The Monday Morning Oscar Primer a.k.a. Still My Shape of Three Billboards
My day of reckoning for predicting is fast approaching, as the Oscars telecast happens here in Manila this Monday morning. Now that several of the nominated films have been shown (or hardly been shown - for sadly, these Exclusive runs can also mean a dearth of screens showing these acclaimed films); people can better appreciate what I wrote up last January 25th, after the nominations were announced. And yes, with the exception of The Phantom Thread (which sounds like the biopic of Darth Vader’s wardrobe designer), I have watched all the Best Picture nominees.
And why do I entitle this Still My Shape of Three Billboards? Well, given how the nominations shaped up, it looks like these two films are primed to dominate Oscars night. Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 90th Academy Awards and I'll take you through the major categories with:
A.) My prediction, and when applicable,
B.) The outside chance, and
C.) The where'd they go A.K.A. the Oscar snub.
So here goes:
a. The Shape of Water, because it's the safer choice given composition of the Academy members - they're old, remember how The Artist won in 2012? Set in the 1960's against Cold War hysteria, it's got nostalgia, that fairy tale element Del Toro excels in, and it's a 'siokoy' E.T., with more mature underlying themes.
b. The Post - for some of the same reasons as Shape plus it's Spielberg, Streep, and Hanks.
c. Where is Florida Project?
a. Guillermo Del Toro
b. Not really with a chance in hell, but good to see Gerwig recognized. She's only the 5th woman director to get nominated.
c. Why no Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards?
a. Take your pick, Shape or Three Billboards.
b. Get Out or Lady Bird, as it's only here that they may claim a win.
a. James Ivory, thanks to name recall and heritage.
b. Sorkin for the same reasons.
Actor in a Leading Role
a. Oldman, and it's about time! More than Air Force One which was him coasting, I loved him in Leon: The Professional, and as an unrecognizable Rastafarian in True Romance
b. Daniel Day Lewis because it's supposed to be his last film ever!
c. No Tom Hanks!
Actress in a Leading Role
a. Frances, it's been 22 years since Fargo. And she's now won Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, and Tony in her storied career
b. Sally Hawkins is truly great in Shape but it's tough to be up against Frances.
Actor in a Supporting Role
a. Sam the Man for this one and no one is even close. The arc of his character is nothing short of miraculous in how we are convinced!
b. Defoe is great in Florida, but you're pushing against a Rock-well.
Actress in a Supporting Role
a. Janey takes it home for clean sweep of all award shows
b. Still Janney.
c. Hong Chau in Downsizing is actually great!
Animated Feature Film
a. Coco for the win
b. Loving Vincent
Foreign Language Film
a. The Square because it won at Cannes
b. A Fantastic Woman, because it features a cross gender leading woman-man.
a. Van Hoytema for Dunkirk
And significant here is how Rachel Morrison is the first woman nominated in this category!
The other categories are all technical in nature, and there are the categories for Documentaries and Short Films. The one category we do invest in, depending on if we had a chance to watch the nominated films is Original Song (Remember La La Land?) —and this year, songs from Mudbound, Call Me By Your Name, Coco, Marshall, and The Greatest Showman. Look to "This Is Me" from Showman to compete with "Remember Me" from Coco for the statuette.
And that's a wrap! Will let you know how right or wrong I am come Post-Oscars.
Cover image, a screengrab from Making an Oscar® statuette on YouTube