Movies we saw in preparation for the 2018 Oscars:
Dunkirk (3 / 5)
Short on characterization. The format was interesting, following land, sea and sky of this particular incident of WWII, but an Oscar movie has to have great characters and this one didn’t.
All the Money in the World (4.5 / 5)
Really liked this one. Thought the story was great, and major and minor characters are all really well done.
Lady Bird (4 / 5)
I liked this, but not as much as I thought I would. It is a great coming of age story and does a good job of depicting the complexity of mother/daughter relationships.
Darkest Hour (4 / 5)
It is interesting to me that we have two movies that are about the same moderately minor event of WWII. Gary Oldman is fantastic. I thought it was a little longer than it needed to be, but overall, really well-done.
The Shape of Water (1 / 5)
Hated it. Tried to be way too many movies in one: Beauty and the Beast, Creature from the Black Lagoon, LaLa Land, The Help and any Russian espionage flick of your choice. I love Octavia Spencer (WDE) but she needs to be careful of being type cast.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (5 / 5)
Incredible characters who are all flawed within a poignant story. The comic relief is brilliant. I believe this is one I’ll be pondering for days. Of the Oscar Best Picture nominees, this is the best one so far. It is definitely worth all the love it received at Golden Globes, and I won’t be surprised if Frances and Sam sweep SAG, GG and Oscars. Has that ever been done?
Get Out (3 / 5)
Better than I thought it would be, but I can’t believe it is an Oscar Best Picture nominee. It has been described as Look Who’s Coming for Dinner meets Stepford Wives, and I was pleased that it is slightly more than that. But it is still just slightly better than your typical intense horror-thriller.
The Post (4.5 / 5)
I really liked this one. I was completely drawn in to the story – one of strong women making a tough decision in a male dominated world, and I really appreciated this aspect of it. I think Meryl Streep has a bit of problem playing anyone other than herself, and I think Tom Hanks often suffers the same sort of ailment, but he did a good job becoming Ben Bradlee in this one.
Phantom Thread (4/ 5)
I liked this a lot. An eccentric dressmaker to the royals with a heavy dose of misophonia falls for a young girl of a lower class. What they do to make their relationship work is an unusual style of co-dependence. Beautiful costumes, music and cinematography. Exceptional characters and acting. Short on plot – until the end. This one will stay with you long after the screen goes up.
Call Me By Your Name (1/5)
For a movie that I would have considered ‘artsy’ this fell especially flat. It was a coming of age story with a slight creep factor. And that’s it. Oscar-worthy movie’s are typically richly layered. This had unremarkable characters and predictable narrative. The cinematography wasn’t even what I would have expected from a northern Italian village. Disappointing.