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Oscars: Selection Sunday

PART 1

Clamoring in its own obsession, the Hollywood elites again join to congratulate themselves on another year of commercial success. While we offer no definite list of who should or should not be nominated in our gestation period, we do offer the following selections from the pre-selected nominees who we think deserves it. We also relegate our choices to only those categories we deem ourselves competent to judge and guarantee to you that we’ve seen all, or at least, most (80%) of the nominees in each category.

Having listened to a number of podcasts, it’s disheartening to hear how the process is seemingly less about merit and more about lobbying and political circumstances, which does not surprise us.

Let’s begin.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water [WINNER]

 

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(*) : none of the above mentioned nominees were better than Michael Stuhlbarg in Call Me By Your Name. A very weak category; Harrelson had no business being nominated, Dafoe was average, and Rockwell was much better in Seven Psychopaths. Incompetence all around. For the sake of disclosure, I did not see All The Money in the World.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

 

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Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya [WINNER]
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

 

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Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent [WINNER]

(*) : For the sake of disclosure, I did not see Ferdinand, which seems to be a trend.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

 

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Blade Runner 2049 [WINNER]
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Mudbound
The Shape of Water

 

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

 

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Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird [WINNER]
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

(*) : Phantom Thread easily the biggest snub here

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

 

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James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name [WINNER]
Scott Neustadter and Michael H Weber, The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green, Logan
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound

(*) : For the sake of disclosure, I did not see The Disaster Artist.

COSTUME DESIGN

 

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Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread [WINNER]
The Shape of Water
Victoria and Abdul

(*) : For the sake of disclosure, I did not see Victoria and Abdul.

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

 

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Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island [WINNER]

(*) : For the sake of disclosure, I did not see Faces Places

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

 

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A Fantastic Woman
The Insult [WINNER]*
Loveless

On Body and Soul
The Square

(*) : very likely my choice would have been Loveless if I could have seen it from what I know about the director and knowing my affinity for Russian films. This was a very weak category this year along with Supporting Actor.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk
Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread [WINNER]
Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
John Williams, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

(*) : completely overlooked was the score in Loving Vincent by my favorite composer, Clint Mansell and the score in Wind River from Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

 

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Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water [WINNER]
Meryl Streep, The Post
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

 

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Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread [WINNER]
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq

(*) : having Daniel Day put on the performance he did and not be even in the conversation (from what I’ve heard) speaks volumes about the incompetence and politicization of the process. Only reason why Chalamet is being discussed is because he shows up to every free event to promote and this is coming from someone who thinks that he should have won the Rising Star Award at BAFTA.

DIRECTING

 

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Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread [WINNER]

(*) : having two first time directors here is complete nonsense when so many (esp. Luca Guadagnino) better options existed. Hollywood has become so obsessed with “inclusivity” since the #OscarsSoWhite negative press, that they’ve introduced a form of affirmative action without consideration for desert. Gerwig has no business being here with this movie unless you’re ready to nominate Wes Anderson every year.

BEST PICTURE

 

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Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread  [WINNER]
The Post
The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


PART 2 — Oscar Nominated Shorts

A short is classified by the Academy as a non-feature length film running less than 40 minutes. One could imagine that this would make it difficult to capture an audience in this small amount of time, but this years nominees prove that even in a span of 5 or 6 minutes, they can do similar things that a full movie could give. There is a wide array of film submissions that includes an entire animated short written and directed by Kobe Bryant about basketball. Below are the nominations (over 150 qualified submissions to the Academy) and our picks for this year.

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

DEAR BASKETBALL
Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant

GARDEN PARTY
Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon

LOU
Dave Mullins and Dana Murray

NEGATIVE SPACE [WINNER]
Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata

REVOLTING RHYMES
Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

DEKALB ELEMENTARY [WINNER]
Reed Van Dyk

THE ELEVEN O’CLOCK
Derin Seale and Josh Lawson

MY NEPHEW EMMETT
Kevin Wilson, Jr.

THE SILENT CHILD
Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton

WATU WOTE/ALL OF US
Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen             

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

EDITH+EDDIE [WINNER]
Laura Checkoway and Thomas Lee Wright

HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405
Frank Stiefel

HEROIN(E)
Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon

KNIFE SKILLS
Thomas Lennon

TRAFFIC STOP
Kate Davis and David Heilbroner


PART 3 – Recommendations

As is customary for people to run out and watch the big winners, we offer a list of first contenders and a list of films you could live without.

The [5] Overrated Films

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Post

Get Out

The Florida Project

The Square

The [5] Must See Films

 Phantom Thread

Loving Vincent

Call Me By Your Name

Strong Island 

Lady Bird 


Parts 1 & 3 by Anton
Part 2 by Chris (aka “the hungry boy”)
Send your complaints accordingly

 

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