House Logo
Explore categories +

The Shape Of Water (#110 of 9)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Cinematography

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

Since Slant started making awards predictions in 2002, we've made the mistake—though not as often as others—of calling this category for Roger Deakins, feeling that Oscar was finally ready to make amends. This year, for Blade Runner 2049, this titan of the medium was nominated for the 14th time, and if he loses, he will become the person most nominated in this category without winning. Deakins's lensing of Denis Villeneuve's sequel to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner earned the cinematographer awards from both the American Society of Cinematographers and BAFTA. The last time Deakins managed that feat was in 2002, for his work on the Coen brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There, and while we predicted that Deakins would complete the hat trick on Oscar night (we even thought he was due after five nominations), he lost to Andrew Lesnie's epic-scale lensing of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which surely benefited that year from being the only film in this category that was also up for best picture.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Editing

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Editing

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Editing

As much hash was made out of the Golden Globes's decision to file Get Out as a comedy, there were surprisingly few skeptical words directed toward the same taxonomy being given to Baby Driver or I, Tonya. After all, if there are two things as funny as the systemic devaluation of black Americans by purportedly well-meaning white power-holders, they would have to be Kevin Spacey taking a sensitive young thing under his wing and a talented working-class woman being exploited and beaten down by her family, husband, and the snobby gatekeepers adjudicating her field. The ACE Awards similarly didn't feel any compunction about grouping those three films together as comedies, even throwing noted side-splitter Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri into the same classification, a bridge too far for even the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—and we expect Oscar voters as well.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Director

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Director

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Director

“Since childhood, I've been faithful to monsters. I have been saved and absolved by them, because monsters, I believe, are patron saints of our blissful imperfection, and they allow and embody the possibility of failing,” said Guillermo del Toro while receiving his award for best director earlier this year at the Golden Globes. It's a beautiful sentiment that goes a long way toward explaining the appeal of the filmmaker's The Shape of Water. Case in point, the comment left by one Marisa Damele to a Variety article announcing that del Toro had been selected to head the jury at the next Venice Film Festival: “Guillermo del Toro knows how to make us realize, with every one of his films, that some monsters have beauty inside, while some good looking humans are hiding a monster in their interior. Not everything is what it looks like. See through the package. This is the message. He is brilliant.”

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Production Design

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Production Design

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Production Design

In a weird double-dipping twist of fate, the nominees behind Beauty and the Beast and Darkest Hour will be competing against themselves in two separate Oscar categories. That could spell hard luck for production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer (as it could also for costume designer Jacqueline Durran in her category). Still, production design winners have traditionally skewed more toward the plummy and the plush, and both of Greenwood and Spencer's vehicles over-qualify in that regard. But neither film successfully amalgamates its overall look into the mise-en-scène itself; instead, both deploy their baroque sets to distract from the hollowness of their thematic surroundings. There's an argument to be made that Blade Runner 2049 is guilty of the same, just on the other, more Film Twitter-friendly side of the coin. But we're of the opinion that Dennis Gassner, a previous winner for Bugsy, actually finds cunning ways to walk back from the occasionally shallow excesses of the 1982 Ridley Scott original, adding gravity without sacrificing any dystopian opulence. (It's the 2046 to the original's In the Mood for Love, if you prefer.) The original Blade Runner infamously lost to Gandhi, and many other years would find us putting our money on Academy members voting to, like Quantum Leap's Dr. Sam Beckett, put right what once went wrong. But not this year, which will see the AMPAS going back in time for entirely different reasons.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Original Score

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Score

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Score

At 48 years old, Jóhann Jóhannsson tragically died last week. A still-flourishing talent in the field of movie scoring, Jóhannsson was nominated twice for an Oscar, and we predicted that he would take the trophy for his work on The Theory of Everything. But that he lost his second bid for his brilliant work on Sicario to Ennio Morricone, who at 87 years of age and on his sixth nomination was finally given his due, points to the tendency for this category to withhold making endorsements that only Rip Van Winkle would characterize as hasty. Which explains how John Williams earned a record-extending 51st nomination this year, and for now the fifth time lightly reworking his leitmotifs for the Star Wars franchise.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Actress

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Actress

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Actress

Is Frances McDormand's Mildred in Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a film about a woman's vigilante efforts to get justice for her murdered daughter by publicly shaming the town's police for failing to sufficiently investigate the crime, made of Teflon? Case in point: After throwing Molotov cocktails into the town's police station, setting it ablaze, the only reprimand she receives after being provided with the flimsiest of alibis is the side-eye of the town's temporary police chief.

2018 Oscar Nominations: The Shape of Water Leads Field, James Franco Shut Out, & Rachel Morrison Makes History

Comments Comments (...)

2018 Oscar Nominations: The Shape of Water Leads Field, James Franco Shut Out, & Rachel Morrison Makes History

Fox Searchlight Pictures

2018 Oscar Nominations: The Shape of Water Leads Field, James Franco Shut Out, & Rachel Morrison Makes History

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning amid what had been proving to be one of the more unpredictable awards seasons in years, until the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards marched in lockstep in multiple categories, turning hopefuls into frontrunners. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water led the nomination count with 13, followed by Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk with eight, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with seven, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread and Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour with six.

Phantom Thread, Slant’s number one film of 2017, made a surprisingly strong showing, with Anderson claiming his second nomination for best director (we predicted McDonagh to fall short in this category but anticipated Sean Baker to take his spot) and Lesley Manville sneaking into the race over SAG nominees Holly Hunter and Hong Chau. But perhaps the biggest surprise of the morning was James Franco failing to be nominated for The Disaster Artist, proving that Oscar voters who were late in filing their nomination ballots took into account the allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor.

Elsewhere, Rachel Morrison became the first woman in the Academy’s history to be nominated for best cinematography, for her work on Dee Ree’s Mudbound, while Meryl Streep was nominated for the 21st time in her career, extending a record that seems likely to stand for time immemorial.

2018 Oscar Nomination Predictions

Comments Comments (...)

2018 Oscar Nomination Predictions

A24

2018 Oscar Nomination Predictions

The Academy Awards will be televised later than normal this year, so that the world can pay tribute to Adam Rippon making that money and earning another check at the Olympics. Normally this delay would spark even more angst than usual about how the awards season perennially makes the Oscars yesterday’s news before they’ve even had a chance to weigh in with their nominations, but we aren’t despairing. The main reason for that is we’re still enjoying the opportunity to accurately gauge AMPAS’s overdue transition from old-guard to new-guard voters. If Moonlight’s thrilling upset victory over La La Land two minutes after the best picture prize was incorrectly called for the latter left everyone’s heads spinning, we still don’t know how sweeping the Academy’s membership truly is or how far-reaching its effects will be. Nor does anyone else. Behold the gazillion nominations it took to make the Broadcast Film Critics Association—i.e., the only professional Oscar prognosticators who’ve managed to dupe the world into believing they’re actually an awards group—feel as though they could sleep at night. Until proven otherwise, we see no reason not to be optimistic about the Grand Pooh-Bah of film prizes’ potential for further underdog surprises.
 

Toronto Film Review Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water

Comments Comments (...)

Toronto Film Review: Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Toronto Film Review: Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water

Guillermo del Toro is an ingenious crafter of dioramas, of which The Shape of Water, a Cold War-era drama tinged with elements of the paranormal, is no exception. Yet where Crimson Peak’s clutter of dilapidated, rotting luxury felt like the jumping-off point for the Mexican filmmaker’s imagination to run amok, here del Toro appears restrained by the concrete and steel of an underground research facility. The setting yields an inherent coldness that the film must work to overcome, and for the first time in his career, del Toro visibly struggles to reconcile his premise with its execution.

The film’s protagonist, Eliza (Sally Hawkins), is a mute woman who works as a cleaner in a classified government laboratory. Del Toro establishes her loneliness via montages of her daily routine that show her boiling eggs, swabbing floors, and, in the most obvious giveaway of her emotional state, vigorously masturbating each morning inside a bathtub. Limited in communication to signing with her co-worker, Zelda (Octavia Spencer), and neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins), Eliza largely keeps to herself, rarely making eye contact with superiors and expressing herself only in private.