Students sound off on Oscar nominations

As Oscars season draws to a close with the 90th annual Academy Awards telecast on Sunday, March 4, there is this burning question: Which out of the following nominees will be chosen for Best Picture? This year’s nominees are “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.” In a year that’s a particularly tight race for the golden statue, we asked three film students to detail their personal choices for the Best Picture category. Here’s what they said.

“Shape of Water”

“Shape of Water” tells the story of Elisa, a cleaning lady for a classified government laboratory, who discovers a mysterious creature in captivity and forms a peculiar bond with it. In the midst of this bonding, Elisa decides to begin an effort to save the creature from a future of continued pain and captivity.

Benjamin Rubin, a sophomore majoring in telecommunication and film, chose this film as his personal winner for Best Picture.

“It is visually unique," Rubin said. “That is the perfect word to describe it. No other person than Guillermo del Toro could have told this story. It is so bizarre and so weird, but it works beautifully and it's such an unconventional way of telling the story that you have to give it props for being that unique.”

“Dunkirk”

“Dunkirk” details the infamous World War II evacuation of allied forces in the midst of continuous bombardment by German troops. The film primarily focuses on the efforts by civilians and a particularly skilled pilot in their efforts to aid the evacuation. 

“I thought it was a very striking, very visceral kind of war movie, but also had that cool Christopher Nolan twist to it,” said James Pierce, a junior majoring in telecommunication and film. "It really brings you into the desperation of war without having to have an elaborate story that spans four or five years, and it brought you into a couple of specific, desperate situations in a way that felt real and suspenseful.”

“Lady Bird”

The plot of “Lady Bird” surrounds Christine, a teenager in her final year of high school who is struggling with her vitriolic relationship with her mother. While the two women ultimately love each other, their relationship is strained by their conflicting visions of what the future should hold for Lady Bird. 

“I liked how it was kind of nostalgic for a not-so-long ago forgotten time,” said Garrett Shotts, a junior majoring in telecommunication and film. “The mother/daughter dynamic was interesting. They both had their things they would not give up. Much of the movie is about accepting who you are and making the best of that.”

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