Oscars 2018

I’m getting my Oscars post out early this year! It’s scheduled for a whole week early (and on my bday!) I’m just gonna run down all the categories. You can find me doing the same on Stardust

Best Picture:
Roughly in the order that I’d want them to win.
“Get Out” – This movie is revolutionary on multiple levels. It blends and blurs genres to the point where it created its own. AND on top of that, it’s started some very important conversations in this county. All of that embodies what a Best Picture should be. It changed the game, and it’s changing the world.

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – This one is just my personal favorite out of the bunch. The screenplay, the cast, everything on point. And it’s just everything I love in a movie.

“Call Me by Your Name” – This is simply a beautiful movie and so well acted. For me, it’s the most emotional out of the nominees. I just wanna live in the world of this movie, and I want every movie I see to make me feel at least a fraction of the feels.

“The Shape of Water” – I still feel like this movie was missing something for me, but it’s such a great overall production. I also just love the idea of a monster movie doing well with the Academy. And points for genre blending of course.

“The Post” – There was a time when this would have won all the awards without a second thought. Now, it just managed to squeak out a nomination. This is a masterfully done film, and a timely one, and yet compared to some of the other choices it doesn’t feel as fresh or innovative.

“Lady Bird” – We’ve somehow seen this kinda movie before and yet it feels so new. The coming of age story is a common film subject, but this is among the best of ‘em. Heartful, great cast, quirky screenplay, all good.

“Dunkirk” – From a technical standpoint, this movie is flawless. It’s just too lacking in story or character for me to get behind it. I get it, that was an intentional choice that served the film, but it didn’t do it for me.

“Phantom Thread” – How can such an elegant and well done film leave me so bored? You know, every year there’s the one that everyone adores that I’m just not feeling, and this year, this is it.

“Darkest Hour” – This doesn’t belong on here. Even though I enjoyed it more than Phantom Thread, I’m ranking it lower because it’s not a best picture. Maybe 20 years ago, but this is simply a vehicle for Gary Oldman to win his Oscar. Everything about it is so paint-by-numbers, I can’t really support it.

Lead Actor:
This one is pretty locked for Gary Oldman, and I get it. If we’re looking at his full career, he absolutely deserves to have a statue on his mantle. Buuuut, this performance doesn’t quite do it for me. It’s way too obvious Oscar bait. It’s fantastic, but it didn’t surprise me. I knew exactly what we were gonna get. The one that did truly surprise me and take me thru a rollercoaster of arc and emotion was James Franco in The Disaster Artist, but that ship has sailed. If we’re looking at this short list, unexpectedly the one I’m most impressed with is Timothee Chalamet. I don’t do romantic films, but I loved Call Me By Your Name so intensely because I felt the raw emotion, and I felt it coming from Timmy. He made me feel everything and pulled me into his world and it’s phenomenal.

Lead Actress:
As you read thru this post, you’ll see a bunch of times where I said that I called it as soon as I saw the film. Frances McDormand is the first one of those. I was absolutely blown away by her in this film. It is a difficult screenplay to work with and she tears into it with confidence and glee. You can actually see her enjoying her work as she takes no prisoners. I’m proud of Margot Robbit for getting her first nod, and if she’d have pulled off Best Picture, she woulda been the first woman to have a producing and acting nod for the same film. That woulda been a great milestone.

Supporting Actor:
This category makes me so excited this year, because I have been a huge fan of Sam Rockwell ever since Choke, and I love that he is finally getting his due. I do like Willem DaFoe here too, but I feel like part of what impresses me about him in that role is that it’s against type. Any other actor wouldn’t have struck me. But Rockwell is masterful in his film. He gracefully weaves back and forth between the comedic and dramatic, in the same scenes, hell in the same sentences sometimes. It’s his best work, and he’s had a lot of good ones before.

Supporting Actress:
I love every woman in the category, although I really wish that Holly Hunter had joined them. She was fantastic in The Big Sick. But really, this is coming down to Allison Janney vs Laurie Metcalf. I called it for Allison when I saw I, Tonya, and I hold to that. She stole every scene she was in, which is something you want in a supporting role. You can go a little flashier with the category, and she’s beloved Hollywood royalty.

Nolan finally got the nod! He’s not likely to win, but he’s finally in the race! I think this one is going to GDT, and I love it. He’s such a creative director with his own voice and style, and it’s great to see him getting his due.

Animated Feature:
I could be confused that The Boss Baby and Ferdinand were nominated, but really, something has to be on the list to lose to Coco. Pixar topped themselves yet again, and I don’t see anyone else stealing this away.

Animated Short:
I don’t think I saw any of these. I know it should be fairly easy to find them on YouTube, but eh, I’m not feeling too inclined. It’s always a bit of a crapshoot anyways.

Adapted Screenplay:
This year was really about the original screenplays, which is a wonderful predicament to have. I don’t know that any of these wowed me more than the others, besides Molly’s Game that has the unfair advantage of being by Aaron Sorkin. I think this one is going to Call Me By Your Name, and I’m totally behind that because this beautiful movie needs at least one win on the big night. Also, mega props to Logan for breaking thru the superhero stereotype and to the big show.

Original Screenplay:
I called both Big Sick and Three Billboards from the moment I saw them. I love the former so much and wish it would get some love, but the latter is such a smart and brilliant screenplay, and of course the likely winner. This was a tough category to get into this year, so the other three should just be happy to be here.

I really wish I could have seen Mudbound on the big screen because even on my small screen it was beautiful. And how amazing would it be if the first woman ever nominated in the category also took home the win? But it’ll be tough to pry it away from Roger Deakins and his thus far un-victorious work. Blade Runner was original and perfection, and this man is overdue.

Best Documentary Feature:
Generally speaking, documentaries me no likey. How many have you seen me write up before? Yeah, that’s not changing now.

Best Documentary Short Subject:
Do I ever have an opinion here?

Best Live Action Short Film:

Best Foreign Language Film:
I don’t have too much opinion here. Saw the trailer for The Square and thought it looked weird, in a I won’t like it kinda way. A Fantastic Woman, however, I do wanna see. It sounds interesting to me, so without doing any other homework, I’m gonna blindly say I want it to win.

Film Editing:
I really like Baby Driver for this. I’m feeling like it’ll go to Dunkirk along with more of the technical below-the-lines, but Baby is more creative and outside the box for me.

Sound Editing:
I have a hard time believing anything other than Dunkirk is taking this one.

Sound Mixing:
I really wanted to see The Greatest Showman on here. The way the sound effects are blended in to the rhythm of the music is perfect (the horses clopping in on the opening song, or Hugh and Zack throwing down shot glasses on the bar). Alas. If I wanna go with something on the more musical side Baby Driver certainly fits the bill. I do think it’s more brilliant in its film editing than its sound tho. I kinda like Star Wars for this, but gut says that Dunkirk is still sweeping this set.

Production Design:
I kinda hoped Downsizing would be here because there was some really clever design going on there. Personal preference, I liked the look of Blade Runner, and of course the Disney kid in me wants Beauty and the Beast, but Shape of Water is impeccable. Five minutes into the movie, I totally called this for the win.

Original Score:
This is always a weird category for me because I rarely remember scores after the movie. Hell, unless it’s John Williams, I barely even notice them during the movie. Sure he’s here for Star Wars, but that feels like cheating. I think I remember noticing Shape of Water, but I can’t for the life of me recall it now. On my Dunkirk rewatch the score really did stick out and me and I was impressed with how it captured the suspense. However, it’s not really something you’d wanna just listen to, which I feel is an important marker here. So yeah I think it’s between Shape and Phantom Thread.

Original Song:
Lil sad that “Evermore” didn’t make the cut for Beauty and the Beast, but that’s okay because I’m all about “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. I’ve been so obsesed with that soundtrack. It’s gonna come down to that vs “Remember Me” from Coco. One gave me chills, the other made me cry. However, I feel like Remember Me relies too much on the context of the film to be powerful, whereas …Me is strong on its own. And a song you’re more likely to hum in your head for weeks. I know this because I’ve done this.

Makeup and Hair:
Darkest Hour is prolly the obvious pick since you kinda can’t talk about the movie without bringing up the makeup and Oldman’s transformation. I myself, however, would pick Wonder. They had a fine line to walk between making sure the disfigurement was prominent, without making it grotesque. AND, it had to be done in such a way that a kid could handle undergoing it ever day. Granted, Jacob Tremblay is likely more robot than human, he likely still only has a limited amount of patience.

Costume Design:
I feel like a movie that’s about a dressmaker and takes part in the fashion industry (as a period piece no less) has the unfair advantage here. While I might not otherwise be a fan of Phantom Thread, I’m okay with it winning. I also like Beauty and the Beast, but it almost seems like cheating since it’s going off the whole nostalgia thing.

Visual Effects:
I love the look of the new effects in Star Wars, but I want this to go to War For the Planet of the Apes if only because it’ll be like a symbolic Oscar for Andy Serkis’ MoCap work that is beyond awards worthy. I have an inkling the Academy might see this the same way too.

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