Frontrunner The Shape of Water became the big winner of the bight at the Oscars after winning four awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy film – the second to win Best Picture after The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – captivated voters in a politically charged ceremony. The Shape of Water led the nominations (13), and Guillermo del Toro won his first award, after being nominated for Pan’s Labyrinth in 2007. This wasn’t however an obvious victory, as the contest held suspense until the last minute.
Awards Season is coming to an end and tonight all eyes will be on the Dolby Theater, where the 90th Academy Awards will crown the best films of the year. Many questions are still unresolved: Will the Shape of Water claim the award for Best Picture, or will Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri put the cherry on top of a brilliant season? Without further ado, here are my final predictions – and opinions – on all 24 categories.
2017 has been a great year for movies of various origins, genres and above all, budgets. Indies are conquering the market and hearts of audiences and critics alike and this breath of fresh air has been represented this year at the Academy Awards. Low-budget movies tackling controversial subjects have finally been recognized by academics, in yet an other effort to prove the Academy is more than a bunch of white privileged males. Movies that one would have never imagined would receive Hollywood praise are nominated this year alongside more typical movies by classic Oscar directors. Let’s take a look at this year’s Best Picture nominees, from their budget, nominations, box office and ratings.
What makes the film industry different from any other industry? Its power to change people’s lives and shape generations. Every so often a movie comes out that defies the odds – and our preconceived notions – and becomes a cultural phenomenon that goes beyond the screen. This is the case of La Llamada (Holy Camp), which, after becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year in Spain, gets it international release today on Netflix. I’m going to make my point right away, la Llamada needs to become a global phenomenon that goes beyond borders, languages and cultures, as it captures the voice of a new generation of storytellers and moviegoers.
The battle is on for Hollywood’s most coveted awards. After weeks of predictions, the Academy has finally unveiled the list of nominees who will fight for glory at the Oscars on March 4th. This year’s diverse nominations and wins during awards season gave room for debate on who would claim a spot in the final roster – except for a few exceptions: Would Greta Gerwig become the fifth woman nominated for Best Director after her snub at the Golden Globes? Would the Academy embrace Jordan Peele’s horror movie Get Out? Would the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement affect this year’s nominations? These questions have been answered and it turns out the 7.258 Academy voters had an ace up their sleeves, with surprising nominees and snubs.
Everyone’s story deserves to be heard. This was the main subject of this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. With sexual harassment as one of the major topics on the news and with hundreds of actors and actresses coming forward with heartbreaking stories, what a better platform to talk about this issue than the Screen Actors Guild Awards. With an all-female rooster of presenters, the issue at the center of the show seemed inevitable even before the start of the night.
Awards Season is a complicated time of the year, and as much as we love it, we couldn’t do it all year round. And as a matter of fact, we all have mixed feelings about it, as it is impossible to come to an agreement on whether nominations and awards are fair, especially in an industry where publicity and studio power seem to have more weight than actual talent. With Oscar nominations just a few days away, it is a good time to remember one of this year’s biggest snubs: The Big Sick.
Biopics – and especially those depicting notable historical figures – seem to always be a safe bet for Award Season. Some people love it, other hate it, but every so many years a movie catches the attention of critics and voters alike and becomes a potential contender – i.e, The King’s Speech, among others. This year, Darkest Hour portrays the first days of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, at a time when the United Kingdom was losing the war to Nazi Germany and Europe seemed to be doomed. I am going to be honest, the race for Best Actor is over: The Oscar goes to Gary Oldman.
Ebbing, Missouri. Foggy morning. Three billboards stand abandoned by the side of a small road. Like a ghost. Martin McDonagh wastes no time setting up the scene of his third feature. After her daughter’s brutal raped and murder remains unresolved for over seven months, Mildred Hayes, a mid-western single mother rents three billboards to call the village’s police force out for their inefficiency: “Raped while dying”, “And still no arrests”, “How come Chief Willoughby?”. It is not hard to imagine that we are facing a tale of revenge, outrage and rage. But Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, is far from being your typical revenge drama. This is not a story of a heroic mother courage, corrupt police officers and mean villains, you should know that ahead. This is a story that shows what we would be capable of doing in such a terrible situation. This could have been – and probably is – a real story we can all identify with.
What is – or should be – the role of movies? To entertain and distract us from our mundane lives? To inspire us? To make a positive impact on society? Cinema, like art, is not science, and thus we may never be able to find a proper consensus on what its role should be. I personally believe that our social reality should be reflected in the entertainment we consume. Which is why, at the time of post-truth, fake news, media mistrust and general political crisis, both in the United States and Europe, The Post is the movie we needed all along.