The 2018 Oscars: Everything you need to know about the Best Picture race
Are you following the awards race and want to enter our Pick the Winners contest, but don't have time to see every nominated movie? We're breaking down the front-runners and underdogs to help you make accurate choices in any Oscar pool! Today we're giving you a rundown of the films nominated for Best Picture.
The nominees are:
This gay romance adapted from the novel by Andre Aciman was many people's favourite film of 2017. Perfectly directed by Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name captures desire, yearning, first love, and coming out, set against a lush Italian backdrop. Featuring our favourite performance of the year from its breakout star Timothee Chalamet, and one of the most moving monologues ever, courtesy of Michael Stuhlbarg, we'd be ecstatic to see the most beloved film of 2017 walk away with the top prize.
An achievement even coming from one of the most spell-binding directors we have, Dunkirk reinvents the war film and was THE movie event of the year. Playing in IMAX, 70MM, and IMAX 70MM, Christopher Nolan's experimentation with format is always welcomed, and he truly went big to tell the incredible story behind the WWII battle of Dunkirk. This is often the type of film that wins big, and considering Nolan has never won in the Best Picture category before despite often directing iconic films that are loved by all, this could be the right time to award a Nolan feature.
Proven to be popular with the Academy, earning six nominations overall, Darkest Hour is a historical drama following Winston Churchill as he has to make the decision whether or not to negotiate with Hitler during the early days of WWII. Featuring a transformative performance by the favourite to win, Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour is another lavish piece by filmmaker Joe Wright that seems right up Oscar's alley.
This is not the type of film you'd expect to get a Best Picture nomination, but we are absolutely thrilled that Jordan Peele's innovative social satire/thriller Get Out earned itself a lot of love with the Academy. It's proof that things are shifting with the awards ceremony, as it becomes more inclusive, bold, and daring with the films it chooses to reward. One of the most talked about films of last year, the story follows Chris Washington, a black man dating a white woman who visits her family at their secluded estate, and realizes that they have sinister ulterior motives. Get Out could pull out a surprise win in this category, and if it does, the Oscars may be changed forever.
As soon as we heard Greta Gerwig would be making her directorial debut, we knew we were in for something special. However, no one could have predicted just how perfect Lady Bird would be. Starring Saoirse Ronan as a senior in high school who wants nothing more than to escape boring Sacramento, Lady Bird is quirky, hilarious, and incredibly relatable. The film focuses on Lady Bird and her mother, and it might be the most authentic portrayal of that relationship that we've ever seen. Not to mention the impeccable performances, brilliant screenplay, distinct visual style and overall, the mark of a vital new cinematic voice.
Phantom Thread might be Paul Thomas Anderson's "safest" film, but it sure does pack a punch. Absolutely lavish in every way, from the costumes to the score to the cinematography, and with three brilliant performances, one of which is supposedly the last we'll see from Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread sits with the best of PTA's filmography. The film follows renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock and the toxic relationship that he has with his new muse, Alma. The Academy really loved the film, giving it six Oscar nominations. We feel that Phantom Thread is an underdog in the race that could pull off a major upset.
The Post has had one of the most surprising journeys of any nominee. The film tells the real-life story behind the publisher of the Washington Post, Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep), and her decision to side with the New York Times in publishing the Pentagon Papers which exposed decades of U.S. government interference overseas. Director Steven Spielberg read the script just over a year ago and managed to pull off an impeccably told true story in a very tight timeframe; moreover, the film has an absolutely stellar cast along with Streep including Tom Hanks as the paper's editor Ben Bradlee, and the subject -- government officials attempting to intimidate and control the press --could not be more timely. And yet, this movie once considered a shoe-in for multiple awards is now considered a bit of an underdog. That a film with this pedigree is not considered a guaranteed Best Picture winner is a true testament to the wealth of great movies we've enjoyed this past year.
There aren't many filmmakers with an imagination as vivid as Guillermo Del Toro. When you think of the director, you think of fantasy, and what Del Toro delivers with The Shape of Water is an adult fairy-tale unlike anything you've seen before. While the story itself is familiar, woman falling in love with creature, Del Toro's take is absolutely mesmerizing, and it's elevated by his incredible cast, including Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, and of course his leading lady, the incomparable Sally Hawkins.
We wouldn't have guessed that the director of films like In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths would be so popular with the Academy, but it looks like the Oscars are becoming more daring with their choices. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a dark comedy/drama that very evenly balances its tones, and features an all-star cast giving their best work, especially Frances McDormand in a role we couldn't imagine another actress playing. About a woman who puts up three billboards to call out the local police department for failing to solve her daughter's murder, Three Billboards may walk away the big winner on Oscar night.
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