Sunday, March 4, 2018

Gather 'Round, Kids, It's Reno's Annual Academy Award Predictions



Fellow movie fans, let's get right to it. Here are my annual predictions for the Oscars, which include a few perturbed/disturbed comments about some big snubs this year in the acting and directing categories. 

Thankfully, the finest performance of the year was acknowledged. Gary Oldman’s take as Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour" is not only the best acting performance of the year, it is one of the finest biographical performances in the history of cinema. 

Oldman embodies the legendary British Prime Minister. It is an uncanny portrayal that is simultaneously nuanced and appropriately over-the-top. He's been one of my favorite actors for years, and tonight I hope and expect he'll finally get recognized. This is acting on a level few other actors ever reach.

Below is a list of who I think should win (including several who weren't even nominated), and who I think will win. 

It's a tough year to predict the Best Picture nod. The best movie of this year is "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," but as a journalist who worked for the Washington Post Company for 20 years (Newsweek, my employer, was owned by the Post), I would personally love to see "The Post" win. 

It'd be satisfying to see this movie, a powerful reminder of the need for real journalism in this age of fake news and a fake president, get the publicity it deserves. It would be the second non-fictional journalism flick in the last three years to win ("Spotlight" won two years ago).

Having said all that, I suspect “The Shape of Water” will take home the big prize of the night. And I don't think it's even close to the best movie of the year. I know some of you will disagree, but "The Shape of Water" is overrated. 

Nice movie, touching, but formulaic, predictable, pretentious and quite cynical. 

Nothing wrong with a powerful feminist statement in film, we need more of that now. But not at the expense of all men. In “The Shape of Water,” pretty much every male character is either too cruel or too sweet. 

Sally Hawkins' performance is wonderful, but the message of the film is that anyone who's a little different or challenged in some way must resort to a fantasy -- in this case, an exotic fish-mammal-alien creature -- to be understood and loved. 

This movie has a good heart but it basically celebrates defeatism and sends I believe the wrong message that some people really can't and shouldn't seek love from someone of the same species. 

It's The Creature from the Black Lagoon meets Starman meets Thelma and Louise meets ET

The best performance by an actress this year was indeed by Hawkins. But it wasn’t in “The Shape of Water." It was in “Maudie.” That performance and film were sadly overlooked by just about everyone. See it if you get a chance. 

But I digress... here are my predictions, enjoy the show:

BEST PICTURE


Should WinThree Billboards, or Darkest Hour, or The Post

Will Win: The Shape of Water

DIRECTING


Should WinMartin McDonagh, Three Billboards, or Steven Speilberg, The Post (neither one is nominated

Will WinGuillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water 


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Should Win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Will Win: Oldman

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Should Win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards, or Sally Hawkins, Maudie (not nominated)

Will Win: McDormand

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Should Win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards, or Mark Hamill, The Last Jedi (he wasn't nominated)

Will Win: Rockwell

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Should Win:Hong Chau, Downsizing (she wasnt nominated)

Will Win - Allison Janney, I, Tonya

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