The Oscars

The Oscars are tonight! Alright, fine, I shouldn’t have used an exclamation point there, but for reasons beyond understanding, I do actually enjoy these awards. I mean, of my top 10 movies of the year, only three are nominated for Best Picture… and this is a pretty good year for that metric. But any and all awards processes are subject to bias and flaws. Plus, it seems to me that everyone really loves to whine about this stuff, and the Oscars are prime whinging territory. Ultimately, I like movies, and tonight’s a night where I will drink alcohol, make fun of celebrities, and root for movies. I admit that this is a pretty boring stance, but so is yours. I don’t think I’ll ever top my intro to the Oscars from a few years ago:

The funny thing about the Academy Awards is that your opinion about them is pretty boring. You think the Oscars are just a cynical circle jerk of self-satisfied Hollywood elites? Boring! You’re outraged at [insert snub here]? Super fucking boring! You’re genuinely excited about seeing films receive the recognition they deserve? You are both naive and boring! But the one thing that unites us all is the abject hatred of the short films categories. I think we can all agree on that.

Oh, and I’ve heard a lot of people talking about short films this year. In an approving manner! Up is down, cats and dogs, living together, etc… Anyway, I thought last year’s ceremony would be mildly more interesting due to the age of Trump, but it mostly fell flat on that front. This year? Well, we’re still in the age of Trump, and now we’ve got #MeToo, TimesUp, and gun control agitation, which I feel like will have to crop up in some way.

Again, I will be tying one on and making fun of celebrities on Twitter @mciocco (or, more likely, since I’m pretty boring, I’ll be retweeting funnier people than myself). Back in the before time, the long long ago, I used to do this thing called “liveblogging”. For the uninitiated, back before Social Media was a thing, we used our stone knives and bearskins to update our blog every 2 minutes and we’d just sit there with a million browser tabs open, hitting F5 to see what people were saying. Twitter makes it much easier and more fun, so I started doing that a while back. I also like to make predictions, which are listed below. It’s all vaguely political (and by that I mean, internal Academy politics, not necessarily national politics, though again, there will be some bleed over this year), but it’s still fun. If, for some ungodly reason, you want to read a decade plus’ worth of previous predictions and commentary on the Oscars, check them out here: [2017] | [2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004]

  • Best Picture: The Shape of Water has been the odds on favorite for a while,

    but Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has been charging ahead, despite being problematical with respect to race. But we all know that Hollywood isn’t racist, right? Get Out also seems like a likely challenger, but horror movies rarely do well and Shape is still the safest bet at this point. After that, I can’t see anything mounting a real challenge. Dunkirk and Darkest Hour will split their vote, Call Me by Your Name and Lady Bird should just be happy to be nominated, and The Post is just the default Spielberg, Streep, Hanks show that always gets nominated, but gets taken for granted and never wins. Phantom Thread is also a movie. I’ve only seen 6 of these, but it’s a decent enough crop, if not exactly the sort of thing that gets the normals going.

  • Best Director: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water. This one is much more likely than the Best Picture category. In recent years, the Picture/Director awards have been split, but I suspect that could reverse this year. Christopher Nolan probably should win,

    but he tends to leave the Academy cold. Paul Thomas Anderson will win this someday, but not today. Greta Gerwig should be happy for being nominated (though on a serious note, I do think she’s underrated as a director) and is only really there to inoculate the Oscars from the likes of Natalie Portman throwing shade (as she did in the Golden Globes). Similarly,

    Jordan Peele is another first time director, but horror movies don’t tend to be honored here.

  • Best Actress: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Pretty much a lock. It’s actually a pretty strong category this year, and I’d honestly not be very disappointed if pretty much anyone won this category. But it’s still McDormand’s to lose at this point.
  • Best Actor: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour. Also pretty much a lock. The rest of the candidates are weak sauce, and Oldman has the sorta lifetime achievement thing going on here, so he’s pretty much got it.
  • Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, I, Tonya. This award could go anywhere, and I don’t really have any strong feelings on the matter. The Academy might want to reward Lady Bird and Laurie Metcalf, maybe? After that, I don’t really know.
  • Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project. Lots of people thought this should have been nominated for a Best Picture award, so that snub might put Dafoe over the top. Or not, as Sam Rockwell might take it for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. But as I understand it, his character is very problematical!? And the Academy totes isn’t racist, you guys!
  • Best Original Screenplay: Get Out. The Academy totes isn’t racist, you guys! Or they are,

    and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will win. Or something. It’s more or less between those two.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay: Call Me by Your Name. This year’s gay romance will need some love, and I’m betting it goes here. Could very well go to Mudbound (because the Academy totes isn’t racist, you guys!) but I found that script to be meandering at best. Then again, that movie seems to get a lot of love from the Academy, and this is a good place to reward it…
  • Film Editing: Dunkirk. I mean, it’s definitely the most visibly “edited” movie of the year, and I do love that aspect of it, but I suppose there’s a chance that someone might think it confusing and give it to one of the other nominees. It might be nice to see Baby Driver take this, but I think it goes to Dunkirk.
  • Cinematography: Roger Deakins for Blade Runner 2049. After many losses, it’s finally Roger’s year. I hope. These awards often don’t go the way I think, but Deakins has the buzz due to the lifetime achievement factor.
  • Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Makeup: Darkest Hour. Fat suit.
  • Costumes: Phantom Thread. It’s literally about a fashion designer. Seems valid.
  • Musical Score: The Shape of Water
  • Best Song: “Remember Me” from Coco
  • Best Animated Film: Coco. Never go in against Pixar when an Oscar is on the line.
  • Best Documentary: Faces Places
  • Best Foreign Language Film: The Square

Phew. There are some missing categories, but these are the ones I pick each year and I don’t feel like figuring out which categories I neglected (though I do know that two of them are short film categories, which we’ve already established are hot garb). Again, follow me on Twitter @mciocco for inane commentary throughout the ceremony.

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