The Academy Awards always seem to come around before we know it, and I know I’ve often found myself scrambling to see all the best picture nominees right before the big event. I love to be a part of the Oscars’ movie discussions, as a major film geek, but I always wished there was a way for someone to make a list describing all the movies and informing me which I should take the time to see.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing my best to watch all the films nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Though it’s taken me some time, I’ve seen some incredibly noteworthy and memorable films, as well as a few that didn’t impress me as much as I’d hoped. Today, I’ll be discussing my least favorite and favorite of the bunch.

Least Favorite: 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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This movie had incredible reviews, and I was extremely eager to see it myself. It is a story of a woman who challenges those around her to solve the murder mystery of her daughter by putting three provocative posters up on the outskirts of where she lives. One of my favorite genres of movies is dark comedy, and this is how the movie was described by most. However, I found the film to be exceedingly angry, inconsistent, and altogether quite a mess. A movie like this, with such an incredible cast of characters, had so much potential, but I left feeling unexcited and unfulfilled. I thought Frances McDormand, the lead character, as well as Sam Rockwell, who plays police officer Dixon, did an outstanding job with their very dynamic characters. But the way the movie is laid out, it is difficult to follow every character’s evolution and get a hold of all the subplots. I thought many of the subplots actually begin and don’t lead anywhere, which throws off the focus of the movie. Overall, I was disappointed by the lack of thoroughness of many of the storylines, character developments, and struggled to see the consistency of calling this movie a “dark comedy,” when in reality, it covers harsh exhibits of misogyny, racism, homophobia and intense violence with brief, unmemorable moments of relief. So, if you’re able to perhaps approach this movie with a different perspective, where you’re prepared for all of these various elements, it could be incredibly powerful. However, I did not experience such a feeling, and am instead quite curious about the future of this film.

Favorite: Call Me By Your Name

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The Playlist

This is one of those movies that will put you in a mood for an entire week—holding onto the powerful feelings you experienced for days, constantly wanting to talk about it, constantly needing to hear its soundtrack. Call Me By Your Name, to me, was nothing short of outstanding. Beautifully set in northern Italy in the early 1980s, the movie recollects a love story between a 17-year-old boy and his father’s summer research assistant, a 24-year-old man. The two men both spend time with each other, bond over their Judaism and love of reading, not sure how the other truly feels. After a few brushes of the shoulder and emotion-filled glances, you, as a viewer, are on the edge of your seat—eagerly awaiting their relationship to flourish. With an incredible soundtrack, featuring three hauntingly beautiful songs by Sufjan Stevens, (Visions of Gideon being my favorite) this movie was a graceful and mystifying love story of passion, heartbreak, adventure, and controversy. I was despondent to see it reach its final scene. It is the ultimate feel-good movie, sure to put you in a trance until the next morning, at the very least. I cannot recommend this movie highly enough.

Here is a list of all the 2018 Oscar Nominees, in case you want to take on this challenge yourself.

Happy Viewing!



About Ella Swimmer

Ella Swimmer is a senior from Santa Monica, CA. This adventurous Economics major spends her time dancing to hip-hop, practicing yoga, bingeing music and traveling.

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Ella Swimmer is a senior from Santa Monica, CA. This adventurous Economics major spends her time dancing to hip-hop, practicing yoga, bingeing music and traveling.