It’s Oscar Time

For the second year in a row, I’ve been able to see all of the Best Picture nominees.

Thanks to Regal Cinema’s for their Film Festival Passes, which for $35, one can see all Best Picture nominees multiple times throughout the run of the Festival. Plus, you can get a discount on a drink/popcorn combo. A very good deal indeed!

Thanks too to my husband for attending with me this year. He’s not as avid a movie goer as I am, so his company was much appreciated.

Here is how I see the nominees. Feel free to disagree, just know that I nailed the pick last year…

Call Me By Your Name: Excellent movie. A nice twist on a love story when taken within the context of the times. It accurately portrays how things sometimes happened in that time period, right or wrong. For me the saddest part was the end, when Oliver bows to the pressures of hiding and announces his engagement, and Elio is left, yet again, with a broken heart. The most heartening part is the speech by the dad towards the end that helps Elio accept who he is and to treasure what he had had. To feel and embrace the emotion of it all.

Darkest Hour: I knew Winston Churchill had had a great effect upon his nation in standing up to Hitler. I didn’t know the lengths to which members of his own government wanted to negotiate with Hitler, even while seeing the devastation being wrought across Europe. All of Europe is truly indebted to Great Britain and this man, as are we for the courage Churchill showed in standing up to a tyrant. One of my top picks to win.

Dunkirk: This one, when I first saw it, made very little sense to me. The way the story played out was a bit confusing at first and at the time, I didn’t fully understand what was at risk on this beach. Only after seeing The Darkest Hour did it make more sense. Still at the bottom of my list though.

Get Out: An enjoyable movie, but not the horror flick I had thought it was going to be. However, as a psychological thriller, it was quite creepy. I mean really, stalker much? It was so different, and so creepy, it was a good story. So glad of how it ended as they all got what they deserved in a twisted, hate-to-admit it way.

Lady Bird: Oh my, but to relive the trauma/drama of high school again. The first scene in this movie just draws you in just because of the shock value. Lady Bird definitely has a mind of her own. This movie surprised me the most as it wasn’t what I thought it would be about, for whatever reason. Saoirse Ronan is fabulous in this film and definitely deserves the nomination for Best Actress (she’s not my first choice though). You will ache, cringe, laugh out loud, cry and gasp during this movie, and leave all the better for it.

Phantom Thread: No, just no. Yes, there were some deep demented messages about dysfunctional relationships and how OCD can affect everyone in one’s life. But my word these people need therapy in a big way! The highlight of the movie for me was a scene between Cyril (sister) and Reynolds where she warns him to not take her on. This is a true art film—the music, the minimal dialogue, the sets, the slow pace, the facial expressions—to the max. Not my cup of tea, but maybe yours.

The Post: This is the winner for me (but I do keep going back and forth between this one and Lady Bird). The story is great, the acting is superb, the appropriateness for the times is spot on, the historical effect is profound. What puts it at the top for me is all that, and the fact that had the outcome of the basis of this film gone another way, none of us might be able to freely write our opinions of our elected officials or government policies/decisions. The importance of this history can’t be understated, which is why, along with the obvious reasons, put this film at the top for me. Side note: Meryl Streep is my choice to Best Actress, edging out Frances and Saoirse, based on the transformation she shows her character making in going from wall flower to strong independent woman.

The Shape of Water: What an original love story in so many ways, which I can see would put this film in the Best Picture category. However, for me, it was predictable. I saw how it would end from almost the start of the film (spoil alert) as the scars gave too much away. I enjoyed the film a great deal, but also felt let down due to all the hype this movie has received. I just expected more.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: For the longest time, this movie was at the top of my list. Love the acting, love the civil protest, love Frances (always have ever since Fargo), love the setting. I love this movie. For me, it was the strength of this mother to do what she feels is right when everyone around her is telling her what she is doing is wrong, to just move on. Mind you, I do think what she did to the jail was way out-of-line, and definitely didn’t agree with the plan at the end. However, I do understand the need for a sense of closure when someone dies with a mystery surrounding that person.

Here are my rankings:

  1. The Post
  2. Lady Bird
  3. Darkest Hour
  4. Call Me By Your Name
  5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  6. Get Out
  7. Dunkirk
  8. The Shape of Water
  9. Phantom Thread

Enjoy the Oscars tonight and see you at the theater!

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