How is it time for the Oscars again?

Anyway, they’re tonight. Best Picture has nine nominees:

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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?

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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11 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. I really liked Dunkirk (the only one of these films I’ve seen). I thought it was understated and different from any other World War II movie I’ve seen in that sense. I also thought it was Christopher Nolan’s best film since the Prestige.

    I really want to see Darkest Hour, but I’m worried that Gary Oldman will lose his power if he starts receiving more mainstream recognition. I’d also like to see the Shape of Water, mostly because my wife really wants to see it and I really liked Pan’s Labyrinth. Other than that, none of these films appeal to me. I think the era of full length feature films is reeling.

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  2. Trying to gauge the role cultural politics and insider respect/influence plays in determining Oscar winners is always fun. #metoo suggests that Gerwig/Ladybird and McDormand/Three Billboards get a big bump; general awareness and antipathy for white privilege/racism gives Get Out some juice; and insider respect (and weak competition) plays into right into Gary Oldman’s hands. But in the end, who doesn’t like a woman-on-mutantfishgod love story?

    Best Pic: Shape of Water. DH: Three Billboards
    Best Dir: del Toro. DH: Gerwig
    Best Actress: McDormand. DH: Sally Hawkins
    Best Actor: Oldman. DH: Danial Kaluuya
    Best Sup. Actress: Octavia Spencer. DH: Laurie Metcalf
    Best Sup. Actor: Sam Rockwell. DH: Willem Dafoe

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  3. Call Me By Your Name

    Edgy gay romance that marketers are too ashamed to mention it being a gay romance movie. Also full of edgelord stuff like spilling seed in a peach and eating it in front of a girl. Ugh.

    Darkest Hour

    Didn’t see it. Not a fan of historical dramas.


    World War 2 movies are like a fat, middle-aged guy reminiscing about his high school glory days while holding down a dead-end job paying $13/hour. The United States of America is that fat, middle-aged guy who’s hoping what worked in the past will work in the future. Then he dies of a heart attack three days after retiring.

    Get Out

    Didn’t see it. Is it The Amityville Horror with black people? Because Eddie Murphy already did it.

    Lady Bird

    Brilliant. Saoirse is my waifu.

    Phantom Thread

    An adaptation of Penn and Teller’s Showtime special from 1987?

    The Post

    Ugh, no. Plodding and uneventful. It’s like, “Let’s tell the story about the janitor on the Death Star and how he bore witness to history ’til the rebels blew it up.” The janitor’s only contribution to the events leading up to the Death Star’s destruction? He once stepped aside for Vader (censored – maribou – you know me well enough to know why, dude) in the midst of 89 minutes of talking about outer space custodian work.

    Just watch All The President’s Men and be done with it.

    The Shape of Water

    Brilliant, but not Oscar material.

    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    Brilliant, and Oscar material. I’m rooting for this astounding film.

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  4. I only saw Lady Bird and Three Billboards. Of the 2 Three billboards was the better movie, but both are quite good.

    The Oscars, like all other industry awards, is a self-congratulatory wankfest.

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  5. Only saw Dunkirk so far. My guess is Shape won because the traditionalists split between the Post, Dunkirk, and Darkest Hour. Get Out was too populist as a choice. Lady Bird and Call Me were too YA.

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