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The 2018 Oscars

"The Shape of Water," directed by Guillermo del Toro, is a leading candidate to win Best Picture at the Oscars next month. PHOTO/ Wikimedia Creative Commons
“The Shape of Water,” directed by Guillermo del Toro, is a leading candidate to win Best Picture at the Oscars next month. PHOTO/ Wikimedia Creative Commons

By Carmen Saffioti

Published: February 14th, 2018

The 2018 Oscar nominations were met with both anticipation and hesitance. While the Academy’s nominations have been becoming more diverse over the past few years, there is still discourse over whether nominees were worthy or if other films were snubbed.

There is no doubt that 2017 was full of great films. This year we saw a wide range of creativity, with some films being socially conscious. Overall, it was a great year for film and all of the pictures nominated were at least worth a viewing. The 2018 Oscars will air on March 4th on ABC, with Jimmy Kimmel as the host.

The Best Picture nominees are “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.”

“Dunkirk” stunned audiences with impressive sound editing. The film had little dialogue, but that did not hinder this film’s ability to tell a compelling story. In fact, audiences were kept on the edge of their seats through all of the action. The character development was also quite impressive, despite the fact that the movie switched between three different perspectives and stories throughout.

“The Shape of Water” is a favorite to win. This film is a twist on the classic horror movie “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” where the main protagonist Eliza falls in love with the creature.

“Get Out” was my personal favorite on the list. This dark social satire takes on modern race relations through a story of an interracial couple. What was most striking—and what I loved the most—was the incredible use of symbols and race-related imagery. This film has levels of metaphor which enhanced the film on an intellectual level.

The category for “Best Director” has always been very non-diverse. Only five women and five black men have ever been nominated in this category, and neither have won. This year, Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird” and Jordan Peele for “Get Out” were nominated; while it’s exciting that both a woman and a person of color were nominated this year, it is disappointing that it is so rare. I am a fan of Gerwig’s work, but “Lady Bird” is just not one of my favorites. I preferred her previous works on low-budget indie movies such as “Frances Ha.” While I do believe it is time for a female Best Director, I don’t think this should be the year it happens.

Director Guillermo del Toro for his film “The Shape of Water” is both the Academy’s and my personal favorite to win. His unique vision for the film as well as his intense creativity in the writing process are why he deserves to win this category. Paul Thomas Anderson and Christopher Nolan—long-standing masters in their craft—should also be recognized. Their films did not disappoint, and both directors have a list of incredible movies.  

There are a few films that did not get nominated for the major categories, but deserved to. Because the Academy tends to love drama films, comedy and horror films tend to get written off. Although “The Big Sick” was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, it deserved more recognition. Overall, this year, the Academy gave recognition to some truly incredible films—more so than it did in the past.  

While movies should not be ranked, as each film is a work of art, the Academy made some great recommendations this year. I am curious to see who will win on March 4th, but I will not let the Academy dictate my opinions on these films.

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