Greetings and salutations loyal followers! So as many of you know, in the past few months Trove has done its fair share of holiday blogs, like Halloween, Christmas, Presidents Day. But now a TRUE holiday is upon us -- THE OSCARS! *Miles paused from writing his blog to burst into an incredible dancing number right there in Trove’s office, his employees looking on in a mixture of shock and … admiration.*
Oscar season is by far and away this little blogger’s favorite time to go to the movies, to the point that it may border on the unhealthy, i.e. going to the movies 20 times from November to January (love you MoviePass). But Oscar season is the best time for cinema, since it’s when you'll get movies that are the best of the bunch because … well … they want to be the best of the bunch! By around 12 a.m. this Sunday night, some people are going to be downright tickled by the fact they’re clutching a small, naked, golden man in their arms, while others will despise those people and conspire their destruction, while some people deserved to be there AND WEREN’T EVEN INVITED.
After seeing every movie projected to be nominated in the major categories, those being Best Original and Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Actor and Actress, Best Director, and the big daddy of them all, Best Picture (*Miles casually brushed dust off his shoulder*), I, with my Trove comrades, my own opinion, and award season precursors, am here to tell you who will be loved by the Academy on Sunday night, as well as who should and could walk away with a little nude gold dude at the end of the night, and who was egregiously snubbed from even contending. So, without further ado, here we go!
Best Adapted Screenplay
- “Call Me By Your Name,” James Ivory
- “The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
- “Logan,” Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green
- “Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
- “Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
Loved: In a year full of categories where the front-runners are so far ahead they’re almost lapping the other competitors, James Ivory is especially dominant thanks to penning a beautifully realistic and moving romance in “Call Me By Your Name” that has crushed in awards season and deserves to have been doing so. Frankly, no one’s even close. Sorkin and Rees/Williams have a shot, but it’s the equivalent of a snowball’s chance in hell.
Snubbed: Bear with me here people, but Mark Bomback and Matt Reeves deserve to be here for one of the finest franchise films in recent memory, “War for the Planet of the Apes.” The fact that they made a movie about talking chimps into an operatic mulling on human nature is freaking remarkable.
Best Original Screenplay
- “The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
- “Get Out,” Jordan Peele
- “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
- “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
- “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh
Loved: Oof, despite my previous statement of all the blowouts fixin’ to occur on Oscar night, this category is not one of them. “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” and “Three Billboards” are all viable contenders here, and any one of their authors could hear their name called Sunday night. But the fact that the buzz around “Get Out” hasn’t died down after a year, and it won the big precursor (WGA) award. Although in a perfect world, this would go to “Three Billboards.”
Snubbed Like a Mofo: I’ve never jumped higher into the air than in joy when Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread” got surprise nominations for Best Picture and Director. But c’mon you Academy monsters, the screenplay was the best part of the movie! This is a ridiculously talented category, but I could give “The Big Sick” the boot for sheer Anderson awesomeness.
Best Supporting Actor
- Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
- Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
- Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
- Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
- Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Loved: Dafoe was the early frontrunner, but Sam Rockwell went all “Caine Mutiny” and took this category over with a vengeance. As a bigoted deputy seeking redemption, Rockwell swept all of the major precursors, those being the British Academy of Film (BAFTA), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), Golden Globes (... GG?), and Critics Choice (... CC? I made the last two up, I won’t lie). If he lost, it’d be historic. But if anyone can pull off the upset, it’s Dafoe. He nailed an out of character performance that’s so tender and kind you’d forget he was in that terrible Green Goblin suit once. He may deserve it, but Rockwell is a juggernaut right now.
Wubba Lubba Dubb Snubbed: Either one of the “Call Me By Your Name” boys, Armie Hammer or Michael Stuhlbarg were projected to get in here, but both were surprisingly rejected when the nominations came out. It’s a degree of savagery that hasn’t been seen since Macho Man Randy Savage himself.
Best Supporting Actress
- Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
- Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
- Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
- Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
- Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
Loved: I’ll be honest with you guys; in something that has quite literally never happened before, all four current acting frontrunners -- whom I will refer to as The Titans -- have won those four precursors we talked about (BAFTA, SAG, CC, and GG). That makes all of these races potential anti-races and more just a waiting game. The Titan of this category is Allison Janney, who's astonishingly vicious in “I, Tonya,” and can remain so even with a parrot on her shoulder. Unfortunately, this should be Metcalf’s category, but she’s the Dafoe equivalent here, and would have to pull off a miracle.
Tiny Snubbles, Doesn’t Make Me Feel Fine: In an off the radar pick, Tatiana Maslany should be here thanks to her role in the underseen gem “Stronger.” She already picked up an Emmy for her work as seven clones in “Orphan Black,” but apparently an Academy-friendly clone is the eighth one she needed.
- Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
- Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
- Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
- Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
- Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Loved: The eternal frontrunner, Gary Oldman, almost embarrasses his Titan brethren with how long he’s been a lock for this award. Pretty much as soon as he got the role, it should’ve come with an Oscar and a nice little congrats sash from Party City. As Winston Churchill, Oldman chews the scenery, spits it out, gathers it up, and chews it again. There are Chalamet and Day-Lewis camps who are crossing their fingers, but porcine flight is a significantly likelier possibility. *Miles set out to find a fly-able pig, praying for a Chalamet upset*.
Snubbed Me the Wrong Way: Yes, he was awash in controversy, but James Franco (“The Disaster Artist”) gave the best performance of his career since his arm got stuck under a rock ten years ago. If we lived in a Miles-centric utopia, Andy Serkis would get nominated for the simian superiority that is his motion capture performance in “War for the Planet of the Apes.” But If we were in that world, I’d also be 6 feet tall and dating Margot Robbie. Speaking of …
- Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
- Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
- Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
- Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
- Meryl Streep, “The Post”
Loved: Our Titan of this category is Frances McDormand, whose dramedic performance as vengeful, crotch-kicking mother has garnered her best reviews since “Fargo,” oh yah. Hawkins has tons of support, thanks to a performance that's totally silent but still carries her film. She has a shot if her film wins it all (more on that later) but, again, history would have to be made. The same could be said for Ronan, but I think this boils down to Franny and Sally.
Snubbthumping: This and Original Screenplay are far and away the most stacked in the awards this year, but frankly, the inclusion of Streep here is a snooooooozer. Unknown Vicky Krieps of “Phantom Thread” almost stole the show from arguably the greatest actor of all time. I think that's a fairly solid argument for a mention with the other badass ladies in this categories.
- Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
- Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
- Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
- Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”
- Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Loved: Guillermo del Toro has taken this bull by the horns -- hey “toro” means “bull” in Spanish! The man’s name is literally “William of the Bull,” … what a name. Anyway, his dreamlike, genre-mashing fairy tale has totally taken over this category while coming down the stretch. Keep an eye on Nolan though, whose work in “Dunkirk” is the most cinematically ambitious, intense, technically accomplished direction of the year, and the Academy could feel compelled to to recognize that.
Join the Snub: Not only was “Blade Runner 2049” a worthy successor to one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time, it's also one of the most insanely imaginative visual journeys in recent memory. It barely feels like a movie thanks to Denis Villeneuve. That man should've gotten some serious Canadian love -- or normal love, whichever.
- “Call Me By Your Name”
- “Darkest Hour”
- “Get Out”
- “Lady Bird”
- “Phantom Thread”
- “The Post”
- “The Shape of Water”
- “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Loved: Good god, this is like trying to distinguish between shades of black, or decide which is Kevin Costner’s worst acting role; it’s extremely difficult. “Three Billboards” and “The Shape of Water” have split the key precursors, with “Three Billboards” winning the GG, SAG, BAFTA and “The Shape of Water” winning the DGA (Director’s Guild) and the big one, the PGA (Producer’s Guild), which was THE signpost for what’s to come … until the last two years.
Which gives me doubts, friends. Never mind that both of these have serious backlash (Rockwell’s character is a professed racist in “Three Billboards,” a fact that’s virtually ignored, while “The Shape of Water” is dealing with plagiarism accusations), but precursors have shown to mean nothing the last couple years in Best Picture. “La La Land” was like the Genghis Khan of awards season last year, but little old “Moonlight,” the politically relevant and better reviewed film, pulled off literally the biggest upset in Oscar history, proving anything can happen.
Which is why I’m not jumping on the majority bandwagon, who have “The Shape of Water” taking it, but with “Get Out” instead. It’s another politically relevant, racially charged film that is defining the zeitgeist right now. It's seen by critics not only as the best movie of the year, but the movie that most defines our time. It’d be an upset, but I’m going for it. *Miles wept, knowing “Call Me By Your Name” would never win.*
Snubstitute Teacher: Along with Villenueve’s dream directing nomination, “Blade Runner 2049” should have been here as well, as it’s not only a technically accomplished film, but a thematically accomplished one as well. Critics were huge fans of “The Florida Project,” and I’ll say it again -- “War for the Planet of the Apes”! Time is the ultimate voter to decide Best Picture though, and we’ll have to look back in a few years and check that vote. Wow, that … was profound …
So that’s it for this week’s blog guys! Hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to beef with me in the comments if you disagree! You’ll be wrong, but I’ll happily flex my superiority. Be sure to check out the rest of our blogs on our website, and catch the Oscars at 8 p.m. on Sunday night on ABC!