“It’s very uncommon for a movie that didn’t do well at the box office in the United States to get a nomination for best picture,” Denis Villeneuve said, regarding his lush sequel ‘Blade Runner 2049’ which was expected to be huge last summer, but disappointed when mainstream audiences passed. Despite great critical reaction (it sits at a great 87% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes), it was passed over in the bigger categories by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences which selects the Oscar nominees each year. For Best Picture, the highest honor, the Academy selected ‘Call Me by Your Name’, ‘Darkest Hour’, ‘Dunkirk’, ‘Get Out’, ‘Lady Bird’, ‘Phantom Thread’, ‘The Post’, ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’.
‘Blade Runner 2049’ was only nominated in the technical categories: Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects and Production Design. It’s not unusual for big budget action movies to be relegated to these sorts of categories, but many had greater expectations for Villeneuve’s more dramatic film.
While Villeneuve is understanding about missing out on the bigger honors, he is upset that his film wasn’t nominated for one award– Best Score.
“I think what [composers Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch] did for the movie, the score of the movie, was by far one of the best this year… As a film director I work very closely with those people to bring my vision to the screen, and I work with great artists and I owe them a lot.”
Zimmer, at least, was nominated for another film, Christopher Nolan’s war film ‘Dunkirk’. The other nominees are Jonny Greenwood for ‘Phantom Thread’, Alexandre Desplat for ‘The Shape of Water’, John Williams for ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and Carter Burwell for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’.
For a full list of nominations, click here.
The Academy Awards will be handed out on March 4 on ABC, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting.