Biggest Surprises at the 90th Oscar Nominations

Every Oscar nominations is full of surprises! Between Logan, I, Tonya, and Phantom Thread, this year is no exception. Here are the biggest surprises at the 90th Oscar Nominations!


Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman Shut Out Completely

There were high hopes from many different parties that Wonder Woman might be able to find a place at the Oscars. The film was pretty good and got positive reviews, but it takes a little more than positive reviews to be Oscar-caliber. It takes rave reviews, which Wonder Woman only received a few of. While very few still considered Patty Jenkins a Best Director contender or the film a Best Picture contender, there was still some hope that it would find a home in the technical categories. And while this pundit predicted it for a Sound Editing nom, in the end Wonder Woman came up short. The Academy has been lassoed, and that’s the cold-hard truth.


James Franco – The Disaster Artist

James Franco Rejected for Best Actor

A couple weeks ago, Franco was considered the only real competition for Gary Oldman in the Best Actor race. Franco’s portrayal of the notorious Tommy Wiseau was on track for an Oscar nom, scoring a SAG nomination and even a Golden Globe win. However, after his Globe, some allegations came out against Franco, and seemingly shut down his Oscar potential.


Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World

Christopher Plummer Kicks out Armie Hammer to Nab a Supporting Actor Nom

After coming in at the last minute and reshooting Kevin Spacey’s scenes in All the Money in the World, Plummer has been hailed as something of a hero in Hollywood. The Globes made a quick turnaround to give him a nomination first, and it seems the Oscars are following suit. Plummer’s performance as John Paul Getty is good, but it seems it’s his performance outside the film that earned him his third Oscar nomination. It’s just a shame that performances like Armie Hammer’s and Michael Stuhlbarg’s in Call Me by Your Name drew the short straw, 


I, Tonya

I, Tonya Fails to Score Best Picture or Screenplay

One of the bigger “snubs” of the morning was I, Tonya. After gaining a lot of critical attention, I, Tonya became a quick favorite of everyone who saw it, with many claiming it as the best film of the year (came in number 15 on my list). While it still scored its expected nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, and even surprised by nabbing an Editing nomination, everyone was surprised when its name wasn’t called for Best Original Screenplay or Best Picture.


Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Martin McDonagh Shut Out of Best Director

When looking at the awards race, this is a huge surprise. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has been sweeping awards shows, nabbing four at the Golden Globes and three at the SAGS, and getting the top prize at both events. The film is the  frontrunner for Best Picture, and when that’s the case, you assume a Best Director nom is a given. Not this time. For those who’ve seen the film, however, it might not be as much of a surprise, seeing as its the screenplay and performances that make the film so great, more than the directing.



Logan Gets an Adapted Screenplay Nomination

This was one of Boy Meets Film’s more risky predictions that paid off. As the Adapted Screenplay race began to shape up, four slots seems to be taken, while one was still up for grabs. After the fickle Writers Guild Awards nominated Logan for that fifth spot, people began to suspect if this genius Superhero Western would be able to squeeze in. Sure enough, it did, proving that the Academy isn’t just a bunch of snobs. Logan was one of the best films of the year, and it totally deserved this nomination.


Meryl Streep – The Post

Coveted Fifth Spot in Best Actress Goes to Meryl Streep

Frances McDormand, Saoirse Ronan, Sally Hawkins, and Margot Robbie were all locks for this nomination and nothing was going to change that. But there was still one stop open, and a lot of people vying for it. Jessica Chastain, Judi Dench, and Jennifer Lawrence were all vying for it, but in the end it was the legendary Meryl Streep who secured the nomination, marking her record 21st nomination.


Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread

Best Supporting Actress

This category was all over the place. Allison Janney, Laurie Metcalf, and Mary J. Blige got their nominations as expected, but then Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water) and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread) came in and snatched up the other two spots. Hong Chau (Downsizing) had been an early frontrunner in the category as was expected a nomination, but I guess the collective distaste of her movie made her deserved nomination impossible. Holly Hunter (The Big Sick) was also an SAG nominee for a great performance, so her loss here is also a disappointment. While Spencer isn’t too much of a surprise, Lesley Manville (who was talked about early in the year but somewhat fell from conversation) comes as a surprise to pretty much everyone.


The Post

The Post Knocked out of Production Design

A major surprise in a minor category came with Production Design. Rick Carter, Steven Spielberg’s long-time production designer is a two-time Oscar winner and four-time nominee, and one of the best in the business. His work in The Post is fantastic, and his nomination was somewhat expected. The Academy instead opted to nominate less-expected contenders including Dunkirk and Beauty and the Beast, surprising the nerdiest of Oscar fanatics.


The Greatest Showman

Greatest Showman Shut Down Everywhere Except Original Song

A fan favorite, and critics hated it – there’s been a lot of question over what kind of appearance The Greatest Showman would make at the Oscars. No one expected any nominations in major categories, but many expected nominations for Original Song, Costume Design, and Sound Mixing (musicals almost always get a Sound Mixing nom). In fact, all three of those were on Boy Meets Film’s predictions. In the end, however, the Academy only nominated it for original song, giving spotlight to “This is Me.” If you ask me, though, that song could be the frontrunner to win the category.


Get Out

Get Out and Molly’s Game Lose Editing to I, Tonya and Three Billboards

Best Film Editing was also something of a mess. This is always a complicated category, since it oddly bridges a gap between being a technical category and being consistent with Best Picture. Being both technical accomplishments and Best Picture contenders, Dunkirk and The Shape of Water were expected nominations, as was Baby Driver, which is something of an editorial feat. Being the rare horror movie in the Best Picture race, Get Out was also an expected nomination. And finally, Boy Meets Film predicted Molly’s Game for the category, since its easily one of the best edited movies of the year. Instead, though, Get Out and Molly’s Game were rejected, as I, Tonya and Three Billboards swept in for unexpected nominations.


In the Fade – Germany

Germany’s In the Fade isn’t Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film

It was a Palm d’Or nominee, it won Best Actress at Cannes, and won Best Foreign Language Film from both the Golden Globes and Critics Choice. Germany’s entry, In the Fade, was considered a lock, and probably a frontrunner to win the category. When the morning finished, however, the film was never called.



Jane Shut Out of Documentary Feature

The documentary on Jane Goodall, the premiere expert on all things chimpanzees, was considered the frontrunner for this category. In the end, however, Jane did not land a nomination.


Facing Mecca

Facing Mecca Shut Out of Live Action short

This small Swiss short film about an Islamic man trying to bury his recently-deceased wife was a huge favorite for this category. Despite all the positive reviews, Facing Mecca came up short.


Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread

Easily the biggest surprise of the morning came with Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest. Largely because of the names involved, Phantom Thread was a frontrunner in the early stages of the race. With its late release date, however, the film failed to pick up much steam at early awards, only landing nominations for Costume Design and Original Score. Come Oscar nominations, not only does the film land nominations in those two categories, but it also picks up addition nominations for best Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville), Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Director, and Best Picture. With six nominations, and four in major categories, not only is Phantom Thread a surprise nominee, but it could just be a surprise contender for Best Picture. Nobody expected Leslie Manville, certainly nobody expect a Best Picture nom, and if someone had suggested PTA would get a Best Director nomination, everyone would have laughed.


Rachel Morrison

Bonus Awesomeness

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison made history today, becoming the first woman ever nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar. Morrison has been garnering attention over the years for her immersive work on films like Fruitvale Station and Dope, but it is with Mudbound that she earns her first Oscar nomination. This nomination barely comes as a surprise once you’ve watched Mudbound. The film is one of the most beautiful films of the year, as it brilliantly captures the emotional landscape of rural Mississippi in the 1940s.