Personal Best Picture

Personal Best Picture

Tristan Cates, Messenger Reporter

The 90th Academy Awards are set to air Sunday, March 4th and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second year running. This year encapsulated so many films that stretched the normal means of a best picture. From testimonials of a mute woman’s love to the hidden racial prejudice of society, the best picture category leaves no stone unturned. Films are given this title by creating a work that submerges the viewer in the story hand-crafted by the genius creatives minds behind these projects. I have taken a late interest in experiencing this year’s collection of films but it is never too late to delve into the world of extraordinary cinematography.

Get Out started the season with a tough critique on the secretive and underlying racism in modern society. Jordan Peele delivered a haunting story of what one man must deal with including false love, targeting, and mental illusions because he is a black male. These qualities are seen as desirable for the cultic tendencies of a secret society and they will go to great bounds to secure their prize. The overall theme commented on the hushed nature of .racism at the release of the film, sparking a large-scale discussion on the correlation between racial tensions.

Phantom Thread contrasted many other pictures this year by using a mellow yet complex plotline that let audiences take in their surroundings without the overwhelming influx of new developments. Paul Anderson used soft tones of white to convey the serenity and elegance the protagonist tries to secure throughout the film. This movie is an oddball in that the meaning isn’t apparent to the viewer, requiring some thought long after the credits have stopped rolling. Although this seemed to set the movie behind others as a frontrunner for best picture, the sheer intricacy of every detail speaks greatly about the director and the focus of the work as a whole.

The Shape of Water is a clear frontrunner in my personal opinion. This masterful timepiece set a standard for social commentary on the beliefs of the 1960’s, creating a perfect illusion of subtle discrimination and ideals of the American Dream. The work uses several different characters to represent the way minorities were treated as alienated and outlandish members of society due to the increasing popularity of the nuclear family ideal. The film masks this secondary allusion through the promise of connection between two unlikely yet perfectly fitted lovers. Del Toro left the audience in a state of suspended hope for the characters he had created in this effortless 19060’s illusion, making it hard to not see this as a perfect candidate for best picture.

My personal winner is Call Me By Your Name, directed by Luca Guadagnino and set in 1983 northern Italy. The story captures a young man struggling with his identity and his eventual connection to the American visiting professor. The beautiful scenery captures the warmth of hidden love and you are truly pulled into every emotion of Timothee Chalamet’s character. The second half is heart-wrenchingly beautiful because of the inevitable separation of the blooming partners, the audience can’t help but feel the heartbreak of young Elio after the promises from Oliver. This film must be seen to fully comprehend and for that reason, it wins my vote.