FAULT Magazine 2018 Oscar Predictions

fWith the Bafta’s now behind us, it’s time we turned our heads towards the Oscar’s. After the #Oscarssowhite controversy miring previous years and Moonlight/La La Land mishaps from last year, all eyes will be fixed squarely on this year’s award ceremony! While it’s a close race and no one can be sure until the night, many platforms are making last-minute Oscar predictions so allow us to present to you the Official FAULT Magazine 2018 Oscar Prediction list!

Award: Best Actor
Nominees: Daniel Kaluuya “Get Out”
Timothée Chalamet “Call Me by Your Name”
Gary Oldman “Darkest Hour”
Daniel Day-Lewis “Phantom Thread”
Denzel Washington “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

FAULT Prediction: Gary Oldman

While odds at Betfair currently place Gary Oldman at 33/1 to win behind Timothee Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya’s 16/1, Gary Oldman still edged them out at the Bafta’s taking home the coveted best Leading Acting award for his portrayal of Winston Churchill. While we believe Kaluuya and Chalamet both put in Oscar Award-winning performances in their respective projects, ‘Darkest Hour’ is the epitome of an “Oscar Movie”. Unless the Academy has made significant strides to modernise this 2018, we predict that once again it will be the biopic/period drama to bring things home this year.

 

Award: Actor In A Supporting Role

Nominees: Christopher Plummer ‘All the Money in the World”
Woody Harrelson “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Sam Rockwell “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Willem Dafoe “The Florida Project”
Richard Jenkins “The Shape of Water”

FAULT Prediction: Willem Dafoe

Sam Rockwell’s performance as Jason Dixon in “Three Billboards” has already earned him a SAG Awards, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe awards, makes it hard to deny that he is a clear favourite to win this year with the general public. That being said, we’re going to route for Willem Dafoe for his performance in “The Florida Project” to take the award for Best Supporting Actor. While we won’t comment on the actor’s respective performances or acting prowess, Dafoe’s performance gained universal praise from The NYTimes, Vulture, Common Sense Media and if past years have taught us anything, it’s that the titles above and the academy, all speak the same language.

 

Award: Best Actress

Nominees: Meryl Streep “The Post”
Sally Hawkins “The Shape of Water”
Margot Robbie “I, Tonya”
Frances McDormand “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Saoirse Ronan “Lady Bird”

FAULT Prediction: Frances McDormand

It’s going to be a close year for Best Actress nominations making it tough to predict an all-out winner. If we’re to follow the BAFTA pattern, Frances McDormand picked up the award for Best Actress earlier this week, and we imagine she will do quite the same at The Oscars but this year is anyone’s game, and every actress is well deserved of that Oscar nod this year.

 

 

Award: Actress In A Supporting Role

Nominations: Lesley Manville “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf “Lady Bird”
Allison Janney “I, Tonya”
Mary J. Blige “Mudbound”
Octavia Spencer “The Shape of Water”

FAULT Predictions: Mary J. Blige

We’re throwing all metrics out of the window here, and we’ll admit, we’re trying to speak this one into existence here! When the nominees have announced, Mary J. Blige made history by becoming the first person (not women, not black women, but first person ever in the entirety of The Oscars), to be nominated for her acting performance and an original song in a single year. Let that sink in, now imagine Blige becomes the first actress ever to win both awards…! Disclaimer: All signs point to Allison Janney winning for “I, Tonya” but we’ll save such logic for another category.

 

Paul Thomas Anderson “Phantom Thread”
Guillermo del Toro “The Shape of Water.”
Christopher Nolan “Dunkirk”
Greta Gerwig “Lady Bird”
Jordan Peele “Get Out”

FAULT Predictions: Jordan Peele

Despite our earlier comments on Gary Oldman being our prediction for the Best Actor for his traditional Oscar-winning portrayal of Churchill, we’re going with Jordan Peele to pick up the award for Best Director. Plainly put, it’s the smartest move for The Academy to show that they’re ready for a change by awarding Peele the award. That’s not to say it’s a baseless token by any stretch of the imagination, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut grossed $176 million domestically. Peele created a horror movie like non-other, a film which while genuinely frightening was still able to touch on social issues and speak to the latest generation of moviegoers in a way unlike many other Oscar Award winning Directors we’ve seen in previous years. If the academy believes in modernising and listening to the also subjective views of the movie-going public, they’ll award Peele with his Best Picture Nomination.

 

Award: Best Picture
Nominations:
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Phantom Thread”
“Get Out”
“The Post”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
“The Shape of Water”
“Lady Bird”
“Call Me by Your Name”

FAULT Predictions: Call Me By Your Name

It’s a tough one this year, it’s not actually until I saw all the movies laid out did I realise just how great the year was for cinema. If we learnt anything from last year, it’s that The Oscars are listening to stories emanating from the LGBTQ community. However that isn’t the only theme Call Me By You Name shares with last year winner, ‘Moonlight’. What both managed to do, was to convey the story and struggle of homosexuality but in a way that resonated with all peoples who have suffered with otherness and we think the academy will see this and will once again reward such a feat.

FAULT Reviews: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

DISCLAIMER: This writer only watched the first Hunger Games film the night before attending the preview screening of the sequel, The Hunger Games: Catching Firehaving missed it in cinemas and somehow dodged the hype . If you have arrived at this review of the sequel uninitiated then watch the first, fantastic, film now.

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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire follows Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) soon after their triumph at the annual death match after which the series is named. The audience had been left in a state of uncertainty – relieved at their joint survival, but also apprehensive at the Capitol’s machinations. But the Games only exist to provide measured hope as a temper for a totalitarian fear; and from a wintry opening scene the regime proceeds to pulverize the former with a heavy-handed enforcement of the latter.

The fact that the two films in this series are, in many ways, fairground mirrors of each other, is reflected in their respective straplines. A direct crossover from the books, the first film’s ‘May the Odds be Ever in Your Favour’ is set against ‘Remember Who the Enemy Is’ in revelatory fashion. The first film establishes background before dwelling extensively on the Games ritual. The sequel, in reflecting on the widening fractures, personal and societal, that threaten to unbalance an unnatural status quo, targets the true enemy in the fictional world of Panem.

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Katniss’ first battle in the arena is seen originally as a heroic fight against the cruel establishment: by taking the actions she does, we are led to believe that hers is a direct fight against the unjust hierarchy of Panem. By contrast, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire gradually unveils the levels of a deeply embedded dystopia, and the increasingly drastic measures it will take to preserve the illusion of a benevolent dictatorship.

Although the Games remain a horror to the characters, the audience begins to question whether the Game itself is any more dangerous than the world of escalating brutality that lies beyond the dome. Katniss’s dream of escape from the system – apparently promised by her victory in the first film – begins to die with the realisation that she can only lose while its authority is accepted; instead she and her allies must reject, and utterly shatter, the rules that confine them.

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When put together, the two films are cleverly constructed – that much is undeniable. The narrative arc of the first film reflects that of the sequel, albeit in an almost horribly inverted fashion. Where the brutal day to day grind of life in District 12 is seen as nightmarish in the first film, here it is almost seen as an escape from the unmentionable horrors of the Games arena. Similarly, where the first film presented the journey to the Capitol as a fleeting flirtation with fame and fortune – albeit one that the protagonists, knowing what was to come, never really bought into – here it is revealed as a descent into horror.

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Elizabeth Banks as Effie is impeccable

Against this grimmer backdrop the audience meets an even bigger supporting cast: all of them walking clichés at heart, but so vivified by the acting behind them that it doesn’t matter. Some have returned to us even better than before. Elizabeth Banks as Effie is impeccable; Woody Harrelson creates depth for mentor figure Haymitch with finesse; and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) becomes ever more disquieting as he steps out from the background. And of course Caesar (Stanley Tucci), Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and many more once again bring Panem to life.

Foremost among the newcomers is Philip Seymour Hoffman, precise as the manipulative games master Plutarch. Sam Claflin performs well as returning tribute Finnick, and the brief scenes for Johanna (Jena Malone) and peace officer Romulus Thread (Patrick St. Esprit) were a pleasure. Sadly, this film is too crowded to continue singing their praises – and often the few glimpsed promises were just that. On the other hand The Hunger Games: Catching Fire continues to intrigue the audience with longevity and friend/foe guessing games, and this writer got caught out until the last few scenes.

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Philip Seymour Hoffman (right) is precise as the manipulative games master Plutarch

The problem with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, as the second act in a quadrilogy, is its self awareness. Director Francis Lawrence‘s deconstruction of the dystopia oversteps the mark of what one can achieve in a limited time frame (even though this film is still over 2 hours long). The original introduces the protagonists, the Games and the people at the heart of the insanity; the sequel tries to delve into that and expand on the world of Panem. Where the original has a strong narrative and ends in a satisfying resolution, the sequel is essentially a lengthy set-up for what is to come. Whether intentional or not, the overall mood becomes disjointed.

Although the film brings many of the same positives – among them beautiful visuals, excellent scene building and subtly visceral combat – it also suffers much more seriously from a burgeoning amount of material to cover. Between the drama, tense action and the racing, but sometimes predictable, plot, the audience is overburdened with emotional demands. Lawrence and Hutcherson are great in their roles, but have particularly suffered in this film. Their characters’ personal struggles, and Katniss’s conflict with the all-too-obvious destiny laid out for her, stretch any initial anticipation or interest thin.

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President Snow (Donald Sutherland) becomes ever more disquieting as he steps out from the background

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has to be judged as part of an ongoing series. Ultimately it is a well made and a thoroughly entertaining watch, but relies on the strength of the original Hunger Games and the promise of more to come. If we had to recommend either of the films as a stand-alone thenwe would likely chose the first. But then, how could you watch either and make a conscious decision not to hunt down the other immediately?

Make no mistake – we’re already looking forward to The Hunger Games part 3.

 

Words by Charles Conway
Edit by Nick Artsruni