Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
Judi Dench – Victoria & Abdul
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a year where there were two front runners throughout most of the Awards season and by Oscar night it was still up for grabs between the two.
5. Meryl Streep
4. Margot Robbie
3. Saoirse Ronan
2. Frances McDormand
1. Sally Hawkins
5. I, Tonya – This is such a fun film to watch largely due to the acting. Robbie and Stan are both great here, but Janney stands out and steals every scene she can as Harding’s overbearing mother. Really liked the way that they tell the story via “interviews” with the characters telling their side of the story via flashbacks. Loved the way that the story is shown as a morality play on the dangers of getting too involved in success that you let things get out of control and the obvious repercussions of such actions.
4. Lady Bird – Great “simple” story that is so relatable to just about anyone watching it. The lead character played by Saoirse Ronan speaks in a voice very familiar to most people which keeps things feeling very realistic and there is no doubt in my mind as to whether she will get some recognition for that role during the upcoming awards season. The events of her life during that year all have significant effects on her as she tries to transform herself. The supporting cast all help her along even if some of them only have small parts, but we can still feel their influence on everything she does. Definitely worth seeing numerous times because it has so much to offer.
3. The Post – This film depicts a real story of investigative reporting where the characters must choose whether it is better to print the truth or try and help protect a very political policy. This film does a wonderful job keeping things at a great pace and even for those of the viewers (like me) who knew what would eventually happen, the story still remains gripping and thrilling the entire time. The cast is spectacular with leads by Tom Hanks (as The Post’s editor) and Meryl Streep (as the new publisher of the paper) that help embody the true personalities of the people they portray.
2. The Shape of Water – Such a great movie that works on so many levels. The characters are all quite unique and each follows their heart despite having their own agendas. This film is nearly perfect from a visual standpoint and it truly is wondrous to look at. Del Toro has created another modern day fairy tale that mirrors the evils that have occurred in the past while trying to find a bright shining light among the darkness of it all. The cast is spectacular and Hawkins does a superb job in the lead despite never needing to say a word. This is proof of how great an actress she is because we can feel her emotions just by her body movements and actions and there is no need for her to communicate verbally for this. The way that this film uses minority characters to tell its story also says so much about what was perceived as normal during the Cold War Era while still allowing such characters to be the heroes of this story. One of the best films of 2017 which gets better during each rewatch.
1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Amazing film that does a wonderful job creating interesting and unique characters that start off one way but by the end have changed completely. The story arc is great because it keeps changing directions and constantly surprises along the way. The cast is superb with McDormand, Harrelson and Rockwell each giving amazing performances. The rest of the supporting cast is also superbly chosen to help make all of the characters count. This is a story about how life leads us in directions that we never expect. It may all seem neatly put together, but it really isn’t because so much is left for us to ponder for a while after seeing it. The story and characters are all very layered yet it all plays out in a way that works really well. I’m so happy that this film has managed to win Best Picture at the Globes, SAG and BAFTA this year and hope it will also get the big prize at the Oscars next week.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! Both FM and SH gave great performances this year that are each very powerful in their own way. I think SH was slightly better since her entire performance is speechless yet she still manages to get across such an amazing performance.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!