By Kaylin Wu
As the 90th Academy Awards approach, what are some of the films that stand out the most in this year’s nominations? The Shape of Water has been nominated for thirteen awards, the most any film has received this year. Other fan favorites such as Dunkirk and Lady Bird have received multiple nominations as well. Get Out, Jordan Peele’s well received satire on race in America, has received four nominations. Here is an overview of this year’s Oscar nominations for Best Picture:
The Shape of Water, Dir. Guillermo Del Toro
The Shape of Water, a love story about a mute woman and a misunderstood fish-human hybrid, has received the most nominations this year. Del Toro is known for films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim, marrying fantasy with political undertones. This theme exists in the The Shape of Water when the love between the two main characters is threatened by the fact the fish-man is a subject of government research. Aside from Best Picture, the film has been nominated for Best Actress (Sally Hawkins), Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer), and Best Director (Guillermo Del Toro).
Dunkirk, Dir. Christopher Nolan
This war epic released over the summer of 2017 chronicles the evacuation of British soldiers at Dunkirk in 1940. The film plays with structure, telling the story in multiple parts that cross in unexpected ways. Panoramas of the Dunkirk shore and visuals of thousands of soldiers lined up on the beach truly convey the chaos of the early years of World War II and the massive effort needed for the evacuation—not to mention Harry Styles, front man of the band One Direction, has a supporting role. In addition to Best Picture, the film has been nominated for Best Director (Christopher Nolan) and Best Cinematography (Hoyle Van Hoytema).
Lady Bird, Dir. Greta Gerwig
Director Greta Gerwig used her own experiences in high school and college as a basis for this coming-of-age film. Starring Saoirse Ronan, the film addresses the confusion of growing up and embracing who you are, even when your sense of identity is a working progress. The film has also been praised for the realistic portrayal of teenage girlhood as well as the fraught yet loving relationship between a mother and daughter. This film has been nominated for Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan) and Best Director (Greta Gerwig), in addition to Best Picture.
Get Out, Dir. Jordan Peele
Jordan Peele’s debut film as a director is a biting satire on race. The film has been described as a horror masterpiece, perfectly melding commentary on being black in America with elements of suspense. It’s incredibly thought-provoking and relevant to conversations currently happening today. In addition to being nominated for Best Picture, Get Out has been nominated for Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya) and Best Director (Jordan Peele).
Honorable Mention: Loving Vincent, Dir. Dorota Kobiela
This biopic about the life of artist Vincent Van Gogh was created using 65,000 frames of oil paintings made by 125 artists specializing in Van Gogh’s style. Even if the story of Van Gogh doesn’t interest you, it is impossible to deny the beauty of a film made entirely of oil paintings. This film has been nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.
The 90th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 4th, 2018 and will be televised on ABC.