When you consider an award show the most admirable thing usually is getting surprising results.In the last ten or so years it's been more like a campaign race and most of the time the powerful producers play a significant role. This year Oscar nominations feature one of the best movies there denies no. But some deserve more than others to win, one of those definitely Christopher Nolan. He's been denied many times the coveted award of "Best Director" and if he gets it'll be a refreshing and long due. I'll be giving my own predictions and which movies I think should win.
The most important award to be given at the night is without a doubt best picture award. Nine movies have been nominated for this award and only one will have it. The movies are:
Call Me By Your Name: In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen-year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father's research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape. ( IMDB 2017)
Darkest Hour: During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler or fight on against incredible odds. ( IMDB 2017)
Dunkirk: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, and France are surrounded by the German Army, and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. ( IMDB 2017)
Get Out: It's time for a young African-American to meet with his white girlfriend's parents for a weekend in their secluded estate in the woods, but before long, the friendly and polite ambiance will give way to a nightmare. ( IMDB 2017)
Lady Bird: In 2002, an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl comes of age in Sacramento, California.
Phantom Thread: Set in 1950s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover. ( IMDB 2017)
The Post: A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country's first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government. ( IMDB 2017)
The Shape of Water: At a top secret research facility in the 1950s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity. ( IMDB 2017)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter's murder when they fail to catch the culprit. ( IMDB 2017)
The nine chosen movies talk about sexual orientation, stories in war era, racial discrimination, women empowerment, love stories, politics, & weird relationships. From what I've perceived in recent years and how this business is shifting towards support of women. I would say the forerunners for this award are Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri & Lady Bird. Although I predict that the former will bring in the award.
As for the rest of the awards, I think it's up for grabs for any of the nominees. But the leaders in each of the important categories will be like this.For the "Best Director", it's difficult choice especially having two big names with Guillermo del Toro — The Shape of Water & Christopher Nolan -- Dunkirk. I wish Nolan wins but I think it's going to be Del Toro. For "Best Actress" I can't see beyond Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri especially after winning the Saga. For the "Best Actor", it's a headache for all involved but I predict Gary Oldman for his role in Darkest Hour.
Promptly my favorite category this year is undeniably the best foreign film that features The insult by Ziad Doueiri. Whatever any of the Lebanese that Doueiri guts would say about him but he's talented and proven. His film West Beirut is one of my favorite movies of all time.His last movie The insult seized much attention at first in the opposite direction and almost banned. The reason is Doueiri spent around eleven months in Israel, the sworn enemy of Lebanon. Nevertheless, I expect this movie going to win. All I hope that at the time of the speech only greeting notes would be mentioned. But I fear it will turn to political one that half of the Lebanese will hate.
I've been browsing some of the backlashes on the movie Beirut starring Mad Men Jon Hamm & Gone Girl Rosamund Pike.There are two blogs that basically summed up the reaction in Lebanon.Blog Baladi demonstrated the reaction of the majority and its concern that the movie is conveying the flawed idea of Beirut. Another website Plus961 are taking a stand of the indifferent although making known that the movie transmitting an inaccurate picture of Beirut.For me whatever is the reaction of the Lebanese people the damage is done. I agree with Plus961 blog and think we should move on.It's not going be the last time that anyone would make a film about Beirut City or even Lebanon and show a different reality. This is all that was needed for the Lebanese in 2018, some rather "setback" to blame the west for our misfortunes. Now if the tourism industry suffers a plunge, we will blame the movie.
One of the most exhausting jobs & most important in cinema industry is without a doubt of a director/filmmaker. And yet today credit is going always to actresses & actors performances.And forgetting it was the director who was able to get such a performance out of his/her actors & actresses.As said in previous cinema articles I'm someone who appreciates the art of cinema. It was my passion to work in such industry & still is but in my home country Lebanon, surroundings don't encourage such an interest.Nevertheless, had my share of electives about the art of film during college years & I've seen thousands of films from 1920s era to date.I believe that a combination of strong story-line, cast, crew & foremost director makes the movie a successful venture. The directors I'm going to talk about and consider as my all time Favorite visionaries in cinema are from around the world. I will introduce you to directors you might have heard of or might not if you are not into cinema like me.I hope you find my list comprehensive and make you curious to check the directors & their movies.
The director to take spot number one is master of suspense and my Favorite director is Alfred Hitchcock.Seeing his movies elevates to a different universe that can't be explained through few words.The rush when you are watching Psycho be like no other experience. Movies like Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rear Window or even Strangers on a Train can't but make you fall in love & admiration of this brilliant filmmaker.
Comes second is Stanley Kubrick movies ranged from futuristic to weird movies and has done it all with the level you expect from the legendary director. This is the least you can say about this amazing artist, his movies influenced many current directors to do the quirky stuff in their movies. Movies like 2001: A space Odyssey did in 1968 about the future & adventures in space you just think how behind others were. Other movies like the black comedy of Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and Love The Bomb to the thriller The Shining, A Clockwork Orange to Paths of Glory. All these samples of movies that are all recommended represent the versatility of Stanley Kubrick.
In third comes the Japanese director Akira Kurosawa that because of him generations chose to be filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Tarantino, Scorsese and others. All of his movies got storytelling, originality, reliance on cinematography, great acting & combination of drama, action, romance & tasteful violence. Other films stand out for me Ran, Dreams (featuring Scorsese), Yojimbo, Ikiru.
In Forth, I choose Steven Spielberg although he's not one of my Favorite directors he has done quite the memorable movies. Starting with Close encounters of the Third Kind, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse & Munich. He's a filmmaker who knows to choose his team and versatile in the type of movies which makes him one of the cinema greats.
In fifth comes Martin Scorsese, personally my favorite movie directed by him is Goodfellas brilliant take on the life of the gangsters.Other movies are considered among the best in the history of cinema include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Casino & The Wolf of Wall Street.Four of these amazing films featured the unique Robert De Niro an actor associated himself with Scorsese in world-class films.
In the sixth, we have Woody Allen who is brilliant as an actor & director and his best work involved human interaction between individuals with different backgrounds & interests. One of the best movies I've seen for him is probably Annie Hall with Diane Keaton. Don't forget films like Hannah & her sisters, Love & Death, Manhattan, & one of my Favorites Midnight in Paris.
In seventh Quentin Tarantino, who could easily top the list if it wasn't because he made fewer films & is youngest in this list. Nevertheless, Tarantino proved that he's a major player in the history of cinema through memorable flicks.Starting with Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown, Django Unchained & Kill Bill.
In eighth Francis Ford Coppola, without a doubt, he's one of those filmmakers who brilliantly got the ability to tell a story through his lens.The way he takes his shots shows us that he's a genius. For me Godfather part one & two are probably the best movies were made. In addition to those two, we have Apocalypse Now which is the least you can say about it's brilliant.Other movies recommended watching The Conversation with Gene Hackman & The Rain People with James Caan
In ninth Sergio Leone, he directed less than ten feature films, and they are brilliant starting with the spaghetti western (Three movies; the good, the bad & the ugly, For a few dollars more, A Fistful of Dollar) with Clint Eastwood.And Once Upon a Time in the West with the Legend Henry Fonda & Once Upon a Time in America on Gangsters. Sergio Leone is a filmmaker who managed through his few flicks to become a legend in the history of cinema.
In Tenth Orson Welles who's famous mostly for Citizen Kane which is by a huge margin the movie of all time. Citizen Kane is a breakthrough in the history of cinema and the elements that were included in shooting a movie. What is brilliant about this movie it was Orson Welles second long movie after Too much Johnson.And because of this Citizen Kane did horribly at the box office.It was after some years it was introduced in screenings for film students. Actually the first time I've seen it was in a screening in a class about Art of film. Other flicks for you to watch for this genius director are "Touch of Evil" "Confidential Report" Macbeth, & The Third Man.
I hope you enjoyed by choices and find time to watch these flicks. Some might disagree with my choices, and you are welcome to give your own list in the comments and enlighten me. On a final note and as an Honorable mention here a list of ten directors that did not appear, and they are great as well: Clint Eastwood, Christopher Nolan, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Cohen Brothers, Charlie Chaplin, Andrey Tarkovsky, Michelangelo Antonioni, John Ford & Jean-Luc Godard.
I've never said to anyone that I'm a movie critic, but am passionate about cinema especially great cinema and I feel offended when an ok not great movie gets nominated. So here am simply listing a sample of the reviews given by respected critics one of them a New Yorker critic and ending with my conclusion.