NYU at the Oscars, Again

Alex Cullina
The 2018 Oscars Awards presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2017 on March 4, 2018 in Los Angeles.

Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”) and Andy Serkis (“War For the Planet of the Apes”) revealed the coveted 90th Academy Awards nominations, Tuesday morning, including quite a few nods for NYU alumni. The highly anticipated list highlighted a wider range of perspectives in gender and race than in years past, with no huge upsets and minimal snubs.

Leading the pack of Best Picture nominees are “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-set fantasy, monster romance “The Shape of Water” leads the pack with 13 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for del Toro and co-writer Vanessa Taylor and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Sally Hawkins’ subtle performance as mute janitor Elisa Esposito.

Martin McDonagh’s black comedy “Three Billboards” received seven nominations, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress in a Leading Role for Frances McDormand’s anything but quiet performance as irreverent mother Mildred Hayes.

Satisfying the Oscars’ typical fare of biopics, three historical dramas, “Dunkirk,” “The Darkest Hour” and “The Post,” received multiple nominations.

But the true underdogs of the day were Jordan Peele’s sociological thriller “Get Out” and Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age story “Lady Bird.” Both managed to maintain their momentum through the grueling awards season, scoring unprecedented above the line nominations in Best Picture, Director and Original Screenplay.

Rounding out the Best Picture race is Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread.” Anderson infamously dropped out of Tisch School of the Arts Undergraduate Film & Television Program after two days in the early ‘90s. Mark Bridges (Tisch ‘87) received a nomination in Best Costume Design for “Phantom Thread.”

Dee Rees (Tisch ‘07) became the first African-American woman nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Mudbound.” The film’s cinematographer, Rachel Morrison (Tisch ‘00), also made history as the first woman to be nominated for Best Cinematography.

Timothée Chalamet, who recently attended NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study, is nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his transformative performance in Luca Guadagnino’s heartbreaking, gay romance “Call Me By Your Name.” “Call Me By Your Name” and “A Fantastic Woman” — both queer-centered films — made the Best Picture and Best Foreign Film lineups, respectively.

In the wake of #OscarsSoWhite, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s efforts to reform and diversify Academy membership shone a little brighter this year.

Four acting nominees — Denzel Washington, Daniel Kaluuya, Octavia Spencer and Mary J. Blige — are people of color, as are two of the nominated directors: del Toro and Peele.

Additionally, four of the nine films up for Best Picture are female-led, and Gerwig became the fifth woman in history to be nominated for the usually all-male Best Director category.

With the recent and overdue Time’s Up movement, James Franco (Tisch ‘11) — accused of sexual misconduct by five women –– was notably absent for his Golden Globe-winning performance in “The Disaster Artist.” Christopher Plummer, who swiftly replaced Kevin Spacey in Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” was nominated for his supporting performance.

The Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second time, will air on ABC on March 4 at 8 p.m.

Email Alex Cullina at [email protected]



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