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Survey through Oscar nominees 2018 Part 3

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Dunkirk

  • Film Editing – Lee Smith
  • Original Score – Hans Zimmer
  • Sound Editing – Richard King, Alex Gibson
  • Best Picture – Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan
  • Directing – Christopher Nolan
  • Cinematography – Hoyte Van Hoytema
  • Sound Mixing – Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten
  • Production Design – Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis

Nolan and I have a very rough love/hate relationship. Dunkirk unfortunatelly fell into the hate category. I don’t remember watching such a boring film in years. It felt like surprising the audience with common knowledge.

The idea of showing the war from the perspective of a soldier is not a new idea. Film such as The Thin Red Line has a similar perspective. But in Durkirk, this is chaotic and nothing lasts more than a few minutes. We’re getting not one but plenty of groups of soldiers and none of them are shown more than a soldier. There’s no person underneath war experiences and however traumatic Cillian Murphy’s character is, I felt no sympathy for him.

Acting is very shallow, too. Even having such stars as Cillian or Tom Hardy, their roles are too small to even appreciate them. Tom is shut inside a cockpit and literally says his lines with no expression. Talking about the higher ranked soldiers, Kenneth Branagh and James D’Arcy are also completely shallow. Their reason to actually be in this film is giving the sketch of the situation. Their few talks are just thoughts about their position and basically nothing more. Noone broke the dim and vague expression. I literally couldn’t care less for them.

Furthermore the plot itself was boring. Even after dividing it to so many fronts, the writting lacks connections. If it was a show, spread at, at least, five episodes, and giving more insight into each piece, it might have worked. But in this case… It didn’t. I do know that all the drama was supposed to be in the background and Nolan tried to place fear in this film. But when you don’t care about the characters and their fear, how exactly would it work? I also noticed Dunkirk had time lapses. Not many, but after so many plot lines, giving yet another mess in the plot… Seriously?

Technically, I have to be fair, it is nicely done. The editing was fitting well and all these sounds were placed the right way. But with such a strong competition this year I don’t really see Dunkirk chances with Oscar. Or maybe just one, so everyone’s happy.

I was trying to understand the excitement of the film and a lot of people’d written it had amazing music. Not sure about this either. Hans Zimmer had plenty of similar tracks and for me it was more the silence and the sounds in the film rather than the music. I enjoyed it way more while listening it separately. In Dunkirk itself it was bleak and unnoticable most of the time. Also, It has some similarities to Blade Runner 2049. Not surprised about that since Hans did that one so quickly.

 

dunkirk keneth branagh

 

The Shape of Water

  • Directing – Guillermo del Toro
  • Best Picture – Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale
  • Actress in a Leading Role – Sally Hawkins
  • Actor in a Supporting Role – Richard Jenkins
  • Actress in a Supporting Role – Octavia Spencer
  • Original Score – Alexandre Desplat
  • Original Screenplay – Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
  • Cinematography – Dan Laustsen
  • Costume Design – Luis Sequeira
  • Sound Editing – Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
  • Sound Mixing – Christian T. Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern
  • Film Editing – Sidney Wolinsky
  • Production Design – Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeffrey A. Melvin

The Shape of Water scores 13 nominations, which is 4th best in the 90-year-old history of Oscars. Guilermo del Toro finally put a project of his to an end. After so many years of bigger or smaller failures, The Shape of Water is everything del Toro has ever represented. It has the same dark spirit and this magical touch where everything is like a fairytale for adults. After all, it does have a Little Mermaid vibe.

The story may seem obvious however del Toro leads the way in his own style, making you doubt every single thing. There’s nothing you can be sure even though you hope for the best.

Characters are presented briefly, but we know the most important details about them. In this fairytale there’s good and bad, the mission and the love outside any bonds. A villain will stay a villain but maybe, just maybe, he wasn’t a villain at all? There’re a lot of questions coming while watching The Shape of Water, and it makes you hold on to the film. You want it to believe in its happy ending, but no expectations will prepare you for it.

Guillermo took care of the details. I couldn’t have sensed any logic holes or pointless threads. Everything is on its place, the rest is up to your imagination. He’s always leaving the door open to discover the world further, whenever you like. This is what I love in his films, especially in The Shape of Water and Pan’s Labirynth, which is in my personal favourites.

 

 

Call Me By Your Name

  • Actor in a Leading Role – Timothée Chalamet
  • Adapted Screenplay – James Ivory
  • Best Picture – Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges, Marco Morabito
  • Original Song – Sufjan Stevens “Mystery of Love”

The moment the credits hit the screen, I wasn’t yet ready to leave this idyllic place showed in Call Me By Your Name. It was literally screaming about love from every corner, from everything created by either nature or humanity. So here we have music, art, summer sun and the beauty of Italy. It has this gentle touch that warms your skin just like rays of sunshine.

Throughout the whole film I suspected the ending, but it didn’t make me love it any less. It had very lovable characters, played perfectly. I must say I enjoyed Armie Hammer even more than Timothee Chalamet. They both had special roles, with a lot of insecurity and search for themselves. Especially Elio, played by Chalamet, is the one who tries to find himself and understand his emotions.

The beginning is simple: a student comes to a professor for an internship and lives with the family throughout the summer. And then there’s Elio who spends his summer in the room next door, spending his days reading books or writing music, with occasional swimming in gorgeous lakes and sea. It all focuses there, showing relations between two people completely different.

However beautiful the main plot is, I can’t just stop there. The background is just as magnificent with such marvelous takes and literally crowded by characters who curve the way the story goes. And the music! It increases all this like it wasn’t enough! I do hope “Mystery of Love” wins the song, it is so dreamy.

 

call me by your name armie hammer timothee chalamet

 

I, Tonya

  • Actress in a Leading Role – Margot Robbie
  • Actress in a Supporting Role – Allison Janney
  • Film Editing – Tatiana S. Riegel

Wow. Just – WOW. Okay, Margot owned it. I’ve never even known that Tonya Harding actually existed and who she was so her story was really interesting. And Margot gave her so much character, I can’t imagine what kind of a woman Tonya is in reality. She seems fierce and strong and her life gave her a lot of heavy lessons. Then, there’s Allison Janney, who scores awards one by one and I am not at all surprised. Tonya’s mummy is without a doubt something else. I was really surprised to see that there was nothing too much about this woman. Janney killed it and damn, I need more. I want to mention here also Sebastian Stan, whose role was indeed less impressive, but fun. And I did love the moustache.

I don’t know how to think about that – if I buy all the details from the film? If it was real? If this is what happened? I don’t know, maybe. The biographic touch had plenty to do with the film so I can’t just avoid mentioning it. And even though it wasn’t so long ago, I’m so damn shocked that it was at least partially accurate. Seriously, people are able to do things beyond imagination (not only good ones).

Speaking of technical aspects, knowing that the woman responsible for all ice takes had to skate with a camera makes it really impressive. Rest of it wasn’t so special in any way, I would be able to point a few mistakes, even. But to be honest, nothing of that actually mattered. This film had a feel of the 1990s and even the takes made me feel this way. I really enjoyed costumes though. They were made the way it was in reality and they had a nice touch of being “imperfect”.

This should score even two Oscars for acting.

 

i tonya margot robbie

 

Phantom Thread

  • Best Picture – JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, Daniel Lupi
  • Actor in a Leading Role – Daniel Day-Lewis
  • Actress in a Supporting Role – Lesley Manville
  • Original Score – Jonny Greenwood
  • Costume Design – Mark Bridges
  • Directing – Paul Thomas Anderson

This film gave me creeps. After hearing plenty about how it changes people’s mind about its nominations, I was really curious what kind of a romance Paul Thomas Anderson served. And that was indeed exceptional.

This is a story of an artist who wants his time to be used the way he desires at every single second. No interuptions are welcome. Daniel Day-Lewis gave an amazing performance of a childish designer with his annoying perfectionism. He blew my mind with his emotions so clearly outlined on his face and expressions picked from the whole palette. I am really torn now between him and Oldman in the case of Oscars.

It was all so tense and unknown until the very end. The focus was entirely on the main character and his two beloved ladies – his muse and his sister. The background had a minor importance, and the other men are almost ignored, focusing only on the genius designer. It was peculiar picture, having plenty of details for interpretation and discussion. Also the sole idea of narration was very special, but I am not saying anything more, you should discover it on your own.

 

 

Phantom Thread

 

Beauty and the Beast

  • Costume Design – Jacqueline Durran
  • Production Design – Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

Nihil novi sub sole. Seriously, knowing the classic I don’t understand this one. I do know the fashion of turning the old animations into live action films is still fresh, but I kind of expected something better. The story is basically repeating almost 1 to 1 and quite honestly, the animation had it better. Here the only appreciation could be Luke Evan’s Gaston who really got into character. Apart from pretty CGI furniture and cutlery, pretty dresses and nice surroundings, it is one big disappointment. Sadly.

 

beauty and the beast dan stevens emma watson

Next part will contain predictions. Don’t miss out!

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