It’s that time o’ year again where we all come together to celebrate the best, the brightest,
the whitest, in cinema 2017. The Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, Sciences and Whatever Species Reuben Is have picked their.. picks, and tonight’s the night. BUT. Before that, shall we listen to what I think of them? Because, if anyone’s opinion is to be listened to, it’s that of an internet nobody.
ALSO, this year (and this is why this article is late xoxoxoxo), I’ve gone out of my way to seek out and watch as many of the nominated movies as I could, so this should be a lot richer than last year’s post, where I had only seen ONE NOMINATED FILM.
Anyway, let’s get into the biz!
Some of the biggest snubs in my eyes were some of the movies omitted for Best Picture, which included the excellent Logan and The Disaster Artist. While I can, of course, see how problematic it would be to nominate James Franco for Best Actor (even if he did deserve it were it not for the fact that he’s a total creep), there was a lot of work put into Disaster Artist by other people that led to it being one of my favourite films of last year. As for Logan? The only explanation for that being omitted I can think of would be that classic superhero prejudice, because it has more than enough emotional gravitass and technical brilliance to compete with plenty of the nominees. I’m also disappointed to see the beautiful Florida Project snubbed for a Best Pic nom, as it’s, in my opinion, one of the finest films nominated for anything this year.
Best Animated Film.
*DISCLAIMER: I haven’t watched The Boss Baby or Ferdinand because the fact that they were nominated makes me physically ill.
Indeed, the fact that ^those two^ movies have been nominated for a goshdarn Oscar is deeply offensive to me, so I did not and will not watch them for fear of my entitled fantasy being shattered, as well as not wanting to watch a shite film. However, I had hope for the other nominees in this category. After watching Song Of The Sea last year, I was very excited to watch The Breadwinner, hoping for the same culturally rich storytelling and charming visuals. That being said, I really didn’t find them, or at least not to the same extent as it’s predecessor.
Considering the rarely-broken trend of Disney movies taking the prize since 2004, I can almost unanimously see Coco winning the night this year, as it follows the same tropes Pixar have been using for years and manages to be fun family film, and I wouldn’t be overly mad at it. That being said, while I found it to be lacking in the story department, the sheer artistry of Loving Vincent makes it more than worthy of the award in my eyes.
Best Supporting Actress.
For me, the Best Supporting Actress category felt a little bit dry compared to last year. Personally, I wouldn’t have nominated Lesley Manville for her role in Phantom Thread, which I found to be a little too restrained for my liking.
Laurie Metcalf and Octavia Spencer (each nominated for Lady Bird and The Shape Of Water respectively) I’d regard as similar, in that both performances were entertaining within the runtime of the film, but didn’t really leave any lasting impression with me — regardless, however, I’d be fine with them winning. With Mary J. Blige‘s turn in Mudbound, I’d predict a mixture of the film’s extensive socio-politcal context and Mary’s admittedly understated but scene-stealing talent that could lead to her snatchin’ the trophy, and I’d be happy to see that.
It’s Allison Janney, however, who I found to be most deserving of the title, with her matching Margot Robbie in pure fire on the screen in every scene she’s in. She really created a character for herself, which is hard to do when you’re playing a real person, and used her experience on stage to catch the viewers’ eye throughout I, Tonya. Plus, with her win at the BAFTAs, it seems I’m not the only one who thinks that.
Best Supporting Actor.
*ANOTHER DISCLAIMER I haven’t been able to see All The Money In The World prior to today, so Christopher’ll just have to be omitted from my thoughts, soz.
The obvious powerhouse of this category is Three Billboards, with both Sam Rockwell and Woody Harrelson being nominated. Both impressed me — but while Woody tended to lean on a lot of standard tricks, it was Rockwell who really stole the show, which I think’ll lead to him winning gold — with his win at the BAFTAs further solidifying that.
In terms of Richard Jenkins in The Shape Of Water, I really didn’t think too much of him in comparison to Michael Shannon’s maliciously captivating performance, and would’ve been happier to see him here, even if Jenkins was perfectly watchable. My personal favourite of the bunch was Willem Dafoe, however, with his turn in the excellent yet snubbed The Florida Project, where her served realism and grizzled softness in equal measure, making his one of the best characters explored in the nominated movies.
This year’s Best Director category is one that is chock full of big names and big talent. With his first nomination for directing (which is a shock within itself), I’d be more than happy to see Christopher Nolan take the statue, even if I thought Dunkirk was in the weaker half of his filmography. Moreover, with his second nomination, I have a similar disposition to Paul Thomas Anderson, though I do think Phantom Thread is a little overrated, in my opinion.
However, Greta Gerwig and Guillermo Del Toro being nominated for Lady Bird and The Shape Of Water, respectively, is wholly deserved, with both director’s having a subtle but hugely effective style in their movies, with Gerwig especially impressing in her sophomore feature.
That being said, with all of the buzz surrounding him, I’m putting my money on Jordan Peele winning this year, and for good reason too. His stark visual storytelling, mixed with a very contemporary plot, is a recipe for success — with Get Out being both entertaining and thought-provoking.
The Best Actor category is rich with talent this year and I’d be fine with almost any of the noms winning, bar Timothée Chalamet, whose turn in Call Me By Your Name I found, though not hateable, to not be at the same standard of his peers.
Though I really enjoyed Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out, and he is one of my favourite actors, I don’t really seem him winning this year round. Same goes for Denzel Washington‘s performance in Roman J. Israel Esq., which was excellent, but too encumbered by lacklustre script to really dazzle.
With it being his supposed final role, however, picturing Daniel Day-Lewis winning his FOURTH Oscar, tying him with Katherine Hepburn for most awards won, isn’t insane, as his performance in Phantom Thread was one of its few saving graces, in my opinion. That being said, Gary Oldman‘s breathtaking performance in Darkest Hour, coupled with the amazing FX make-up, resulted in Winston Churchill being uncannily resurrected. I hope and reckon that the Academy will recognise this.
Maybe the fiercest competition, however, lies in the Best Actress category. If not, it was definitely the hardest to pick from. After a performance in last year’s lackluster Florence Foster Jenkins, Meryl Streep sure as hell upped her game with her turn in The Post, which lies, interestingly, at the bottom of my personal picks, even though her chemistry with on-screen partner Tom Hanks was undeniably strong.
However, the other four noms were simply out-of-this-world extraordinary. In The Shape Of Water, Sally Hawkins managed to bring such an emotional depth to her character, despite not saying a word. Saoirse Ronan‘s performance in Lady Bird was at times funny, at others poignant, but gripping and entertaining regardless. With her biopic role as Tonya Harding, Margot Robbie put her all into the character, making her a joy to watch on screen, and undisputedly proving she’s more than just eye candy.
Despite ALL OF THAT, though, it was Frances McDormand‘s insanely good performance in Three Billboards that simply blew me away. She was everything I wanna see in an Oscar-winning role. Funny? Hilarious. Her comedic timing and delivery, from her experience in movies like Fargo and Burn After Reading, gelled excellently with McDonagh’s sharp script. However, she also carried herself beautifully in the dramatic scenes, showcasing her versatility as an actress, and why she’s one of my favourites.
Like many a year in Oscars’ history, the pick for Best Picture is an ambiguous one. After finally getting round to seeing all of the nominations, I could easily see Dunkirk, The Post or Phantom Thread taking the gold for pure Oscarbait. That being said, Get Out and Three Billboards also have that indie element that led a film like Birdman to the win, with latter particularly looking good after the BAFTAs. The mixture of these two factors is found in Call Me By Your Name, the story of a dramaticised coming-of-age gay romance — *ring ring* I hear success calling.
Personally, however, while I’d be happy with Get Out, Three Billboards or the excellent Shape Of Water winning, my pick would be Greta Gerwig’s wonderful comedy Lady Bird. I love Saoirse Ronan anyway but she really gave a stellar performance, with a, frankly, stunning and witty script and sublimely subtle direction.
What were your impressions of the Academy’s picks? Any snubs/surprises? Leave a comment and tell me. I want to know. No, I do. Seriously. I promise.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations