And, the Best Picture Oscar nominees are . . .
Now that the initial reaction to this year’s Academy Award-nominations is over, and has had a chance to breathe, it is as good a time as any to work our way through the nominees. I’m not going to use words like ‘snub’. That’s not the intent of the Oscars and I don’t see someone or a film not getting a nomination as a validation of their work. That’s what the box office is for. Instead, this is a chance for the industry to recognize their peers, to celebrate accomplishments and achievements and to take a break for an evening.
Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water leads the pack with 13 nominations
As Hollywood prepares for its evening of glitz and glam, we’re going to take a look at the films that did get nominated and why they are worthy of being nominated for the 90th Academy Awards ceremony.
Call Me by Your Name – in my conversations with colleagues and movie goers, this is probably the most divisive film. Luca Guagadino’s film is a coming-of-age story, but it is much, much more. It is in theaters now, and I would encourage you to check it out. It was number three on my Top 10 of 2017.
Darkest Hour – Joe Wright’s film was the fourth in 2017 to feature Winston Churchill and the third to have a role in the Dunkirk Campaign. It features Gary Oldman in his Golden Globe-winning role as the vociferous military strategist. As it rolls back into theaters, it is worth a look.
Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan’s film about the Dunkirk Campaign is one of the most talked-about films in this year’s Best Picture pool. It is a story told from three vantage points, using sound as its guide. It took the summer by storm and is now out on Blu-ray, Ultra High Definition Blu-ray and on all the major VOD platforms. With all of this in mind, if you missed it last summer, take some time to catch it in theaters when it returns in a few weeks. It has the second most nominations this year with eight.
Get Out – Jordan Peel’s nightmarish dark comedy took the world by storm early last year with its strong social commentary. Daniel Kaluuya was nominated for his performance, Jordan Peel was nominated for his direction and for his screenplay. It is also on home video now, but it should be seen with a crowd (or a bunch of friends.)
Lady Bird – The other coming-of-age story, indie darling Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is sensational. Saoirse Ronan is incredible in her Academy Award-nominated turn. The film is still in theaters and is worthy of your time.
Phantom Thread – The film that marks Daniel-Day Lewis’s final role is absolutely beautiful. Paul Thomas Anderson’s peak into a fashionable dressmaker’s life is pure joy to watch unfold. It’s not for everyone, so take my commentary with a grain of salt, but it’s production is exquisite. It expanded this weekend to theaters across the nation.
The Post – The story is simple, the history is complicated, but Steven Spielberg’s look at The Washington Post’s role in the Pentagon Papers scandal is a rousing story for our modern times.
The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro’s passionate story of love and acceptance is as futuristic as the look of the film. It is very adult and contemporary while remaining accessible. Claims to it being a take on The Creature from the Black Lagoon are somewhat unfair, but I understand why they’re being made. Despite this, it’s a unique love story worth checking out.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh’s third film is probably the most divisive film out of this crop of Best Picture nominees. Its characters are strong willed and determined, their motives are less than pure and the cynicism runs high. It won the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble Award and Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell have won multiple awards in their respective categories, leading up to their Academy Award-nominations. It was my number one film of 2017, it is still in theaters and, love it or hate it, it’s worth your time.
The 90th Annual Academy Awards presentation will air on ABC on Sunday, March 4th, 2018.