Announced this morning with great fanfare, this year’s Oscar lineup has been revealed…and it’s actually pretty great. From the long overdue Best Director nomination of Christopher Nolan, twice snubbed for The Dark Knight and Inception, for his masterwork Dunkirk, the surprise awards nods for the incredible Phantom Thread, which came at the very tail end of this season like a bolt from the blue, two incredible first-time nominees in Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele in the directing category – Gerwig being only the fifth woman nominated in the category and on the same front, Mudbound‘s Rachel Morrison is the first woman to ever be nominated for Best Cinematography. Peele’s Get Out is the rare horror film to be nominated for Best Picture, and Guillermo del Toro’s lush sci-fi fantasia The Shape of Water was the most decorated film, scoring 13 nods, and possibly lining itself up as the film to beat in the Best Picture category (though I still kinda want to hedge my bets for Lady Bird, I just have a gut feeling).

But before we get to our annual tradition of the “nerd categories”, I wanted to point out something very cool. Logan got a Best Adapted screenplay nomination! It’s the first superhero movie to earn the Adapted nod (The Incredibles was the first to get Original), and first comic book based movie to get into the category since American Splendor. Well deserved and a delightful surprise to cap off a tremendous list of nominees. Edit: I stand corrected, A History of Violence was nominated in 2006…so the first one since THAT one.

But as for the categories that pertain to this article:


Blade Runner 2049

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kong: Skull Island

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

War for the Planet of the Apes

Honestly, I’d be surprised if anything ends up topping Blade Runner 2049 here. Often, the VFX category is the home of the “best blockbuster” of the year, and while I enjoyed all five films to varying degrees, Blade Runner 2049 was a class of its own and a stunner for the eyes.


The Boss Baby — Tom McGrath, Ramsey Naito

The Breadwinner — Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo

Coco — Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson

Ferdinand — Carlos Saldanha

Loving Vincent — Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart


Dear Basketball — Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant

Garden Party — Victor Claire, Gabriel Grapperon

Lou — Dave Mullins, Dana Murray

Negative Space — Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata

Revolting Rhymes — Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

As for the animated categories, I can’t speak the shorts, but outside of Coco and the just okay The Breadwinner, Animated Feature Film is *brutal*, even the heralded Loving Vincent was a slog (I thought it was a rotoscoped nightmare). So, wrap that one up for Pixar, especially since Coco was roundly well received in the same kind of vein of as their better works.

You can find the full list of nominees here. And I just wanted to emphasize this…Christopher Nolan is *finally* an Oscar nominee! Hurrah!


  1. ” … though I still kinda want to hedge my bets for Lady Bird, I just have a gut feeling).”

    Same here. In the “Me Too” era, honoring a female-centric movie like Lady Bird would send a message (and a mea culpa).

    I haven’t yet seen Lady Bird and don’t know if I will. I’m sure it’s very well made and well acted, but I have zero interest in movies about teen angst these days. The last teen-angst movie I really liked was Ghost World, back in 2001.

    I saw The Post yesterday and it’s excellent on all fronts. And timely, given that we have a president who (like Nixon) regards the mainstream media as “the enemy of the people.”

  2. Yeeha! Go, Logan. Could have been multiple categories but, writing, good enough.
    Watched Shane the other day and watching that flick adds to seeing what Mangold and the others did with Logan.
    I don’t know what categories lighting and set design might fall under but I thought those elements in Logan were pretty exceptional as well, and did much to nurture Logan’s unique tone.

  3. I was hoping Patrick Stewart would get a supporting actor nod for Logan, but acting in superhero movies is rarely honored — Heath Ledger’s posthumous Oscar being the exception that proves the rule.

  4. Kaleb,

    Lighting falls under Best Cinematography, always one of the more exciting categories of the night. Set design falls under Best Production Design.

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