My Thoughts on the Oscar Nominations 2018

What do I think of this year’s nominees? Read on to find out!

The time has finally come, Oscar season! The Oscar nominations were released this past Tuesday so I thought it would be fun to give my thoughts on some of the nominees as well as some of my predictions.

I have seen all the Best Picture nominees with the exception of Phantom Thread, just have not reviewed them all. I get so busy that its impossible for me to keep up with all the latest films coming out. I have attached links to my personal thoughts on the movies I did review so that you can check out my more in depth thoughts on some of the nominees. I did not include all the categories, but mainly just the bigger ones or the ones I was most invested in.

This is my personal thoughts on the nominations and should not be taken as absolutes. These are just my opinions on the matter and I do not claim to be an expert in any way.

Let’s dive in to see what the Academy has elected to be the best of the best of cinema in 2017.

 

Best Picture

What Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri This movie had a powerful narrative filled with grief, darkness, and a little wry humor. The Academy tends to go for movies that are bold or are unique in their presentation, and Three Billboards definitely encapsulates both of those. The writing is tight, engaging and portrays a personal real story about loss that has you thinking about it long after you have seen it.

What I want to win: Get Out Jordan Peele’s directorial debut made my Top 10 list for 2017 and it certainly checks the list for what an Oscar movie could be. The movie presented its message of racism in a unique way by embracing a horror social satire approach. It certainly is a different angle to introduce to the thriller genre and with all the small subtleties that keep you on the edge of your seat, this is a film that truly surprised. It fared well with both critics and audience, and I hope that Jordan Peele gets the credit that he is due.

 

Best Director

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What Will Win: The Shape of Water The stylistic creativity that Guillermo del Toro put into this movie is a feat to be celebrated. Most known for his work on Pan’s Labyrinth, Toro was able to mimic the film’s interesting mythology and present a story that is heartfelt, exciting, and just beautiful to watch. The way the film is shot is gorgeous with each set piece feeling alive and unique, not to mention the aesthetics of the creature itself. There are moments in the movie where there is absolutely no dialogue, and to have a movie still be investing with just imagery is an accomplishment that deserves recognition. 

What I Want to Win: Get Out It is extremely rare for a first time director to win Best Picture, let alone Best Director but I believe Get Out has a chance. The subtleties that are placed in the movie and the imagery is so spot on and hidden, it begs to be watched multiple times to pick up on the details. The hidden meanings in certain scenes and the use of foreshadowing in the dialogue, no detail was left unchecked leading to a nearly flawless film. The film may not have the style of the other nominees, but it certainly has the attention to detail to leave no loose ends.

 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  • Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
  • Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out (Get Out Review)
  • Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
  • Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.

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Who Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis I am honestly just going on how the Academy has acted in the past when it comes to this. Each time Daniel Day-Lewis has been nominated he has taken home the award. He puts his best effort forward and with the announcement of his retirement of acting, it seems the Academy may give him one last win for him to go out on.

Who I Want To Win: Gary Oldman He put on a whole new look for his role as Winston Churchill. Anytime an actor puts on weight for a role or completely embodies a character, the Academy tends to move towards those sacrifices and talent to commend the performance. Not only that, Oldman delivered a fierce performance making him a force to be reckoned with and someone who brings you into the World War II experience. I wouldn’t be surprised if he took home the award so it’s just up to the Academy.

 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

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Who Will Win: Frances McDormand She delivered a powerful performance that was both intense yet emotional. Her character was witty, sarcastic, but also carrying a heavy burden and to showcase that range or depth of emotions is commendable. Carrying grief especially is no easy task for an actor or actress to capture, but McDormand makes it looks so seamless, giving the impression that she has dealt with a personal loss herself. I would be shocked if she did not take home the award.

Who I Want To Win: Frances McDormand

 

Best Supporting Actor

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Who Will Win: Sam Rockwell Another character from Three Billboards that offered a range of emotions. Not only that, his character went through the most dramatic arc that is interesting to see unfold on screen. To make a character so hated at one point in the movie and then feel sympathetic requires a lot out of the actor or actress, and it is that depth that makes it likely Rockwell will take home the prize.

Who I Want To Win: Sam Rockwell

 

Best Supporting Actress

  • Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
  • Allison Janney – I, Tonya
  • Leslie Manville – Phantom Thread
  • Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird (Lady Bird Review)
  • Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

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Who Will Win: Laurie Metcalf Her performance was the one I was truly blown away by when I first saw Lady Bird. She imbues the very real feeling of being a mother to a child trying to be their own person. To see the distance and resentment, but also the sheer love she had for her child provides a roller-coaster of emotions. Particularly a scene near the end when she has a realization of who her daughter is, is a powerful moment that presents the palpability of being a parent.

Who I Want To Win: Laurie Metcalf

 

Best Original Screenplay

*This is an award given to the best original story.

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What Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri The story in this film is quite unpredictable. Each scene is set up in the typical fashion that has been done time and time again in movies. However, the scene ends up not playing out how you might think. There are plenty of small surprises that impact all the characters in the story that prevent you from trying to predict what will happen next. It is that unpredictability that makes the story work so well and feel fresh that the Academy will most likely pick to win this year.

What I Want To Win: Lady Bird The coming of age story has been done so many times for boys and girls and always pulls from the typical tropes and cliches of the genre. But in Lady Bird, it focuses on the mother and daughter relationship which is something I personally have not seen in a film. The bond a parent shares with their child especially in their upbringing is fascinating and I loved that Greta Gerwig elected to tell the story from a different angle instead of playing in to cliches. This film also received a lot of buzz for its interesting direction narratively, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this took home the award.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

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What Will Win: Call Me By Your Name Any story that highlights diversity especially in the LGBTQ+ realm has been known to Oscar gold. The story is good too, one that presents a really heartfelt romance between two individuals and the struggles both of them face in their families. The dichotomy between their situations is investing and makes you root for both of them as they embrace their identities.

What I Want To Win: Logan Finally, a superhero movie getting some credit for its incredible writing. I am a huge comic book fan, so it excites me that not only did the genre take a risk but it is being recognized for that risk. Adapting one of the famous story lines for Wolverine, the cinematic version presents tragedy, guilt, sorrow, but through it all there is a sense of hope and optimism reminding the viewer that there is always something worth fighting for. This would be a huge step for the comic book movie franchise and show studios that it is all right to change up the formula and be bold.

 

Best Animated Feature

  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco (Coco Review)
  • Ferdinand
  • Loving Vincent

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What Will Win: Coco Anytime Disney Pixar releases a movie, it has blown expectations out of the water. This was a pretty dry year for animated movies and only one stands out as being truly engaging and heartfelt from start to finish. Coco shows that Disney trust its audience with more mature content and yet they still keep it family oriented that make this a film that anyone can enjoy. Pixar almost never fails to amaze and take home the gold, so lets hope The Boss Baby does not upset the win that Coco undoubtedly deserves.

What I Want To Win: Coco

 

Best Cinematography

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*This is the art of making a movie. Everything from capturing imagery and lighting to setting up environments.

What Will Win: Blade Runner 2049 The immersiveness of the film is so real and beautiful to watch. Each environment feels unique and alive in a post-apocalyptic world and entrances the viewer into the world. It feels so surreal as if you are escaping to our very own future and experiencing the events that unfold. Everything from the technological advertisements in the background to the wide shots preluding each scene, each image is gorgeous and invites the viewer into the Blade Runner mythology.

What I Want To Win: Blade Runner 2049

 

Best Original Score

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What Will Win: The Shape of Water The music in this film is mysterious, tense, and always building to wonderful drama. Given that the main character is a mute, it is up to the music to speak into the moment and explain what is happening. Through small audio cues and an intense theme, the music tells a story of its own and keeps audiences invested in what’s happening on screen.

What I Want To Win: Dunkirk The score is what carries this film and make it feel so frightening and tense. With no specific characters to follow or invest in, it is up to the score to make us feel tension and fear for the people on screen. The slow meticulous ticking as the soldiers are awaiting impending doom keeps you on the edge of your seat and constantly wonder what is going to happen next. Adrenaline runs high through the musical cues and that is what Hans Zimmer does best, so I hope he is recognized for his brilliant work on the film.

 

We will not know until the first week of March the winners so there is still quite a bit of time for opinions to change and more movies to be reviewed. Stay tuned for more content coming leading up to the awards show!

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