Film Column: Looking ahead to this weekend's Oscars

Film Column: Looking ahead to this weekend's Oscars
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

It’s that wonderful time of the year for us film nerds, where the speculation finally ends and our guesses about the Oscars are either confirmed or denied. I always love making my own guesses for most of the major categories, and luckily this year I was able to see more Oscar nominated movies than ever before. This year's ceremony is this Sunday, March 4 on ABC with Jimmy Kimmel hosting. Without further ado, here’s the list of my choices for many of the major categories in this years Oscars. 

Best Picture

We’ll start this year at the top, with Best Picture. This year's nominees include “Call Me by Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Phantom Thread,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” I've seen six of the nine nominated films, and if I were to pick my favorite of the group, it would probably be “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” This film went under the radar of general audiences, but it’s a fascinatingly dark and funny film that doesn’t hold back on any topic. With strong performances and good writing, this is a film most people should see. However, I think “The Shape of Water” will take home the trophy on March 4, something I would be perfectly happy with. 

Lead Actor and Actress

Next up: the lead actor and actress category. For best actor I think this seems like a easy prediction; I have Gary Oldman winning for his performance as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” Oldman transforms into the former prime minister, and gives a great performance to support the transformation. The only other person I could see taking this category would by Daniel Day-Lewis in “Phantom Thread,” based of the rumors that this is his final role as an actor. When it comes to lead actress however, I genuinely believe a case can be made for all five of these actresses. If I’m giving out the award, my pick would be for Sally Hawkins' performance in “The Shape of Water.” Her character is mute so all her acting is done through her body and face, leading to a gorgeous and captivating performance I couldn’t look away from. 

Supporting Actor and Actress

For the supporting actor and actress categories this year, the sheer quality of many of these performances are insane this year. This is a tough year for actors. For best supporting actor, my pick is easily Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards.” He gives a performance that swings from hateable to charismatic in the same scene, giving great depth to a necessary character in that film. Best supporting actress this year is a two person race in my eyes, between Allison Janney in “I, Tonya” and Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird.” Both play the mothers of the main characters in their films, yet their parenting style is so completely different from the other's I can’t figure out whose performance I enjoyed more. If I had to pick, I would give the nod to Laurie Metcalf from “Lady Bird.” 

Best Director

Last but certainly not least is best director. The nominees this year include three of the biggest working directors and two directors that just made their first film. This level of difference in the nominees is outstanding to see. I always like variation when it comes to awards. If I had to pick, I would go with the director of “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro. This film is pure art at times, with some of the most gorgeous shots and frames I’ve seen this year. I hope del Toro gets the respect he’s due for this film. However, watch out for Greta Gerwig, director of “Lady Bird,” as a dark horse pick for best director. 

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