Everyone’s favorite thing to do after the Oscars is to immediately critique and add their opinions. None of them matter because the awards are already handed out and the names are already etched into the slab of time, but Monday morning quarterbacking is still fun. So let me throw my hat into the ring, here are my post-Oscar takes:
The one time I don’t think Roger Deakin would win, he does. What got me paying attention to Roger Deakins in the first place was noticing his name popping up on all of my favorite movies. Skyfall, No Country for Old Men, O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, Fargo, and Shawshank Redemption ring any bells? Don’t get me wrong, he’s very deserving of this award, especially for Blade Runner 2049, but I thought the cinematographers of Dunkirk or The Shape of Water would get this love.
Speaking of Blade Runner 2049…
It’s my biggest snub for Supporting Actress (Sylvia Hoeks), Best Director (Denis Villeneuve), and Best Picture. Since it wasn’t nominated in any of these categories, here’s what I think about the outcome of each of them.
Best Supporting Actress
One of the toughest categories, in my opinion. Great performances all around from Allison Janney, Laurie Metcalf, Lesley Manville, Octavia Spencer, and Mary J. Blige (who was by far the best part of a movie I didn’t enjoy all too much). Although I thought Laurie Metcalf was the belle of the ball this year due to the love of Lady Bird, I’m pleased with the outcome. Allison Janney, who by all accounts is a pretty pleasant person, underwent a transformation for her role as LaVona Golden and she stole the show from the leading lady. Lesley Manville did the same opposite of the greatest actor of all time, in Phantom Thread, but I still give the edge to Janney.
Denis Villeneuve is the biggest snub of the year as I already mentioned but the rest of this category still featured some heavy hitters. This category is already tricky because I ask myself whether it’s a category based on technical dexterity or based on who managed to direct the best story we made this year? If it’s the former, I think the award should have gone to Paul Thomas Anderson. Forty-Seven years old isn’t young, necessarily, but it’s a young age to have directed the number of great films he’s made. With that said, Phantom Thread might be the best exhibition of his skill. But since we know this category isn’t based on that, I am totally fine with Guillermo Del Toro winning. The Shape of Water is a majestic adult fairy tale that was challenging to make for such a small budget. Although it’s a small movie, it feels larger than life. Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is another wonderfully directed film but it’s hindered by being a war movie and lacking story. I’m not all that crazy about Lady Bird as most people. I’m a fan of Greta Gerwig but I felt this movie showed she’s talented but still inexperienced. It only made me more excited to see her second or third movie, although this one was an ambitious outing. Jordan Peele had the misfortune of releasing his movie in the wrong year. Any other year, I think he takes this award home but with Del Toro, Nolan, and Anderson in the same category, he had a steep hill to climb.
Nine, while being my favorite number, is a very ugly number for a list of nominations. Blade Runner 2049 could (should) have easily been included but that’s water under the bridge now. I knew Lady Bird would win although I didn’t necessarily agree (see above) so I’m happy The Shape of Water took this one home as well. Get Out is the consensus snub of the year in this category but I disagree. I think it needed what it needed to win. Best Original Screenplay has always been the “we like you, but we don’t like you-like you” category but I think this year, there’s no better screenplay than Get Out. The best combination of directing, writing, acting and on down is The Shape of Water.
But Get Out was indeed snubbed in one category and it’s the one that’s probably the least expected.
I’m going to be totally honest, The Darkest Hour is one of the only Oscar-nominated movies I haven’t seen. Gary Oldman has always been a fantastic, and criminally underrated actor, so I’m sure he did fine. But excuse my uneducated opinion when I say this award should have gone to none other than Daniel Kaluuya. Over Daniel Day-Lewis, over Timothee Chalamet, and over Denzel as well.
Get Out‘s premise is so out-there that if not executed properly this movie could have jumped off the rails immediately. A lot was asked of Kaluuya for this role whether it was anger, bewilderment, fear, vulnerability, etc. He masterfully nailed every single scene in this movie and I think he deserved the award for it.
There it goes, my unsolicited opinions. Before I leave, I think I would have been fine with either Frances McDormand or Sally Hawkins winning. Although Sally didn’t win, give her some respect for sing language, ballroom dancing, and having sex with a fish god all in the same movie.
So what are your unsolicited takes?