Academy Award Standouts

By Alexander Armond Faghani

It’s that time of year again. Oscar season is upon us, as is the tendency for students to plan on watching it, then fail to do so because they’re busy with work, studying or literally anything else. But the post-show Reddit discussion about why your favorite movie lost “Best Picture” awaits! Here are some notable nominations for the most sought after awards this year.

This year’s Best Picture category is filled with interesting entries. One such entry, Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water”, has been nominated thirteen times this year, just one shy of tying the all-time record. “Get Out” is the directorial debut for comedian and actor Jordan Peele, whose incisive premiere outing has garnered widespread critical acclaim and is in the running for four Oscars.

The competition for Best Lead Actor has no slack either: Breakout performances from Daniel Kaluuya and Timothée Chalamet face off against Daniel Day-Lewis’s Oscar-nominated performance in “Phantom Thread”. Though it is his last performance, Day-Lewis ends his hallmark career defined by a tireless method work ethic and three Oscars on a high note.

The Best Actress category showcases even more potential struggle between fresh faces and Hollywood mainstays: Margot Robbie, Saoirse Ronan and Sally Hawkins seek to steal the show against legends Frances McDormand and Meryl Streep.

The build-up to this season’s Oscars is proving interesting within the arena of social justice. Sexual harassment controversies have been running rampant in Hollywood recently, so much so that the lineup of award presenters has thinned: Casey Affleck, who won Best Actor for “Manchester By The Sea” last year will no longer present the Oscar for Best Actress following two allegations of sexual harassment from 2010 that surfaced in the news recently. This event also comes on the heels of the 75th Golden Globe Awards Ceremony, where several actors spoke out in solidarity with the alleged victims of sexual assault and wore “Time’s Up” pins on their lapels as a further sign of solidarity. The potential for controversy at the Oscars is high, so count on the Academy to keep those cameras rolling despite disaster occurring.

On a lighter note, this is a historic year for two categories at the Oscars. Firstly, Greta Gerwig became the fifth female director nominated in the category of  Best Director, for her film “Lady Bird”. If she wins, she will be the second woman to receive  the award, following Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” in 2009.  In the Best Foreign Language Film category, Lebanon has their first nomination ever for “The Insult”. If it wins, it will be the third Oscar ever for a Middle Eastern country, following the first and second won by Iranian films.

Regardless of what happens at this year’s Oscars, viewers know the dresses will be opulent, the audience members beautiful and the Red Carpet interviews clumsy.