Oscars 2018: First-Time Nominee Spotlight

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 9 months ago

IMDb shines spotlight on the performers who earned their first Academy Award nominations this year.

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Margot Robbie in I, Tonya (2017)

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Category: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

The star of this Australian actress has been in serious ascent since her memorable role in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and went stratospheric with her performance as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad (2016). Robbie can now add Oscar-nominated to her list of accolades after her critically-acclaimed performance as the dangerously ambitious Tonya Harding in biopic I, Tonya. A win would see Robbie become the first person to pick up an Oscar for portraying a real-life Olympic athlete.

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (2017)

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Category: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

In the space of a year, this British actor has been catapulted from relative obscurity to becoming one of the most recognizable faces in modern cinema thanks to his arresting performance in blockbuster horror Get Out. After winning the Rising Star Award at this year’s BAFTAs and taking a memorable role in smash-hit superhero movie Black Panther, an Oscar would round out an extraordinary year for Kaluuya.

Mary J. Blige in Mudbound (2017)

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Category: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Original Song

Blige may be best known as a musician but this acclaimed artist has been acting on screen since taking a small role in "The Jamie Foxx Show" in 1998. It is therefore fitting that Blige has secured a nomination for Best Original Song, with “Mighty River,” as well as for Best Supporting Actress making her the first person to secure Oscar nods for acting and original songwriting in the same year.

Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (2017)

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Category: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

At 22, Chalamet is the third-youngest person ever nominated for Best Leading Actor and is the youngest since 1939. Despite performing on screen for a decade, the past year has seen the true breakout of the New York-born actor. As well as securing a nomination for his heartbreaking performance in Call Me by Your Name, he also took a memorable role in another Oscar-nominated movie, Lady Bird.

Allison Janney in I, Tonya (2017)

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Category: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

There is a lot of love for this hard-working actress, whose 120 IMDb credits range from the witty White House press secretary C.J. Cregg in "The West Wing" to numerous acclaimed indies such as Juno (2007). But it is her performance as chain-smoking mother LaVona in I, Tonya that has secured her first Oscar nomination, and after picking up numerous awards including the Golden Globe and BAFTA, this could be Janney’s year.

Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Category: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

With close to 100 IMDb credits and 30 years on screen, some may be surprised this is Rockwell’s first Oscar nod. But while acclaimed performances in Moon (2009) and The Way Way Back (2013), were overlooked by the Academy, it is likable Rockwell’s performance as the deplorable Dixon in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that has drawn awards attention. After picking up the Golden Globe and BAFTA, Rockwell may score the hat trick.

Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird (2017)

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Category: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Perhaps still best known as Jackie from "Roseanne," for which she won three Emmys, Metcalf is an acclaimed stage actress and original member of the highly-respected Steppenwolf Theater who many wished took more movie roles. After her performance as Lady Bird’s mother in Greta Gerwig’s coming-of-age tale, the offers will surely be flooding in. Let’s hope she takes them as we want more Metcalf!

Lesley Manville in Phantom Thread (2017)

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Category: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

This British actress is a true acting treasure who has nearly 45 years of screen acting and seven Mike Leigh movies to her name. But it is her performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread that has finally secured her Academy attention. There aren’t many that could overshadow Daniel Day-Lewis but as stoic sister Cyril, when Manville says: “Don't pick a fight with me, you certainly won't come out alive,” you believe her.


Jordan Peele, Get Out

Categories: Best Picture, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Original Screenplay

Although best recognized as one half of comedy duo "Key and Peele," this talented performer has made his Oscar debut from behind the camera with no fewer than three Academy Award nominations. His horror sensation, Get Out, not only took $255 million at the global box office (made for $4 million) but received wide critical acclaim for its satirical look at race in America.

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Categories: Best Achievement in Directing, Best Original Screenplay

Previously best known as an actress in indie comedies such as Frances Ha (2012) and Mistress America (2015), her debut solo directorial debut on Lady Bird has secured her first Oscar nomination. The coming-of-age movie, which has five Academy Award nominations, has already picked up two Golden Globes, including for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy.

Dee Rees in Mudbound (2017)

Dee Rees, Mudbound

Category: Best Adapted Screenplay

After making shorts since 2005, Nashville-born Rees made her feature debut with Pariah in 2011, which picked up a prize at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to win further accolades. Mudbound, the story of two men who return home from World War II where they struggle to deal with racism, is only Rees’ second theatrical feature (she made TV movie "Bessie" in 2015) but has secured four Oscar nominations. Rees is now the first black woman to direct a film for which an actor or actress (Mary J. Blige) was also nominated for an Academy Award.

Kumail Nanjiani at an event for The Big Sick (2017)

Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick

Category: Best Original Screenplay

Pakistan-born Nanjiani has taken roles on the big and small screens since 2008, with series including "Franklin & Bash" and "Silicon Valley." But it is his screenplay for The Big Sick, written with his wife Emily V. Gordon that has garnered him Oscar attention. It has been a long road. The movie first screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017 where it was acquired by Lionsgate and Amazon for $12 million – the second biggest deal of the festival that year.

Emily V. Gordon at an event for The Big Sick (2017)

Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick

Category: Best Original Screenplay

Gordon has had a handful of TV writing jobs since 2012 and was a professional therapist as recently as 2009, but has secured an Oscar nomination with her first foray into film on The Big Sick. Written with her husband, actor Kumail Nanjiani, the movie is loosely based on their romance with a twist. Gordon is now a staff writer on HBO comedy "Crashing."

Vanessa Taylor

Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water

Category: Best Original Screenplay

Audiences may solely associate this fantasy drama with Guillermo del Toro but the screenplay was co-written with Taylor. The American screenwriter and television producer has written for TV since 1998 on series including "Alias", "Everwood," and more recently "Game of Thrones." Her movie work includes Hope Springs and Divergent, and she is most recently worked on the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney’s Aladdin.

Michael Green

Michael Green, Logan

Category: Best Adapted Screenplay

Although Green has been writing for TV since an episode of "Sex & the City" in 1998, he wrote the screenplays or stories for a staggering number of major movies released last year. These included Alien: Covenant, Blade Runner 2049, Murder on the Orient Express, and Logan. It is on the latter, an unexpectedly gritty turn in the X-Men saga, that he shares a screenplay nomination with James Mangold and Scott Frank.

James Mangold and Hugh Jackman in Logan (2017)

James Mangold, Logan

Category: Best Adapted Screenplay

As a writer and director, Mangold has shepherded critically acclaimed movies including Cop Land (1997), Girl, Interrupted (1999), and Walk the Line (2005). It is perhaps surprising, therefore, that Logan has delivered his first Oscar nomination for screenplay, but is no-less deserved. This final outing for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was the R-rated swansong that the character deserved. Mangold shares the nomination with Scott Frank and fellow first-time nominee Michael Green.

Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter

Michael H. Weber, Scott Neustadter, The Disaster Artist

Category: Best Adapted Screenplay

This writing duo adapted Greg Sestero’s book of the same name about the making of cult movie The Room (2003). The pair have penned a series of great scripts over the past decade from 500 Days of Summer (2009) and The Spectacular Now to The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns. For the completest, they also wrote the story and screenplay for The Pink Panther 2 (2009).

Virgil Williams

Virgil Williams, Mudbound

Category: Best Adapted Screenplay

Williams has a series of solid credits in TV, from writing episodes of "24" and "ER" to penning 18 installments of "Criminal Minds." But it is the screenplay for period race drama Mudbound, written with director and fellow first-time nominee Dee Rees, that has secured him an Oscar nomination.

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