Oscars 2018: Where to see the nominees in Aspen, what to watch for on the broadcast
SEE THE NOMINEES …
‘Dunkirk,’ Library Cinema Series - March 3
‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,’ Crystal Theatre - March 3
‘The Shape of Water,’ Crystal Theatre - March 4
‘The Square,’ Aspen Film Indie Showcase, Isis Theatre - March 7
‘Get Out,’ Library Cinema Series – March 9-11
‘Darkest Hour,’ Library Cinema Series – March 16-18
‘Lady Bird,’ Library Cinema Series – March 23-25
‘Call Me By Your Name,’ Library Cinema Series – March 30-April 1
IF YOU WATCH …
The 90th Academy Awards telecast is on ABC, Sunday, March 4 at 6 p.m.; oscar.com
Conceivably, if you’ve been slacking on your Oscar nominee watching, you could binge on several major-category nominees on the big screen in the Roaring Fork Valley this weekend before the Academy Awards broadcast Sunday night.
Screenings at the Crystal Theatre in Carbondale and the Wheeler Film Society’s series at the Pitkin County Library include Christopher Nolan’s masterful war epic “Dunkirk” — nominated in eight categories including Best Picture — on today, in a double feature with “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which has a shot at a Best Picture win, Frances McDormand as a lock for Best Actress and Sam Rockwell an odds-on favorite to win Best Supporting Actor. On Sunday, you can catch a matinee of the most-nominated movie of the year, “The Shape of Water,” which is up in 13 categories, including Best Picture and for which Guillermo del Toro is favored to win Best Director.
Then you can roll into your Oscar party prepped to get Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes about the movies and prepared to dominate your balloting contest.
Further out in coming weeks you can see several more likely winners on big screens around Aspen: Aspen Film is showing Best Foreign Film favorite “The Square” on Wednesday at the Isis and the library series will be showing “Get Out,” Darkest Hour,” “Lady Bird” and “Call Me By Your Name” this month.
So get to watching.
These are a handful of key storylines to watch for Sunday night:
Best Picture is Anybody’s Guess
The Academy’s preferential ballot system for Best Picture is perhaps the only voting scheme more convoluted than the electoral college. That system, combined with this year’s lack of a runaway favorite or two, makes it so any of the nine nominees could conceivably take home the trophy. “Experts” in the entertainment press have been predicting “The Shape of Water,” “Dunkirk,” “Three Billboards,” “Lady Bird” and “Get Out” as winners. This’ll make for an exciting night up to the last envelope, where there are no guarantees (other than guaranteed jokes from Kimmel about last year’s Best Picture envelope mix-up). I’m picking “Get Out” to win and rooting for Jordan Peele to take Best Director (though del Toro will probably take that one).
The acting races have less drama in them than the big prize. McDormand has been winning just about every award this season, so she’ll likely take Best Actress. And Gary Oldman has likewise been taking most prizes for his Winston Churchill turn in “Darkest Hour” since it premiered in Telluride last summer, though Timothee Chalamet is a dark horse for “Call Me By Your Name” (if he wins, at age 22, he’ll be the youngest Best Actor winner in history). Janney is the odds-on favorite for Supporting Actress for her turn as Tonya Harding’s mom in “I, Tonya” but don’t be surprised if Laurie Metcalf takes it for her all-too-real performance as Lady Bird’s mom in “Lady Bird.” And through festival season, most critics were touting Willem Dafoe’s hotel manager in “The Florida Project” for Supporting Actor, but Sam Rockwell has been cleaning up through awards season for his racist cop in “Three Billboards” and appears poised to win. (I’m still pulling for Dafoe, because Rockwell has been far better in other films and his cop is too cartoonish even for the cartoonishly composed “Three Billboards.”)
How will the Oscars reflect Hollywood’s year of #MeToo reckoning after the movement upended the film industry and saw Harvey Weinstein, who spearheaded the modern Oscar campaign, expelled from the Academy? Nominees include Christopher Plummer, who was edited into “All the Money in the World” at the last minute to replace a disgraced Kevin Spacey. And the list of presenters includes actors-turned-activists like Ashley Judd, so the show appears poised to address the issues head-on.
Kobe Bryant, Oscar Winner?
It could happen. Yes, Kobe is nominated as a producer for the animated short “Dear Basketball.” The odds-making website GoldDerby has it ranked, by far, as the favorite to win. If it does, given the sexual assault allegations against Bryant from Vail in 2003 and the tenor of the moment in Hollywood, the Animated Short award may prove to be one of the more tense and controversial moments of the ceremony. I’m rooting for “Lou,” which screened at Aspen Shortsfest in April, to upset Kobe.
We don’t have any Aspen locals to root for among the nominees this year, although Dakota Johnson is always a contender to win the red carpet. The closest we have is Boulder’s Bryan Fogel, who directed the Best Documentary-nominated “Icarus,” about his bizarre journey from road-biking weekend warrior to insider during the Russian Olympics doping scandal. Fogel’s movie or “Faces Places” will probably win this prize. Either way, “Icarus” is a must-see and it’s streaming on Netflix.
Film nerds know Roger Deakins as the greatest photographer in contemporary cinema. Oscar buffs know him as the guy who has been nominated 14 — fourteen! — times for Best Cinematography without a win. And many are saying his sumptuous and transporting work on “Blade Runner 2049” will finally give him a trophy. But the category also includes Rachel Morrison, the first woman in history — ever, really — to be nominated for Best Cinematography for creating the gorgeous and grimy look of “Mudbound.” Morrison also shot “Black Panther,” which has been ruling Hollywood and the box office over the past two weeks as Academy voters have been casting their ballots. So she may prevail over Deakins. Either way, I’m happy on this one.
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