Well, NPR film critic Bob Mondello and pop culture correspondent Linda Holmes joined me in the studio.
Hitwise: This marketing analysis company focused on search-engine statistics generated by each of the best-picture nominees, and found that one movie stood out during the Oscar voting period: “Lady Bird”, a coming-of-age film set in Sacramento. By my count, which could be off by a couple, almost 60 movies, short and long, have a shot at an Oscar Sunday night.
From Charlize Theron’s unbelievable metamorphosis into serial killer Aileen Wuornos to Natalie Portman’s dramatic weightloss for Black Swan, celebs are not afraid to take risks to reach for Oscar gold.
Steven Spielberg (“The Post”) and Martin McDonagh (“Three Billboards”) were both left out of the best director category, despite helming two of the most acclaimed movies of the year. And I feel like now I have some experience and I know how the crowd reacts – because you do have to get a feel for an audience – and I think I have a better handle on what will work and what won’t work.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences chief Dawn Hudson said the academy, which bestows the Oscars, has actively sought to diversify its membership in recent years. Remember that in a typical year, I get around 17 of these right. You can’t get more dedicated than that.
But there are interesting sub-currents at play in the industry and the Academy this year, unlike other years, that could make for a surprise upset. Pacific Sunday to [email protected]. In the seventies, we saw films about gangsters and mobsters who question morality and bend the rules on normative ethics winning Best Picture.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” received seven nominations, including best picture, leading actress and supporting actor.
It’s a showdown between The Shape Of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Janney will be challenged for supporting-actress honors by Mary J. Blige for “Mudbound”, Lesley Manville for “Phantom Thread”, Laurie Metcalf for “Lady Bird” and Octavia Spencer for “The Shape of Water”. He’s a heavy sentimental favorite. A win for Name would be a (political) win for LGBTQ rights but that doesn’t mean that the movie would actually deserve that recognition. Amusing how that goes. Here, find everything you need to know about the nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film award.
Live action short: “DeKalb Elementary”. A lot of people are talking about “The Shape Of Water”. It’s already picked up the BAFTA Best Picture and Golden Globe for Best Film (Drama) and looked like being the Oscar victor just a few weeks ago.
MONDELLO: Is it “Blade Runner”?
But this looks like a fight between Lady Bird and Get Out, with the odds tipped in favour of the latter. It has now become clear that films vying for Best Picture are generally premiered at film festivals with hope for positive reception.
We’ve come a very long way from child rapist Roman Polanski’s victory for “The Pianist” earning a standing ovation from an Academy Awards crowd that included Harvey Weinstein back in 2003. But actors (the largest branch of the academy) have rallied behind “Billboards”, so it’s the safest pick this year.
For reasons discussed above, the Mexican director is likely to come out on top and I won’t be unhappy if he wins.