An Unnecessary(And Exhausting) Post About the Academy Awards


It occurred to me (obviously very late) that because I write a movie review site (that definitely at least 3 people read) that I should talk about the Oscars to some extent. Well, I have talked about the Oscars in how they are a bit of a sham and don’t really judge for quality but for the amount of money spent for them to win. What I mean is I should talk about them in terms of who I think will win and who may win, etc. I’m coming at this pretty late so stay with me here.


“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk” MAY WIN
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water” MAY WIN
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” WILL WIN

Three Billboards seems poised to take this and I don’t really know why. I thought it was fine. Admittedly, part of my brain is stuck in the idea that Best Picture should be a larger than life grandiose affair, even if that doesn’t always happen. What I personally understand “BEST PICTURE” to mean doesn’t allow Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, and Lady Bird on this list even if they are better movies. I’m not following my own logic I’m following the Academy’s except for the fact that Moonlight won last year which changes the average. It’s part of the reason I’m including “MAY WIN” because you just never know.


Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” WILL WIN
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

The ONLY possible way I can see this going elsewise is if they give it to Lewis for his “last” acting role but that would be a mistake. Oldman is subtly one of the best actors in the last 50 years and to not award him for this Oscar-bait role (which he was excellent in) is an error. His next opportunity will be a lifetime achievement award. Has anyone seen that Roman movie? Should I watch it? He looks like an old Norbit.


Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” WILL WIN
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

She says that hilarious line in the trailer where she calls the reporter a bitch. How can you not give it to her? But seriously she was excellent and deserves it more than anyone else here. Admittedly, I have not seen the Post but I don’t think that’s required to make the decision. Did Sally Hawkins learn sign language for her role? That may edge it her way but only a hair.


Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water” MAY WIN
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” WILL WIN

Supporting roles are always tricky. This is where you see the real politics of the Oscars. Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell have a lot of screen time in Three Billboards but are relegated to this lesser category. Why? Some years it’s because the company wants to push another actor in the same movie (DiCaprio vs. Hardy in The Revenant). Why isn’t Chalamet down here in supporter-ville? He was great but better than Rockwell? Jenkins? I don’t know. Also, is Plummer on this list because he redid all of Spacey’s scenes in 8 weeks or is it because he’s good? Or both? Don’t know haven’t seen it but I imagine it looks a lot like Christopher-Plummer-in-a-domineering-patriarchal role. Go watch Beginners you jerks.


Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” WILL WIN
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

People love the bird on Janney’s shoulder in the trailer (which actually happened in real life footage of her character). I think every other actress here was wonderful but she had a physically transformational role and that’s a boost. Manville is a dark horse.


“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan MAY WIN
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro WILL WIN

What are we saying about Best Director that we’re not about Best Picture? What is the difference between the two? There’s been better articles written so I won’t tackle it too much. Here’s my take. Best Picture is awarded to the film that hits all the right check marks for the category and slides into whatever social groove the Academy is feeling but sometimes things swing wildly the other way. Best Director is about a single person who can manage to bring all those things together. An academy member is voting for a person not a film in some respects. In an era of #metoo and BLM this could very well go to Greta Gerwig or Jordan Peele. I would applaud either but if it goes to anyone other than del Toro or Nolan for who did the job of directing the best it will be a mistake. That’s one part of me. The other part of me says give it to Peele or Gerwig because old establishments should burn down, and the oppressed should stand on those ashes. With a gold statue in their hand. Oh I just pictured Gerwig holding an Oscar and I want nothing less. But del Toro is not establishment. Now I’m confused.


“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson WILL WIN
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

I have seen zero of these though I intend to see them all at one point. Maybe. I just don’t dig on animation that often even though it’s hard as hell and underappreciated. Boss Baby, huh? Okay.


“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

No idea. See above. Man, one year I should literally watch every nominated thing for every single category. That sounds exhausting.


“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory WILL WIN
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees MAY WIN

Call Me is such an intellectual script it just begs for the win. Apparently Mudbound was a book so…maybe?


“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele MAY WIN
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh WILL WIN

This is basically just Best Story, right? Three Billboards may actually deserve this. Lady Bird and The Big Sick were both semi-autobiographical so they lose points there. Three Billboards has slick dialogue and gets an edge.


“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins WILL WIN
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema MAY WIN
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

A lot of people don’t know what this is. The cinematographer is the reason the movie looks the way it does and often credit is given to a director for this. The cinematographer or “DP” chooses lighting, composition, camera movement, etc. It’s huge. Like Gary Oldman, Deakins is just due as he has created the visuals for so many iconic (and Oscar-winning) films. Blade Runner is beautiful but he’s owed the award more than anything.


“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

I saw Icarus and loved it. That’s the only one I can speak on.


“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Nothing here, sorry. There’s a fairly popular Documentary festival that happens here every year and I’ve never been because I just don’t get into them that much. There’s docs that I really enjoy but I’m never just dying in anticipation to see one like I am narrative films.


“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen



“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary)
“The Square” (Sweden)

I saw The Square. It was too long. I am American, by the way. It influences my choices more than I would like.


“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss MAY WIN
“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith WILL WIN
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

As much as I like the process of editing, I only notice it in films if it’s painfully obvious. Dunkirk is a clear lead to me based on it’s time structure but Baby Driver and I, Tonya were both good as well.


“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green MAY WIN
“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King WILL WIN
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

I personally like Blade Runner for this one but again Dunkirk was incredible and I’m fine if it wins.


“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill MAY WIN
“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo WILL WIN
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Why is Sound Mixing different than Sound Editing? It’s kind of like the difference between “filming” something and the editing of that footage. My response to who should win though is the same as Sound Editing.


“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola MAY WIN
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau WILL WIN



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

Zimmer is the god and Greenwood is the wonderful constant dark horse but Desplat is absolutely moving. Reminds me of Delicatessen and Micmacs.


“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Is this the Grammy’s? Who cares? That “Mystery of Love” song is good, I guess.


“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Sure, Darkest Hour.


“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

I like Phantom Thread here but The Shape of Water creates a world which encompasses every character, not just the main cast of three or four.


“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer WILL WIN
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,”  Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

There are so many things that go into visual effects this is a difficult category but sooooo important. I like Blade Runner because I like Blade Runner but Apes is incredible in it’s details. Even Kong, which I thought was a bit dumb, had great monster effects. These guys are the unsung heroes of all of this. I know movies are a team sport but these players definitely deserve more recognition. Everyone should have to see movies with and without visual effects. And score.


That’s about it. The Oscars mean a lot of things to some and nothing to others. It’s the Super Bowl for movies and after it’s over all of last year’s stats go out the door, time for a new season.

I used to love the Oscars, then I hated them and now I’ve come to realize that it’s nothing more than what it started out as: A bunch of people giving awards to themselves but we all love to watch it happen. Now, those awards are paid for because in the end they have to pay for themselves. The movie industry is a juggernaut and this is the night it barrels into your home and tells you what to like, what to watch and what to wear.



-I stole the list from Thanks Slate. I supposed I should have taken it from the Oscar site.

-I only proofread this once.

-The opinions are shoddy and all mine and I think it’s pretty obvious.

-If you want to impress your friends at the Oscar Party go to for Vegas’ predictions. Or watch more movies and chill with the gambling, Stephanie.)


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