Commentary on the Oscar Nominations

OscarsWhile I’m going to release my totally untrustworthy predictions concerning this year’s Oscars next week, let me make a few comments about the nominations. There are a number of picks in various categories that simply don’t make sense, so let’s start with the Best Picture.

Without question, it is stunning that a sad, boring film like Phantom Thread received recognition for consideration as the best film of 2017. As I said in my previous review, it is nothing more than a well-acted bad TV sitcom.

To make matters worse, Paul Thomas Anderson also received a nomination as Best Director for Phantom Thread along with Daniel Day-Lewis as Best Actor. While I’ll save my comments about Mr. Day-Lewis until later in this article, the recognition of Mr. Anderson is all the more shocking given that Martin McDonagh was left out for his directorial role in bringing the marvelous Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to the big screen. While I will concede that Leslie Manville received proper recognition in the Best Supporting Actress category as Day-Lewis’ sister, nominations for this film should have begun and ended with her.

It was equally appalling that renowned actors like Denzel Washington, Day-Lewis and Meryl Streep received nominations in the Best Actor/Actress category. Other than their marvelous credentials and contributions in the past, none of their performances were so striking as to merit this consideration. It was like the voters decided to include them based on name alone.

Having seen a wide variety of films, how voters could select Phantom Thread as one of the year’s best pictures and ignore Logan, Wonder Woman, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Greatest Showman and The Big Sick is impossible to justify. It is no wonder that the ratings for the Oscar ceremony drop each year when great films with wide appeal are ignored.

In any event, let me close with making a couple of predictions that I feel are locked in stone. One is that The Shape of Water and its director, Guillermo del Toro, will win. Additionally, I don’t think anyone has a chance of beating Gary Oldman for Best Actor for his role as Churchill in Darkest Hour, and Allison Janney should quickly be recognized as Best Supporting Actress for her knockout role in I, Tonya.

The only other locks are Coco for Best Animated Feature Film, though it will be challenged by Loving Vincent, and Darkest Hour for Best Makeup given the ability to have Mr. Oldman look pitch perfect as Churchill.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I’ll hit you with all the rest of my predictions next week. I wouldn’t go to Vegas to bet on my selections, so save your energy and help the Colts find a coach.