The Oscars’ Best Picture Nominees, Reviewed in Selfies!
This is a new series of entertainment and news based articles that will be coming to KCL Radio over the coming weeks. This week Jonathan Combey (& Josh) review all the 2017 Best Picture Nominees at once!
This year I and my friend Josh decided to try and do what everyone says they’ll do every year. That is, watch all the best picture nominations, well we did that and here are mine (and a few of Josh’s) thoughts.
Call Me by Your Name Dir Luca Guadagnino
Other Oscar Noms : Best Actor (Timothée Chalamet), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Song (“Mystery of Love”).
My Nom nom noms (snacks): Bag of chocolate buttons
Location: Picturehouse Screen 7
Quick Film Summary: Coming of age romance story between two gay men (Timothée Chalamet & Armie Hammer) in 1983 Italy.
Film impression: A very beautiful backdrop that displays effortlessly talented and extremely pretty people doing actually not a lot. A weird lack of agency maintains throughout the first half, which easily allows for boredom, but as part of the film’s relaxing mission, it lulls you in the mood for a more driven second half, which completes to a very nicely made movie.
Selfie Rating: Nicely Relaxed
I liked it
Film MVP: Michael Stulhbarg playing the best dad anyone could hope for.
Phantom Thread Dir Paul Thomas Anderson
Other Oscar Noms : Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Lesley Manville), Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson), Best Original Score (Jonny Greenwood), Best Costume Design.
Location: Picturehouse Screen 1 (in fancy 70mm film apparently)
My Nom nom noms (snacks): None (I thought Daniel Day-Lewis would frown upon it)
Quick Film Summary: In 1950’s London, set against the world of fashion and post-war depression, a Dressmaker (Daniel Day-Lewis), living with his sister (Lesley Manville), begins to fall in love with a young waitress (Vicky Kreips).
Immediate Film Impression: An extremely clever film, that progresses with a strange structure, that doesn’t really properly begin, change or end. Day Lewis’s amazing performance propels an extremely well-written script, which never fails to play with the viewer’s expectations. The beautiful score of Jonny Greenwood also lends its hand to a film that is never content in simply being watched, all its components combining to what feels like an extremely manipulative film, that revels in messing with any audience’s attempt to understand it.
Selfie Rating: Like what, I don’t get it…
“Suddenly a wild Josh appears”
They scare easy (that’s why it’s out of focus)
I’m going to watch it again (A lot!)
Film MVP: Josh for attempting to explain Paul Thomas Anderson movies to me in my confused state after watching this film.
Get Out Dir Jordan Peele
Other Oscar Noms: Best Actor (Daniel Kaluuya), Best Director( Jordan Peele), and Best Original Screenplay.
Location: Everyman Cinema, Canary Wharf (We sat on sofas, fancy innit!)
My Nom nom noms (Snacks): Toffee Popcorn and a big bag of skittles
Quick Film Summary: Chris(Daniel Kaluuya)is a black man nervous about being introduced to his white girlfriend’s parent’s at a weekend away, during which unusual events start to take place.
Immediate Film Impression: Wow! An extremely gripping film in which nothing is wasted. Peele is almost Hitchcockian in how he cleverly uses the conventions of horror to grab an audience’s attention, in a film that comments brutally on modern society. The film is so neatly structured and compressed that it would feel a betrayal to talk of more, only that Kaluuya and the rest of the cast turn in especially strong performances that makes all your time watching a tense and engaging experience.
Selfie Impression: Terrified Pillow-Chewing Awe
I’m going to watch it again (a couple of times)
Film MVP: Tie between Kaluuyas teary eyes and the awesome TSA buddy relationship between Kaluuya and Howery.
The Post Dir Stephen Spielberg
Other Oscar Noms: Best Actress (Meryl Streep)
Location: Cold Odeon Screen with broken heating!
My Nom nom noms (Snacks): Revels
Quick Film Summary: Its based on a TRUE STORY, about journalists from the Washington Post, and their struggle to publish CLASSIFIED GOVERNMENT SECRETS.
Immediate Film Impression: It’s a film that first gets its theming and audience right. It was fast-tracked by Spielberg as a pet project about the conflict between government and media, with fun references to classics like All the President’s Men. The acting is serviceable, bar some great performances by Bob Odenkirk and Tom Hanks, with Meryl Streep being surprisingly forgettable. It feels like the Oscar film of a different era, that is both entertaining but predictably digestible. (But I defy anyone to not feel entertained by the tension of physical typewriters and newspaper printers).
Selfie Rating: Resolutely Inspired (I forgot to take this one on location)
I’m going to go watch All the President’s Men
Film MVP: Tom Hank’s shouting the word ‘Publish’ for the 17th time.
Darkest Hour Dir Joe Wright
Other Oscar Noms: Best Actor (Gary Oldman), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Hairstyling, Best Costume Design.
Location!: A slightly warmer Odeon this time
My Nom nom noms (Snacks): Popcorn (obvs), and Mini KitsKats
Quick Film Summary: The story of Churchill ( Gary Oldman) becoming Prime Minister at the beginning WW2, and the struggles he faced around D-Day.
Immediate Film Impression: This film is lauded for Oldman’s performance, which is good. However, the film itself struggles to maintain any kind pace or tension, it potters around with an unlikable and weirdly cast set of characters. It’s truly forgettable, and towards the end, it tries to raise non-existent stakes, in a film that relies heavily on your affection for Churchill the historical figure, whilst an overexcited camera, attempts to make boring, poorly lit scenes, bearable.
Selfie Impression: Like, That was It?
It was fine
Film MVP: The makeup department, making me confused about the presence of Gary Oldman.
The Shape of Water dir Guillermo del Toro
Other Oscar Noms: Best Director(Guillermo del Toro), Best Actress (Sally Hawkins),Best Supporting Actor(Richard Jenkins), Best Supporting Actress(Octavia Spencer), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design , Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing.
(AKA, A LOT)
Location: The Genesis Cinema (East London)
My Nom nom noms (Snacks): Fruit Mentos
Quick Film Summary: A mute cleaner at a high-security government laboratory falls in love with a captured aquatic creature in 1962 Baltimore.
Immediate Film Impression: It’s a beautiful, enchanting and heartwarming love story filled with affecting performances, all directed by a caring directorial eye. The music and the production design as a whole contributed to a wonderful feeling of nostalgia mixed with something new and exciting. (Yes I cried at the end)
Selfie Impression: Stupidly Happy
I liked it but not as much as Jon
Film MVP: Anyone who gives Richard Jenkin’s character a hug.
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri dir Martin McDonough
Other Oscar Noms: Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Supporting Actor(Woody Harrelson), Best Supporting Actor(Sam Rockwell), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score.
Location: Massive Vue Cinema, whilst at home over reading week.
My Nom nom noms (Snacks): None cause I’m poor after seeing all these films.
Quick Film Summary: Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) is a mother who rents three billboards to call attention to her daughter’s unsolved murder.
Immediate Film Impression: This is a film that relishes itself in its talented actors and its cutting script. It’s everything you could want in a dark comedy, that ask relevant questions, whilst letting its topics breath, whilst surrounded by realistic and morally grey characters. With some draw dropping performances, the film, in my opinion, lacks a small amount of cohesion in bringing its amazing parts together to one whole.
Selfie Impression: Contemplative, and slightly confused yet entertained (also woohoo haircut)
I didn’t know to say at the end (and that must indicate something)
Film MVP: The imaginary spirit of an Anglo-Irish Scriptwriter who occasionally says stuff for almost every single character
Dunkirk dir Christopher Nolan
Other Oscar Noms: Best Director(Christopher Nolan), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing.
Location: Rented on Amazon Prime (on My Ipad) on a train somewhere in the Midlands
(all films for this article, have been legally and organically sourced)
My Nom nom noms (Snacks): A lukewarm coffee and an apple (for reason see above)
Quick Film Summary: It’s a film that portrays the evacuation at Dunkirk (that’s kind of the point, there’s not much more).
Immediate Film Impression: It’s a film made to both be a Hollywood blockbuster and a depiction of war at its most harrowing. The sound itself is used magnificently to affect the mood and tension of different scenes. This is a film however that doesn’t really care about its characters, so much so that they sometimes blend together, with perspective jumping between groups and timelines, it makes it difficult to become attached to any of them. Don’t get me wrong everyone gives an amazing performance and the camera captures every scene brilliantly, just after the third time our characters almost drowned with the same claustrophobic effects, it made me want to take a good five minute break before continuing.
Selfie Impression: Unimpressed, but slightly bored/harrowed
I’m glad I wasn’t there. (though the young soldier gave a better reading of Churchill’s speech than Churchill/Oldman did!)
Film MVP: Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, and Mark Rylance, as I could remember who they were when the scene ended.
Lady Bird dir Greta Gerwig
Other Oscar Noms: Best Director(Greta Gerwig), Best Actress( Saoirse Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf), Best Original Screenplay
Location: Back in Picturehouse screen 1 at 9.10 at night!
My Nom nom noms (Snacks): Strawberry Laces
Quick Film Summary: Set in 2002, it’s a coming-of-age story of a high-school student (Saoirse Ronan) and her relationship with her mother ( Laurie Metcalf).
Immediate Film Impression: I cannot say anything more than I love this film. The acting, the writing, the directing, all of it makes you connect with a world of the recent past that feels alive. Ronan and Metcalf dominate the screen with realistic but funny dialogue, whilst the supporting cast creates unforgettable moments and scenes. Its stomps along at a breakneck pace, but over the year you spend with Lady Bird, it makes you feel to the extreme, and (happy) cry, oh so very much.
YES I CRIED! YOU WATCH A BEAUTIFUL PIECE OF ART THAT CHANGES HOW YOU VIEW THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER AND TRY NOT TO!
I’m in love with the film and Saoirse Ronan
Film MVP: Every single side character, from sassy nuns to the gym teacher.
NOW MY ULTIMATE WINNER….
IN A SHOCK TWIST
It’s a tie!
Ok, I know the Oscars can’t do that, but they should…
Lady Bird and The Shape of Water, two films both filled with so much love, passion (and lots of happy tears). I started this article as a silly challenge, and I have found two of my favorite most inspiring films of all time!
I can’t attempt to decide between the two.
(Why not watch them, and decide for yourself?)
(You won’t regret it :D )
If you enjoyed this article you can hear Josh and Jon talk about films every Wednesday from 4-5 on The Curtain Call. For more Oscars’ content you can click HERE to hear their Oscars’ predictions.