Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

06 February 2018

Oscar Nominations 2018: Part 2 of 12

Back to Part 1.

Darkest Hour
6 Nominations
  • Picture
  • Actor: Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
  • Cinematography: Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis, Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, Un Long Dimanche de Fiançailles (A Very Long Engagement), Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain (Amélie))
  • Production Design: Sarah Greenwood (Beauty and the Beast, Anna Karenina, Sherlock Holmes, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) & Katie Spencer (Beauty and the Beast, Anna Karenina, Sherlock Holmes, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice)
  • Costume Design: Jacqueline Durran (Beauty and the Beast, Mr. Turner, Anna Karenina, Atonement, Pride & Prejudice)
  • Makeup & Hairstyling
Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup, Nicholas Jones, Samuel West

This is the most traditional Oscar-bait movie of the year. It's a very good movie that is beautifully directed, gorgeously designed, and finely realized with some lovely performances. Early on in the year, it seemed poised to do very, very well with the Academy, but then most awards bodies ignored Darkest Hour with the exception of Gary Oldman's extraordinary central performance. But the Academy came through after all, and Joe Wright's excellent World War II drama got 6 nominations (a ton if you haven't been counting), including a Best Picture nomination. It deserves all of these nominations – I really liked this film – and will win two well-deserved Oscars.
Will Win: Actor, Makeup & Hairstyling
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #14 out of 78

Lady Bird
5 Nominations
  • Picture
  • Director: Greta Gerwig
  • Actress: Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, Atonement)
  • Original Screenplay: Greta Gerwig
  • Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf
Director: Gerwig
Cast: Ronan, Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Beanie Feldstein, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Lois Smith, Stephen Henderson, Jordan Rodrigues, Marielle Scott, Odeya Rush, Jake McDorman, 

Lady Bird for the win! I think that of the most likely winners of the Best Picture Oscar – and it is still very much up in the air – I would be happiest with this one. Lady Bird is an absolute delight, and most importantly: this is a hilarious movie. Unlike most "comedies" that do well during awards season, this one is actually very funny. It also feels true and honest, and at times it becomes quite moving. Its cast is absolute perfection, and it boasts excellent, very very funny performances by the entire ensemble. It's also worth saying that this cast works as an ensemble rather than all simply being good in the movie. They are in tons of scenes together, and each actor manages to steal a scene or two. They are great together. To be honest, I wouldn't have nominated Greta Gerwig in the director category. I love her, but there were many directors who did stronger work than Gerwig this year (Luca Guadagnino, Ruben Östlund, Julia Ducournau). Still, I ain't mad about it.
Will Win: Supporting Actress
Could Win: Picture, Actress, Original Screenplay
My Rating: #11 out of 78

Blade Runner 2049
5 Nominations
  • Cinematography: Roger Deakins (Sicario, Unbroken, Prisoners, Skyfall, True Grit, The Reader, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country for Old Men, The Man Who Wasn't There, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Kundun, Fargo, The Shawshank Redemption)
  • Production Design: Dennis Gassner (Into the Woods, The Golden Compass, Road to Perdition, Bugsy, Barton Fink)
  • Visual Effects
  • Sound Mixing
  • Sound Effects Editing
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright, Ana de Armas, Jared Leto, Sylvia Hoeks, Mackenzie Davis, Dave Bautista, Lennie James, Edward James Olmos, Carla Juri, Hiam Abbas, Barkhad Abdi, Wood Harris

I really really liked this movie, and thought that mostly no one else did – it didn't do very well at the box office – but the Academy really liked it, and here it is with five below-the-line nominations. Compare that with several blockbusters like Wonder Woman or Thor: Ragnarok that didn't get any nominations. So I am very happy this showed so well. You can read my review here. Will Deakins finally win his Oscar? It is well deserved, certainly, but as it does every year, it rather seems unlikely again this year, even though I am going to bet on him. It doesn't much matter, I don't think. He will keep doing incredible work, and he will be nominated again in a year or two.

Will Win: Cinematography
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #19 out of 78

Get Out
4 Nominations
  • Picture
  • Director: Jordan Peele
  • Actor: Daniel Kaluuya
  • Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele
Director: Peele
Cast: Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Catherine Keener, LilRel Howery, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Marcus Henderson, Betty Gabriel, Lakeith Stanfield, Stephen Root

I was sort of baffled by all of the love this received. It's obviously clever, and it's fairly well made, and LilRel Howery is really really funny. But despite an extraordinarily awesome opening scene, I found myself underwhelmed by this movie, and I remain shocked at the way critics and the Academy have embraced it. This is a serviceable horror-comedy film. I liked it, but it also has lots of strange problems. My main take on this movie is that it is a kind of staging of the experience of black American paranoia around white people in chiefly white spaces. This fear is obviously justified – just turn on the news – but for me the movie never moves into really imaginative territory or past this initial bit of cleverness, and Get Out doesn't really have anything new to say about this experience. But that's just me, and I'm not interested in hating on a movie everyone loved. If you loved it, you go right ahead loving it.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: Original Screenplay
My Rating: #49 out of 78