Thursday, March 1, 2018

OSCAR PICKS 90th ACADEMY AWARDS 2018

BEST PICTURE
The Shape of Water



Favored, I know, but for good reason--it's wonderful and uplifting--the qualities generally wanted in this category.  Directed by Guillermo Del Toro, who also co-wrote with Vanessa Taylor.



DIRECTOR
Guillermo del Toro
The Shape of Water



It was a tough decision for me among GDT, Christopher Nolan, and Paul Thomas Anderson, but in the end, GDT's overall vision and direction in The Shape of Water swayed me.  Plus I got to hear GDT talk about it in person, his passion, what went into it, the fact that he made it for under 20 million and it looks like 75 million on the screen....



LEAD ACTOR
Gary Oldman
Darkest Hour



Chalamet and Day-Lewis were great, but Oldman as Churchill was the greatest.  A no-brainer.



LEAD ACTRESS
Frances McDormand
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri



McDormand rocked.  Hawkins and Robbie came in second for me.



SUPPORTING ACTOR
Sam Rockwell
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


Rockwell knocked it out of the park.  Dafoe is my second choice in this category.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Allison Janney
I, Tonya



No contest.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri




Writer (and director) Martin McDonagh is also a playwright, but reportedly prefers film.  I saw this film twice, read the screenplay, watched it again.  He's a master.  Jordan Peele's innovative, genre-busting mashup Get Out was also very, very good.


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Call Me By Your Name



James Ivory's adaptation was simply sublime.  



ANIMATED FEATURE
Coco



Animation isn't in my wheelhouse, but this one's favored to win.



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Faces Places



I have to confess I haven't seen any of them, at least not yet, but Agnes Varda?  And this photo is cool.




FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
On Body and Soul



A Fantastic Woman  (which is very good) is favored to win, but Ildik√≥ Enyedi's film blew me away with its meticulous minimalist style, unconventional framing, and its unsentimental meditation on connection.


CINEMATOGRAPHY
Blade Runner 2049



Just give it to Roger Deakins (at right, with director Denis Villeneuve), already!  My second choice is The Shape of Water (Dan Lautsen).



FILM EDITING
Dunkirk



Lee Smith's work weaving three different narratives and timelines that intersect at times was masterfully intricate.




PRODUCTION DESIGN
Blade Runner 2049 (Dennis Gassner) and
The Shape of Water (Paul D. Austerberry)







Can we just give it to both films?  If not, I have a slight lean to The Shape of Water.



SCORE
 Phantom Thread



Composer Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead) has worked with writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson on five films. He's a musical genius.  Second choice would be Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water.



SONG
"Mystery of Love"
Call Me By Your Name



Sufjan's Stevens' song is the most lovely and memorable, IMHO.


SOUND EDITING
Dunkirk



War movies do well in this category.  My other choice would be Baby Driver.



SOUND MIXING



Same as above.



VISUAL EFFECTS
Blade Runner 2049



At least give the film this!


COSTUME DESIGN
Phantom Thread


I think Mark Bridges will win in this category.


MAKEUP
Darkest Hour


The side-by-side photos of Gary Oldman say it all.



SHORTS

I haven't seen them, but the ones below are favored.

Animated:  Dear Basketball

Documentary:  Edith + Eddie
Live Action:  Silent Child



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