Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
James MacAvoy – Split (2016)
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a pretty weak year for actors and it feels as if they are scraping the bottom of the barrel with some of these nominees.
- 5. Denzel Washington
- 4. Timothée Chalamet
- 3. Daniel Day-Lewis
- 2. Daniel Kaluuya
- 1. Gary Oldman
- 5. Phantom Thread – Strong production elements in this film outshine the almost non-existent storyline. The cast is quite good, but it’s hard to care for any of them because their true motivations for all of their actions aren’t explored enough. The music is great and helps move things along a it since the storyline doesn’t manage to keep things interesting enough.
- 4. Roman J. Israel, Esq. – Not such a great story because it is so unbalanced. part of the time we are meant to sympathize with him while other parts want us to not like him at all. The dialogue tries too hard to be intelligent and witty and many scenes come across as really confusing. There is a good story buried deep down here but it is hidden so well that we never get to actually see it. Washington does a fine job losing his usual self in this role and that is helped by a big hairdo and even a “fat suit”. I’m now even more shocked that he was able to get an Oscar nomination for this messed up role in a convoluted story. Guess the Academy voters really really like Denzel. Perhaps he’s the male Meryl Streep.
- 3. Call Me by Your Name – Interesting premise that works most of the time because we can truly believe the way the two of the characters fall slowly in love over the course of the summer. Chalamet and Hammer are really believable as lovers and the fact that one is shy and one is outgoing works quite well to keep things feeling realistic. The characters are interesting to watch and we constantly want to know more about their lives. The dialogue is fun to listen to and remains clever the whole time. The one drawback of this film is that some parts move along super slowly and you just want them to be sped up.
- 2. Get Out – Great idea that works on numerous levels. I wouldn’t necessarily truly classify this as a horror film because it’s much closer to being a psychological thriller. The cast is great, and the story moves at a great pace constantly surprising us along the way. The added moments of humor help keep things fun and enjoyable and not scary at all. Extremely original idea that proves that all movies don’t need to be remakes and as long as they constantly have fresh ideas, movies will continue to be able to entertain us. Fun film, but not necessarily really deserving of being nominated for Best Picture IMHO.
- 1. Darkest Hour – Amazing portrayal of a man in a difficult position and his ability to try and overcome political obstacles. Oldman is superb here because under the heavy makeup, he gets totally lost in the role and one must be reminded who is portraying Churchill. I will be extremely shocked if he doesn’t end up walking away with the Oscar for Best Actor this year. Despite the story taking place in Parliament and around London, they manage to show the tension that the threat of invasion had on everyone. The dialogue is beautifully written (even with Churchill’s mumbling speeches) and we get a real sense of how great an orator this man really was. One of the best films of 2017!
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! Oldman is superb in the role and clearly was the best of the lot this year. None of the other nominees come close to being considered Oscar worthy roles IMHO.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!