Sunday, March 11, 2018

Academy Awards 2018

I enjoy award shows mostly because they lead me to new films that I can watch later. I saw most of the films in the major categories so I had a pretty decent idea of what films got nominated and had followed enough trends to see where the momentum was leading. I didn't do great on my predictions going just under fifty percent but it was mostly due to bad guesses in categories like Sound Mixing and the documentary categories. I was fine with the winners while I thought the live show was dull and boring.

Best Picture & Best Director
Guillermo Del Toro's fantasy film The Shape of Water took home the biggest prize and also won the first Academy Award for the director. I enjoyed the film a lot and was happy to see it win though I thought there might be a switch to Get Out in the final days of the coverage. Still, I'm happy that the winner beat the previous favorite Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that took home two actor awards. The Shape of Water is a unique film that has a very different feel from previous winners but still felt like a safe pick. The other nominees besides didn't have much of a chance but it did seem like Dunkirk could have snuck in to win it. 

Best Actor
Gary Oldman was the early frontrunner for his performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. Even after some signs of controversy, the best actor award remained within his grasp as it did last year for the previous winner. Other names were floated but possibly his toughest competition didn't even receive a nomination due to a controversy that came after the Golden Globes. I never really saw any other actor taking home the award but in the category, Timothée Chalamet for Call Me By Your Name could have possibly upset. 

Best Actress & Best Supporting Actor
I didn't even think of Frances McDormand as a frontrunner for her heartbreaking role in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri even though it was deserving as I was mostly favoring Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird for the best actress category. The momentum was with McDormand ever since she won the Golden Globe and she used her platform to push for inclusion riders in contracts and to celebrate women nominees. The best actress category was stacked with amazing performances from actresses that will return many times in the future. 

Sam Rockwell took the best supporting actor award for his role as the racist cop who seeks redemption later in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Ever since I saw The Florida Project, I was hoping Willem Dafoe would take frontrunner and recognize a film that appeared to be nearly completely overlooked this award season despite excellence on the screen. Rockwell has done some other awesome performances so I think this award is somewhat deserving. 

Best Supporting Actress
Allison Janney took this award despite tough competition. As soon as I saw Janney's performance as Tonya Harding's mother LaVona in I,Tonya, I was pretty sure she would win. Laurie Metcalf could have taken the win for her role as the mother in Lady Bird, but Janney's performance was hard to top.

Other Awards
Blade Runner 2049 took home to big awards. One well-deserved for Roger Deakins as Best Cinematography and another for Best Visual Effects. This sci-fi mystery thriller didn't do great at the box office but takes home two prestigious awards to solidify its standing in the genre.

Dunkirk had several nominations in the bigger categories but took home three for Sound MixingSound Editing, and Film Editing as the roar of planes, boom of explosions, and expansive shot were enough to earn those honors.

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