My Reviews For The Best Picture Nominees Of 2017 (AWARDS 2017)


Below are links to my reviews of all nine Best Picture nominees for the 90th Annual Academy Awards, listed in alphabetical order.

To read my Oscar predictions, click here.

Academy Award Nominees for BEST PICTURE 2017

Call Me By Your Name
*** out of ****
(4 Nominations)
A sexy gay romance, the lush and lavish Call My By Your Name is a sophisticated tale of awakening that embraces its sexuality. One’s experience with it will, in part, be determined by how one instinctively reacts to that premise, particularly as it becomes erotic.

Darkest Hour
***1/2 out of ****
(6 Nominations)
More about political machinations than speeches, [an] apt comparison is to say that Darkest Hour is a less stately, more energized Brit version of Lincoln, one that zeros in on the U.K.’s greatest Prime Minister at his most consequential moment.

***1/2 out of ****
(8 Nominations)
Imagine the Normandy sequence that opens Saving Private Ryan stretched out to a full-length feature, and you start to get an idea of what Dunkirk is like.

Get Out
**** out of ****
(4 Nominations)
Brilliantly conceived and delicately executed, (writer / director) Jordan Peele uses basic cinematic language with a hypnotic sleight of hand all his own, showing how simple form (rather than flashy genre techniques) can result in palpable function.

Lady Bird
**** out of ****
(5 Nominations)
(Writer / Director ) Greta Gerwig gives us everything, her whole heart. Her movie literally gushes off the screen. Timeless for any generation yet entirely of its own, Lady Bird is the defining Coming Of Age story for the 21st Century.

Phantom Thread
***1/2 out of ****
(6 Nominations)
Once you get past the absurd petulance on display, Phantom Thread is one sumptuous throwback to Golden Age melodramas, more by way of Hitchcock than Sirk.

The Post
** out of ****
(2 Nominations)
A tale of warrior journalists writ mythic, The Post is the media at its most self-congratulatory. Written like a history lesson flagrant in its biases, [it’s] stacked with sanctimonious declarations of holding power accountable. The entire movie sprays polemical buckshot at will.

The Shape of Water
*** out of ****
(13 Nominations)
The Shape of Water has the hallmarks of greatness – and they’re all undercut by a garish and unnecessary political bias.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
** out of ****
(7 Nominations)
This isn’t a movie. It’s a premise with caricatures, ones that exist primarily as targets or proxies for vicarious liberal venting.

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