And the best picture is……..

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January 30, 2018 by jacklovelace

There are nine nominees. I haven’t seen Call Me By Your Name and Phantom Thread.

That leaves seven.

My ranking, in reverse order:

7: Dunkirk: Technically fine, but he tried so hard not to make a heroic telling of the great effort to retrieve these soldiers, he turns it into an almost sour, flat story too often. I didn’t see it at all the way most critics did. The primary rescue boat scene made me more irritated than enchanted. I would only watch it again to see if I liked it any better.

6: The Shape of Water: Excellent movie, nice depth, moves well, good characters. The reason it ranks this low is because it didn’t really grabbed me in a big way. I have little interest in seeing it again. That tells me a lot.

5. Darkest Hour: Now here is an epic that unlike Dunkirk does tug at the heartstrings and go for the emotion. I loved this movie. The only reason I don’t rate it even higher is that while it is a lot of fun, it isn’t really a great movie. For example, there is a lovely scene where Churchill rides the subway for the first time to go one stop and finds out what the people think. Really fine scene. The problem is it goes on so long, pleasingly long but long, he could have ridden the subway from one end of London to the other.

I can’t wait to see this movie again.

4. Lady Bird: The best edited film of all the films I saw. One scene flows into the next at the absolute perfect time. Lady Bird is a great character and Sairse Ronan nails it.

The only reason this movie is rated this low is the one note, unpleasant depiction of her mother. My real world experience is that shitty people have occasional charm. Why Gerwig didn’t give the mother any shades of gray is behind me. (Although critics are likely to give Laurie Metcalf the Oscar. The acting was fine, the role wasn’t believable)

I look forward to seeing the movie again and fast forwarding past the mother.

3. Get Out: Loads of fun, I really appreciated how it took an out of the box approach to horror and race and sex and everything else. I’ve already watched it multiple times on cable and it wouldn’t bother me if the academy got a burr out of its ass and made this a winner.

2. The Post: What’s a journalist to do? The story is told flawlessly. I particularly appreciated how Spielberg didn’t cover up Ben Bradlee’s ass kissing time with the Kennedy’s, nor how Katherine Graham was power elite all the way. Everything about the movie works for me and the old journalist welled up a couple times. One criticism I had read was that it didn’t make it clear how Nixon (always the great evil) wasn’t even in the Pentagon Papers and had no direct dog in his fight to stop publication. I though Spielberg handled that ok, I would just have stopped the movie with the final scene between Hanks and Streep, and not shown the Watergate break-in. A different story.

I will watch this movie over and over.

  1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri: I was surprised how much I liked this movie. I thought it might be a one note depiction of racist Missouri people and I am very sensitive to that notion. What I got was a movie where every character changes and isn’t exactly what you think they are or will be. I love that. I wouldn’t change one thing and I will be watching it again. (Although I may fast forward through the early and middle Sam Rockwell scenes, so painful to watch)

Final note: I would put Loving Vincent on my top ten list easily. I Tonya too.

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