The 2018 Oscar nominations are out and it looks like Hollywood might really be taking steps towards more diversity and inclusion, with an increase in LGBT, female and African-American representation. Here, we celebrate the nominations that are making history.
LGBT inclusive films Call Me By Your Name, A Fantastic Woman, The Shape Of Water and Lady Bird have all been nominated for Best Picture.
Beautiful gay love story Call Me By Your Name received three more nominations, with lead actor Timothée Chalamet nominated for Best Actor, James Ivory for Best Adapted Screenplay and Sufjan Stevens’s song Mystery Of Love for Best Original Song.
Chilean movie A Fantastic Woman has been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. The story is about a transgender woman, Marina, who’s partner dies, leaving her grief stricken and facing discrimination and judgement from her partner’s family and the government. Transgender actress Daniela Vega plays Marina, and director Sebastian Lelio said the film wouldn’t have worked without her. “Daniela’s presence took the film in a different dimension, and she brought something that a cisgender actor wouldn’t be able to bring, She brought a real, beating heart to everything.”
The Shape Of Water has scored a bunch of nominations, including Best Supporting Actor for Richard Jenkins, who plays a closeted gay man in the 1960s, struggling to come to terms with the idea that he may never finding love. Octavia Spencer has made history as the first black actress to receive two consecutive Oscar nominations, She also won the category in 2012 for The Help.
Coming of age movie Lady Bird features a beautifully crafted coming out story with Lucas Hedges playing Danny, Lady Bird’s (Saoirse Ronan) love interest who is confused about his sexuality. First time director, Greta Gerwig, is the first woman in eight years to be nominated for Best Director, and only the 5th woman ever nominated in that category. Lady Bird is also nominated for Best Actress (Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalfe) and Best Original Screenplay (Gerwig).
Jordan Peele became only the fifth black director to be nominated in the Best Director category for his racially charged film Get Out. He is also nominated for Best Screenplay and Best Film.
Phantom Thread, which is also nominated for Best Picture, was co-produced by out lesbian Megan Ellison, while transgender man Yance Ford created the documentary Strong Island, nominated for Best Documentary Feature.
Out lesbians, writer/director Dee Rees and cinematographer Rachel Morrison have both been nominated for their work on Mudbound, the film adaptation of Hillary Jordan’s 2009 novel about a black soldier and a white soldier who return from WWII to Mississippi. Rees, who directed several episodes of LGBT miniseries When We Rise, has been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, while Morrison is the first woman ever to be nominated for Best Cinematography.
"Literally, it's a dream come true," Morrison told the Los Angeles Times of the nomination. "I really hope that it opens the door for more women to believe that they can do it and follow their dreams and become cinematographers. I think that once you see 50% of us (in the industry), you'll see a lot more nominations this time of year."
Approximately 5% of Hollywood cinematographers are women, and many struggle to be offered work, but Morrison told the Los Angeles Times that she feels that times are finally changing.
“Overall I’m actually really optimistic about the changes. I feel it’s palpable. I don’t think it will take the next generation of female DPs 10 years or 10 features to get their first studio movie. Doors are opening for the first time and it’s time to walk through them.”
The 90th Annual Academy Awards ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre in LA on March 4.