By CASSANDRA GILBERT
It’s that time of year again: Oscar season, the time when people rush to the theaters or closest Redbox to have relevant input on the nominees. Offices place bets trying to see who can predict the most winners, and the Academy voters send in their picks for the 24 categories.
The award for best picture can be considered the focal point of the ceremony. Throughout the show, they introduce the nominees (instead of in one lump like the other awards) and play a trailer for each, with the award for best picture being the conclusion of the evening.
This year, for the 90th Academy Awards ceremony, the nominees for best picture are “Call Me by Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Phantom Thread,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
Here are the simple synopses of each lm, according to IMDb:
“Call Me by Your Name”
takes place in Northern Italy in 1983, where 17 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.
“Darkest Hour” is set 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.
In “Dunkirk,” another World War II lm, 400,000 allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German Army, and are trying to evacuate the beach during a fierce battle.
In “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 ambience will give way to a nightmare.
“Lady Bird” is about Christine “Lady Bird”
MacPherson, a high school senior from the “wrong side of the tracks,” who longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. It follows her senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play and most importantly her applying for college.
“Phantom Thread” is set in ‘50s 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.
“The Post” is based on a cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents which pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between the press and the government.
In “The Shape of Water,” a lonely janitor at a top-secret research facility in the ‘50s forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” follows a mother personally challenging the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit.
The best film of the year that should win in this category is the last one listed, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” To make a two-hour lm without much action, that is very much dialogue driven and yet never lags or drones on is not something that is not achieved often.
This movie was definitely intense. Like the previous two films, it addressed a multitude of facets of society. It touched everything from racism to police brutality to domestic violence and beyond, and looked at America in a way that often feels is underplayed in most films. It felt like a truly honest look at the country and its problems, without any hesitation. It managed to not often let you feel completely comfortable or at ease.
The character arcs and decisions each had to face throughout the lm created an unexpected depth to the lm that one would not guess from the trailers, implying a twisted, dry-humored comedy made for the sake of creating something shocking and possibly violent.
To properly put into words what makes this lm best of the year without giving away anything is not quite possible, but it is certainly worth watching to see for yourself how a lm like this could win Best Picture.
Watch the nominees and see for yourself.