Oscars 2018 – Ranking the Best Picture Nominees

It’s been a great year for film, so much so that ranking this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees has taken a little longer to pull together…and I’m probably going to change my mind as I go, but never mind.

This doesn’t necessarily reflect my predictions about what will win – that will follow in another post – but rather my personal ranking of the 9 nominees.


9. Darkest Hour
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One of these things is not like the other, and it is Darkest Hour unfortunately. It is not totally without merit and whilst some of the film-making is excellent and the performance from Gary Oldman pretty much has a lock on the Best Actor award, the story fails to inspire. It really feels like a slog in places and whilst the top-end of this list was easy to decide, the placing of my least favourite was easy!
Read my full review here

8. The Post
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I was pretty high on this film when I first saw it, but given some time to reflect on it, have some to the conclusion that it is good, not great. Again, the performances are excellent and the film-making is of great quality (which is to be expected really), but it fails to leave a lasting impact. As a prequel to All the President’s Men, it’s fine, but given the choice, it would be the 1976 classic, any day of the week.
Read my full review here

7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
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Another film that slipped a little after my first watch, the repeated viewing revealed some glaring script inadequacies and some contrivances that were hard to overlook. That being said, it is still a wonderful film, particularly for Frances McDormand’s commanding central performance.
Read my full review here

6. Lady Bird
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Coming-of-age movies don’t come much better than this, and I felt I was really able to relate to Lady Bird. It is wonderfully written, affectionately directed, and with a believable and interesting mother-daughter relationship between Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. This definitely isn’t one to count out for taking home the big prize, and those Rotten Tomatoes records it broke are absolutely worth taking notice of.
Read my full review here

5. Call Me By Your Name
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I watched this at an ungodly early morning hour at London Film Festival last October, and whilst I knew I loved it then, it really opened up on the second viewing recently. The film-making is absolutely impeccable and Timothee Chalamet’s performance proves he is absolutely one to keep an eye on for the future. Sumptuous, sun-drenched, and utterly gorgeous, Call Me By Your Name is a truly special film.
Read my full review here

4. Get Out
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I’m a horror wimp, we all know this, so I didn’t see this one in theatres. However, having caught up with this one at home, when all the hype had died down, I finally realised it was absolutely worthy of the hype. And then some. I’m still not a horror convert, but it is films like this which can absolutely convince me there is merit to be had in this genre. It’s sharp, funny, super smart, scary when it needs to be, and stacked full of social commentary. Get Out winning Best Picture would be huge, and it wouldn’t be undeserved.

3. Dunkirk
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Regardless of whether you saw Christopher Nolan’s latest in IMAX, IMAX 70mm, regular 70mm, a normal cinema screen, or at home, there is no denying what a spectacle it is. The masterful interweaving of the timelines, the incredible effects, the overwhelmingly tense score, and the great performances all combine to make a truly memorable film. It’ll probably fare better in the technical categories, but in my rankings at least, Dunkirk is a winner.
Read my full review here.

2. The Shape of Water
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This film is the gift that keeps on giving, and what a gift it is indeed. I didn’t think it was possible for Del Toro to top Pan’s Labyrinth, but The Shape of Water could well be his finest film. Captivating, mesmerising, and with some unforgettable visuals, this film was top of my list for a very long time, and come the end of 2018 (remember it was a 2018 release for the UK), it would be a big surprise not to see it in my top 20 list.
Read my full review here

1. Phantom Thread
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After seeing this, I declared I wouldn’t see a better film in 2018, and I know it is early days, but I can’t see this changing. Phantom Thread may well be my new favourite PTA film, and there is some very stiff competition for this! All three of the main performances are flawless, PTA’s direction is exquisite, and the story is unforgettable. There are so many layers to this film and so many things to appreciate, and it easily makes the top spot on my list.
Read my full review here 


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