In a year where Hollywood is mired in controversy, the 90th Academy Award nominations, announced on Tuesday, January 23, were as non-controversial as possible. A female director (Greta Gerwig) was nominated (only the fifth one ever) and an African-American (Jordan Peele) director was nominated for directing a movie about extreme racism. Yes, there were some snubs (Tom Hanks, Molly’s Game, Holly Hunter) and some surprises (Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe), but all-in-all, it was a pretty staid choice of nominations.
Now, the movies themselves are nowhere near staid. There are gay themes and prejudice; censorship, feminism, assault, war, and masochism; the fight against fascism and coming-of-age. There are movies that made us cry, others that made us jump and some that made us want to get up and fight; movies that scared us and jarred us emotionally; movies that made you want to cheer and hug someone; inspirational films, passionate films, hopeful films.
Whether you liked all of the nominees or not, you have to admit that most of the nominated films woke us up in some way.
90th Academy Award nominations
Best 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
Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman—Chile
On Body and Soul—Hungary
Best Documentary Short Subject
Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Best Live Action Short Film
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us