It’s that time of year again. 2017 may have been one of the best years for movies in recent memory, and moviegoers will finally see which one the Academy deems to be the best of the bunch this Sunday. There weren’t many surprises in this year’s Best Picture nominations, but they certainly are an extraordinary group of movies. Ranging from political and wartime thrillers to coming of age narratives to imaginative fairytales, the nominees are no doubt diverse, and it’s unclear which one will claim the throne. Here’s what we at SuperBroMovies thought of the Best Picture nominees.
Be sure to vote for who you think will win Best Picture at the end of the article.
The Post (Two Nominations)
The Post is a cinematic thrill that offers viewers insight into a topic that can be seen just as relevantly in contemporary times. Directed by Steven Spielberg, The Post is yet another great addition to his repertoire. The story is very compelling and crafted astonishingly by the crew behind it as well as being complemented by some tremendous performances. It is what gives the film its identity among other true story based films. The film features acting veterans Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in what is yet another great performance from both. It also features an incredibly talented supporting cast that is headlined by Bob Odenkirk, Bradley Whitford, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Bruce Greenwood to name a few. John Williams’ sublime score adds another layer to the film as well, increasing the thrilling aspects of the film to another level. Spielberg’s directing, a great story that is relatable to contemporary times, Hanks & Streep’s performances, and a phenomenal supporting cast are just some of the reasons as to why The Post is a sensational film that takes a true story and molds it into a thrilling experience.
Call Me By Your Name (Three Nominations)
Call Me By Your Name is the love story that everyone needs to see. The raw, unadulterated love it shows will have you in tears from the start. Timothée Chalamet’s first leading role is one that will go down in cinematic history. His chemistry with co-star Armie Hammer, and relationship with his on-screen father, Michael Stuhlbarg, portrays the most authentic of feelings. Being shot in a 1980’s Italy, the look of the film provides a beautiful tone and feel within the confines of a screen. The impact of the movie was unlike any other. For the first time after a viewing, I had to sit in my car and let the movie sink in. This movie is revolutionary, emotional, funny, and extremely important.
JB absolutely nailed it. The chemistry between Timothée and Armie in the film is a beautiful thing to watch, and seeing the story of a first love told in such an unfiltered, realistic way is what made this film hit so close to home for me. While most love stories rely on cliche tropes and hardly any real interaction with its two leads, Call Me By Your Name shows the two people actually talk about how they are feeling, showing their love in more than just a superficial way. The rest of the cast is phenomenal as well, especially Stuhlbarg playing the role of the professor and father to Timothée, as JB had said earlier. His dialogue is some of the best parts of the film, with a whole new emotional layer added. Add to that, the tight script and fantastic look and tone of the film that JB pointed out, and you’ve got a strong contender for best picture. You can’t forget about the final ending shot of the film either, paired with an original song written for the film by Sufjan Stevens. This is a film that cannot be missed.
Get Out (Four Nominations)
What if I told you the most successful movie of 2017 was brought to you by the mind behind such sketches as “East/West Game” and “Black Ice”? You probably wouldn’t believe me but that is what occurred when Jordan Peele’s Get Out hit theaters. The sleeper mega-hit of last year touched upon topics that made some uneasy and others feel like they had a voice. Race relations have always been a sensitive topic, especially in Hollywood, but Get Out pulled no punches. The film balances humor, horror, and suspense in a way you rarely see. The pairing of an incredible script along with breathtaking performances make for an almost perfect film. Even with all that said, the most impressive thing the film has going for it is the fact it came out before last year’s Oscars! Being nominated for four Oscars is an amazing accomplishment, but being nominated for four Oscars when your film has been out almost a year longer than the other nominees is incredible. Even if the film doesn’t win a single award, you know the world will turn out for whatever Jordan Peele makes next.
Lady Bird (Five Nominations)
With Lady Bird, writer-director Greta Gerwig created one of the best, simplest, and most multi-faceted coming-of-age stories of this generation. Following a year-long journey in the life of high school senior Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson , it’s a realistic and emotional journey that portrays aspects of adolescent life everyone can identify with. The movie lacks a strong central plot, and scenes begin in the middle of events, giving it a raw, slice-of-life feel. Lady Bird is a snapshot of the life of a teenage girl, her mother, and their messy, complicated, loving relationship. It’s not only about one’s search for self, but how one person’s search conflicts with others’. And it doesn’t just present events to the viewer, it captures every human emotion that should go with it, representing a complete understanding of its characters. Through the performances of a perfect cast led by Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, Greta Gerwig presents life in all its stages- positive and negative, young and old, and all the times those lines blur together. Hard to hate and easy to connect with, Lady Bird is unique in ways few other movies like it have ever captured.
Darkest Hour (Six Nominations)
While it may not be the most popular candidate, Darkest Hour has a lot of great things that seem to have gone overlooked by the public. Instead of focusing on the actual events of the war, the film delves deep into the character of Winston Churchill. Darkest Hour is carried by Gary Oldman’s spectacular performance. He unrecognizably embodies Churchill and captures even the most minute details of the great leader. If I didn’t know beforehand, I would never have been able to guess Oldman was the star of the movie. The movie and Oldman greatly portray the difficulties Churchill faced as a leader during the hard times of the war. There are so many internal and external conflicts he has has throughout the movie that make him question his morals and what’s best for the country. Even though I knew the outcome of the story (it being based off true events and all), there were still so many small details about the behind the scenes of the war that surprised me and left me more educated when I left the theatre. The editing in this movie was also surprisingly well done. I rarely notice things like that, but the way some scenes are intercut make it all the more interesting. Darkest Hour is an excellent film with a phenomenal performance driving the story of one of the greatest leaders in history.
Phantom Thread (Six Nominations)
Phantom Thread is a breathtaking fresh take on a meticulous powerful man in love with a strong-willed young woman. From the cinematography, the enchanting score, the gorgeous costume design, and the thought-provoking screenplay the two leads brought to life, Phantom Thread throws you into a whirlwind of passion, deception, and slightly erotic thriller. I fully appreciated Paul Thomas Anderson’s cinematography and art direction. Phantom Thread deserves praise for its desire to break the idea of toxic masculinity. Vicky Krieps holds her own both as an actress and as a character. The roles that was tailored for both Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Krieps thoroughly examine their character’s personality and motives. Vicky Krieps’ strong love overpowers Day-Lewis in a horrific way. Paul Thomas Anderson created something truly masterful and if this is indeed Daniel Day-Lewis’ final performance, then he ended on a high note.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Seven Nominations)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is Martin McDonagh’s most interesting project yet. After coming off of Seven Psychopaths in 2012, which he had also written and directed for the screen, Three Billboards tells a harrowing tale in the funniest way possible. With masterpieces under his belt like In Bruges, McDonagh once again succeeds in writing a tight and engaging script with interesting character dynamics and sharp and witty dialogue, although done in the most subtle way and hidden behind thick accents. However, dialogue and a script are only as good as the actors delivering it, and Three Billboards comes through with that as well, with astounding actors like Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell. Their performances take the movie to a whole other level, as the chemistry and dynamics between them elevate the tension and comedy in every scene. Overall, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri not only has great comedic timing and an excellent script, but it also manages to give us a look at the conflicted humanity that can be in all of us, given the circumstances. The violent and compelling story and the all-star cast is something that absolutely cannot be missed.
Dunkirk (Eight Nominations)
Dunkirk is a thrilling experience from start to finish. Right from the get-go, the movie throws you into the war and doesn’t pull you out until its final moments. The acting is great with Harry Styles and Tom Hardy being standouts, but that isn’t what makes Dunkirk so amazing. Instead of focusing on characters, Christopher Nolan centers the story purely around the event, which makes for one of the most immersive films in recent memory. The combination of visually stunning locations, authentic practical effects, encompassing sound mixing, and a heart-pounding score from Hans Zimmer had me on the edge of my seat for the full 2-hour runtime. What really makes Dunkirk so unique, though, is the non-linear storytelling structure of Christopher Nolan. On top of all the other thrills, the movie goes in and out between three separate locations with different time frames, which makes for an even more captivating experience. Dunkirk further cements Christopher Nolan as my favorite director, and it has quickly become one of my favorite war movies of all time. (Side Note: this and Darkest Hour make for a great double viewing)
The Shape of Water (Thirteen Nominations)
The Shape of Water is the turquoise cinematic gem that has left a mark on the year like no other. It almost feels like Guillermo Del Toro’s career has been leading up to this specific pit stop. His visionary mindset and eye reminded audiences everywhere that love can often thrive without limitations. No, this does not mean that it would be okay for a real-life woman to join a relationship with an aquatic creature. Looking at this story through this mindset defeats the purpose of Del Toro’s vision. Make no mistake, The Shape of Water is a modern classic fairy tale from start to finish. It is through the wonders of fantasy that love has often thrived in cinema. When these elements are combined with a real historical setting in U.S history, something truly unique is created. When you throw in diverse characters played by Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, and Michael Shannon- the unique world only feels more genuine and alive. This is a love story told at the finest degree in today’s industry. I also cannot forget to state that Del Toro and actor Doug Jones have managed to yet again create an extremely memorable movie monster through their use of costume and effects. Seriously, every time these two come together a new type of cinematic beast is born.
What do you think of the nominees? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @SuperBroMovies and be sure to vote for your pick of Best Picture.
The 90th Academy Awards premiere this Sunday at 8pm EST.