Frances McDormand in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” / Fox Searchlight
Sunday night the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences will host the 90th edition of The Oscars. The 2018 Oscars Opening Ceremony will air at 5:30 p.m. (CST) on ABC, and the actual ceremony begins at 7 p.m. When will it end? Your guess is as good as mine.
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Most everyone agrees the Oscars program lasts too long, but film fans, movie buffs, and a lot of other folks keep on tuning in year after year to see the rich and famous congratulate each other for their work.
It’s a grand ol’ time. Well, sorta. I’m glad I have a DVR so I can tune in late and speed through much of it. My favorite bits are the opening monologue/skit and the tribute to the stars and other other film greats who passed away during the previous year. Sometimes the performances of the songs up for Oscars are solid entertainment, while other times they’re not.
What is fun — at least to me — is making predictions. The following are my best guesses of the results in the major categories. Just for fun, post your predictions in the comments section. I’d love to see them.
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Nominees: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water; Frances McDormand, Three Billboards
outside Ebbing, Missouri; Margot Robbie, I, Tonya; Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird; and Meryl Streep, The Post.
Who Will Win: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Who Should Win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards
outside Ebbing, Missouri
Dark Horse: Meryl Streep, The Post.
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nominees: Mary J. Blige, Mudbound; Allison Janney, I, Tonya; Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread; Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird; and Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Who Will Win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Who Should Win: Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Dark Horse: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Nominees: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name; Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread; Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out; Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour; and Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Who Will Win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Who Should Win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Dark Horse: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nominees: 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; and Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Who Will Win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Who Should Win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Dark Horse: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Nominees: Call Me by Your Name; The Disaster Artist; Logan; Molly’s Game; Mudbound
Which Will Win: Call Me by Your Name
Which Should Win: Molly’s Game
Dark Horse: Logan
Nominees: The Big Sick; Get Out; Lady Bird; The Shape of Water; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Which Will Win: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Which Should Win: Get Out
Dark Horse: The Big Sick
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Nominees: The Boss Baby; The Breadwinner; Coco; Ferdinand; Loving Vincent
Which Will Win: Coco
Which Should Win: Coco
Dark Horse: Loving Vincent
Nominees: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk; Jordan Peel, Get Out; Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird; Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread; and Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Who Will Win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Who Should Win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Dark Horse: Jordan Peel, Get Out
Nominees: Dunkirk; Phantom Thread; The Shape of Water; Star Wars: The Last Jedi; Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Which Will Win: The Shape of Water
Which Should Win: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Dark Horse: Dunkirk
Nominees: “Mighty River,” Mudbound; “Mystery Of Love,” Call Me by Your Name; “Remember Me,” Coco, “Stand Up For Something,” Marshall; and “This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman
Which Will Win: “This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman
Which Should Win: “Remember Me,” Coco
Dark Horse: “Mighty River,” Mudbound
Nominees: Call Me by Your Name; Darkest Hour; Dunkirk; Get Out; Lady Bird; Phantom Thread; The Post; The Shape of Water; and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What Should Win: The Shape of Water
Dark Horse: Get Out
Mini Review: Annihilation
If you are hard-core science fiction fan that prefers throughout-provoking questions over souped-up action scenes, then director Alex Garland has a treat for you with his latest film “Annihilation.”
The film is somewhat of a throwback to the more sophisticated science fiction of the 1970s, but that does not exclude it from depicting some very scary and action-oriented sequences. However, the action is the side order with the film and the mystery being the entree.
The film stars Natalie Portman as Lena, a biologist who join a group of military scientists on a mission into a shimmering, contaminated area surrounding a lighthouse. Several other military units had entered the zone but none came back out, save for Portman’s husband Kane (Oscar Isaac).
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodriguez, Tessa Thompson, and Tuva Novotny provide solid support for Portman as fellow scientists on the mission where the group encounters beautiful but deadly flora and fauna.
The film is challenging and intense, and the climax doesn’t tie every thing up with a pretty red bow.
(R) 1 hr. 55 min.
Mini Review: Game Night
Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, “Game Night” is a cross between a black and action comedy that has a lot of laughs and some dark occurrences, but the film never truly comes together and gets caught by playing on both sides of the street.
The film stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as a couple who love to play games, all kinds of games, and their group of friends who join them regularly for game nights.
Kyle Chandler plays Bateman’s older brother, who always seems to be just a little bit better or more successful than his sibling.
In attempting to up the ante on his brother’s “Game Night,” Chandler hires an acting troupe to put on a murder mystery for a group of friends; however, when Chandler’s illegal actions catch up to him, the game quickly evolves into a dangerous feud between rival mobsters with the Game Night Crew caught in the middle.
I had fun watching the film, but the movie was incredibly uneven with some gags falling flat and others making me chuckle. I’m kind of a sucker for Bateman’s acerbic wise-guy characters, and that was the big draw for me. Jesse Plemons is also quite funny as lonely, divorced neighbor who desperately longs to be a part of the game-night crew.
The movie isn’t bad, but It’s not quite up the standard of an unequivocal recommendation.
(R) 1 hr. 40 min.