Oscars 2018 – My Predictions

2018Oscars and Hollywood seems to be playing the rule of diminishing returns each year with more sequels and super hero movies than those pushing the cinematic landscape further. Plus the problem of representation politics seems to compound the list of nominees even further with each passing year. It is no wonder that unlike previous years I do not have very strong feelings about most of the categories. With the exception of Dunkirk, 3 Billboards and Call me by your name there really isn’t a single movie or individual contribution in the entire list that has me willing to pick a fight with anyone who disagrees with my picks.  However traditions must be kept alive in the hope that maybe next year’s crop of nominees will be better.

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Dunkirk seems to be polarizing people like I couldn’t believe it. I still remember sitting in BFI Imax where the theatre manager came out before the movie and told us that Christopher Nolan had personally adjusted every adjustable control so that the sounds & visuals were how the movie was meant to be seen. I remember a current run through my spine before and after the movie. It is almost unimaginably innovative in how it tells the story of a war, there are no individual characters, there is no glory there is just the oppressing claustrophobia of war. For once a war movie does not glamorize the war. There is tragedy everywhere and in an immersive IMAX experience it puts you on the battlefield.

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3 Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is a triumph of screenplay and a tour de force of acting in France McDormand. It is such audacious storytelling that it will have you question every character. There are no heroes or villains, there are just real people who make real mistakes to deal with real problems. Frances McDormand is simply Phenomenal.

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Call Me By Your Name is in a way the perfect Oscar movie, based on a novel, adapted by James Ivory and an unusual and unresolved love story at the center of it. But where it rises above the Oscar bait category is that this movie has a heart and that too in spades! Timothée Chalamet better beat Daniel Day-Lewis and Gary Oldman for the best actor prize. He is incredible and to anyone who thinks he is only 24 and his time will come I will beat you to a pulp. He shows more range in the final credit scenes than Day-Lewis did in the entirety of the weird Phantom Thread. Gary Oldman has been fantastic in everything up until Darkest Hour. This might truly be his worst turn ever.

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And finally The Shape of Water – it deserves to win absolutely nothing – every category it is nominated for has a stronger contender. In isolation too the movie is just not very good. It is poorly written, sluggishly paced, the acting is very average and the story is just bizarre. If I had any power it would be nominated for the razzies and not the Oscars. And I really do not need Guillermo Del Toro’s hype to be validated. Everything he has done has been sub-par. But this is America we are talking about where mediocrity is rewarded so I’ll be hate posting every time The Shape of Water wins anything.

Supporting Actor:

Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

 Makeup and Hair:

“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick

Costume Design:

“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges

Best Documentary Feature:

“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan

Sound Editing:

“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King

Sound Mixing:

“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo

Production Design:

“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola

Best Foreign Language Film:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)

Supporting Actress:

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Animated Short:

“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant

Animated Feature:

“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson

Visual Effects:

“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer

Film Editing:

“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith

Documentary Short:

“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon

Live Action Short:

“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk

Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory

Original Screenplay:

“Get Out,” Jordan Peele

Cinematography:

“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins

Original Score:

“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer

Original Song:

“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Director:

“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan

Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet “Call me by your name”

Lead Actress:

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Picture:

“Dunkirk”

 

 

 

Oscars 2013 Recap

ImageLet the nitpicking begin! To each his own but I loved Seth McFarlane for most parts as the host of the 85th Academy Awards.  A Year that Oscars decided to pay tribute to the music in movies considering that this was a good year for Musicals with Les Misérables being nominated for Best Picture among other big awards. A night that featured musical performances from Dame Shirley Bassey leading the 50th year of James Bond tribute, Norah Jones performing everyone needs a friend from Ted, Jennifer Hudson blowing the roof off the Dolby Theater with her Dreamgirl number “And I’m telling you” and the Magnificent ADELE singing and then later winning for Skyfall can be forgiven for Barbra Streisand doing In Memorium.

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My favorite moments from the show:

  1. Adele Singing Skyfall
  2. Daniel Day Lewis’s acceptance speech and his jokes on Meryl Streep and them switching roles of Thatcher and Lincoln. I just wish someone would cast these two together and make them both 4-time Oscar winners.
  3. Ang Lee Winning – like a dark horse Lee Swooped in and took the award and graciously at that.
  4. Seth McFarlane joking about the super secretive nature of Argo – so Secretive infact the Academy didn’t know who directed it and thus not nominating Ben Affleck
  5. Affleck’s acceptance speech and promising to not hold grudges 🙂

Most Disappointing moment of the night:

  1. Jennifer Lawrence winning instead of Jessica Chastain.
  2. Brave winning instead of Wreck it Ralph

I ended the night with 5/6 for the predictions on who I wanted to win with the only one I lost was for Jessica Chastain.

Below is the complete list of winners

Best Picture                                            Argo
Best Actor                                               Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Best Actress                                           Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Director                                          Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
Best Animated Feature Film                 Brave
Best Cinematography                           Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi)
Best Short Film Animated                     Paperman (director John Kahrs)
Best Short Film (Live Action)               Curfew (Directed by Shawn Christensen)
Best Original Screenplay                      Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)
Best Adapted Screenplay                      Chris Terrio (Argo)
Best Original Song                                 Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth (Skyfall)
Best Original Score                               Mychael Danna (Life of Pi)
Best Actor In A Supporting Role          Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Best Visual Effects                                 Life of Pi
Best Documentary Feature                   Searching For Sugarman
Best Documentary Short                       Inocente (Directed by Sean Fine, Andrea Nix)
Best Sound Mixing                                 Les Miserables
Best Sound Editing                                Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall
Best Film Editing                                    William Goldenberg (Argo)
Best Supporting Actress                       Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Best Foreign Language Film                Amour
Best Makeup & Hairstyling                   Lisa Westcott & Julie Dartnell (Les Miserables)
Best Production Design                       Lincoln
Best Costume Design                          Jacqueline Durran (Anna Karenina)

And the total wins for the movies (which will go up on their adverts now)

Life of Pi (4 Oscars)
Argo (3 Oscars)
Les Miserables (3 Oscars)
Lincoln (2 Oscars)
Skyfall (2 Oscars)
Django Unchained (2 Oscars)
Brave (1 Oscar)
Silver Linings Playbook (1 Oscar)
Zero Dark Thirty (1 Oscar)
Amour (1 Oscar)
Searching for Sugar Man (1 Oscar)
Anna Karenina (1 Oscar)

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Taking everything into consideration I feel much better about 2012 at the movies than I did before the show.  Almost all the right people won and were gracious in their acceptance speeches and Seth McFarlane was appropriately risqué and hilarious for most parts with some real zingers.

As for early 2014 predictions – I Have Meryl Streep for August Osage County