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Sunday’s 90th annual Academy Awards might have been an exciting evening for those whose films won, but for those who worked on or were supporting Lady Bird, Mudbound or The Post, the evening was likely a disappointment.
None of those films won any of the Oscars for which they were nominated. Lady Bird went into the Oscars up for five awards, including best director (Greta Gerwig) and best picture, but the female-helmed and -focused film went home empty-handed despite the ceremony itself featuring a number of moments in which women in Hollywood were celebrated, including a presentation and video about the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. The film previously won at the Golden Globes and Film Independent Spirit Awards and was honored by numerous critics groups, including the National Society of Film Critics, which named the movie, about a high-school senior of the same name (Saoirse Ronan), as the best film of 2017. Gerwig had the chance to make history as only the second woman to win best director in Oscars history after being just the fifth female filmmaker nominated in the category.
For The Post, which was completed in just nine months, the Oscars was just the latest awards ceremony from which the Steven Spielberg-directed film about the Pentagon Papers, delivering a timely message of the importance of press freedom, went home empty-handed. It was previously shut out at the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards and wasn’t nominated for Writers Guild or Screen Actors Guild awards. The film, marking the first onscreen pairing of Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, was seen as somewhat of an Oscar shoo-in ahead of its release, and even at the top of the Golden Globes, where host Seth Meyers joked about the armloads full of awards it would win.
Mudbound had a number of chances to make history on Sunday evening, with cinematographer Rachel Morrison the first female nominee in the category in Oscars history and Mary J. Blige as the only person to be nominated for best original song and supporting actress in the same year. But the Netflix title lost both of those awards as well as the award for best adapted screenplay, which would have made co-writer and director Dee Rees the first African-American woman to win in that category.
While not completely shut out, Phantom Thread, which earned a somewhat surprising six nominations, only won one award, for best costume design, but winner Mark Bridges earned an additional prize, taking home a jet ski after delivering the evening’s shortest acceptance speech in a contest devised by host Jimmy Kimmel.
And while Get Out won the high-profile best original screenplay award in a moment that earned writer Jordan Peele a standing ovation, Peele wasn’t able to become the first black man to win best director nor did his crowd-pleasing racially-themed horror film win best picture. He was the first African-American to be up for all three awards for his directorial debut.
Fellow high-profile awards contenders I, Tonya and Call Me by Your Name also only went home with one award each.
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