This was by far the hardest year for filling out my Oscar picks since the year The Artist won. Unfortunately, like that year, that's not due to a wealth of great movies being nominated, but the exact opposite. This year has to be one of the weakest Best Picture Nominee Lists I've ever seen.
Now don't get me wrong this wasn't the worst year for movies, there were plenty of great films to go around. But the Academy, like it always does, picks movies not for artistic prowess anymore, but for what kind of films they want to display, what kind of message (pathetic virtue signaling) they want conveyed to the public.
But, tradition is tradition and so I decided to watch all these movies and still put together my Oscar Picks. Several of these movies were pretty good, but the glaring omissions by the Academy made this process so much more difficult. Movies like I, Tonya and Blade Runner 2049 were ridiculous omissions that show just how jaded the Academy truly is.
So with that being said here are my Oscar Picks for the 90th Academy Awards:
Best Picture: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This was a very strong movie. Dark humor, shocking violence and superb acting all around, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is easily the best movie out of the list of Best Picture Nominees. Also the best script I've seen in a long time. This movie is so much better than any movie on the list of nominees this year and is one of my favorite movies I've seen in the past few years. This movie will be a classic.
Best Actor: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Lots of actors have played Winston Churchill, it seems like a thespians right of passage nowadays, but Gary Oldman offers a very interesting take on the British Bulldog. Oldman does an excellent job transporting you into the room with Churchill offering a surprisingly good impersonation of him, as well as incredible scenes where he gives the audience a glimpse into what Old Winston may have been thinking when he made some of his World-Changing decisions. Great portrayal and another category where I think the winner is far ahead of the competition.
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Sam Rockwell has always been a favorite of mine. His performance in the movie Moon, I believe was worthy of not just a nomination but a win as he played an astronaut trapped on a mining rig on the Moon battling his demons. In Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri we see another trapped character, a flawed man trying to do what is right but failing miserably at times. Rockwell's character is humorous, bumbling, but also quite terrifying making him one of the more unique characters I've seen portrayed on screen in years. This role could have been made into a cliche very easily by an unskilled actor, but Rockwell powers thru providing the audience with a truly unforgettable performance.
Best Actress: Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
This category was very, very difficult this year. I battled between Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards) and Margot Robbie (I, Tonya). In the end I had to give it to Margot Robbie because her role was still the most fascinating and like Sam Rockwell's could have been easily botched by a weaker actress. Margot Robbie's performance as Tonya Harding will be talked about for years to come, its funny, disturbing and incredibly compelling. Harding like OJ, was an athlete that was before my time, but still was a household name when I grew up. Love her or hate her there is no doubt that Tonya Harding made a dent in the sports world, and Margot Robbie does an excellent job portraying her complicated story.
Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf
I really liked Lady Bird and thought it was pretty solid movie. Saoirse Ronan played "Lady Bird" a rebellious teen trying to discover herself in life, while dealing with a harsh, but meaning well mother played by Laurie Metcalf. The two actresses work well together creating a very believable portrayal of a mother and daughter butting heads over what kind of person the daughter should be. The best scenes of Lady Bird are by far when both Laurie and Saoirse are interacting together and help elevate the movie when the screenplay gets kind of dull. Great ending scene by Metcalf and should be an easy win for her tonight.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): The Disaster Artist
Writing (Original Screenplay): Three Billboards Outside Ebbing , Missouri
Directing: Lady Bird
Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049
Animated Feature Film: The Boss Baby
Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049
Costume Design: Beauty and the Beast
Film Editing: Baby Driver
Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour
Music (Original Score): Shape of Water
Production Design: Blade Runner 2049
Sound Editing: Baby Driver
Sound Mixing: Baby Driver
Now for those who are still here, here is what I think the Best Picture Nominee List should have looked like:
Blade Runner 2049
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Disaster Artist