I love the Oscars. In about 30 minutes I will turn on E! and watch the D listers start to arrive, wishing like I do every year that I was on those bleachers watching limos, or better yet strutting down the red carpet to collect my Oscar for best screenplay. I have blue cheese, prosciutto and strawberries waiting in the fridge. And, like very year, I will root for the ones I want to win, yet be resigned that they probably won’t.
Some of you may remember I am part of a Gourmet Club, and that I recently was looking for suggestions for a “Gourmet Goes to the Movies” menu. Last weekend we had the dinner, and I wanted to share what we made:
Themed Cocktail – James Bond’s Martini
Main Course – Vinnie’s Prison Tomato Sauce and Pasta from “Goodfellas”
We struggled a bit, as neither fresh figs nor fava beans were in season, but we managed. Everything was delish, and people seemed to have a ball as always. I kicked off the night with the classic party game where you put a famous person’s name on someone’s back and they have to guess who they are. All the people were actors who had only won one Academy Award. I also created a playlist on Spotify of music from the movies. I did not include “Let it Go.” (https://open.spotify.com/user/donni14/playlist/5JEADwOUEtnGm8PPAn4foQ)
But that was last week, and tonight is, well, The Big Night. Every year I endeavor to see every movie nominated, but I have of course never done that (some year!). So my next goal is all the movies represented in the big 6 (plus costume design if I can — I love that one!). This year I fell short, but did pretty well. Here are my predictions:
Best Actor: Gary Oldman, in Darkest Hour (didn’t see Denzel in Roman J. Israel, Esq; it’s languishing on my DVR). Oldman was soooo good. Seriously not recognizable, which is why I think this pic will also win for Makeup. My second choice was Timothee Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name. Between this and his excellent work in Lady Bird, this kid is going places (and I would totally be crushing on him if I were a teenager)
Best Actress: Frances McDormand in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (Did not see I, Tonya yet, which is crushing me. Went prom dress shopping yesterday instead and celebrated at a surprise party too much last night to get out of pjs today…) McDormand is like a working class Meryl Streep: when she is at the top of her game she is freaking unbeatable. I love that she wants to share the wealth, as she said after winning the SAG award: “This is really great and I thank you, but there’s a lot of young ones comin’ up and they need doorstops too. Let’s think about that.” Who would be my second pick? NOt sure — maybe Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water. For not speaking, she sure said a lot.
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards (didn’t see All The Money in the World). I mean, Rockwell was awesome. His transition from a hateful buffoonery to tortured hero was amazeballs. I think his performance was more nuanced than McDormand’s. Some say Christopher Plummer might get it for All the Money; personally, I don’t think Hollywood wants to give him a chance to thank Kevin Spacey for being a creep and giving up the role. It’s gonna be butt clenching enough with the Weinstein-sized elephant in the room.
Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, I Tonya (haven’t seen Mudbound). Yeah, I haven’t watched this film, but the buzz cannot be denied. This is so often won by a pretty young thing — this year’s nominees range from 47 (Mary J Blige) to 62 (Laurie Metcalf). Holla! If the night seems extra hot, blame it on some sexy heat flashes! (I can say that because I turn 50 next month. But that’s another blog). So yeah: Janney, a first time acting nominee at this year’s Oscars, is gonna win.
Director: Jordan Peele, Get Out. I’ve seen all of these. I think the fact that Peele was able to take essentially a thriller and make it a movie worthy of the Academy’s biggest nod is amazing. Second choice? Guillermo de Toro for Shape of Water.
Best Picture: Three Billboards. Hands down. It just works on every level. Go see it.
What do I think of the other best pic noms?
Call Me By Your Name: beautiful, poignant, sad and joyful. My fave moment is near the end, when the dad tells his son to feel all his emotions. I wish I was that great a parent.
Darkest Hour: an acting movie. Totally worth seeing, but not a Best Pic.
Dunkirk: intense. As the mom of a sailor, devastating and horrifying and I swear I aged watching those boys die.
Get Out: my husband’s fave — but my son hated it. Weird. I thought it was great, but not a best pic.
Lady Bird: I will be re-watching this one with my daughter. I sobbed. If yo are the mom of a teenage girl, for the love of God watch this with her and keep a handful of tissues handy. Only thing that bugged me was how she disparaged my alma mater, UC Davis. Go Aggies!
Phantom Thread: beautiful, disturbing. Almost threw mushroom omelets on the Gourmet menu for this movie, but just couldn’t. Kind of like why I said no to peaches in honor of Call Me By Your Name.
The Post: I love history pics, and it was great. But it was not a best pic.
The Shape of Water: gorgeous, sad, lovely, sweet. Great story for now and any time. A contender for Best Pic for sure.
Oh? and Phantom Thread should get the Best Costume nod. I mean, it’s a movie about fashion. Duh.
Gotta go: I hear Ryan interviewing folks on the red carpet. See you at the movies!