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Actors Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis announced this year's Oscar nominations this morning at 5:22 a.m.:

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PICTURES (ORIGINAL SCORE)

DUNKIRK - Hans Zimmer
PHANTOM THREAD - Jonny Greenwood
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Alexandre Desplat
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI - John Williams
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI - Carter Burwell

This is the 11th nomination for Zimmer, the first for Greenwood, the ninth for Desplat, the 51st (!) for Williams (his fifth for a Star Wars film) and the second for Burwell. I'd originally assumed Dunkirk would be ineligible in this category, as the end credits give prominent mention of Benjamin Wallfisch's adaptation of an Edward Elgar piece, but given that the Music Branch also declared Alan Menken's Beauty and the Beast eligible this year, they were seemingly not inclined to disqualify anything. I'd thought Burwell would be nominated instead for Wonderstruck, since half of the film is essentially a silent film with his music virtually the only audio, but that film went entirely unnominated while Billboards is clearly an Academy favorite. Shape of Water has the most nominations of any film this year and, combined with Desplat's Golden Globe win, gives him a good chance for a second Oscar, but I'm personally rooting for Jonny Greenwood.

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC WRITTEN FOR MOTION PITURES (ORIGINAL SONG)

"MIGHTY RIVER" - Mudbound - Music and Lyric by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson
"MYSTERY OF LOVE" - Call Me By Your Name - Music and Lyric by Sufjan Stevens
"REMEMBER ME" - Coco - Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"STAND UP FOR SOMETHING" - Marshall - Music by Diane Warren, Lyric by Lonnie R. Lynn and Diane Warren
"THIS IS ME" - The Greatest Showman - Music and Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

No big surprises in this batch, while Mary J. Blige has the rare honor of being nominated both for songwriting and her acting (Supporting Actress, also Mudbound). "This Is Me" won the Golden Globe and the film itself is proving surprisingly durable at the box office, while Coco is the biggest hit of the five films, and "Remember Me" is spotlighted so frequently in the movie that it almost plays like a feature-length For Your Consideration promo. 


BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR

CALL ME BY OUR NAME - Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges, Marco Morabito
DARKEST HOUR - Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski
DUNKIRK - Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
GET OUT - Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Jamm Jr., Jordan Peele
LADY BIRD - Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Evelyn O'Neill
PHANTOM THREAD - JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, Daniel Lupi
THE POST - Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Guillermo Del Toro, J. Miles Dale
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI - Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Martin McDonagh

A generally predictable bunch, except for Get Out. I'd expected more for Big Sick (one nom, for screenplay) and Wind River (no nominations whatsoever). The fact that The Post was only nominated for Picture and the inevitable Streep might suggest the voters were responding to something other than the filmmaking. Darkest Hour's nominated producer Douglas Urbanski is not only Gary Oldman's manager/producer but played Larry Summers in The Social Network ("Punch me in the face.") I'm rooting for Dunkirk, because I'm always rooting for Nolan, but Lady Bird is particularly beloved.


PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

TIMOTHEE CHALAMET - Call Me By Your Name
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS - Phantom Thread
DANIEL KALUUYA - Get Out
GARY OLDMAN - Darkest Hour
DENZEL WASHINGTON - Roman J. Israel, Esq.

This category was a more wide-open field than usual, which helps explain how Washington could get in for a little-seen, not especially well-reviewed film. Everyone has pretty much already given this award to Gary Oldman, but the nominations should prove great career boosts for Chalamet and Kaluuya (Day-Lewis doesn't exactly need the help at this point).


PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

SALLY HAWKINS - The Shape of Water
FRANCES McDORMAND - Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
MARGOT ROBBIE - I, Tonya
SAOIRSE RONAN - Lady Bird
MERYL STREEP - The Post

Hey, look, it's Meryl Streep! A tough category -- Hawkins and McDormand both have showy roles (and both are typically excellent), while Robbie shows a lot of range (most people liked her movie a lot more than I did) and Ronan does the kind of subtle work that is usually underappreciated.


PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

WILLEM DAFOE - The Florida Project
WOODY HARRELSON - Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
RICHARD JENKINS - The Shape of Water
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER - All the Money in the World
SAM ROCKWELL - Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

A strong group, including the excellent, last-minute performance of Christopher Plummer. I'm rooting for Sam Rockwell, his first nomination and excellent as always.


PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

MARY J. BLIGE - Mudbound
ALLISON JANNEY - I, Tonya
LESLEY MANVILLE - Phantom Thread
LAURIE METCALF - Lady Bird
OCTAVIA SPENCER - The Shape of Water

I was particularly happy to see Manville get in for her subtle performance, while Janney, one of my favorite actresses, seems the likely winner though Metcalf is also excellent in a more restrained mom role.


ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

DUNKIRK - Christopher Nolan
GET OUT - Jordan Peele
LADY BIRD - Greta Gerwig
PHANTOM THREAD - Paul Thomas Anderson
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Guillermo del Toro

Rooting for Nolan, as always, though Paul Thomas Anderson is also a fave, and Jordan Peele was my next door neighbor for a while a decade ago (I didn't actually meet him, I have to admit) so his three nominations (for a horror film, no less) are a particular kick.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

THE BIG SICK - Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
GET OUT - Jordan Peele
LADY BIRD - Greta Gerwig
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI - Martin McDonagh

A tough category; I'm assuming it will go to either Lady Bird or Three Billboards.


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME - James Ivory
THE DISASTER ARTIST - Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
LOGAN - Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green
MOLLY'S GAME - Aaron Sorkin
MUDBOUND - Virgil Williams, Dee Rees

Logan's screenplay nomination is the biggest shocker of all the categories, especially given that it's only the second time an X-Men-related feature has received any Oscar nominations (Days of Future Past's visual effects was the first time). Call Me By Your Name seems the likely winner; that potential Honorary Oscar winner James Ivory wrote the script doesn't hurt.


ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY

BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Roger A. Deakins
DARKEST HOUR - Bruno Delbonnel
DUNKIRK - Hoyte van Hoytema
MUDBOUND - Rachel Morrison
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Dan Laustsen

This is the only category I truly care about this year, because it's hard to think of a non-winner more deserving than Roger Deakins, though Delbonnel and van Hoytema are also favorites of mine and Rachel Morrison is the first woman nominated for cinematography, which is pretty damn cool (if too long coming).


ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Dennis Gassner; Alessandra Querzola
DARKEST HOUR - Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
DUNKIRK - Nathan Crowley; Gary Fettis
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Paul Denham Austerberry; Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin

Designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer have the rare distinction of two nominations in this category this year; the last time I remember that happening was Dennis Gassner for both Barton Fink and Bugsy, and he won for Bugsy. This year I hope he wins for Blade Runner.


ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - Jacqueline Durran
DARKEST HOUR - Jacqueline Durran
PHANTOM THREAD - Mark Bridges
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Luis Sequiera
VICTORIA & ABDUL - Consolata Boyle

Jacqueline Durran shares the same double nomination as Greenwood/Spencer, and for the same two movies. Victoria & Abdul is the natural royalty-costume winner, though Phantom Thread could get it for being a film about a clothing designer. Or Shape of Water could just sweep the tech categories.


ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING

BABY DRIVER - Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos
DUNKIRK - Lee Smith
I, TONYA - Tatiana S. Riegel
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Sidney Wolinsky
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI - Jon Gregory

Glad to see Baby Driver and Dunkirk get in. The car chase action of the former and the complex time structure of the latte rmake either a plausible winner.


ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING

BABY DRIVER - Julian Slater
BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Mark Mangini, Theo Green
DUNKIRK - Richard King, Alex Gibson
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI - Matthew Wood, Ren Klyce

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING

BABY DRIVER - Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin, Mary H. Ellis
BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth
DUNKIRK - Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
THE SHAPE OF WATER - Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern, Glen Gauthier
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI - David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Stuart Wilson

It's extremely unusual -- possibly even unprecedented -- that the same five films are nominated in both categories. Dunkirk seems like an obvious choice, but you never know.


ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS

BLADE RUNNER 2049 - John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambret, Richard R. Hoover
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, VOL. 2 - Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Wakner, Dan Sudick
KONG: SKULL ISLAND - Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI - Ben Norris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbould
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES - Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joel Whist

As always a difficult category, since the state-of-the-art in visual effects is so extraordinary these days, and so many movies rely on them. Much as I'd love for Blade Runner to win, the new Planet of the Apes franchise is long overdue for an effects Oscar for the motion capture/CGI apes.


ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

DARKEST HOUR - Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
VICTORIA & ABDUL - Daniel Phillips, Lou Sheppard
WONDER - Arjen Tuiten

Crucial as Arjen Tuiten's excellent makeup for Jacob Tremblay was for Wonder, Kazuhiro Tsuji's Churchill prosthetics for Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour were absolutely extraordinary, and unless Oldman starts claiming all he had to do was gain weight for the part, it's hard to imagine Darkest Hour not winning.


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE OF THE YEAR

THE BOSS BABY - Tom McGrath, Ramsey Naito
THE BREADWINNER - Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
COCO - Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
FERDINAND - Carlos Saldanha
LOVING VINCENT - Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart

A puzzling group this year. If the branch needed to fill out the slot with some more commercial American entries, I would have hoped for Captain Underpants or, especially, The Lego Batman Movie, but negligible as they are, Boss Baby and Ferdinand are still miles better than Shark Tale, the worst film ever nominated in this category.


BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

DEAR BASKETBALL - Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
GARDEN PARTY - Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
LOU - Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
NEGATIVE SPACE - Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
REVOLTING RHYMES - Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

The only one of these I've seen is Lou, which made me cry, as children's films often do. You probably already know this, but Dear Basketball was scored by John Williams. (And needless to say, Kobe Bryant's nomination for Animated Short Film is more evidence that the #oscarssowhite crisis has passed, at least temporarily).


BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

DEKALB ELEMENTARY - Reed Van Dyk
THE ELEVEN O'CLOCK - Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
MY NEPHEW EMMETT - Kevin Wilson, Jr.
THE SILENT CHILD - Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
WATU WOTE/ALL OF US - Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

I haven't seen any of these.


BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

EDITH+EDDIE - Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405 - Frank Stiefel
HEROIN(E) - Elaine McMillon Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
KNIFE SKILLS - Thomas Lennon
TRAFFIC STOP - Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL - Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
FACES PLACES - Agnes Varda, JR, Rosalie Varda
ICARUS - Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
LAST MAN IN ALEPPO - Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jesperson
STRONG ISLAND - Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

The only one of these I've seen is Faces Places, which earns the legendary Agnes Varda her first nomination, mere months after she won an Honorary Oscar. Given the tendencies of this category, I'd assume the other nine movies are depressing AF.


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR

A FANTASTIC WOMAN - Chile
THE INSULT - Lebanon
LOVELESS - Russia
ON BODY AND SOUL - Hungary
THE SQUARE - Sweden

The only one of these I've seen is The Square, but I've heard very good things about most of the others, especially Loveless.
 

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My Winners[I WROTE THAT Jan 24 2018]
Soundtrack THE SHAPE OF WATER - Alexandre Desplat[WON BAFTA-#WON OSCAR]
Production Design BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Dennis Gassner; Alessandra Querzola
Cinematography BLADE RUNNER 2049 - Roger A. Deakins[ WON ASC AWARDS-#WON OSCAR ]
Costume THE SHAPE OF WATER - Luis Sequiera
Sound Mixing DUNKIRK - Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo[#WON OSCAR]
Actor Supporting Role CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER - All the Money in the World

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