THE OSCARS 2018
By Ryan Ratnam
Normally, this article would start off with sheet excitement, speculating the film event of the year. Unfortunately, it starts on a rather melancholy note, due to my main predictions from the previous article, going down in flames. Whilst I could complain for pages and pages about the travesty that is Wonder Woman’s omission from any award, I shall spare you that pain.
With the Oscars approaching on March 4th, this article I will go over the ‘main’ awards (although every award apart from Best Picture should be equal) and will analyse who will win and who should win. (You will see a pattern of them not often matching up). You are, of course, entitled to disagree, but the latter half is just my opinion. I will not be covering any documentaries or shorts due to the fact that I do not have enough knowledge on them, however it is often hard to predict which one of them will win anyway due to the sheer brilliance they all entail.
Who Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri will most likely win due to its hard-hitting material about a mother seeking justice for the murder of her daughter and its incredible success at preceding awards shows, winning Best Film at both the Golden Globes (in the Drama section) and at the BAFTAs. It could potentially be threatened by Lady Bird (which won Best Film in the Comedy or Musical section at the Golden Globes) or The Shape of Water, however it seems unlikely now. There was a shock last year when La La Land did not win Best Picture after its previous awards show sweeps, so it is still possible.
Who Should Win: The Shape Of Water, Call Me By Your Name or Dunkirk. The Shape Of Water delivers an awe-inspiring absurd tale whilst at the same time cleverly drawing on real life issues and dilemmas. Call Me By Your Name is a perfect film, complete with beautiful cinematography and focusing on a raw romance, told true to its form. Dunkirk is a work of art, from the unnerving score to the extreme and even slightly grotesque cinematography. To be fair all of the films nominated are deserving of the award (apart from Phantom Thread), but these three are the best of all.
Who Will Win: Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri is likely to take home the award, only slightly threatened by Saoirse Ronan. McDormand has already won an Oscar for her stupendous role in Fargo, yet in this film she plays a grieving mother, not driven into sadness, but into anger over the lack of action by the local police. She delivers a diverse role of many shades in this film and is certainly deserving.
Who Should Win: Saoise Ronan for Lady Bird. Whilst McDormand is deserving, so is Ronan for incredibly grounded and relatable performance, playing a young woman, on the edge of childhood, delivering a tour-de-force performance, striking notes of humour, sadness and trepidation all at the same time. Ronan is also very likeable in real life so it would be nice to see her take the award (this is often how some voting actually works). Margot Robbie is also very good in I Tonya, however she is on the cusp of her career and is sure to be nominated again, as is of course the now 21 time nominated Meryl Streep, up this year for The Post.
Who Will Win: Gary Oldman for The Darkest Hour. Gary Oldman went through extensive weight gain and reinvention to play the role properly, and he does not play the Churchill sensationalised by the media, but the true Churchill, warts and all, portraying the negative aspects of the character as well as the sheer panic and tension he must have been feeling at the time.
Who Should Win: Gary Oldman. Gary Oldman whole-heartedly deserves the Oscar. Timothee Chalamet and Daniel Kaluya both gave sensational performances in Call Me By Your Name and Get Out respectively, however like Margot Robbie, they will both get other chances in the future, whilst Oldman maybe will not.
Who Will Win: Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape Of Water. Toro crafts a beautiful film, able to convince the audience on an unthinkable romance and make every fantastical element in the film seem real and feasible. The empathy he is able to draw from the audience is spectacular.
Who Should Win: Guillermo Del Toro or Christopher Nolan or Greta Gerwig. Nolan has made a masterpiece (and has many times before; if you haven’t watched Interstellar, change that) through Dunkirk, one that no other director would be able to do. Gerwig has made an entirely real, touching film in Lady Bird, that does not fall into any classic clichés or tropes, but tells the story exactly how it deserves to be told. Toro is still very deserving however, as his work equals the others.
best supporting actress
Who Will Win: Allison Janney for I Tonya. Janney plays Tonya Harding’s mother, delivering an unequivocally brilliant performance, presenting a mother who genuinely wants her child to succeed, but is lost in her path to greatness, forgetting to love and care for her along the way. She plays a character who is ruthless, yet conflicted.
Who Should Win: Allison Janney for I Tonya. Everyone else is amazing, but she is better in this film.
best supporting actor
Who Will Win: Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missiouri. Rockwell delivers a fantastic performance of a police officer, desperately trying to manage a situation which continues to go more and more out of control. His interactions with Frances McDormand are a sight to behold.
Who Should Win: Sam Rockwell or Woody Harrelson both for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. Harrelson delivers a surprisingly emotional, yet still gritty performance in this film and is definitely at equals with Rockwell.
Who Will Win: Blade Runner 2049. The cinematography is absolutely sumptuous and breath-taking, absorbing the viewer into this futuristic, corporate world.
Who Should Win: Blade Runner 2049. Roger Deakins who is up for this award has been nominated 14 times for an Oscar...I think it is time that he wins.
I haven’t watched all of the screenplay nominees, but based on what I have seen from the Academy’s voting pool and other awards, I can try and predict the winners.
best adapted screenplay
Who Will Win: Call Me By Your Name
best original screenplay
Who Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri or Lady Bird or Get Out
Whatever the result, the Oscars will close off a truly spectacular year of film-making, ranging from the awes of Blade Runner, to the controversy of Star Wars, all under a year when the film industry saw a paradigm shift under the noble and fantastic Time’s Up movement.