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Phantom Thread (#110 of 7)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Actor

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Actor

Focus Features

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Actor

Typically, when it comes to predicting Oscar's acting awards, we schedule out our predictions so that we can write about the easiest race first and work our way toward making the toughest call. This year, we didn't even have to wait until the results of the BAFTAs before declaring Frances McDormand a lock for raging against dirty cops, abusive spouses, and bowls of Froot Loops throughout Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. As it turned out, we could've safely knocked all four acting categories down weeks ago.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Costume Design

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Costume Design

Focus Features

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Costume Design

That Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread spent more time on Oscar prognosticators’ shortlists as Untitled PTA London Fashion Film than it did under its actual title indicates that it probably had this award sewn up before anyone even laid eyes on it. In fact, one of the only things that would’ve given us pause about predicting it is the fact that Oscar voters have laid eyes on the ornate, complex, multi-faceted film, and now have to wrestle with their own realization that it’s far from just another runway processional. The other issue is that the last two times films explicitly centered around the world of fashion have competed in the costume design category that should’ve been a cakewalk for them, both ended up losing to regal frocks and fancy frills.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Director

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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 Original Score

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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.

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

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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.

Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2017

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Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2017

Cohen Media Group

Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2017

From Chuck Bowen’s introduction to Slant Magazine’s Top 25 Films of 2017: “Cinema is an art of collaborative effort that speaks implicitly and often explicitly of the values of community, which often seemed in short supply this year. We live in an age in which articles are written daily on the need for “checking out” of online culture, so that we may disconnect from the bombardment of grotesqueries that keep us in an emotional tailspin. Both coincidentally and by pop-cultural osmosis, many of the year’s best films ask how deeply we may be permitted to check out and how far we should risk and extend ourselves for the prospect of personal and social rehabilitation.” Click here to read the feature and see if your favorite films of the year made our list. And see below for a list of the films that just missed making it onto our list, followed by our contributors’ individual ballots.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread Gets First Trailer and Poster

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Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread Gets First Trailer and Poster

Focus Features

Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread Gets First Trailer and Poster

The trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s eighth feature-length film dropped less than 30 minutes ago and cinephiles are already frothing at the mouth. Phantom Thread marks Anderson’s second collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis, who announced earlier this year that he would retire from acting after the release of the film. The three-time Oscar winner has also stated that working on the film caused him to dream of a second career in fashion.