Oscars 2018: What won and what should’ve won

My picks for what should have received the Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards

Casey Loving, News editor

Before Regal Cinemas took over the Warren, it was hard for me to keep up-to-date with major Oscar contenders. However, with Regal’s Academy Awards film festival, I was able to see all nine Best Picture nominees before the ceremony for the first time. Still, there were some nominated films that I did not get a chance to see in time: “The Florida Project,”  “Mudbound,”  “All the Money in the World,”  “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” and “The Disaster Artist.”  With that said, here’s what won the golden statues at the 90th Academy Awards, and what I think should’ve won instead.

Supporting Actor:

Who won: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

My vote: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

The night started off right, with the first award of the night, Best Supporting Actor, going to my choice. Rockwell is an amazing actor, and I have loved him since I saw his hilarious performance in “Galaxy Quest.” Rockwell has received some backlash for the role, but I found it to be an undeniably great performance, making me root for a character I have no right to want to succeed purely through the actor’s charm. Even though I would’ve been just as happy to see Woody Harrelson or Richard Jenkins win for their performances in “Three Billboards” and “The Shape of Water,” I was glad to see Rockwell get the recognition he deserves.

Supporting Actress:

Who won: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya

My vote: Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird

This year, the two front runners for Best Supporting Actress were very similar. Both Metcalf and Janney delivered performances as tough, abrasive mothers. For me, the major difference came from realism. Even though Janney had the chance to have a much bigger, showier performance, I didn’t necessarily think that made it better. Metcalf delivered a realistic, emotional performance in “Lady Bird” that I found myself responding to much more than her competitor. Both women were terrific in their roles, but Metcalf’s realism and believability gave her the edge for me to wish she would’ve gotten the win instead. More than anything, I wish that Holly Hunter could’ve gotten a much-deserved nomination in the category for her performance in “The Big Sick.”

Visual Effects:

What won: “Blade Runner 2049

My vote: “War for the Planet of the Apes

Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” losing this award proves that it’s about the best special effects, not the most. Sadly, one of the best effects-driven franchises of all time went home empty-handed for the third time this year. Don’t get me wrong, I think “Blade Runner 2049” is a stunning movie. Even if I wasn’t its biggest fan, I have to acknowledge how amazing the visual effects were. One thing I am the biggest fan of, though, is the rebooted “Planet of the Apes” trilogy. The fact that none of the three films won a visual effects Oscar isn’t just a shame, it’s nearly a crime. These movies gave you apes on horses dual wielding machine guns and somehow made it look not only photorealistic, but believable, and that is an Oscar-worthy achievement.  Maybe I’m not upset that “Blade Runner” was acknowledged for its visual effects, but one of my biggest disappointments of the night will be that “Planet of the Apes” never got the Academy recognition it deserved.

Adapted Screenplay:

What won: “Call Me by Your Name

My vote: “Call Me by Your Name”

Believe me, I loved “Logan” too.  And it was really cool to see it get an Adapted Screenplay nomination, marking the first writing nomination for a superhero movie. But “Call Me by Your Name” is the obvious winner for this category. “Call Me by Your Name” is an absolutely beautifully written movie, both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. Every character in “Call Me by Your Name” is fully fleshed out, letting the audience live in a world that feels entirely real for two hours. Even though it doesn’t have old men with knife hands fighting younger versions of themselves, “Call Me by Your Name” is by far the most deserving winner here.

Original Screenplay:

What won: “Get Out

My vote: “Get Out”

I love “Lady Bird.” I love “The Shape of Water.” I love “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” “The Big Sick” was arguably my favorite of last year. But “Get Out” is one fine choice for this category. No screenplay serviced its film quite as well as “Get Out.” I might not be the best guy to tackle the movie’s racial metaphors, but they are certainly part of the screenplay’s strengths. I’m sure most of the people reading this have seen “Get Out,” but, in case you haven’t, I don’t want to risk saying anything more to give it away. Where I feel like a lot of the other screenplays nominated were held up by their actors and directors, “Get Out,” is an intense, tightly written movie that’s true star is found in its writing. Oh, and the acting and directing isn’t half bad either.


What won: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

My vote: Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

I don’t think I liked “Blade Runner 2049” as much as most people. It was certainly fantastic, just maybe not my cup of tea. But if it didn’t win the award for Best Cinematography, it would be the biggest snub of the night. The best part of “Blade Runner 2049” for me is by far its cinematography. There are at least 20 shots from the movie you could convince me are paintings from an art museum. I don’t know that there is a single cinematographer out there better than Roger Deakins, and his first Oscar is long overdue after the 12 times he’s lost before now.

Original Song:

What won: “Remember Me” – “Coco

My vote:  “This is Me” – “The Greatest Showman

I’m going to be honest here. I haven’t heard most of the nominations in this category more than once or twice. But this has to be said. “Coco” is a wonderful movie, and one of my favorites of last year. “The Greatest Showman” is a really weird, average, unmemorable movie that I didn’t enjoy nearly as much as many others. However, the strongest aspect of “The Greatest Showman” is its music by miles. Even if it’s my third or fourth favorite song from the movie, “This is Me” blows “Remember Me” completely out of the water. While a powerful, memorable moment in the context of the movie, “Remember Me” is about a thousand times worse when you’re listening to it on its own. If “Un Poco Loco” were the song nominated, maybe I could see an argument here for “Coco” to win Best Original Song, but when weighing the virtue of the songs on their own, this shouldn’t have even been a competition.


Who won: Guillermo Del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

My vote: Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”

Best Director was arguably the toughest category of the night. I don’t know that there was one director who I would’ve been truly upset if they won. I do think, however, that Gerwig took what could’ve been a really edgy, annoying movie and made it funny, charming, beautiful, and one of my favorite films of the year. But more on that later.


Who won: Gary Oldman, “The Darkest Hour

My vote: Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”

This is another category I can’t be too upset about. Oldman is a legendary actor and, much like Leo, he deserves this career win. But Chalamet’s performance in “Call Me by Your Name” was insanely moving and impressive, especially considering his age. Similar to Metcalf and Janney, I feel like Oldman had the showier role between the two, but where I felt like he was doing an extraordinary impression of Winston Churchill in “The Darkest Hour,” I felt like Chalamet truly embodied his character in “Call Me by Your Name.”


Who won: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

My vote: Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of going with my friend to see my vote for Best Picture, “Paddington 2” (that may sound like a joke but trust me, it’s way better than you’d think. Give it a shot). In the film, Hawkins plays the adoptive mother of Paddington Bear, and, after having seen “The Shape of Water” a week before, I almost leaned over to my friend to say “That’s exactly how she sounded in that fish movie.” That’s when I remembered a pretty important part of “The Shape of Water”: Hawkins’ character can’t speak. The point is, Hawkins’ performance is so good, that I’d convinced myself I knew what she sounded like without having heard her voice. There is not a single time in the movie that you don’t know exactly what she’s saying, exactly what emotion she’s conveying, exactly what her motivations are, yet she hardly makes a noise. Without knocking McDormand down too much, that is by far the greatest achievement in this category for me. At least they didn’t just give Meryl Streep an award for being Meryl Streep. Still, credit where credit is due, McDormand is fantastic in “Three Billboards.” Also giving credit where credit is due, go see “Paddington 2.” I swear it’s delightful.


What won: “The Shape of Water”

My vote: “Lady Bird”

“The Shape of Water” is a beautiful movie that is so much more than “The one where she falls in love with a fish,” and it’s easily in my top three nominees, but, for me, it still doesn’t come close to touching “Lady Bird.” No movie nominated did. “Lady Bird” is hilarious. It’s well acted. It’s well directed, as was said. It takes what could potentially be a really annoying movie and makes it pure gold. It’s charming. It has heart. It’s relatable. It’s quotable. It has some insanely emotional moments. It had me laughing harder than nearly any other movie this year, then made me ready to cry on a dime. Even though it’d have some heavy competition if one of my favorites of the year got nominated (sorry, “The Big Sick”), not even “Get Out” can make a strong enough case for me to keep “Lady Bird” from my top slot. Still, I can’t be too upset that “The Shape of Water” won. Only that “The Big Sick” wasn’t nominated. Or “Paddington 2.” That movie was great.