It’s been a weird, wild year for Hollywood, as sexual assault and harassment allegations toppled titans of the industry and the inclusivity conversation raged on. Both issues grabbed headlines in the midst of one of the most unbelievable, frightening political climates in living memory, and the 2018 Oscar ballot reflects the way uncertainty, innovation and raw creativity are expressed in today’s strange times. But even as the list of nominations looks progressive, it also proves how much work the industry must do when it comes to hiring minorities, protecting its employees and honoring those who truly deserve it. Below, we explore this through the 2018 Oscar nominations’ biggest snubs, surprises and records broken. Plus, read our predictionsfor Oscar night’s biggest winners.
1) Mudbound is snubbed for Best Picture and Best Director but earns first-ever female cinematographer nomination.
Dee Rees’ masterful Mudbound was the most egregious omission from this morning’s Best Picture and Best Director categories, especially given its four noms in other categories: two for Mary J. Blige (Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Song, “Mighty River”), Best Adapted Screenplay for Rees and Virgil Williams (Rees is the second black woman nominated for writing), and Cinematography, for which Rachel Morrison became the first-ever woman nominated in this category—a landmark 90 years in the making.
Related article: Here Are The 2018 Oscar Nominations In Full
2) Jordan Peele is the third person ever nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay for a single film.
Jordan Peele’s Get Out landed four Oscar nominations today, a welcome though unsurprising—perhaps, even disappointing—showing for a film widely considered one of the best of the year. For producing, directing and writing the film, Peele landed the triple crown of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay nominations, the third-ever person to do so. He’s also the fifth black man to receive a Best Director nomination, though it’s important to note no women of color have ever been nominated in the category. Get Out‘s recognition is also a feat for the horror genre, which rarely breaks into the awards conversation, little less the Oscar Best Picture race.
3) Greta Gerwig is the fifth-ever woman nominated for Best Director.
Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird landed five nominations this morning, including a Best Director nod. Again, note that no women of color have ever been nominated in this category.
4) Phantom Thread and Darkest Hour surprise with six nominations each.
Despite rave reviews, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread ‘s momentum appeared to wane in the Oscar conversation, especially given its shut-out from the guilds. But the film rallied with this morning’s announcement thanks to surprise noms for Director for Anderson and Best Supporting Actress for Lesley Manville. The film also garnered nods for Best Picture, Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis, who wasn’t necessarily a shoo-in this year), Costume Design and Original Score.
Darkest Hour, on the other hand, hardly made a ripple this season outside of lead actor Gary Oldman’s near-domination in critics’ circles and the SAGs. But this morning, in addition to the expected nominations for Best Actor and Makeup and Hairstyling, the film also landed Best Picture, Production Design, Cinematography and Costume Design nods.
Related article: What Will Win Best Picture At The Oscars 2018?
6) Wonder Woman is completely shut out.
Admittedly, this was a long shot. But in a year when so many untraditional films dominated the awards conversation, a female-directed, female-led superhero blockbuster (truly, a blockbuster: the film grossed more than $821 million worldwide in 2017) scoring a Best Picture nomination out of 10 possible slots wouldn’t be all that shocking.
7) Octavia Spencer ties with Viola Davis for most-nominated black woman ever, while Denzel Washington is the most-nominated black man of all time.
These career feats for two of the greatest actors of their generation also underscore the dire nature of the Academy’s inclusivity problem. Media expert April Reign famously transformed the issue into a global movement when she created the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag in 2015 after all the acting nominees were white. When it happened again in 2016, the Academy took steps to diversify its membership, which resulted in a more inclusive—though by no means even—outcome in 2017: seven of the 20 acting noms were people of color.
This year’s nominees include four black actors (two men and two women): Peele, a black director; Guillermo del Toro, a Mexican director; Kumail Nanjiani, a Pakistani writer; Dee Rees and Virgil Williams, both black writers; and Coco for Animated Film, which features an all-Latino cast. It’s a heartening result, but by no means the ideal outcome. There simply aren’t enough opportunities for people of color in Hollywood right now, and the Oscars’ still-uneven nomination list is the most visible symptom of that problem.
8) A tight acting race saw several unexpected and disappointing snubs.
Hong Chau, an awards season favorite for her role in Downsizing (she snagged a SAG, Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice nom), did not garner a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination this morning. Neither did Tiffany Haddish, whose performance in Girls Trip was one of the most critically acclaimed—and, simply put, best—of the year. Additionally, Jessica Chastain’s Molly’s Game performance missed a Best Actress nom, while Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg, both standouts in Call Me By Your Name, bypassed Best Supporting Actor nods.
Franco earned a slew of critics’ circle noms and wins for his role in The Disaster Artist, so an Oscar nom seemed like a lock. But the Academy snubbed the actor (possibly due to allegations of sexual misconduct from five women) and only awarded his film a Best Adapted Screenplay nom.
10) Martin McDonagh is snubbed for Best Director.
This is significant. McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has seemingly dominated this season, triggering pundits to prematurely mark it for a Best Picture win. Excluding McDonagh from the Best Director category signifies the Academy is less enthusiastic about the film than other awarding bodies and opens up the field for a surprise win from another contender (right now, The Shape of Water‘s 13 total Oscar nominations put it at the front of the race).
11) Meryl Streep adds another nomination to her record, though The Post is largely snubbed.
Meryl Streep is still the most-nominated actor in Oscar history, with today’s Best Actress nom for The Post racking up her total to 21. Still, the film only garnered one other nomination, for Best Picture, which is a shock given its pedigree (Steven Spielberg, snubbed for Best Director), all-star cast (Tom Hanks, billed second and nominated for a slew of other awards, was also snubbed by the Academy) and marketing proclamations of timeliness and “importance” in the Trump era.
12) The Florida Project and The Big Sick garner just one nomination each.
Two of the best-reviewed films of the year failed to resonate with Oscar voters. Sean Baker’s The Florida Project earned a Best Supporting Actor nom for Willem Dafoe, while the Academy honored The Big Sick with a Best Original Screenplay nod for Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, but failed to nominate Holly Hunter in the Best Supporting Actress category.
13) Christopher Plummer nabs a Best Supporting Actor nom after reshooting Kevin Spacey’s role in All the Money in the World, and Michelle Williams is snubbed for her role in the film.
Controversy plagued the production of All the Money in the World. The film re-shot all of Kevin Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer in just nine days following accusations of sexual harassment and assault against Spacey. Then, news broke that Mark Wahlberg was paid significantly more for the film’s reshoots than Michelle Williams—in fact, he earned almost 10 times more than her before reshoots. Despite the drama, Plummer still nabbed an Oscar nom—the film’s only—for his performance. Sadly, the Academy snubbed Williams for her critically acclaimed role in the film.
Related article: Inside The Oscars 2017: The Best Candid Moments From The Night
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.