“Lady Bird” director Greta Gerwig – Photo by Merie Wallace, courtesy of A24(LOS ANGELES) — Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig becomes only the fifth woman in Oscar history to receive a Best Director nomination. Of the four other women nominated, only Kathryn Bigelow has won, in 2010 for The Hurt Locker.
Rachel Morrison becomes the first woman ever nominated for a Best Cinematographer Oscar, for Mudbound.
Following years of criticism about a lack of racial diversity among nominees, this year saw major category nominations for non-white artists, notably four nods for writer/director Jordan Peele’s Get Out, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Peele, and Best Actor for star Daniel Kaluuya. Four black actors received acting nominations: Kaluuya; Denzel Washington, for Roman J. Israel, Esq.; Mary J. Blige, for Mudbound; and Octavia Spencer, for The Shape of Water.
Jordan Peele is also only the third person in history to score Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay Oscar nods for his directorial debut, joining Hollywood heavyweights Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks, who did the same with 1978’s Heaven Can Wait and 1983’s Terms of Endearment, respectively. Peele is only the fifth African-American to earn a Best Director Academy Award nomination. The most recent was Barry Jenkins, for 2016’s Best Picture winner, Moonlight, while the first was John Singleton in 1991, for Boyz n the Hood. No African-American has ever won the Best Director Oscar.
Writer/director Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, the story of a mute woman who falls in love with an aquatic being, leads all comers, with 13 nominations — but none for actor Doug Jones, who played the creature itself.
James Franco won a Golden Globe for his performance in The Disaster Artist, but was shut out of the Oscar acting categories. Though it’s impossible to know for certain, it could be due in part to Franco’s being accused by five women shortly after his Golden Globes win of alleged inappropriate sexual misconduct.
Although Meryl Streep won her 21st Oscar nomination for her role on The Post, and the film itself earned a Best Picture nomination, co-star Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg were passed over.
Wonder Woman, the third highest-grossing film of 2017 and one of the year’s most critically acclaimed — and widely celebrated, just as the national #MeToo conversation was exploding — was completely shut out.
The 90th annual Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, air on ABC March 4.
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