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The 2018 Best Picture Nominees Ranked

It is time once again. I ended up watching all but two of this year’s best picture nominees in theater this year, and I dug them. I don’t think this year is as strong as the last two have been, but the Best Picture nominees didn’t disappoint. Without further ado, here are my rankings for the Best Picture Nominees for 2018.

 

#9 – Get Out

Get out is a pretty solid movie. It balances it’s political message in a very even-handed manner, and is an overall joy to watch. That being said, I am a bit surprised it made the list. While the directing was pretty standard overall, there were a few scenes that a friend and I find just jarring, and out of place. The acting in the film is pretty spot on, and the soundtrack seemed fine enough. My favorite portion of the film was probably the script, which was very well done. Overall, it’s worth a watch, even though it’s the weakest of this year’s entries.

 

#8 – Call Me By your Name

This is a much quieter film than the rest of this year’s entries. Call Me By your Name is a heartfelt attempt to weave a love story that transcends generations. That being said, there’s a very disturbing peach scene that grossed even myself out, and that’s saying something. The film is excellently acted, and the cinematography is simple, yet elegant. The age difference between the two mains is a bit disturbing, but I guess it isn’t that crazy for Italy. This is another well acted film, and I genuinely wanted a happy ending for the characters. Worth a watch, but not one I’ll view again anytime soon.

#7 – Phantom Thread

This one is pretty great. Daniel Day Lewis crushes it in this movie, and he’s an absolute joy to watch. The film’s subject matter is a little disturbing, and can be summed up with the simple phrase “Relationship Goals”. It’s extremely well directed, and the cinematography is awesome. The script is on point. I dug the story, and found Lewis’ performance the same way I always do; without fault. While it isn’t my favorite film he’s been involved in, Phantom Thread is a great way to go out.

#6 – Dunkirk

I love Christopher Nolan, and I’m glad the academy finally gave him an Oscar nomination of this caliber. Dunkirk is an excellent drama that focuses on the brutality of Dunkirk island. I really like how the film deals with the horrors of war. Characters balance between being hated, loved, understood, and outright despised. There are no good or evil men, just men. I also love anything with Mark Rylance in it, and his performance here is just as solid as it was in Bridge of Spies. The script is great, and the film is epic. It isn’t my favorite Nolan film, but he’s on his way to being a legendary director. All we need now is a western.

#5 – The Post

Ah yes. The annual Spielberg entry. The Post details the riveting tale of The Washington Post’s unraveling of government secrets and whatnot. I really liked the script in this one, and Jared from Silicon Valley’s small role was solid. Hanks and Streep are excellent as expected, and the film has a feelgood nature behind it. The score, done by the legendary John Williams, really hits the spot. The film fairly responsibly handles the events, and even leads directly into All the President’s Men at the end! It’s a bit cheesy, and the music is over the top at times, but the god tier performances make this a solid entry.

#4 – Lady Bird

Lady Bird is one of the few comedies that gets honored by a Best Picture nomination, and it’s actually pretty funny. The coming of age story is one that has been done over and over again, but this one still has a fair amount to offer. The directing is solid, and the performances are deserving of mention as well. The best part about this film, in my opinion, is the script. My top pick for last year dealt with a lot of serious material, but also found a way to get a laugh out of me here and there. Lady Bird delivers the same treatment. Go see this comedy, you’ll like it. I promise.

#3 – The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water is a very solid entry for Guillermo del Toro. His directing is excellent, the cinematography is spot on, the script is great. Everyone’s performance is as believable as it is memorable. Octavia Spencer crushes it as usual, and that Michael Stuhlberg has been crushing the Best Picture scene for the last couple of years. The supporting cast is damn near as solid as the mains, and the soundtrack is great. This is top tier del Toro.

#2 – Darkest Hour

Gary Oldman is a bad ass. His performance in this film is easily the year’s best, and he’ll be getting my pick for Best Actor. The cinematography in this film blew me away, and really added to the enigma of Churchill. As per usual, the soundtrack was amazing for this nominee, and the performances are incredibly good. I really can’t say enough about the cinematography in this film, though. The billowing smoke from ole Churchill’s cigars, the lighting, the camera angles… All gold. This film would have won my picks, if it weren’t for….

#1 – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

This. Movie. Rocks. Three Billboards is fucking awesome. The performances are all spot on, and the subject matter is my kind of dark. One of the most impressive things about this film is actually the thing my girlfriend likes the least; the script. I think it’s extremely natural, and it fits the subject matter perfectly. It’s rare for me to experience a film quite like this one. I felt completely engrossed in the film from beginning to end, and the dialogue is the biggest factor for this. Another great thing about this film is how it addresses humanity as a whole. None of the characters are “Good” or “Evil”. They’re simply people. A highly racist character shows his humanity by deciding to take justice into his own hands by dealing with a rapist. It isn’t so much about redeeming himself as it is showing a bit of humanity. The last five years of Marvel films has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth regarding plainly “Good” and “Evil” characters, so Three Billboards is a breath of fresh air.

 

There it is! I’ll finish this by saying that my personal pick for Best Picture of 2017 is Blade Runner: 2049, but it got snubbed by a couple of the films on this list. What are your favorites from this year? Do you agree with my picks? Let me know in the comments!

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