By Jeff Kurkjian

The 90th Academy Awards will take place on March 4th honoring the best movies of 2017. Now if you are like me (Jeff), you don’t always agree with The Academy. Sometimes you even see some of the Best Picture nominees and think, “what were they thinking?!?”

This year, I made it my goal to see all nine Best Picture nominees and truly make an accurate assessment of the films. I broke down each Best Picture nominee that I have seen, predictions below!

I’ve seen seven of the nine already and want to make my suggestions for movies you should and should NOT see. Let’s get this started…

The Shape of Water: WATCH (4.9/5)

“The Shape of Water” leads this year’s Oscars with 13 nominations. It’s a love story between a woman lost in life and well… another being. Sounds crazy but it is actually a beautiful story. It has every layer of a great film, I don’t want to say anything else… just go see it! My pick for Best Director, Guillermo del Toro.

Darkest Hour: Do NOT Watch (2.75/5)

Gary Oldman’s Winston Churchill is powerful but for me, the film lacked movement. The beginning was very stagnant and uninteresting. There was only really one moment that I left thinking, “that was good,” which is very sad because I was looking forward to this movie. It was Dunkirk but from the political side. Speaking of Dunkirk…

Dunkirk: WATCH (4.8/5)

Without a doubt one of my favorite movies of 2017. Christopher Nolan is a GENIUS. We follow three stories, land, sea and air, that all beautifully depict the struggle of the soldiers stuck on the beaches of Dunkirk during World War II. I saw it twice and liked it even more the second time.

The Post: Do NOT Watch (3/5)

“WHAT! But Jeff, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, how can this be on your do NOT watch list??” Listen, Streep and Hanks are two of the best actors of my lifetime but this movie didn’t do it for me. Streep takes over The Washington Post in light of the release of The Pentagon Papers, do we publish or not publish? That’s the debate throughout the entire movie. Streep’s character is made out to be almost incompetent in the male dominated industry until one shining moment towards the end. I think it’s a poor man’s “Spotlight.”

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: WATCH (4.75/5)

This is the favorite for Best Picture this year according to many blogs. It won the Globe for it and I loved it. The acting in this movie was the most powerful of all of the nominees. Frances McDormand was EXCELLENT in the leading role of a grieving mother. She should, without a doubt, win Best Actress in a Leading Role. Sam Rockwell, the drunk cop with a heart of gold, should win Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Get Out: WATCH (4.9/5)

I was SHOCKED that this was nominated for Best Picture because I loved it, which usually means The Academy doesn’t like it. This is a thriller in every single sense of the word. No, it is not a HORROR movie, I hate people who can’t make that distinction. Jordan Peele (yes, from Key and Peele) loves this genre and directed this masterpiece. Don’t bring the kids, but bring a date to hold on to for sure!

Lady Bird: WATCH (4.5/5)

This coming-of-age film personifies what it is like to be in high school in the 21st century. It accurately depicts the relationship between mother and daughter in the teenage years (I have an older sister so I saw it all go down, trust me). Also, Roommate Ben LOVED this movie, so you have his endorsement too.

(Reviews of “Call Me By Your Name” and “Phantom Thread” coming SOON!)

Movies That Didn’t Get Nominated For Best Picture That You Should See

Those are the Best Picture nominees I have seen thus far… other movies I would recommend…

“Molly’s Game,” “I, Tonya” and “The Greatest Showman.”

They each received nominations in other categories including Best Original Song for “This Is Me” in “The Greatest Showman.” I believe the film got snubbed in not receiving more nominations, it was one of my favorite movies of the year without a doubt.

Also, Netflix received its first Oscar nod with their original movie, “Mudbound.” I loved the story because it spoke of racial tensions amidst World War II, an era that is so heavily focused on Europe, we are transported to Mississippi to visit the unlikely friendship of two war vets. Highly recommend but it isn’t one for the faint of heart, some scenes are a little tough to watch

Jeff’s OFFICIAL Oscar Picks

Finally… my predictions for the major Oscar nominations (my winners in red).

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Directing

Dunkirk- Christopher Nolan

Get Out- Jordan Peele

Lady Bird- Greta Gerwig

Phanton Thread- Paul Thomas Anderson

The Shape of Water- Guillermo del Toro

Leading Actress

Sally Hawkins- The Shape of Water

France McDormand- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie- I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan- Lady Bird

Meryl Streep- The Post

Leading Actor

Timothee Chalamet- Call Me By Your Name

Daniel Day Lewis- Phanton Thread

Daniel Kaluuya- Get Out

Gary Oldman- Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington- Roman J. Israel Esq.

Supporting Actor 

Willem Dafoe- The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins- The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer- All The Money In The World

Sam Rockwell- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige- Mudbound

Allison Janney- I, Tonya

Lesley Manville- Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf- Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer- The Shape of Water

Original Screenplay

The Big Sick

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Adapted Screenplay

Call Me By Your Name

The Disaster Artist

Logan

Molly’s Game

Mudbound

Animated Feature 

The Boss Baby

The Breadwinner

Coco

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent

Original Song

Mighty River- Mudbound

Mystery Of Love- Call Me By Your Name

Remember Me- Coco

Stand Up For Something- Marshall

This Is Me- The Greatest Showman

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