With so many great movies being released in the last year, the race for the Best Picture is perhaps one of the most heated. It’s not surprising that critics are having trouble agreeing on what the best film is, but what is surprising is the number of different films that are at the top of people’s lists.
At one point, Call Me By Your Name seemed to be the film to beat in the category. The film stars Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer as forbidden lovers in Italy in 1983, and it’s been talked about ever since it premiered at Sundance early last year. With Hollywood seemingly more open to films with previously controversial topics, Call Me By Your Name seemed poised to hold the golden statue. Since its wide release however, several other films have started to get more buzz. Lady Bird is one of them.
Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird is a coming of age story staring Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. Ronan’s character, Christine “Lady Bird” MacPherson, is a high school senior at a Sacramento Catholic high school, who comes from the wrong side of the tracks. Her school is boring, in that it doesn’t offer her any of the adventure, sophistication or opportunity she craves, and she struggles to find herself as she prepares for the future. It’s a quirky comedy with a biting dramatic edge that definitely makes it one of the year’s best, with Ronan being a strong contender for Best Actress. Still however, other nominated films are slightly better.
Can a horror film win the Best Picture Oscar? It’s happened before, and Get Out is the first such film since Silence of the Lambs to even be nominated. Part political statement, part classic horror, this film written and directed by Jordan Peele is more likely to win a writing Oscar than Best Picture, but it’s nice seeing the Academy give the genre a chance.
When you put director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day-Lewis together you can almost smell the awards coming. Unfortunately Phantom Thread isn’t their strongest effort together, and will most likely fade away once the Oscars are over. It is a shame though as this film about an oddball dressmaker and his muse is well worth the viewing.
As we previously discussed Darkest Hour star Gary Oldman will most likely win Best Actor at this year’s Academy Awards, and his film shouldn’t be overlooked for Best Picture either. The film follows the story of Winston Churchill’s struggle during the early days of WWII. Does he fight, or does he negotiate? It’s a tough decision, just as tough as the one that needs to be made in the next contending film.
To publish or not to publish, that is the question The Post examines. This Meryl Streep led drama from Steven Spielberg is a compelling drama based on true events, and is one you definitely need to see. Streep and Spielberg alone create an interesting film, but when you add Tom Hanks into the mix you get that much better. Still, another nominated true story is an even stronger contender.
It’s about time Christopher Nolan won an Oscar, and some are calling Dunkirk his best film yet. This WWII drama examines the often forgotten battle of Dunkirk, and simply put, it’s a masterpiece. You need to watch it on as big of a screen as you can, which means the home viewing translation may not be as good as watching it on an IMAX screen. It is definitely one of the best films of the year, but there are a couple of dramas that are neck in neck in popular opinion as being the best.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has the longest title of all the nominated films, and is by far the quirkiest. It features a mother desperate to solve her daughter’s murder, who decides to paint three billboards outside of town with messages aimed at the town’s chief of police who she believes doesn’t care about the case. The film was an instant hit at TIFF and the Venice Film Festival, and now with Awards season in full swing, it’s been getting even more attention. Word of mouth has helped as well, which is the same thing that can be said about The Shape of Water.
Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is hand’s down the year’s most stylistic film, and like usual, del Toro puts a twist on the typical monster movie. In this case he takes a lonely janitor, played by Sally Hawkins, and has her fall in love with an amphibian man who is the subject of a top-secret government experiment. Even if the film doesn’t win Best Picture, del Toro is almost surely a shoo-in for Best Director, but that being said it should take home both trophies this year.