1. Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) an Jordan Peele (Get Out) were nominated for Best Director
Considering that even being nominated for Best Director is a great honor for even the most experienced filmmaker, being nominated for your first film is a stellar achievement. Even more so, the Best Director category this year represents two standout nominees who represent a modern shift in demographics in the filmmaking industry.
Greta Gerwig, who is nominated for her debut Lady Bird, is only the fifth woman to ever be nominated in the category, while Jordan Peele is similarly only the fifth black director to be nominated. Both of their debuts have received rave reviews and Get Out was a bona fide box office hit.
Peele is also the first black filmmaker to be nominated in three categories (including Best Picture). Perhaps these nominations signal a future for the Academy Awards where nominations for women and minorities in the industry become more frequent and aren’t overshadowed by the fact they were nominated in the first place.
2. Logan was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay
Superhero movies haven’t done very well at the Academy Awards: it’s unheard of for any to be nominated in any other category outside of special effects. Then again, Logan isn’t quite like most superhero movies.
Notable for its dark tone and avoiding the tired tropes and storylines that many superhero action films depend on, instead Logan was a gritty drama that focused on a post-apocalyptic future where mutants have been outlawed and nearly driven to extinction. The first superhero film to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Logan is a dark horse in this year’s race—and if it wins, may be a game-changer.
3. Phantom Thread nabbed six nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director
While Paul Thomas Anderson is no stranger to Academy Award nominations—and the star of Phantom Thread, Daniel Day-Lewis, has made Oscar history with his three previous wins—the director’s latest film was also a relative latecomer in this year’s Awards season.
Having been shut out by the other four Hollywood guilds, it wasn’t looking good for Phantom Thread to nab any nominations. But like the protagonist dressmaker’s gift, seemingly out of thread and thin air the film found itself nominated for six nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director.
4. Get Out was nominated in four categories, including Best Picture
Traditionally, the horror genre has not been well-represented at the Academy Awards. When horror films are nominated, it’s usually in a technical category like Best Visual Effects, but it’s rare for a horror film to end up in one of the “prestige” categories.
However, Jordan Peele’s Get Out has managed to break through the genre glass ceiling this year with its nomination in the Best Picture category. The first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture since 2010’s Black Swan, Get Out is also nominated for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actor.
5. The Boss Baby was nominated for Best Animated Film
A big hit at the box office but receiving mixed reviews, The Boss Baby is a children’s animated film that is filled with surprisingly inappropriate jokes and strange plot. This made for a relatively unmemorable feature, but harmless enough fun for those who enjoyed the idea of a baby that talks like Alec Baldwin from Glengarry Glen Ross and wears a suit.
But then something strange happened: it was nominated for an Academy Award. Specifically, for Best Animated Film, competing against the critically acclaimed The Breadwinner and the painstakingly crafted Loving Vincent, a literal work of art. Which is good for The Boss Baby, but its inclusion also lowers the overall stellar average of the category this year.
Author Bio: Mike Gray is a writer whose work appears on numerous websites and maintains a TV and film site at MeLikeMovies.com.