Oscars 2018 full of surprises, variety

04 Feb, 2018 - 00:02 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

OSCAR nominations are out, with the event for the 90th Academy Awards set for March 4 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

I have got to admit, this year’s race might be the most difficult to call. My 46 percent success rate at these awards last year is surely going to take a beating given the mess that was the Golden Globes earlier this month.

Usually the Globes often act as early indicators of where the tide is going and around this time I usually like to give my take on what to expect, that is, likely winners and the biggest talking points, etcetera.  But since 2017 was a terrible year for me on the big screen while the Globes offered little in terms of indicators, I have decided to skip my usual article and stay as far away as possible from any predictions.

Instead, what I will offer is a little news on who is in and who is out, who was snubbed and what shocks are there from the list of nominations released.

Mary J Blige, to me, is the biggest story coming out of the nomination list.

With five Grammy awards to her name, her legendary status in RnB on lock and decades of churning out hits, the 47-year-old becomes the first person ever to be nominated for both an acting performance and an original song in a single year. The female crooner is expected to slug it out first in the Best Actress in a Supporting role with the likes of Allison Janney (I. Tonya), Lesley Manville (Phatom Thread), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) and Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water). Then she goes on to do battle in the Best Original Song, for “Mighty River”, the tune she co-wrote with Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson, then lent her voice.

This is all from her work in “Mudbound”, the Netflix historical drama about two World War veterans who return home to Mississippi only to be confronted by cases of racism and the mental effects of the war commonly known Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Blige stars as Florence Jackson, the wife to one of the war vets Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell) and tries her best to support her husband. The film has four Oscar nominations, which include Best Cinematography and Best Writing (Adapted Script) in addition to Blige’s Oscar nods.

Watch out for my review in the coming weeks.

Arguably the biggest surprise hit of last year, the American Horror film “Get Out”, will get a chance at redemption after also getting four Oscar nominations namely Best Writing (Original Screenplay), Best Directing for Jordan Peele, Best Actor in a Leading Role for star Daniel Kaluuya and Best Picture.

After the Globe fiasco, where they came back empty-handed, these guys will certainly win something. Unfortunately for Kaluuya, he will have to slug it out, for Best Actor, in arguably the most star-studded line-up in recent history.

Daniel Day Lewis (Phatom Thread), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Denzel Washington (Roma J Israel) have also been nominated in that category. One of my favourite animated films from last year “Baby Boss”, was a surprise inclusion in the Best Animated Films and it will face stiff competition from favourites “Coco” and the recently released “Ferdinand”.

“Coco” has been a smash commercial hit grossing over US$600 million on the box-office. There were also surprises for “Kong-Skull Island”, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2” and “War of the Planet of the Apes” which all got Oscar nods for Best Visuals. Sadly that award looks likely to go to either one of the two other nominations in “Blade Runner 2049” and “Star Wars: The last Jedi”.

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