Thursday, February 8, 2018

2018 Oscar Predictions

I cannot believe another movie season is upon us (it's practically come and gone) and I have yet to write a single post about a single film I've seen. This has not been intentional! Time flies when you're renovating a kitchen and moving, so I thought I'd take a few minutes to capture my thoughts on the major nominees like I do every year. Get ready for the E! Red Carpet, open up your favorite champagne or red and get cozy - it's going to be a long but memorable show!

Best Picture
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Should Win: This is really hard because there have been so many enjoyable films this year. It's really difficult to pick a favorite, but when you look at the entirety of a film like "Three Billboards" - the screenplay, direction, acting, cinematography, music - it really doesn't get much better. "Get Out" and "Call Me By Your Name" are tied for my #2 spot, though both are too progressive for traditional academy voters and sadly don't stand a chance.

Will Win: "Three Billboards".

**Biggest Snub - "The Florida Project". Seriously, you're going to nominate 9 films when you CAN nominate 10 and omit this one? Not ok.

Best Actor:
Timothée "out of nowhere" Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel "bout to be retired" Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Should Win: Gary Oldman. This man has been in everything from A to Z and you don't even realize it. This was a tour de force by Oldman - the film kind of blows without him.

Will Win: Oldman, without question.

Best Actress:
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl "#1" Streep, “The Post”

Should Win: I thought Sally Hawkins was phenomenal in "The Shape of Water". Incredible emotion conveyed without speaking a word. Frances McDormand though, was born to play this role. Tough as nails, it's as if she's not even acting. That's a clear indication that they're crushing the role.

Will Win: Frances McDormand. I have a real problem with the fact that she already won for "Fargo" and wasn't that spectacular in it (CALM DOWN - the film was spectacular, she was just kind of funny, but not Oscar-worthy!) but for "Three Billboards", she deserves it.

Best Supporting Actor:
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody "can do no wrong" Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher "still rockin'" Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Should Win: If I can answer the question "whose performance did I enjoy the most?" it would be Woody Harrelson's, followed closely by Willem Dafoe. I'm afraid Harrelson's wasn't pivotal enough in "Three Billboards" for this to constitute him winning an Oscar, and Dafoe wasn't the best part of "The Florida Project" but I'd like for that film to see a little love this year.

Will Win: Sam Rockwell. Fans of his adored his performance, but I thought performances by McDormand, Harrelson and let's not forget Peter Dinklage(!) were better.

Best Supporting Actress:
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison "CJ" Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley "who?" Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Should Win: It's a clear and tight race for Allison Janney and Laurie Metcalf. Janney's performance as an abusive mother was over the top, and it felt like she wasn't even acting - the casting was spot-on. Similarly, Metcalf didn't feel like she was acting, and found a really nuanced performance with her scenes with Saoirse Ronan in "Lady Bird". I joked at the Lesley "who?" Manville because she hadn't received any awards buzz until now, but her scene-stealing moments in "Phantom Thread" got me on board with her nod.

Will Win: If the awards already given this season are any indication, Janney has it in the bag.

**Biggest Snub - Holly Hunter in "The Big Sick". This was the most I've ever liked her! She did such a fantastic job with this character.

“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Should Win: Peele's masterpiece blew me away. I cannot wait for him to write and direct more, though the bar is ridiculously high. Similarly, Gerwig's writing and directing of such a touching script was exactly the opposite of "Get Out" but done in such a delicate and effective way. I was surprised that Martin McDonagh was snubbed, though his film is being rewarded enough.

Will Win: If I had to guess, they'll give it to Guillermo del Toro for directing such a different and unique film. The Academy seems more ready to nominate and acknowledge diverse artists, but we still have a very long way to go.

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