#TimesUp at the Academy Awards

Photo courtesy of CNN.com

Photo courtesy of CNN.com
Film critics take accusations into account

Amidst ongoing revelations coming out of the #MeToo movement, the nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced on Jan. 23—and the Academy appears to be taking recent accusations into account.

While critical darlings like The Shape of Water (dir. Guillermo del Toro), Lady Bird (dir. Greta Gerwig), and Three Billboards outside of Ebbing, Missouri (dir. Martin McDonagh) placed in all of their expected categories, other films that performed well at the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards weren’t so much snubbed as they were condemned.

The Disaster Artist (dir. James Franco) is notoriously absent from the Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay categories despite taking home some of those awards in ceremonies leading up to the Oscars. The Academy was voting for 2018’s top honors in film when allegations of sexual misconduct involving Franco went public, seemingly eliminating him and his associates from the competition.

Similarly, Call Me by Your Name (dir. Luca Guadagnino) has only been losing traction as it moves through award season. More and more critics are questioning the ethics of the film’s central relationship—which features a minor sexually engaging with a man in his 30s—and after only claiming three nominations, its name is barely involved in Best Picture predictions.

Baby Driver’s (dir. Edgar Wright) summer release almost voluntarily took itself out of the running, but it’s difficult to gauge how significantly Kevin Spacey’s fall from grace damaged the film’s award campaign. The Golden Globes tossed lead actor Ansel Elgort an unexpected acting nom, but Baby Driver’s name will only be heard at the Academy Awards for Best Film Editing (an honor it should take home), Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. In a less competitive year, Wright’s absence from the Best Director category would be considered a malignant snub with or without Spacey’s allegations, but that category took its deserved shape.

More positive surprises include Greta Gerwig’s nomination for Best Director (which makes her the fifth woman to ever be nominated for the category), Logan’s nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay (making it the first superhero movie to be nominated for a writing award), and Blade Runner 2049 for Best Cinematography (an honor it deserves but most likely won’t be awarded).

The Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, March 4.

Taylor Kirby
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