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2018 Oscar Previews: Part 1

The 90th Annual Academy Awards will take place Sunday March 4th at 7pm Eastern time. Here is our overview of the major awards nominees in case you didn’t get to see them yourself.

There’s always a lot of talk leading up to the big day about who will win what awards. We try to make our predictions based on trends from the past, but we can’t help to be swayed by our own personal opinions. Some movies truly strike a chord with us, while others aren’t interesting at all. Furthermore, Oscar films are usually heavy in the drama department and therefore they aren’t always the easiest or most entertaining movies to watch.

That’s why we’re here. Here is your guide to the nominees of this year’s Academy Awards. We’ve compiled the following brief summaries, interesting facts, and critical reviews for all these films and people. The goal is to give you a solid background even if you haven’t been able to catch up with this year’s nominees. So read on, and then start planning your Oscar-related drinking game.   


  Best Picture Nominees


Call Me By Your Name

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Directed by: Luca Guadagnino

Starring: Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar

Story: It's the summer of 1983, and precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who's working as an intern for Elio's father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

AFI Movie of the Year

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures - Original Song

What The Critics Said:

"A film that’s at once light, joyful and emotionally devastating, with deeply affecting central performances. A full-hearted romantic masterpiece." - Olly Richards, Empire

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 93%

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

IMDB: 8.3/10

Interesting Fact: Timothee Chalamet learned to speak Italian and play piano for the role of Elio.


Darkest Hour

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Directed by: Joe Wright

Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn

Story: A thrilling and inspiring true story begins at the precipice of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

Golden Globe - Best Performance by and Actor in a Motion Picture

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Best Performance by and Actor in a Leading Role

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Best Achievement in Production Design

What The Critics Said:

"Were Darkest Hour just a symphony of World War II nostalgia, it’d probably still be a good watch. But because the film makes the effort to go deeper, it becomes something much more memorable." - David Sims, The Atlantic

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 75%

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

IMDB: 7.4/10

Interesting Fact: Gary Oldman is the 6th actor from the Harry Potter film franchise to portray Winston Churchill after Michael Gambon, Timothy Spall, Brendan Gleeson, David Ryall, and Robert Hardy.


Dunkirk

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Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Harry Styles, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy,

Story: In May 1940, Germany advance into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

AFI Movie of the Year

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Achievement in Film Editing

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures - Original Score

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Best Achievement in Directing

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Best Achievement in Production Design

What Our Critic Said: (read our review here)

“With his picture and his sounds, Nolan creates a large sweeping adventure, yet the commitment to structure and storytelling allows for a rare intimacy with the audience.”

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 94%

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

IMDB: 8.1/10

Cinelinx: 4.8/5.0

Interesting Facts: According to Kenneth Branagh roughly 30 Dunkirk survivors who are in their mid-90’s attended the premiere in London. When asked about the film, they felt that it accurately captured the event, but that the soundtrack was louder than the actual bombardment.


Get Out

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Directed by: Jordan Peele

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener

Story: Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family's overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter's interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

AFI Movie of the Year

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Best Achievement in Directing

Best Original Screenplay

What Our Critic Said: (Read our review here)

“Who knew Jordan Peele to be an Aesopic pensman, visual stylist, master entertainer, and effective actors’ director?”

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 84%

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

IMDB: 7.7/10

Cinelinx: 4.5/5.0

Interesting Facts: Director Jordan Peele was inspired to write this movie by Eddie Murphy’s standup film Eddie Murphy: Delirious. Murphy jokes about horror films and asks why white people do not leave when there is a ghost in the house. Murphy jokes that as he was showing his wife around a beautiful house if he heard a ghost whisper, “Get out”, he would immediately tell her, “Too bad we can’t stay, baby.” Peele repeated Murphy’s joke on the DVD commentary of his film.


Lady Bird

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Directed by: Greta Gerwig

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet

Story: An outspoken teen must navigate a loving but turbulent relationship with her strong-willed mother over the course of an eventful and poignant senior year of high school.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

Golden Globe - Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Golden Globe - Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Musical or Comedy

AFI Movie of the Year

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Achievement in Directing

Best Original Screenplay

What Our Critic Said: (read our review here)

“Lady Bird bursts from its trappings when it doesn’t prioritize quirk over character.”

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 94%

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

IMDB: 7.8/10

Cinelinx: 4.0/5.0

Interesting Facts: Saoirse Ronan has said that the most difficult word for her to pronounce with an American accent was “perfect”.


Phantom Thread

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Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville

Story: Set in the glamour of 1950’s post-war London, renowned dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) are at the center of British fashion, dressing royalty, movie stars, heiresses, socialites, debutantes and dames with the distinct style of The House of Woodcock. Women come and go through Woodcock’s life, providing the confirmed bachelor with inspiration and companionship, until he comes across a young, strong-willed woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), who soon becomes a fixture in his life as his muse and lover. Once controlled and planned, he finds his carefully tailored life disrupted by love.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

None

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Best Achievement in Directing

What Our Critic Said: (read our review here)

“...The best parting gift from Day-Lewis is to let a new star ascend, rip the floor beneath him, and hijack the entire Hellenistic enterprise from the opening shot to the last.”

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 90%

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

IMDB: 8.3/10

Cinelinx: 4.8/10

Interesting Facts: Continuing a tradition from Paul Thomas Anderson’s previous three films, the advertising materials feature shots and scenes not found in the finished film.


The Post

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Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Bob Odenkirk

Story: Katharine Graham is the first female publisher of a major American newspaper -- The Washington Post. With help from editor Ben Bradlee, Graham races to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans three decades and four U.S. presidents. Together, they must overcome their differences as they risk their careers -- and very freedom -- to help bring long-buried truths to light.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

AFI Movie of the Year

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

What Our Critic Said: (read our review here)

"And while the performances in this film are well worth the price of admission, I still turn back to the impeccable job by Steven Spielberg."

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 83%

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

IMDB: 7.4/10

Cinelinx: 4.6/5

Interesting Facts: In all of the scenes depicting President Richard Nixon on the phone in the Oval Office, Nixon’s actual voice is heard from White House tapes.


The Shape of Water 

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Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stahlbarg

Story: Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab's classified secret -- a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

Golden Globes - Best Director

Golden Globes - Best Motion Picture

Golden Globes - Best Original Score, Motion Picture

AFI Movie of the Year

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Achievement in Directing

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Best Achievement in Music Written For Motion Pictures, Original Score

Best Original Screenplay

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Best Achievement in Film Editing

Best Achievement in Production Design

What Our Critic Said: (read our review here)

“It borrows a sense of magical realism from classic cinema, which makes the darker, more sinister moments strikingly beautiful as well as impactful.”

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 86%

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

IMDB: 7.8/10

Cinelinx: 3.9/5.0

Interesting Facts: The last name of the main character Elisa Esposito is of Italian origin and is given to children who were abandoned or exposed.


Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri

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Directed by: Martin McDonagh

Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell

Story: After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby, the town's revered chief of police. When his second-in-command, Officer Dixon -- an immature mother's boy with a penchant for violence -- gets involved, the battle is only exacerbated.

Biggest Awards Won so Far:

Golden Globes - Best Motion Picture, Drama

Golden Globes - Best Screenplay, Motion Picture

Golden Globes - Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

Golden Globes - Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, in a Motion Picture

AFI Movie of the Year

Other Oscar Nominations:

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (x2)

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Best Original Screenplay

Best Achievement in Film Editing

What The Critics Said:

"Three Billboards wobbles during its tightrope walk between comedy and drama, but is kept on-course by careful direction and two fiery performances." - Sandy Shaefer, Screen Rant

Overall Critic Consensus:

Metacritic: 88%

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

IMDB: 8.3/10

Interesting Facts: Woody Harrelson would often use his breaks from shooting to sign autographs and take pictures with locals who had come to watch the filming. The town where the movie is filmed is actually a small mountain town in western North Carolina, called Sylva.

 


 

 Click here for Part 2 of our 2018 Oscars Preview! 

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