The Oscar Best Picture Nominees: Deadline’s Reviews

Oscar Best Picture Nominees Reviews
Fox Searchlight/Focus Features/A24/Warner Bros

This morning’s nine Best Picture Oscar nominations mostly stayed true to form with the rhythm of this awards season, with staples like Fox Searchlight’s The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri joining fellow studio specialty label fare like Focus Features’ Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread and Sony Pictures Classics’ Call Me By Your Name.


The big studios were also repped with Warner Bros’ Dunkirk, 21st Century Fox’s The Post and Universal’s Get Out. Only A24 among the indies broke through in Oscar’s marquee category with Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, which has been steady all year since its premiere at the Telluride Film Festival.

With the noms set, here’s how Deadline first reviewed the films, from Pete Hammond’s lofty perch as both Awards Columnist and Head Film Reviewer. Two notes: He did not review Get Out, sadly, owing to scheduling constraints at the time (it was the earliest of the Best Picture noms to hit theaters, on February 23), or officially Darkest Hour, though he did a spot review of the latter when it bowed at Telluride.

Check out the reviews below:

Sony Pictures Classics
Producers: Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito

Hammond’s recap: Visually, Call Me By Your Name is every bit as sumptuous and inviting as Luca Guadagnino’s previous work, but what I didn’t expect was how deeply affecting it was going to be.

Warner Bros
Producers: Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan

Hammond’s recap: Dunkirk retains the scale of some of Christopher Nolan’s larger films, blended with a more intimate and structurally fascinating project like his earlier works.

Producers: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O’Neill

Hammond’s recap: Greta Gerwig proves herself to be a wonderful observer of life and her debut feature Lady Bird is something that just can’t be categorized or put into a box.

Focus Features
Producers: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi

Hammond’s recap: If Phantom Thread is to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ swan song as an actor, at least in movies, than it’s a memorable one to say the least in this very Paul Thomas Anderson creation.

20th Century Fox
Producers: Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger

Hammond’s recap: Steven Spielberg has crafted another masterpiece with The Post, and it fits right in line with his recent films about the right people coming along at just the right time to do the right thing.

Fox Searchlight
Producers: Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale

Hammond’s recap: Guillermo del Toro’s lifelong love of monsters has informed much of his work, but nothing prepared me for the sweeping romantic magic of The Shape of Water, perhaps his most human, and humane, film yet.

Fox Searchlight
Producers: Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh

Hammond’s recap: Martin McDonagh’s films come at you from unexpected, often very dark places. That he manages to mix this all with black comedy and pungent social commentary in Three Billboards, his best movie yet, furthers the appeal.

Focus Features
Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski

Hammond’s recap from Telluride: Gary Oldman blasts through Darkest Hour with such force and dominance it is hard to imagine anyone else coming along this year that can steal the Best Actor Oscar from him.

Producers: Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele

Hammond’s recap: No review, but here’s Peele from Deadline’s The Contenders event.

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