Drumroll Please: Five Things to Watch With Oscar Nominations

This period of Hollywood turmoil begins a new chapter with Tuesday’s run-up to the movie industry’s biggest night.

The first Academy Awards nominations of the Time's Up/#MeToo era are set to be announced Tuesday. Here are some things to watch for as Hollywood begins the run-up to its March 4 marquee night during a period unlike any other in movie history.

Will 'Lady Bird' – and Women Filmmakers – Fly?

The Golden Globes are often seen as a harbinger of the Oscars. But many will be looking closely at whether Academy voters repeat the snubs of "Lady Bird" filmmaker Greta Gerwig in the screenplay and director categories. Ditto for the exclusion of Patty Jenkins, director of “Wonder Woman,” following a year in which the DC superhero teamed with Rey and Leia of ""Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi," Belle of "Beauty and the Beast" and the four friends of "Girls Trip" to score big at the box office. 

Does Oscar Get "Get Out?"

The Globes also excluded Jordan Peele in the screenplay and director categories for "Get Out," a powerful racial drama wrapped in an old-time chiller-thriller. The film made headlines – and big profits – for its clever, provocative and entertaining approach in dissecting a fraught topic. The Globes also miscategorized the film as a comedy – one mistake Oscar can't repeat, given its awards structure. But snubbing "Get Out" for Best Picture and in other key categories would be a horror show all its own.

Oscar's Sorry Serkis Act 

The award for longest ongoing snub goes to Academy voters for ignoring the brilliant work of Andy Serkis, best known for bringing Golem to evil life in "The Lord of the Rings" films. Now he's wrapped an equally impressive three-flick run as conflicted simian revolutionary Caesar in "The Planet of the Apes" series reboot. That Serkis does his best acting costumed in CGI shouldn't disqualify him from awards consideration – particularly in an era where there's nothing special anymore about special effects beyond the magic performers bring to them.

Will There be Room for James Franco?

The actor, recently accused of sexual misconduct, is believed to be in the running for a Best Actor nod for “The Disaster Artist.” Franco, who has denied the allegations, showed up at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday, where he lost. It’s unclear whether he’ll have a reason to attend the Oscars.

A Comedy of Errors Sequel

The Academy Awards ended in chaos last year as "La La Land" briefly – and erroneously – got the Best Picture trophy. "Moonlight" ultimately took the top prize, but the spectacle overshadowed the film’s victory. The danger of other forces eclipsing Hollywood’s celebration of itself looms again, amid much bigger stakes, in a season rife with potential for missteps and controversies, beginning with Tuesday's nominations.

Hester is Director of News Products and Projects at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

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