A year on from the botched Best Picture winner announcement, The Academy Awards has returned with a fairly positive set of nominations that leave most of the best films from the last 12 months pretty happy. With a few painful exclusions, (The Lego Batman Movie being the main gripe. Michael Stuhlbarg was incredible in Call Me By Your Name and his monologue towards the tail end of the film is simply heartbreaking, yet he misses out on a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. But honestly, who actually preferred The Boss Baby to The Lego Batman Movie? Absolutely ridiculous) the list of nominees is very strong, and below I will detail who I believe to be deserving of each main award, and who I believe will actually win, probably instead of the ones I want. But that’s just life.
Pick – Call Me By Your Name
The best picture nominations list is an incredible one. There are five or six films that I either absolutely love, or admire for their cinematic genius. It’s an incredibly open race, and tactical voting is going to become a huge part of what becomes the eventual winner.
However, for me, Call Me By Your Name is the best film. Easily.
I don’t believe that there has ever been a film that manages to encapsulate love in such a mesmerising and passionate way. The plethora of short, sharp scenes, showing a long Italian summer, each dragging everything within it into the blossoming relationship Elio and Oliver form, makes for such an incredible watch.
From the imagination to the style, everything about Call Me By Your Name screams perfection, whilst having such a relaxed nature towards that. There are incredible performances from Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and a massively underappreciated Michael Stuhlbarg. There is no other film with such an ability to prove that nothing else matters except love.
Prediction – The Shape Of Water
As I mentioned above, there will be a lot of tactical voting in deciding this year’s best picture win. With a preferential ballot, the winner could well end up being the film that all of the voters liked in at least some way. It could even be a film that nobody loved but managed to stay in the voting long enough to become everyone’s remaining favourite.
I don’t think any of The Post, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out or Call Me By Your Name will be enough voter’s favourite film to take them through the early rounds. Lady Bird has a strong chance, but it’s looking likely to be between Three Billboards and The Shape Of Water. Both incredible films and would be worthy winners. However, Three Billboards is controversial enough for that to work against it, leaving The Shape Of Water to clear up and take home the biggest prize of all.
Pick – Guillermo Del Toro – The Shape Of Water
For a long time, Guillermo Del Toro has been the most visionary of directors, with the Hellboy series acting as one of cinema’s most underrated franchises, and Pan’s Labyrinth still being one of the best fantasy pictures of all time. Yet it’s clear that his best was always to come with The Shape Of Water combining an incredible story, with his own infinitely imaginative mind.
Prediction – Guillermo Del Toro – The Shape Of Water
For once people seem to agree with me, and Del Toro looks set to win his first Best Director oscar.
Pick – Sally Hawkins – The Shape Of Water
For a long time, Sally has lived almost under the radar. Putting in performance after performance of diverse and imaginative roles, it seems like her time has finally arrived. After a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2013, The Shape Of Water brings her second nomination, and she genuinely deserves the prize. The way she brings to life Elisa, despite her inability to speak, shows her absolute command of body language portraying her love for the creature, the performance really is something to marvel over.
Prediction – Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It is essentially a two-way face-off between Frances McDormand and Sally Hawkins, and there seems to be a consensus that McDormand will win. Both are incredibly astute and complicated roles to fulfill, and their depth is certainly what puts them ahead of the rest, but McDormand is the most likely winner on the night.
Pick – Timothee Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name/ Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
I simply cannot choose between these. Chalamet is so vulnerable, tender and complicated in his role as Elio, but Daniel Day-Lewis once again brings a completely new personality to his acting, making Phantom Thread the film that it is. A joint award would go down brilliantly. With me.
Prediction – Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
My distaste for Oldman as Winston Churchill is stronger than it has ever been. Winning the award for Best Actor is just about the only certainty of the night, and it’s for a performance that doesn’t feel like Churchill. It’s for an energetic, fast-paced and lively version of a man, that simply never existed as part of his personality. For my full criticism see the review (Here)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Pick – Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Metcalf is very understated in her role as Lady Bird’s mother in the eponymous film, and it isn’t until one of the film’s final scenes it becomes clear just how vital she is. Her ever-present influence on Lady Bird’s life comes across as genuine and passionate, curated by Ronan and Metcalf bouncing off each other stupendously.
Prediction – Alison Janney – I, Tonya
Alison Janney’s performance as LaVona, Tonya’s bad mouthed mother, is one of great power and a true understanding of the character she is portraying. Janney has been perfecting roles like this for her whole career, and even though this isn’t a unique performance, it still manages to be outstanding.
On another note, Best Supporting Actress is probably the tightest race of the night. Expect a shock.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Pick – Willem Defoe – The Florida Project
The Florida Project has been criminally undervalued in this year’s Oscar nominations, but Willem Defoe is the perfect candidate to raise its flag. Playing a man trapped between his manager duties and his outwardly caring nature, Defoe makes the struggle feel heartwrenching and unsettling. With the Orlando sun pouring down upon the fascinating drama, his performance is glorious
Prediction – Either of the nominees from Three Billboards
It is more than likely Sam Rockwell who takes home the award on the night, but there’s also a great chance that it could end up in the hands of Woody Harrelson. A win would almost come as an award for them both, teaming up to produce a timely, socially conscious, and juxtaposing cop duo. They’re cliche to reality, not to other films.