The 2018 awards season ended with a whimper, not a bang. But in light of last year’s debacle, maybe that’s a good thing.
2017’s Best Picture mix-up was on everyone’s mind as the Oscars got underway Sunday night. Host Jimmy Kimmel addressed the elephant in the room early: “This year, when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away. Give us a minute.” Even Mark Hamill got in on the action, whispering “Don’t say La La Land. Don’t say La La Land” as he opened his envelope. The Academy’s prayers were answered. The ceremony was the most predictable Oscars in years.
The only result that wasn’t scripted beforehand by those in the know was Jordan Peele’s screenwriting win for Get Out. The film wasn’t our pick in the category, but we’re glad he won. We need Peele’s voice in film more than ever these days, and his Oscar win combined with Get Out’s box office success will ensure he receives free reign on whatever project he wants to tackle next.
Diversity was the major theme of the night. Lupita Nyong’o declared solidarity with the Dreamers. Guillermo del Toro promoted his history as an immigrant. Emma Stone announced the Best Director category as “These four men and Greta Gerwig.” And Frances McDormand ended her speech with reference to an “inclusion rider” which is a practical way A-list celebrities could force change in Hollywood by only agreeing to appear on film sets with an adequately diverse cast and crew.
These cries for inclusion were a welcome addition to the night. What was less satisfying were the final results. Dunkirk seemed a shoo-in for Best Cinematography, but was overlooked for Blade Runner 2049. Lady Bird was blanked completely leading to snubs for Laurie Metcalf, Saoirse Ronan, and Greta Gerwig. But most frustrating of all, The Shape of Water took the biggest prizes of the night for Best Director and Best Picture. There were half a dozen better films than The Shape of Water in 2017, and three of them were Best Picture nominees.
Truth be told, we’ve gotten spoiled. The Oscars have been right on the money the last few years in a row both with the caliber of the show and the winners themselves. Consider this their off-year. And to make up for their blunders, the time has come to present an award of our own.
Below is Cinema Faith’s official list of the ten best movies of 2017. The Academy may have forgotten Novitiate, Stronger, and I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore, but we sure didn’t. The Academy may have awarded The Shape of Water with the crown, but our highest honor goes to the film that’s been at the top of this list since last November: Lady Bird. Greta Gerwig’s masterpiece will stand the test of time as the true best picture of the year.
We hope you’ll take the time to reacquaint yourselves with the movies on our list. Rewatch the films, reread our reviews, and relive an incredible year in cinema. Then, close the book on 2017 and dive in to a brand new year. We’ve already started our list for 2018. Black Panther is king at the moment. What ten movies will be there a year from now? Dear readers, raise your glasses to another season of movie magic.