but his great work not being recognized for his off-screen behavior shows a new zero tolerance in Hollywood for those accused of harassment.

3. The lack of nominations for WONDER WOMAN shows Hollywood still has a way to go.

Now, I’ll admit. This might be me, FBOL’s Comic Book Film Editor, showing a bit of favoritism, bout Wonder Woman getting zero nominations is a sign that the Academy still has a ways to go when it comes to women.

Wonder Woman was one of the best reviewed films of 2017, so it wouldn’t have been terribly shocking if it got a Best Picture nod. Patty Jenkins is the rare woman to direct a successful summer blockbuster.Her getting a directorial nomination would have made sense. And it wouldn’t be complete outlandish for Gal Gadot to get an acting nod for her work in the film.

But even if the Academy’s prejudice against genre films would keep Wonder Woman from the main categories, prior Oscar-winner Lindy Herring should have been nominated for Best Costume Design and two-time Oscar nominee Aline Bonetto should have been recognized for her production design.

Having talented women working on a film about a feminist icon get snubbed for their worthy contributions just because the film is pop culture friendly means that there is still more work to be done.

4. GET OUT shows that genre films can get Oscar love…if the buzz is right.

Get Out is a great movie–one of the best reviewed films of the year. But it is also a horror film, and a commercially successful one at that. That would typically put the film in the blindspot of most Oscar voters.

However, they social satire elements in the script got a lot of press this year and the film became not just a genre film, but a genre film with an important message to tell. And Academy voter love their nominated films to have a message.

I’m happy that Get Out got the amount of well-deserved nominations it did. But quality genre films shouldn’t have to have good press to get Academy recognition.

5. The diverse group of Best Director nominees hopefully is a sign of an exciting changing of the guard…

Any time you have a category with four first time Best Director nominees, it is exciting. The fact that three of those nominees are a Latino, a woman and an African-American makes it even more exciting. Two of those three are nominated for their solo directorial debut makes this the category to watch on Oscar night.

Yes, Christopher Nolan and  Guillermo del Toro are receiving their first Best Director nominations. That seems impossible to believe considering the body of quality work each man has, but, while they have received nominations in other categories. this is the first time their directing has been honored by the Academy.

Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig are the newbies. Get Out was Peele’s directorial debut and Lady Bird was Gerwig’s second and first she directed by herself (she co-directed 2008’s Night’s and Weekends).

This seems to mark a major change in the Academy with long neglected masters finally getting their due and talented newcomers being recognized for their talent. But before we get too excited we should remember…

6. …but Best Director is also home to the biggest snub of the nominations.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is one of the favorites to win Best Picture, having already won a Golden Globe for Best Drama. But, apparently, the Academy thinks the film directed itself because they failed to nominate its director, Martin McDonagh.

To be fair, McDonagh is nominated as writer and producer of the film, but his not being honored for his directing, especially after receiving a nomination from the Director’s Guild of America, is a major snub. And it so big of a snub you have to wonder if it tells us anything about the film’s chances in other categories.

7. Perennial entry: The Academy screws up Best Picture…again.

So, we again have nine out a possible ten films nominated for Best Picture. And, once again, we have more than ten films that are worthy of a Best Picture.

This happens every single year. EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. This year’s victims are I, Tonya and The Big Sick, both arguably deserve a Best Picture nomination more than Darkest Hour or The Post–both of which were nominated–but either definitely is worthy to fill that empty tenth spot.

Like I said, the Academy leaves one or two Best Picture slots open every year that could have been filled with worthy movies. The question is why? Why won’t they change the complicated nomination process to allow more films? Why are they afraid to fill the ten movie maximum for the category?

Granted, neither I, Tonya nor The Big Sick had much of a chance to take home the Oscar even if nominated, but that isn’t the point. The nominations are supposed to honor the best pictures of the year. When you leave a spot empty while snubbing worthy candidates, it’s hard to take the process seriously.

 

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About William Gatevackes 1931 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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