Five things to watch on Oscars night

05 March, 2018, 00:09 | Author: Miranda Cannon
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Of all the nominees, I personally liked Three Billboards the most in a year of good, but not remarkable films. The crucial ingredients are there: he plays a historical figure (with the help of prosthetics and heavy makeup), he has won key precursor awards, and he is up against two whippersnappers (Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya) who have careers ahead of them, and two veterans (Daniel Day-Lewis and Denzel Washington) who each have already won multiple times.

There will be a flood of Canadian nominees from "The Shape of Water" at tonight's Academy Awards. The Oscars livestream, or what Facebook and ABC are calling "The Oscars: All Access", will be on both the Academy's page on Facebook Watch and ABC's Facebook page, as well as on Oscar.com and ABCNews.com. The only other person in her category who comes close to having the emotional impact, while remaining nearly drastically human, is Laurie Metcalf in "Lady Bird".

The contest for best director is by far one of the more competitive categories.

Who will win: All evidence suggests that Three Billboards will take home the gold. Willem Dafoe would also be a very worthy victor for The Florida Project. However, I see it as unlikely at this point.

Also nominated is the animated film "The Breadwinner", which is a Canadian co-production. Rachel Morrison "Mudbound" is the first woman nominated for best cinematography. That should serve as a cautionary tale when it comes to heeding forecasts for best picture winners. I really enjoyed "Coco" and think it was one of the best films of the year, and I am a little surprised it wasn't nominated for best picture since it was one the most attractive films in recent memory with a real emotional punch at the end.


Then, there's "Get Out", the horror film that has earned plenty of recognition this award season and could shock the world. It will probably be a squeaker - though by how much, we will nearly certainly never know, because the academy does not release vote tallies.

Category Snub: Best Picture is open to 10 slots, but the Academy only picked nine films. However, I am predicting an upset (after all, there has to be one, right?) and saying Peele will win for his script for "Get Out".

Who should win: The Big Sick was a sensational film and its screenplay was sublime. But, with the Russian sports doping doc "Icarus", and the acclaimed "Last Men in Aleppo", a victor could just as easy be called from a coin flip.

But Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards", an early favorite in the prestigious best picture race, has weathered a backlash against its treatment of race issues to launch a late assault on the statuette. Rockwell is a master at playing unpredictable, unhinged men, and, because his Dixon undergoes a transformation - which is catnip for academy voters - he was able to show his range. That's usually a really good sign and it's why I'm giving it the edge over "Three Billboards". That is all I have, though, and I think it will cap off a perfectly respectable Oscar night. Out of the bunch, "Faces Places" stands out for its quirkiness and light, teaming 35-year-old French artist JR, who slathers outsize photos of everyday folks across favelas, water towers and buildings worldwide, with Agnès Varda, now 89, the filmmaker nicknamed the grandmother of the French new wave.

Jonah Crismore is programming director at the Embassy Theatre and a movie buff.

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