For the past few years, I have made it a point to watch all the Best Picture nominees. The past couple years, I have really enjoyed most of them. This year, I wasn't a big fan of about half the selections. Not that the movies themselves were bad necessarily. I just didn't think ALL nine movies were unique or different in a way that set them apart as a Best Picture nominee. It really made me wish they would just go back to the old system with five solid nominees. At any rate, I've provided my thoughts on each movie in order of how much I enjoyed them starting with my favorite.
#1 - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I was blown away by both the acting and the story. What a fascinating look at a little town in the middle of nowhere. There were so many things happening, but also nothing happening at the same time. I loved it. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is easily my hands down favorite of the bunch this year. Frances McDormand was phenomenal...and Sam Rockwell wasn't too far behind her. Flawless acting. Outstanding movie that left me with lots to think about.
#2 - The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water was also a really great movie. I loved the two main characters, but overall it was a tad too predictable (and sci-fi) for my tastes. I enjoyed watching it, but toward the end the story took a turn that made it difficult for me to logically connect with reality. It kept my full attention and I can't imagine how difficult the role must have been for Sally Hawkins, but I needed it to be a little more plausible in the end to totally win me over.
#3 (tie) - Get Out
Chris and I saw this one in the theater back when it was released last spring. It is thought provoking and quite spooky at times. Not your typical Oscar nominee, but the acting is great and it certainly makes a point. We re-watched it recently, and I liked it even better the second time. Knowing the twists and turns and watching how fantastic the actors truly were throughout made me realize the true brilliance of the film.
#3 (tie) - The Post
Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. Do you really need much more? Seriously though, I enjoyed this story in a way that I didn't anticipate. It's a story about Streep's character coming into her own as much as it was about The Post breaking a story. I really enjoyed following Streep's journey. Not to mention so much of the movie could have been set in the present day because the media and our current administration seem to be having a similar go round with facts and the duty to report them.
#5 - Dunkirk
Of all the nominees, Dunkirk surprised me the most. I was dreading watching this one. War movies just aren't my thing. I put it off even though I had been told that I might find it more interesting than I imagined. From the beginning, I was hooked into the idea that the story would be told from three different perspectives (land, air, sea) as well as three different time frames (a week, a day, within hours). It was exciting to see how these stories collided and built on one another. In the end, some of the gunfire and general war movie setting wore on me, but I did like the unique perspectives this movie shared with its audience.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow.
Have you seen any of the Best Picture nominees this year?