Oscars 2018

João says:

The Oscars are here.

Winning is not everything. A movie getting an Oscar doesn’t make it any better, but for 90 years now that we love to see if our favorite movies are as loved by everyone else as they are by us.

Every year we have movies that people feel are overrated, films and actors that we think were snubbed… Yes, I am talking about you Leonardo Dicaprio! And then We have the ones that went under the radar, and we decide to give them a chance. That is the best thing about all these awards.

A few years ago the Oscars went from 5 nominations for best picture to a maximum of 10; this meant if necessary they could nominate up to 10 movies.
I for one would love to know how this works, what are the criteria?

If there was ever a year that we needed ten nominations, it was this year.

It was an excellent year for cinema, and I believe that even if we take a few away from the nominations, we could still have a few new ones added to reach the magic 10.
Before I talk about to the movies that could be part of the nominations let’s talk about the actual nominated ones.

This year I watched all of the movies nominated for best picture, and pretty much the ones in every major category. So, I will only talk about the categories that I watch all of the appointed movies.

Best Picture

This year out of the nine nominated, I have four films that I loved, four that I am not that bothered with and one that I didn’t enjoy.


“The Shape of Water” –  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (Oscar Winner)

What is love?
Why do We fall in love with a specific someone and not another?
Why is a specific kind of love more accepted than another?

I went and watched “Shape of Water” in the cinema, or how it’s known by many as “The fish sex movie”, this is something that happened to “Brokeback Mountain” that was known as the “gay cowboy movie”.
That hurt the chances of “Brokeback Mountain” to win the Oscar that year and because of that we had “crash” as the winner, really hope this doesn’t happen again, but at least the runner-up is not “crash”.
What people don’t understand they try to undermine. But guess what, you cannot undermine the voice of talent, and talent with a beautiful message is unstoppable.

Guillermo del Toro has nothing to prove to anyone, “Pan’s Labyrinth” is until today the best fairy tale movie ever told, yes until today because “shape of water” is even more remarkable.
This movie is everything that beauty and the beast wish it could be. Its a story of love with no conditions, where love needs no words to make us believe.

The way Sally Hawkins “undresses” in front of us in every possible way is just beautiful. At no point did I feel that it was using sexuality to get my attention, no it just showed me a character that is completely exposed to the world.
I am disappointed that Sally had this part on such a strong year, any other year she would have the Oscar locked in, but this year it’s probably the best year for best actresses nominations and Frances McDormand has it in the bag.

Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer are delightful as always, and then we have the Andy Serkis of monsters, Doug Jones, no one can make a monster more believable than him, with no words he makes all fall in love and stand by him. But how about the best villain of the year? Maybe in the last couple of years, since Christoph Waltz in “inglorious bastards” made us tremble with his voice, we had no one as incredible and scary as Michael Shannon.

Hope people give this movie a chance and see it with an open mind if they do they will see one of the best love stories ever told in cinema history.
For me “Shape of Water” had an uphill battle since the start, the story on paper is not an Oscar-winning movie, but on the hands of a talented director like Guillermo del Toro, even this would work. That is why he is also my pick for best director.

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“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” -⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Unlike “Shape of water” this is a movie that screams Oscar. It’s a fantastic script, a cast that any movie would love to have, but strangely in the academy eyes, it was so good that it filmed itself.
How do we have a movie nominated for best picture, best actress, best original screenplay, two nominations for supporting actors and no nomination for best director?

The way they made us feel every ounce of the pain of this mom, how we all connect and understand how she would do anything to get justice for her daughter is amazing.
But all the sideline stories are just as good; it never shies away from anything, the racism, the police abuse, suicide, everything is out in the open and makes it feel real.

This movie has so many good things but I have to repeat it, this cast is probably one of the best in any movie, and for me, Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell have the Oscar in the bag.

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“Lady Bird” -⭐⭐⭐⭐½

Or how critics call it, “the most overrated movie of this year’s Oscars”. To who is saying this I would like to ask why?
Is it because it’s a simple movie? Because it doesn’t feel like a significant event is happening in the characters’ lives and looks mundane?

Well, that is what I love about movies, it’s so personal that maybe just a few people will relate to the story. It’s a question of relevance, for that family this was their lives biggest challenges and how they handle it is captured in this movie with no filters.

Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf are mind-blowing, but I feel sorry because it was just the wrong year to come out with this performance.
Saoirse Ronan is impressive in this movie; as she is in almost all of the others she is in. (check our top 20 list of Bada$$ female characters in film to see why we picked her for another amazing character)

We feel her struggles to try and become someone she believes she should be, just to realize that we are who we are and have to do the best with what we have.

Laurie Metcalf might not win the Oscar because of Allison Janney‘s portrait of the mother of Tonya Harding in “I, Tonya”, but the best-acted scene of the year no one takes it away from her, the scene of when she drops her daughter in the airport will stay with you forever.

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“Get Out”-⭐⭐⭐⭐½

What can We say about “Get Out”?

A movie made by a first time director, Jordan Peele that is known for doing silly comedies and now is also nominated for best director.

A movie made for 4,5 million dollars that made more than 250 million dollars worldwide.

A Film that made such taboo themes a mainstream talk everywhere.

Just for all this, it deserves for people to give it more credit.

It’s original, strongly directed and written, Jordan Peele created something unusual and unexpected.
The leading actor also carries the movie and helps us believe in the claustrophobic ambient around him. It’s one of the best movies of the year and one of the most original and mind-boggling movies you will ever see.

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“Dunkirk” -⭐⭐⭐½

When I went to watch “Dunkirk”, everyone was calling it the best movie of the year so far, and already it was the main runner for the Oscars.

Well, my excitement was high, I love Christopher Nolan‘s work, “Memento” is still for me a mark in cinema history that shows you can still be original and tell a story differently.
So with all that I went to see it in the IMAX, let’s start by saying I believe this is the way this movie deserves to be watched, every shot is beautiful and shows Chris still can shoot like no other director.

But for me something was missing, I saw a cast of great actors, but I felt they were miss used. The drama and the stakes you would expect on a story like this was missing.
The way the story was told using 3 different timeline speeds made me feel that not much happened and it was just a repeat after a repeat.

The hype didn’t help, but I think more than that was my expectations to go and watch the new work of who I believe is one of the best directors working today.

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“The darkest hour”-⭐⭐⭐½

So this is a movie that can be watched with “Dunkirk”, its the other side of the story, the talk behind the action of “Dunkirk”.
And that is a word We can use to resume this movie, talking, lots and lots of talking.

When We have a character like Winston Churchill played by Gary Oldman, that I believe also has his oscar in the bag, we expect more. We want to know more about why that man was as he was, why he made those decisions, we get to the end just wanting to know more.

I am not going to talk about the makeup Oscar because I have not seen “Victoria and Abdul” but I honestly think this is one of the best makeups you will ever see in any movie.

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“The Post” -⭐⭐⭐

Steven SpielbergTom Hanks and Meryl Streep in the same movie! If there was ever a cast that screamed Oscar this was it.

Only Steven Spielberg can make a guy copying a bunch of papers look exciting, but even his talents are sometimes not enough to turn this story into a cinema masterpiece. (Check our “Ready Player One” review here)

“The post” is a good movie with great actors and a master as a director, but still, it’s missing heart. Feels like a very well shot documentary that you come out knowing more about that story but not about the people involved in the story.

And please we don’t have to nominate Meryl Streep every time she does a movie.

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“Call me by your name”-⭐⭐⭐


And this is an honest question that means no harm, but why are critics, moviegoers, and people in general so moved and standing behind this movie?

My issue is with the kid being a minor, the parents know what is going on and never even question it.
We are all talking about the abuses done by someone in power, but in this movie, no one is even raising an eyebrow at this older man that is intelligent and manipulative and seduces this kid.

That said the two main actors are fantastic and the photography is beautiful, on the other hand, I felt some of the director choices hurt the movie.

The movie feels rushed in the beginning, we never really understand how they would fall in love like that and that fast, their relationship had no hints there was even a beginning of something there. We have a middle bit that goes everywhere and an ending that again is saved by Timothée Chalamet performance.

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“The Phantom Thread” -⭐⭐½

And finally, we get to our last movie out of the nine nominees, the one I didn’t care for.

The movie is slow, what is not necessarily an issue but it feels too slow. The acting is excellent, but you never click with the characters and their motivations.

The twist of how an abusive relationship is turned around is also never explored as it could, and it would be expected from a director that is a master in creating rich character stories to do this better.

And just like Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis doesn’t need to always be nominated.



So what would be the other movies that I would nominate to make the 10?

Even if we don’t remove any of the nominated ones we could add;

The “Florida Project” an incredible movie that shows the coming of age as no movie before. Beautifully shot and the acting is mind-blowing, to be honest for me the little 7-year-old Brooklynn Prince would be the only actress this year to give Frances McDormand a run for her money.

How about “Coco”? Do We still see animation as a less art form?
Movies are about stories and very few movies had a better story than “Coco”.

And just in case you didn’t watch, try “The Disaster Artist”“I, Tonya”“Blade Runner 2049”“The Big Sick”“Split” and “Baby Driver”, Check our “Baby Driver” review here.
And no I don’t believe “Wonder Woman” or “Logan” should be nominated, love comic book movies and they are great fun, but still don’t see it as the best movies of the year.



So on the other categories that I saw all the movies nominated, this is my other picks:

Best Director – Guillermo Del Toro, “The shape of water”
Martin McDonagh for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” should at least be nominated. He is an amazing director and if you guys never saw “In Bruges” please do.

Best Actress – Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Again take out Meryl Streep and give Brooklynn Prince a nomination.

Best Actor – Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Why isn’t James McAvoy from “Split” or James Franco for “Disaster artist nominated? James Franco we all know why, but James Mcavoy was terrific in “Split” and deserved at least a nod.

Supporting Actress – Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
I could see Laurie Metcalf going in for the steal here.

Supporting Actor- Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Finally, Sam Rockwell is getting the recognition he deserves, and I see no one else that could take it from him.
If you never saw him in “Moon”, please check it out.

Adapted Screenplay – “Call me by your name”
I believe this will be the winner, it’s the kind of script the academy goes for, but for me, I would give it to Aaron Sorkin for “Molly’s Game”.

Original Screenplay – “Get out”
Could see something like the “The Shape of water” taking it away from “get out”, but I believe because of the strong message and social relevance of “Get out” it will win.

Cinematography – “Blade Runner 2049”
This movie should be getting allot more love than its getting. It was an impossible job for Denis Villeneuve and he created a masterpiece, the cinematography is the best of the year for me, the only other out there that can even come close to it is “The shape of water”.

Costume Design – “Phantom thread”
A movie about high fashion should get at least this one.

Production Design – “The shape of water”
I don’t know how much of “Blade Runner 2049”, allot is visual effects so in this one Shape of water has the edge.

Score – “The shape of water”
No other movie score this year created the mood of every scene like this one; it made us feel everything, every emotion was conveyed to us by this score, it said what the characters could not.

Song – “Remember me”, “Coco”
It will not surprise me if “The Greatest Showman” would take it with “This is me”, it’s way more popular than the one of “Coco” and it did it before in the Golden Globes. (check our review of “The Greatest Showman” here)
At least the best-animated movie Oscar is a guarantee for “Coco”, haven’t seen all of the nominees but I think it’s a sure bet.

Film Editing, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing- “Dunkirk”
“Dunkirk” almost for sure will win all of these categories. For me, I would pick “Baby driver” especially in the sound ones, but history shows us war movies do well in these categories with the academy.

Visual Effects – “War for the Planet of the Apes”
A few years ago we would believe “Star Wars” or some big comic book movies would always win this, not anymore. The work on this CGI characters sometimes feels more real than many real actors, they are amazing and deserve all the awards.
Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Blade Runner 2049” could come from behind and take it away.

So that is it, sorry it was so long, but like I said it has been a great year in movies. Let’s see if I am right on the 4th of March and please give me your opinions and feedback.

.And don’t forget one life is not enough, Live more trough movies.

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João Jesus Written by:

"You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do something themselves; they wanna tell you-you can't do it. If you want something, go get it. Period." Movies inspired me to be who I am today.

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  1. […] so relevant to talk about “Edward Scissorhands” today is because of this years Oscars (read our review of the Oscar movies). We just had “The shape of Water” winning the Oscar for best picture this year and […]


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