Paddylast Inc’s Oscars 2018 Predictions!

It’s the time of the year again to give out the film’s highest honors in Hollywood and I’ve a feeling that there’ll be a bit of a surprise in what most assumed are already “locked” categories.

Best Picture:
This is going to be an easy pick for me. As much as I’d love for The Shape of Water to win this award, I’ve to give it to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. On a technical perspective and story-wise, The Shape of Water hands down wins this one but it feels like based on the most recent winners from this category, the voters tends to go to something that has a stronger and in-your face social impact. Three Billboards doesn’t have the subtlety Del Torro’s film has so that alone hurts The Shape Water’s chances.

Most Likely to Upset: The Shape of Water

Best Director:
This should go to Guillermo Del Toro. He may not win Best Picture but The Shape of Water is arguably his best work to date and it would be an injustice not to give him this nod.

Most Likely to Upset: I want to say that this is already locked for him, but for shock value I’m going to say Greta Gerwig for her directorial debut in Lady Bird. This scenario is highly unlikely but I won’t be that mad if she’d steal this one from Del Toro.

Best Actress: (Locked)
I’ve seen all of the films of the actresses nominated in this category so it’s kind of difficult for me to regard anyone as THE BEST. With that being said, I feel like Frances McDormand is already locked to win this. Sally Hawkins is a good second choice but McDormand just happened to sweep all of the precursor awards so there’s that.

Best Actor:
I’d be in the minority right here predicting an upset by Timothee Chalamet to the season’s frontrunner Gary Oldman. I initially pegged Oldman locked to win this but I’ve this nagging feeling that this would be the biggest upset of the night. Chalamet’s performance in Call Me By Your Name does seem like a once in a blue moon performance from such a very young and promising actor. In comparison to Oldaman’s stunning portrayal of Winston Churchill in the Darkest Hour, Chalamet didn’t need the help of prosthetics to actually translate something extraordinary into the screen.

Most Likely to Upset: Timothee Chalamet to Gary Oldman’s frontrunner position.

Best Supporting Actress: (Locked)
I don’t even know what to say about Allison Janney. She’s just simply sublime in I, Tonya.

Best Supporting Actor: (Locked)
Sam Rockwell’s character as a racist police officer is entirely believable that it is so easy to get angry at both the actor and the character he’s playing. That is how effective he was. This is a solid performance and no one even comes close.

Best Original Screenplay:
The Shape of Water – Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Call Me By Your Name – James Ivory

Best Animated Feature Film:
Coco – Lee Unkrich & Darla K. Anderson

Best Original Score:
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – John Williams

Best Original Song:
Remember Me from Coco by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

Best Cinematography:
Blade Runner 2049 – Roger Deakins

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:
Victoria & Abdul – Lou Sheppard

Best Production Design:
Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola

Most Likely to Upset: Victoria & Abdul

Best Costume Design:
For something about Costume, this should be locked for Phantom Thread.

Most Likely to Upset: Victoria & Abdul

Best Film Editing:
Dunkirk – Lee Smith (Locked)

Best Sound Editing: (Locked)

Best Sound Mixing: (Locked)

Best Foreign Language Film:
Una Mujer Fantastic a (A Fantastic Woman) from Chile by Sebastian Lelio

Most Likely To Upset: Sweden’s The Square by Ruben Ostlund.

Beat Visual Effects:
Blade Runner 2049

I do not have any basis for the documentary features so I won’t make any predictions for said categories.


Film Review: Lady Bird (2017)

The Dixie Chicks once asked the questions – who’s never left home? Who’s never struck out? I think that most of the time, it’ll come to a point in our lives that we are ‘Lady Bird.’ I said that because when we’re young, there’s always this feeling that our world is too small for us, that we wanted to explore what life has to offer, what this world is waiting to show us. We want something so much that we persevere to get them. Sometimes doing things that we didn’t think was wrong when we did it and ended up regretting but at the end of the day, we have this sense of fulfilment.

Lady Bird are those feelings so cleverly translated by Greta Gerwig into a film. This coming of age film so brilliantly led by Saoirse Ronan is a tale as old as time that just works in so many ways because that is basically everyone of us when we’re at the cusps of adulthood.

Ronan playing the eponymous role was as usual terrifically sublime as the rebellious daughter who won’t let anyone hinder her aspirations – not by her friends, her school advisors and definitely not by her mother played by the equally wonderful Laurie Metcalf. Sometimes, it’s almost painful to watch their interactions or more of altercations because there’s vulnerability in both of their characters that everyone would relate to. You’d probably point out, hey! That’s me with my daughter – ouch! or that is me and my mom/dad sometimes!  Ronan and Metcalf made their chemistry as mother and daughter so palpable that it resonated so much with so many people.

Gerwig tried to snatch a lot of wigs for this film and she did so fabulously! Lady Bird is a cult classic waiting to happen. I wouldn’t even be mad for a sequel!

At the 90th Academy Awards, Lady Bird has received five nominations that includes Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress in a Leading and Supporting Roles and Best Original Screenplay.

Director: Greta Gerwig

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Lucas Hedges, Tracy Letts, Beanie Feldstein, Timothee Chalamet.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Film Review: Dunkirk (2017)

The film is a narrative of the successful evacuation of the Allied troops from Dunkirk as the Nazi Army advances to the French city. The battle of Dunkirk depicted one of the historical catalysts that made the people in Europe come together against the war propagated by the Nazi regime.

The Academy gave Nolan’s film eight nominations including his first directorial nod, Best Picture and Best Editing. The latter I wholeheartedly agree and would predict this film to win said category. As for Nolan’s vision, I feel that the whole thing was well-executed, the way he played with our emotions but didn’t really hit the mark of capturing the essence of the topic. This was Dunkirk glossed over. There was too much technicality, hence the great editing, but it lacks the gravitas of what really transpired in those days. Yes, we see them soldiers fighting for their lives to stay alive, to be able to survive and be with their loved ones but I somehow find it devoid of motivation.

I thought it was critically overrated but at the end of the day – I still enjoyed it more than the Darkest Hour so that at least should be a consolation. Despite the measly character development, I’d still give it a 3 star ratings because it’s Nolan being Nolan and on a technical spectrum, this is heaps better than most films from last year.

Dunkirk scored eight nominations at the 90th Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Production Design

Director: Christopher Nolan
Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Barry Keoghan, Mark Rylance, Jack Lowden, Tom Glynn-Carney, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars


Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

via impawards

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri for me felt like an examination of how deep the connection a mother has with her children and how far she’s willing to go for them. In the film, Frances McDormand’s character Mildred Hayes boldly put up three billboards that questions the authority for seemingly not doing anything about her daughter’s murder.

McDormand’s portrayal of grief – misplaced or not – that is not only seen but felt. It is so palpable on screen it makes you feel her anger and frustrations. All of her solo scenes are nothing short of sublime.


Then there’s Dixon – a xenophobe police officer in Ebbing. I’ve to admit that I was a bit uncomfortable with Sam Rockwell’s character. A portrayal which reminded me so much of his evil character ‘Wild Bill’ in The Green Mile. He was so effective here that his character angers me so much..

It’s funny that this picture so thoughtfully reminded me of the very divided America now under Donald Trump. Dixon (Rockwell) feels like a personification of what everything Donal Trump represents pre-reading the letter Chieft Willoughby have written for him.

This isn’t just about the fight of Mildred Hayes for justice. I want to believe that this goes deeper than that. This is a representation on apathy and how evil humans could get. Was I convinced by that ending? By Dixon’s redemption? Not quite, but as Chief Willoughby told Dixon thru a letter – all we need is love. Cringy but worth contemplating.

Director: Martin McDonagh
Cast: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Caleb Landry Jones, Kerry Condon, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Abbie Cornish, Lucas Hedges, Željko Ivanek, Amanda Warren, Peter Dinklage, Kathryn Newton, John Hawkes, Samara Weaving, Clarke Peters, Brendan Sexton III
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The film received seven nominations, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress for McDormand and Best Supporting Actor nominations for Harrelson and Rockwell at the 90th Academy Awards.