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And the Oscar goes too...surprises, trailblazers from this year's nominees

29 January 2018
And the Oscar goes too...surprises, trailblazers from this year's nominees

Nice to see another Brit, Daniel Kuulya 12/1, as joint second favourite for his fine work in Get Out but it looks nearly certain to be Oldman's night.

"The Post" star is a veteran of the Academy Awards, having won two golden statuettes and been nominated three other times for Best Actor, and over the course of his lengthy career he's picked up a number of tips to make the lengthy ceremony as comfortable and fun as possible.

In The Fade, directed by Fatih Akin, won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film earlier this month and received praise for its lead star, Diane Kruger. Meryl Streep was nominated, as she usually is, for her performance as Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham in The Post.

But it was only released nationwide in the U.S. last week, and it wasn't nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) award, or a British Academy of Film and Television Arts award (BAFTA).

Frances McDormand is tipped to be this year's victor for her role as a grieving mother in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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".

For Del Toro, who co-wrote the film with Vanessa Taylor and was inspired by his boyhood love of classic monster movies like 1954's "Creature from the Black Lagoon", the bonanza of nominations - just one shy of tying the record - was deeply gratifying. Like a year ago, the Academy chose to nominate only nine.

The Oscars come as the entertainment industry reckons with sexual harassment and gender inequality issues, unleashed by allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein and a host of others.

These topics appear to have had an impact on this year's nominations, which are largely free of embarrassing exclusions and the kind of all-white line-ups that led to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign on social media.

Nor can anyone who saw Lady Bird, the best film of the year, say with any conviction that Greta Gerwig doesn't deserve a best-director nomination, too. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" was doing well in the previous awards shows, but it was not nominated for best director.

"Right now I'm just thinking about everyone who bought a ticket and told someone else to", Peele tweeted in response to his film's four nominations.

As I did a year ago, I've compiled a list of my predictions for who will take home the hardware in the Best Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress categories.

Counting the Best Picture Oscar nominees by genre, 2009-17. While I do not necessarily find this fair, regardless of last year's contenders, each film should stand on its own which is how the Academy operates.

Oscar's biggest change is its acceptance of the need for more diversity.

First ever win for a female cinematographer?

Mary J. Blige received two nominations last night - Best Supporting Actress for Mudbound and Best Original Song for "Mighty River".

The nine-time Grammy victor co-wrote Mighty River for the film, which is also recognised for its adapted screenplay.

Missing from this list, in my opinion, is James Franco, whose work in "The Disaster Artist", was nothing short of brilliant. What is a "snub" exactly, given that no one is guaranteed a nomination in this entirely whimsical endeavor?

Surprise nominees include Britain's Lesley Manville, up for playing Day-Lewis's sister in fashion-based period piece Phantom Thread.

The Academy's predilection for honoring films about queer men over queer women isn't shocking considering it's the same group of voters that largely awards stories about men made by men anyway.

The nominations were announced by actors Tiffany Haddish and Andy Serkis.