Oscar Nominations: Mine vs. the Academy’s (part 1)

PJ Knapke, Contributing Reporter

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Oscar nominations have finally come out for this year, so I thought it best to put my choices up against the Academy’s for the eleven awards that I am most concerned with.  Many of my choices were different than the Academy’s, mainly due to the fact that I have different preferences and have seen most of the films up for debate, unlike a lot of the Academy voters. To go along with this, the Academy uses their opportunity to put forth a political statement, most of the time which, while completely understandable, is unfortunate as the artistic achievements are not the forefront of voting principles. Anyway, here are my nominations as compared to the Academy’s.

Best Picture – My Picks


Blade Runner 2049 (WINNER)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Call Me by Your Name

Dunkirk

Phantom Thread

Lady Bird

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Florida Project

Get Out

Logan


Academy:


Call Me by Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

For the most part, I believe the Academy did a fairly good job in regards to Best Picture. Despite the unforgivable lack of Blade Runner 2049 recognition, I cannot argue against the inclusion of films like The Post and The Shape of Water despite their absence from my own list. I am, however, slightly more apprehensive about the Darkest Hour nomination, as while it is certainly a good film, there were over a dozen films that I believe were better and more applicable to the year as a whole. Another noticeable disparity between my list and the Academy’s is the number of nominees. Best Picture now allows for 10 nominees (after the whole Dark Knight debacle in 2008), however the Academy does not always choose the full 10 (they’ve only done it twice so far), as they are only required to choose no less than 5 nominees. Because of how fantastic the year of film 2017 panned out to be, I don’t see any reason for them not to include another film, such as Blade Runner 2049, Logan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The Florida Project. My choice for the winner would undoubtedly be Blade Runner 2049, however I think that The Shape of Water might pull away with the award, with Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri being my next guess.

Denis Villeneuve: director of “Blade Runner 2049”

Best Director – My Picks


Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) (WINNER)

Sean Baker (The Florida Project)

Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name)

Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)

Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)


Academy:


Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

Jordan Peele – Get Out

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro – Shape of Water

 

For me, this is the most important award of all of the Oscars — even more so this year as the Academy has the chance to finally recognize who I, and many others, would crown as the best director over the past ten years. This, of course, is Denis Villeneuve, and with his magnum opus Blade Runner 2049, it is time for the Academy to recognize Villeneuve for his utter mastery of the medium. Disappointingly, he was not even nominated. While I can certainly agree with the inclusion of Jordan Peele and Paul Thomas Anderson on their list, in my humble opinion del Toro is the weakest of the bunch (although he is still fantastic), despite being the surefire winner of the award. Sean Baker of The Florida Project and Luca Guadagnino of Call Me by Your Name also deserve recognition for their outstandingly human stories and fantastic direction. Other possible mentions include Yorgos Lanthimos of The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Darren Aronofsky for mother!.

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