Archive for February 4th, 2018

“Come gather ’round people, Wherever you roam, And admit that the waters, Around you have grown, And accept it that soon, You’ll be drenched to the bone.”

Things have changed in Hollywood and the full impact of them is still to be seen, this makes the awards season interesting for the first time in years.  It isn’t just about the protests, jokes and speeches at the ceremonies, for thinks to truly change it has to be reflected, in the films made and the people awarded.   Here are a few thoughts on the nominations:

Best Motion Picture of the Year

There are no massive surprises in the best picture category, the one that is a little leftfield, is the one I am most pleased about; Get Out.  Oscar has a type; there are certain types of films that don’t do well with Oscar, top of that list is comedy and horror, this is both comedy and horror.  On top of this the themes of race are sadly relevant.   I also like the idea that Jason Blum (receiving his second nomination) could be an Oscar winner.  Darkest Hour is an OK film with an outstanding central performance.  In past years along with Dunkirk it could have been a frontrunner, as it is I feel it is making up the numbers.  I just saw Phantom Thread this week , and loved it but again don’t see it winning.  The only notable omissions for me were my favourite film of the year Blade Runner 2049 and Baby Driver.  I haven’t seen two of the nominated films: I missed Call Me by Your Name, it didn’t make it to my local multiplex. Lady Bird  Isn’t released for another two weeks.  I understand  The Shape of Water has become favourite overtaking early contender Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri .  The Shape of Water would certainly be my choice, however, I wouldn’t write-off The Post.  Given the preferential count that is employed in the best picture category, the safe choice with an established director and big name stars is in with a shout.  After all, half the voters probably only saw half the movies anyway!The Shape of Water Poster

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

It is unusual that Daniel Day-Lewis is nominated for best actor but isn’t favourite.  This is something of a shame as his performance in Phantom Thread is one of his best, far more understated than many of his other nominations.  Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out is the surprise inclusion for the same reasons mentioned in the above category.   He is fantastic in an excellent movie and truly deserves his nomination.  Denzel Washington is always great, I haven’t seen Roman J. Israel, Esq. yet, I hope to see it later today.  Gary Oldman is the clear favourite, and quite rightly, he is outstanding as Churchill in Darkest Hour.  As mentioned, I haven’t seen Call Me by Your Name yet so cannot comment on Timothée Chalamet. Darkest Hour

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Frances McDormand is the favourite for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  I would be very surprised if she doesn’t win her second Oscar.  She is excellent in would be a worthy recipient, however she would not be my choice.  With a more subtle, and almost wordless  performance, Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water is sensational.  Meryl Streep is excellent in The Post, I however would not have chosen her as a nominee.  I would have gone for Vicky Krieps for Phantom Thread.  I haven’t seen the other two nominated movies yet: Margot Robbie for I, Tonya and Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird.The Shape of Water

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Already the oldest winner of an acting Oscar Beginners (2010), Christopher Plummer, has become the oldest acting nominee at 88 (overtaking Emmanuelle Riva who was nominated for Best Actress for Amour in 2013 at the age of 85) for All the Money in the World.  But the real story is that his nomination comes only three months after being cast, replacing Kevin Spacey (after the film had wrapped).  Plummer is the best thing about the film is a strong contender for his second Oscar.  The overwhelming favourite and my choice would have to be Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.  The other contenders are also all good in a strong category: Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water; Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project; Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

This category has been described as the battle of the mothers as the two of the favourites play the mothers of the main characters: Allison Janney for I, Tonya and Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird.  The other nominees are: Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread; Mary J. Blige, Mudbound; Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water. For me, the only obvious omission is Holly Hunter for The Big Sick. Lesley Manville Phantom Thread

Best Achievement in Directing

The most exciting category; whoever wins, it will be their first as a director.  Amazingly, Christopher Nolan’s nomination for Dunkirk is his first as director.  In fact, of the five nominations, Paul Thomas Anderson nominated for Phantom Thread is the only one to have previously been nominated (There Will Be Blood).  Obviously I would love Guillermo del Toro to win for The Shape of Water.  However, the other nominees are very interesting:  Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird and Jordan Peele, Get Out are both first time directors, and as a woman and a person of colour respectively, from groups who are underrepresented as directors.   Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele

Best Original Screenplay

A strong category where any of the nominees would make worthy winners, they are: Get Out – Jordan Peele. Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig. The Big Sick – Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. The Shape of Water Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh.  The Big Sick is the one I am most pleased to see, as well as being thoroughly deserved, it is the most surprising.  Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon

Best Adapted Screenplay

Molly’s Game is notable as Aaron Sorkin first film as a director.  It is quite rightly nominated for the screenplay.  The film has fantastic dialogue as well as a complex structure that really works.  However, it wouldn’t be my choice for the Oscar, that would go to: Logan – Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green.  They have turned everybody’s favourite X Man character into a dystopian western.  The other nominees are: Mudbound – Dee Rees and Virgil Williams; The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber; Call Me by Your Name – James Ivory.Scott Frank James Mangold and Michael Green

Best Achievement in Cinematography

There are two notable nominations in this category:  Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049, received his fourteenth nomination.  On the other hand, not only is it the first nomination for Rachel Morrison – Mudbound, it is the first time a woman has ever been nominated in the category.  The other nominations are: Darkest Hour – Bruno Delbonnel; Dunkirk – Hoyte Van Hoytema; The Shape of Water – Dan Laustsen. Roots

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California at 5:00 p.m. PST (That’s silly O’clock in the morning GMT) on March 4, 2018.

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