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Oscars Overview

Damon Roe, Staff Writer

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The 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony aired on Sunday March 4th, and will include 18 awards being given out to the best films made in 2017. Major films nominated for the most Oscars are Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” nominated for 13 awards, and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” nominated for 8 Oscars. I, personally have seen most of the films up for awards this season.

PREDICTIONS 

The nominees for best supporting actress are:

Mary J. Blige in “Mudbound”

Lesley Manville in “Phantom Thread”

Allison Janney in “I, Tonya”

Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer in “The Shape of Water”

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Allison Janney in “I, Tonya”

Mary J. Blige was stunning in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound.” She was very genuine in her role of a black mother in the early 1900’s, “Mudbound” was a Netflix original film and it’s probably the one the least people have seen, but after watching it, I believe this film should be seen by more people. It is a very powerful story with excellent writing, acting, and cinematography.
Allison Janney stole the show in Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya.” She played Tonya Harding’s tough mother LaVona. The way she looked to the way she talked was incredible. She played a harsh, vile, and unsupportive mother and she pulled it off, big time.
Leslie Manville was a very sophisticated role in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread.” She played Reynolds’ sister and business partner. Her main point of being in the movie was to give advice to Alma about how sensitive Reynolds is about his dressmaking career and how she should be careful on what she does. She played an entertaining part but I didn’t see her winning the Oscar.
Octavia Spencer was her usual amazing self in “The Shape of Water.” She played Sally Hawkins’ friend and co-worker in the film and she was electric on screen. I think that Octavia Spencer is becoming a Meryl Streep because she is being nominated almost every year.

All of these performances were off the charts amazing, but seeing them, my favorite would have to be Laurie Metcalf in Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird.” Laurie Metcalf was the titular characters mother and it’s one of the most realistic portrayals of an honest mom that I’ve ever seen. She just stole every scene she was in and provided advice and truth for Lady Bird. Laurie Metcalf was amazing and she was my personal pick for best supporting actress, even though Janney won the gold statue.

The nominees for best supporting actor are:

Willem Dafoe in “The Florida Project”

Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Richard Jenkins in “The Shape of Water”

Christopher Plummer in “All the Money in the World”

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

I have not seen Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” or Ridley Scott’s “All the Money in the World,” so, unfortunately I don’t have any judgement on those films. I have however, seen the other three.

Woody Harrelson was hilarious as chief of police Bill Willoughby in “Three Billboards,” and surprisingly he hit many emotions, and not in the ways you would have expected. He is also very good at voicing over in this movie, he has many long monologues after an event takes place. However, I did not expect him to win the academy award.
Richard Jenkins played the friendly neighbor of Elisa in “The Shape of Water.” He, combined with most other people in the movie, felt incomplete and not sure where his life is going. He spent some of the run-time trying to find himself in a world where he felt he was born at the wrong time. It was inspiring to watch, but he too wasn’t the front runner for the Oscar.

WOW, SAM ROCKWELL WAS INCREDIBLE IN “THREE BILLBOARDS.” Right when I saw this masterpiece I knew that Sam Rockwell would be the front runner. He plays a racist bigot, and overall stupid police officer in the Ebbing police department. He had a character arc that almost had me cheering. I, along with many other people, predicted he would win the Oscar.

The nominees for best supporting actress are:

Sally Hawkins in “The Shape of Water”

Margot Robbie in “I, Tonya”

Saoirse Ronan in “Lady Bird”

Frances McDormand in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Meryl Streep in “The Post”

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Frances McDormand in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Sally Hawkins portrayed a mute janitor who starts to have a connection with the fish creature in the government lab she cleans. Sally Hawkins 100% deserved this nomination. She shines by showing all emotion through everything except her voice. You feel every emotion she does, and that’s a very powerful thing when you don’t have any lines in the film.
Margot Robbie played the infamous American figure skater Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya.” This was one of the best performances of the year, hands down. Robbie, being an Australian actress  really did a great job of portraying a “white trash” American young woman. I personally think she deserved more recognition for this role.
Saoirse (pronounced Sir – sha) Ronan played the titular character in Greta Gerwig’s mind-blowing debut. Ronan played a teen growing up in Sacramento, dealing with graduating high school and her estranged relationship with her mother. This performance was so real and genuine, at some points I did not believe that I was watching Saoirse Ronan. You just bought her teen angst and family troubles. Ronan did a phenomenal job in “Lady Bird.”
Of course, Meryl Streep would get a nod. This being her 21st academy award nomination, I’m genuinely surprised the Academy hasn’t gotten sick of Meryl. But, I think she deserved this nomination. She played the first female President of the Washington Post newspaper, and she was brilliant in the role. Her and Tom Hanks in a movie about a real event directed by Steven Spielberg, how could this movie not be nominated for some awards?

FRANCES MCDORMAND! Wow. This was one of the best female performances I’ve ever seen! McDormand played a mother of a murdered daughter, who when the police in Ebbing, Missouri fail to catch the culprit of the murder, she puts up (you guessed it) three billboards as an act of protest, calling out the Ebbing Police Department. McDormand was a force of nature. Her character was so tough and persistent. It was so unbelievably entertaining watching her defend herself from the town that seems to be dead set against her billboards. I bought the blu-ray the day it came out, and I’ve already watched the movie twice over. She deserved her second Oscar big time.

The nominees for best actor are:

Timothee Chalamet in “Call Me By Your Name”

Daniel Day-Lewis in “Phantom Thread”

Gary Oldman in “Darkest Hour”

Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out”

Denzel Washington in “Roman J Israel Esquire”

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Gary Oldman in “Darkest Hour”

Timothee Chalamet really impressed me in Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name.” He played a 17 year old discovering himself in the summer of 1983 Italy. He played his part with so much dedication and passion, it was almost inspiring. Alongside Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg, who I personally think were snubbed, Timothee Chalamet is definitely an actor with a bright future.
“Phantom Thread” is Daniel Day-Lewis’ alleged last performance and he blew it out of the water. I have no doubt that Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the greatest actors ever to live. He delves deep into his roles and ends up disappearing into the character, and this is no exception. If this is his last performance, he went out on top.
Daniel Kaluuya provided a deep and emotional but also awesome performance in Jordan Peele’s mega-hit, “Get Out.” He played a black man with a troubled past living in America. But, when his girlfriend invites and brings him to her parents secluded house, he realizes something different is happening, and Kaluuya was perfect all throughout.
I didn’t see Dan Gilroy’s “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” and I never really wanted to, I just wasn’t interested.

YES, how did this guy not have an oscar yet? Gary Oldman was absolutely phenomenal in the role of British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. You bought the role every second he was on screen. The physical transformation Oldman went through was incredible, what the make-up and prosthetics team achieved was incredible. THIS PERFORMANCE WAS SO GOOD. I don’t think I can say it more.

The nominees for best director are:

Guillermo Del Toro for “The Shape of Water”

Paul Thomas Anderson for “Phantom Thread”

Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird”

Christopher Nolan for “Dunkirk”

Jordan Peele for “Get Out”

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

Guillermo Del Toro for “The Shape of Water”

I’ve heard many stories on how difficult it was to film “Phantom Thread,” and that’s understandable because most of the movie takes place in a London household. The combination of extras and tons of crew members had to have been hard for Paul Thomas Anderson, but all the work paid off because the movie was fantastic. He also wrote the movie, and for movies to be written and directed by the same person and they’re still this good, is always an astonishment in my eyes.
Another example of writing and directing perfection is Greta Gerwig’s vision and screenplay for “Lady Bird.” The fact that this movie is mesmerizing, that it was written and directed by the same woman, and this is her first movie, it just blows my mind how realistically captured this story and these characters are. This was one of my favorite movies of the year and Greta Gerwig did an amazing job.
Hello, favorite director of all time. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk will go down in history as one of the best technically told war films ever. The way he told the story combined with the great score by Hans Zimmer and fantastic cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema made this one of the best theater experiences of the year. Even though the movie is purposefully quite loud.
“Get Out” is another directorial debut, and another fantastic one at that. Jordan Peele, usually known for sketch comedy, crafted one of the best horror thrillers of the 21st century. The way his genius and relevant screenplay meshed with Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, and Catherine Keener, created such a smart and well thought out comedy thriller with the perfect amount of creeps and laugh out loud moments. This was a very unique theater experience and I’ll remember this movie for a long, long time.

Yes, I wanted him to win. Guillermo Del Toro directed one of the most beautiful love story/ sci-fi movies in recent years. I loved the way the camera moved in the scenes and I loved every single performance in this movie. Del Toro, with his directing background, loves making movies involving monsters and creatures, and I think he just made his best.

Finally, the nominees for best picture are:

Call Me By Your Name

The Shape of Water

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…

The Shape of Water

 

Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name” truly captured the feeling of summer. It may have been an awkward theater experience because of certain elements of the story, but it was still a beautifully made movie that definitely deserved the Oscar buzz and adapted screenplay Oscar win.
Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour” was for sure a more subdued entry in the Oscar canon, but it was still an amazing movie with an off the charts leading performance from Gary Oldman. It also captured the true panic of Britain in the time of WWII.
Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” is one of the most tense movies I think I have ever seen. I liked how it didn’t focus on character study and getting you to like the people in the film. Instead, it just told the story of the evacuation of 400,000 soldiers at the beaches of Dunkirk. A truly thrilling story.
Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” is the nominee that I’ve seen the most times, and I still haven’t gotten sick of it. One thing that happens on re-watch is that you notice plot details and character actions that make so much sense when you know how the movie ends, and that is an incredible thing to witness.
Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” is a funny and real coming of age story of a young 18 year old in Sacramento. I really enjoyed this movie, and I feel like everybody who watches it will too. I highly recommend this film, I’m sure it will put you in a feel good mood.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” is a beautifully made and acted movie that was surprisingly entertaining for most of the film being in a london penthouse apartment. Daniel Day-Lewis was fantastic and Vicky Krieps was outstanding in her breakout performance as a girl who doesn’t know how she feels in her current relationship. This film is about a complicated relationship and it’s told through immaculate costume design, great directing, and fantastic acting.
Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” was entertaining but not as entertaining as the other nominees. However,  it was still enjoyable watch with a brilliant performance from 21 time academy award nominated and 3 time winner Meryl Streep. I thought that it was ridiculous that she was nominated for Into the Woods and Florence Foster Jenkins, but I feel that she deserved this nomination.
Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is an amazingly written and acted comedy/drama that I LOVED. It was my favorite theater experience of the year. Amazingly, this movie makes you laugh at really dark things that you usually wouldn’t laugh at. Frances McDormand gave my favorite performance of the year.

I was very happy with “The Shape of Water” winning best picture. This movie most definitely deserved the win. My favorite part about it is that Guillermo Del Toro checked to make sure that the envelope said the correct thing, joking about the whole Warren Beatty-Faye Dunaway incident the year before.

Overall, the award show was kind of predictable and honestly kind of boring, but I still enjoyed the films and actors that won.

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