2018 Oscar nominations slugfest: Are the acting nominees too safe and predictable? [WATCH]

“It is one of the high-holy days for us Oscar lovers,” declares senior editor Rob Licuria during our 2018 Oscar nominations slugfest. Licuria is joined by contributing writers Andrew Carden, Tony Ruiz and Amanda Spears to dish the highs and lows of the Oscar nominees in the four acting races, focusing on which inclusions we loved the most, and which snubs we thought were inexcusable. Watch the video slugfest above.

SEE 2018 Oscar nominations: Full list of Academy Awards nominees in all 24 categories

Our favorite acting nominees ranged from first-timers Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”) and Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”), to Woody Harrelson (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) returning to the Oscars with his third nod and Daniel Kaluuya for his breakthrough turn in “Get Out.” Although there weren’t too many complaints in a relatively predictable list of nominees, there were a few omissions that disappointed us.

SEE 16 unforgivable Oscar acting snubs: James Franco, Tom Hanks, Holly Hunter, Hong Chau and …

“The Meryl Streep nomination doesn’t excite me,” Carden admits. “I think it would have been more exciting to see a Jessica Chastain or an Annette Bening in that slot instead. She’s in fine form, but she’s certainly been in better form. As someone who wasn’t in love with ‘The Post,’ I think it would have been more interesting to have a surprise nominee.”

“I find the omission of Holly Hunter really infuriating,” Ruiz proclaims, adding that “the lack of any supporting nominations for ‘Call Me by Your Name,” those omissions make me sick,” he says. “I feel really bad for Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg,” Licuria agrees. “I really wanted to see at least one of them in there, even though I knew it was not likely. I’m very disappointed about that … I’ve got a lot to complain about,” he admits. “I frankly wanted to see Judi Dench nominated.”

Spears doesn’t buy the negativity, and reminds the group to “celebrate that there are four out of the five Best Actress nominees are in a Best Picture nominee. The same as the men,” she says. “It’s really hard [to complain] when they did such a good job overall.”

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