How is it time for the Oscars again?
Anyway, they’re tonight. Best Picture has nine nominees:
Interestingly enough, I think that this is the first time that all of the Blu-rays have been available on Amazon for every single Best Picture nominee on the day of the Academy Awards themselves.
Huh. They’re finally learning something.
Anyway, looking at this list, I’m struck by how strong it is. The Post is a shoo-in for “early-80’s Oscar winner”, Darkest Hour is a shoo-in for “late-80’s Oscar winner” (or is it the other way around?), Phantom Thread is Oscar Bait from the 90’s, Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name from the oughts… the only ones that don’t really seem like they fit on the list are Dunkirk and Shape of the Water. (So I’m going to rule those out.) Also, my foundational feeling is that this year is going to be a “safe” year. If the people voting had a choice between “sending a message!” and “keeping my head down”, they’re going to pick the latter. (But not *SO* safe that The Post has a chance at anything.)
So with that in mind, I’m going to place my bets. (The way I play is that you get a full point for your first choice and a half point for your “dark horse”. If you’ve got better rules, leave them in the comments.)
Having seen exactly none of the best picture nominees, my bet is on Phantom Thread. It seems like the safest one that doesn’t descend into “so safe it’s practically oatmeal” like The Post does. My Dark Horse is, no pun intended, Darkest Hour.
Best Actress has five nominees:
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie – I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
Meryl Streep – The Post
Frances McDormand is my bet there (with Saoirse Ronan as my dark horse). (Meryl Streep is probably the safest of the safe bets but she’s always so good that nobody even notices her anymore.)
Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.
I’d don’t know whether to go with Daniel Day-Lewis and have Gary Oldman as my dark horse or vice-versa. Let’s go with Vice-Versa. Daniel Day-Lewis has already won a kabillion Oscars and Gary Oldman hasn’t won any. “Let’s rectify that”, I can see the academy saying. “Without being particularly risky though!”
But who cares about the Best Actress/Actor category? The supporting roles are where it’s at:
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water
(Mudbound, sadly, doesn’t have a Blu-ray available yet.)
Phantom Thread seems to be calibrated just right so I’ll say Lesley Manville (with Laurie Metcalf being my dark horse).
As for Best Supporting Actor:
Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I’m going to have to pick Christopher Plummer. He did the magical thing of replacing someone else in post-production. Now *THAT* is acting! (Dark horse will probably be Sam Rockwell or Woody Harrelson. Let’s say… Sam Rockwell?)
If you want to make your own Oscar Ballot, In Style has a printable one available for your Oscar Party tonight (warning: PDF).
So… what are your picks?