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Oscars Time: Potential Academy Awards Nominations Sneakers and Snubs

Over on Twitter, a dear film friend Emi (@shruburbia) said “film twitter and the award circles have all ignored Roman J. Israel like it never happened”. Adding that she thought Denzel Washington will sneak in for Best Actor when the Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday. Washington was of course nominated at the Screen Actors Guild, but that by no means guarantees him a place in the Academy’s five. “His performance was phenomenal,” Emi enthused, “even better by a nose over his role in Fences“.

Filmotomy Podcast semi-regular Joel Melendez posted his entire Oscar predictions on Twitter. Also adding his outside bets including The Square NOT making the Foreign Language Film cut, James Franco being squandered from the Best Actor list, and predicts The Phantom Thread could stand with six nominations in total. Check out his full list on the Twitter thread here:

When I asked Matt St.Clair who he thought might sneak in on Tuesday morning, he gave me four very intelligent potentials in the acting categories. Imagine Daniela Vega being named in the Best Actress line-up for A Fantastic Woman. “In a crowded Best Actress field,” Matt declared, “Chilean actress Daniela Vega has potential to be the first trans performer to be up for an acting Oscar given the foreign / arthouse contingent within the acting branch that got performances like Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night nominated in this category.”

Ignored for Beast of No Nation a couple of years back, Matt also put forward Idris Elba as a Best Supporting Actor contender for Molly’s Game. “Idris Elba’s snub for Beasts Of No Nation still lingers, and if Jessica Chastain makes it in Best Actress, Elba could get pulled along with her given his snub and his two “Oscar clip” monologues towards the end.”

Matt’s final two acting dark horses were: Tracy Letts for Best Supporting Actor in Lady Bird – a “renowned theater actor” Matt tells me, “Tracy Letts is someone who’s been building a quiet trajectory towards an Oscar nomination, having appeared in prestige films like Indignation, Lady Bird, and The Post. Which means he could surprise in this category for his portrayal of a loving father figure.”

And lastly, Ben Mendelsohn in Supporting Actor for Darkest Hour. Matt’s argument incites “An Emmy-winning character actor typically typecast as villains playing King George VI in a baity British biopic? Seems like something Oscar would take note of.”. Matt St.Clair no doubt has many, many other worthy notions on his Twitter profile (@filmguy619).

I’d personally add that Kristen Scott Thomas also has a great chance of making the Best Supporting Actress cut for Darkest Hour – even with limited screen time. Add to that, Catherine Keener is a long shot for Get Out in my books. Don’t act shocked, too, if you see Tiffany Haddish kick the fucking door down for actresses of color. In the Supporting Actor category, can Michael Shannon help The Shape of Water tally a record-equaling 14 nominations? Mark Rylance for Dunkirk is still not out of the question.

My big hunches come in the Best Director category. When DGA announced their five it felt like that was the five for Oscar too. I’m not so sure. And I’ll hold my hands up if I am wrong. I wonder if Jordan Peele will get in. Or indeed Martin McDonagh. And what about Christopher Nolan? Imagine the internet-quake if he doesn’t got his first nomination for Best Director. Or indeed, Greta Gerwig‘s name is not read out.

I agree with Joel, that Sean Baker has a terrific chance to push his way into the Director five a la Lenny Abrahamson for Room. The Florida Project is still in conversation almost everywhere, and fondly spoke of. Very much so. Those billboard posters in L.A. won’t hurt, nor will the preferential ballot voting for a beloved movie. Craig Gillespie has a slim chance of benefiting from I, Tonya‘s growing momentum at just the right time. Don’t forget about Luca Guadagnino either. Call Me by Your Name may seem like it’s sinking fast, which means it can pleasantly surprise us amidst the snubs that pull our hair out.

Whatever happens when the Oscar nominations are announced, hold on tight to those movies you truly love from 2017. The Academy Awards are not everything. Not quite.


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