The Optimist

Oscars preview

Seth Thomas, Staff Writer

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March 4 will be interesting. The 90th Academy Awards ceremony is approaching, and 2017 was one of the best years for movies in the 21st century. There have been captivating dramas, surprising thrillers, and often overlooked superhero blockbusters. However, there have also been accusations of stolen scripts, of unrighteous nominees, and of sexual assault committed by actors and directors.

To cover everything Oscar-related would be tedious to read, so I have gathered aspects that other articles have not covered enough or even at all. Here’s what you need to know going into the 2018 Oscars:


    • James McAvoy for Split- Best Actor. M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller was his best since The Sixth Sense, and McAvoy plays a man with MPD. He inhabits eight of his twenty-three personalities throughout the film’s duration, and each one is altogether a new human being.
    • James Franco for The Disaster Artist- Best Actor. After his win at the Golden Globes, several women went to Twitter to accuse Franco of sexual misconduct. This clearly hurt his Oscar hopes, although he turned out a stellar performance in The Disaster Artist.
    • Jake Gyllenhaal for Stronger- Best Actor. The Academy often does not recognize Gyllenhaal’s performances, although he has turned in several Oscar-winning performances like his role as Louis Bloom in Nightcrawler.
    • Holly Hunter for The Big Sick- Best Supporting Actress.  Hunter is a strong supporting actress in Kumail Nanjiani’s heartwarming story. She plays the role of Emily’s mom and exudes depth and charm throughout the movie.
    • Tiffany Haddish for Girls Trip– Best Supporting Actress. It is true that The Academy often overlooks comedies, but Haddish’s performance is a stand out piece of comedy gold and is worthy of a Best Supporting Actress nod.
    • Michael Struhlberg for Call Me by Your Name, The Post, and The Shape of Water- Best Supporting Actor. Struhlberg played a significant role in three Best Picture nominated movies, and played each part favorably. The actor is overlooked by the media, and of course The Academy.
    • The Big Sick- Best Picture. A romantic comedy being nominated for best picture is one of the seven deadly sins, but that’s how good Kumail Nanjiani’s movie is. The Big Sick is fills the audience with hope and persisting love.
    • The Post- Best Original Screenplay. With Elizabeth Hannah and Josh Singer writing and Steven Spielberg directing, this was thought to be a shoo-in. Singer also wrote “Spotlight” which won the 2016 Best picture and Best Original Screenplay award.
    • Mudbound- Best Picture. Adapted gracefully from Hillary Jordan’s novel, the Netflix film about dealing with racism during World War II captured four nominations, but not the white whale. This can be attributed to the lack of large scale theatrical distribution. Nevertheless, the movie is a must see.

Surprises and achievements

    • Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk. The fact that Christopher Nolan is nominated for Best Director should not be surprising, but The Academy too often overlooks his projects. The director of Memento, Inception, and The Dark Knight has astonishingly never gotten a Best Director nod before Dunkirk.
    • Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird. Gerwig created a masterpiece in Lady Bird. However, she was not nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes. She is just the fifth woman ever to be nominated for Best Director at the Oscars.
    • Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water) is now tied for the most nominated black actress of all time with Viola Davis.
    • Mary J. Blige (Mudbound)  is the first person ever to be nominated for an acting performance and an original song in the same year. Hats off.
    • Logan became the first ever live-action superhero film to be nominated for Best Adapted screenplay. Even The Dark Knight could not accomplish that feat.
    • Timothée Chalamet is the youngest Best Actor nominee since Mickey Rooney about 80 years ago.
    • Jordan Peele (Get Out) is the first black filmmaker to be nominated for directing, writing, and producing in the same year.

Fun Fact: Get Out is the first movie with a February release to be nominated for an Oscar since The Silence of the Lambs.

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Oscars preview