Mute's narrative is a self-consciously odd and stillborn mix of missing-person mystery and rehabilitation parable.
The surprising snub of Fatih Akin's Golden Globe-winning In the Fade was supposed to make calling the foreign language Oscar much easier.
Gary Oldman's assured win over the two main critics' favorites, Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya, represents an unabashed retrenchment that's entirely off brand in this Oscar year.
Writer-director Alex Garland's Annihilation gets momentum from the deeper it pushes into the uncertainties of ecology and the self.
Here's one prize at least that will ensure that Phantom Thread, Slant's favorite film of 2017, won't be wearing the emperor's new clothes.