My Thoughts on The Oscars That You Will Vastly Disagree With

So, the Oscars were the other night, and I massively failed my goal of writing about the Best Picture nominees. Oh well. I didn’t watch it live as it was in the middle of the night in the UK, but I have watched it back since and it seemed like a good show. Jimmy Kimmel was a great host (I loved the jetski thing), he was funny, and all of the presenters were great. There was a distinct lack of drama, far apart from last year’s fiasco. So, taking a brief break from only writing about actual films or TV shows, I thought I’d just write my brief thoughts on the winners of each category.

 

Picture:

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

This was a really tough category, with there being no distinct favourite, or even two favourites. Despite the nominees being the lowest grossing Best Picture nominees since 2011, there were a number of super films. As I’ve said in previous articles, I was a huge fan of both ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Get Out’, I liked ‘Dunkirk’ a lot, and I didn’t mind ‘Three Billboards’ TOO much. I did have a suspicion that ‘Three Billboards’ would win, and I was somewhat surprised that Guillermo del Toro’s creepy take on ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was the winner. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, it was a beautiful film, but I think given the strength of the other contenders this year, I’m not sure it was the best choice.

My choice: Lady Bird

 

Actor:

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

This was the least surprising result of the whole night. Gary Oldman is a remarkable actor, with too many classic, masterful roles to even name and his Oscar, like DiCaprio’s last year, was long overdue. His performance in ‘Darkest Hour’ carried what was, in my opinion, a boring version of ‘Dunkirk’. It wasn’t an impressive film, but Oldman was excellent to watch, and his dedication to the role has been well documented. I guess it is slightly surprising that the Academy’s favourite actor, Daniel Day-Lewis did not win, but I cannot comment as I haven’t seen ‘Phantom Thread’ yet. I think I’ve made my thoughts clear on who I thought should win this award in my ‘Get Out’ article, and I do think that as a young Brit, seeing Daniel Kaluuya up there winning the Oscar would have been inspiring. It’s a shame, but you can’t fault Gary Oldman, he was great.

My choice: Daniel Kaluuya

 

Actress:

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (WINNER)
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Again, this was a tough category for a number of reasons. Frances McDormand was amazing, as I said in the previous article, but so was Saorise Ronan; equally so. Meryl Streep has been nominated for an Oscar 21 times (!!!), so you can never bet against her. Margot Robbie was much lauded for her performance in ‘I, Tonya’, a film I didn’t particularly enjoy but I can’t deny the praise for her acting was warranted. And finally Sally Hawkins, appearing in the Best Picture winner will always help your cause, and her acting was super for someone with no dialogue, although she still probably spoke more than Daniel Kaluuya in ‘Get Out’! Overall, McDormand was a worthy winner in possibly the toughest category of the night.

My choice: Saorise Ronan

 

Supporting Actress:

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” (WINNER)
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Yeah, Allison Janney was definitely fantastic, but was she really better than Laurie Metcalf? Really?

My choice: Laurie Metcalf

 

Supporting Actor:

Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (WINNER)
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”

Right film, wrong actor. Read my last article for my detailed thoughts on Harrelson vs Rockwell.

 

Director:

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

If you win Best Picture, you’re more than likely to win Best Director, and so I suppose this was well deserved by Guillermo del Toro. I do think that, for all the detail in his movie, Jordan Peele would have been my favourite. It’s rare for every shot to be able to be analysed like a novel, but this is possibly the only film that I’ve ever heard my dad actually appreciate the cinematic details. And that says a lot. To be honest, the main talking point from this category should be why Edgar Wright wasn’t nominated. ‘Baby Driver’ was just a crazily good film, and the directing was truly groundbreaking and unprecedented. I guess having Kevin Spacey in your movie is a kiss of death…

My choice: Jordan Peele

 

Original Song:

“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez (WINNER)
“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

I have little, if any, insight to offer here, so I just won’t.

 

Original Score:

“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat (WINNER)
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

It’s tough to beat Hans Zimmer, the guy’s a legend, but the score for ‘The Shape of Water’ was excellent, so no complaints here.

 

Cinematography:

“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins (WINNER)
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

‘Blade Runner 2049’ was a stunningly beautiful exhibition of how CGI should be used, and it was jaw-dropping to watch. But, and there’s a big but. If by ‘cinematography’, we mean the camerawork, then I cannot see how ‘Dunkirk’ can be overlooked here. Christopher Nolan always goes to insane lengths to physically film his movies, and there was no exception here. There were no special effects in this film, all practical, and Nolan managed to make shots of a sea, a beach and an empty town look like works of art. He was robbed in this category.

My choice: Dunkirk

 

Original Screenplay:

“Get Out,” Jordan Peele (WINNER)
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh
“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor

‘Lady Bird’ was great, but there will be zero complaints from me about this one. Jordan Peele is amazing, and ‘Get Out’ was simultaneously marvellously original and bitingly satirical. Awesome.

 

Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory (WINNER)
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

As a big comic book fan, I was so pleasantly surprised by ‘Logan’, and I thought it deserved a win here just for the skill with which it was adapted from the comics. Mangold took a comic book and turned it into a dark, thrilling and unique take on the genre. I’m also not gonna lie and say I didn’t want ‘The Disaster Artist to win, just a little bit. Seeing Tommy Wiseau on the stage would have been really special…

My choice: Logan

 

Film Editing:

“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith (WINNER)
“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Not going to lie, if ‘Baby Driver’ had been nominated, it would’ve walked this category. Its editing was literally the best thing about an already amazing film, and no one had ever edited like this before. Wait, it was nominated??? And didn’t win??? What?

My choice: Baby Driver

 

Visual Effects:

“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer (WINNER)
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

No complaints on this one, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ was gorgeous.

 

Animated Feature:

“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson (WINNER)
“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

I work at a primary school, and all the kids do not shut up about ‘Coco’. I’ve not seen it, but I’m sure it deserved the win.

 

Animated Short:

“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant (WINNER)
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Can’t say I’ve seen more than one of these, but it was really cool to see Kobe Bryant showing his multiple talents and winning an Oscar.

 

Sound Mixing:

“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo (WINNER)
“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

“Ahh Josh, ‘Baby Driver’ wasn’t great because of the Film Editing, it was great because of the Sound Mixing. Don’t be upset about it losing the editing category, obviously the film completely in-synch to music will win Best Sound Mixing” I hear you all cry. I know right, random reader! Jesus Christ, the Academy got this one wrong.

My choice: Baby Driver

 

Sound Editing:

“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King (WINNER)
“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

F**k. Me.

My choice. Baby f**cking Driver

 

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