Whew! This only took me almost three years to compile. I first decided to do this March 2016, and that was before I even started my grading scale on how to assess a movie. Back then, I started going through watching all the Best Picture winners mostly by personal instinct, but knew I had to go through again with the ones I already watched and put them through my grading scale. Even then, my grading scale had a lot of massive alterations made over time, which meant some movies I graded I had to regrade so that I could get a more accurate score of the film's objective quality. That's why this took so long to complete. But here it is, finally! Yay!
Just a forewarning: lots of unpopular opinions and hot takes ahead, and there's ninety movies that won the prize, so prepare for lots of scrolling.
This has been a pretty rocky year for the movies (and an even worse year for awards) so I now would like to take the time to share with you the best of the movies I saw this year. In total, the number of 2018 releases I have seen and assessed up to now is 55.
But first, a few notes on some of these categories:
I considered the animated films for all the categories except for makeup and costume design, since there are technicians behind the editing, cinematography, and set design that deserve every bit as much recognition as those who work on live action films. So it's virtually free for all in everything.
I also consider all films that feature visual effects shots a chance in Best Visual Effects. I say that it should be the goal of any VFX artists to make the effects invisible, so that's what I've been judging this year.
I'm not following the same judgment as the Oscars, who like to judge based on technical achievement. While that's important to acknowledge to make sure the artistry of filmmaking continues to grow with its discoveries, my focus is on how the practical elements contribute to the film's unique needs, so you may find nominees in some of these categories you'd never expect to find in any other awards show lineup. I'm not saying I'm better than any of them, but rather this is my two cents on what's important in filmmaking.
So now without further ado, here's my nominees, starting with...
Wow. It happened. I don't know how, but it happened. A superhero movie finally got nominated for Best Picture... and it's Black Panther. What a travesty. But that's not even the surface of the incredible angst I feel right now against the Academy of Motion Pictures.
This morning, the nominations for the 91st Annual Academy Awards were announced, and what do you know? They went with exactly the horrible picks all other awards shows and critic circles went with.
But before I get on with my thoughts (and I have a lot of them), here's the official Oscar nominees this year:
Okay, here it is finally! I worked hard all year to analyze the recent patterns the Oscars took while voting for the nominees in each category. That included looking at this five-year period (2014-2018) to see where the Academy is now in selecting their nominees, breaking the year up into trimesters (Jan-Apr/May-Aug/Sept-Dec), and analyzing which movies of which categories were recognized based on box office performance and RottenTomatoes rating. Coupled with that, I checked to see whether if the movie would be a likely candidate for Best Picture, which would qualify it for most other categories... if not, then one usually has to be a previous nominee to be eligible for a nomination. Not to mention I also took time to analyze each category to see what types of films got nominated. For instance, you'll never see a movie within 45 years before or after today nominated for Costume Design (unless it's a musical), and a critically panned movie will not be up for Best Makeup unless it's also eligible for Best Visual Effects, in which only Sci-fi, Fantasy, Big-scale Biopics, and future setting films that made at least $25 million at the box office are eligible.
Yes, I certainly worked very hard at this, and hopefully my final predictions prove to be more successful than the past. Especially since this awards season has been extraordinarily unpredictable in the way they are awarding the wrong movies. But that's why if this system doesn't work and my predictions here are no better than my previous years' predictions, then things must change on my end!
Just full disclaimer: this is not what I personally think are the artistically best of the year, just what I realistically think the Academy will go for once their nominees are announced a week from today. Then, we'll do a check-in that Tuesday morning, including my full thoughts on the results, and in about a month before the big host-less ceremony, I'll present the 2nd Annual TVOH Awards!
But for now, here are my final predictions:
I seriously can't believe it, 2018 is over already?! It seriously feels like to me that it should still be February of 2017! This whole year has been full of plenty of lows for me, both personally and on this website, but far more highs. As a general breakdown, 2018 was the year when I...
Anna and Elsa depict two extremes of socialization: Anna is so open to others that she lets the wrong people in, while Elsa is shutting everyone away because she’s afraid of hurting anyone. In both circumstances, they each put each other and everyone around them in considerable danger. Meeting people and handling issues about loving others is never easy for anyone, and for somebody on the autism spectrum the entire concept of love is practically a foreign concept.
Basically, they often just cannot find a balance between the two extremes of getting out too much and not getting out enough. That includes myself.
This can get especially confusing when the autistic child is in high school, when fishing for friendships is the ultimate concern of the entire community. Your lifelong best friend from kindergarten finds an interest in the life of drugs, and you two end up drifting apart. You feel a romantic drawing to a girl in the math society, but your social clique forbids interaction with that group. You want to come out as gay, but you’re afraid of all your closest friends turning against you. These are confusing times for anyone. Even more so for the autistic individual.
It’s so frequent that the public image of Christmas forces you to be happy with your family, even though that time often causes all sorts of long-lasting chaos, particularly broken relationships. At that point, you almost wonder, “is it worth the hassle?” Home Alone has clearly become a Christmas favorite for a lot of people because it fantasizes most Americans’ real desire at that time of year: to be alone. While that time away from unneeded chaos is always a good thing, it should never replace communion with others. The Holy Word always voices the importance of community, as Proverbs 18:1 says, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”
This movie does affirm by the end that being with family, despite complications, is indeed worth the hassle, but still doesn’t get it all right. First off, nothing about the McAllister’s home suggests a hint of morality, as depicted in the way they bully Kevin and only see their act of coming home ASAP from Paris as an act of necessity, not love. As a result, Kevin is easily spooked by the rest of the neighborhood, particularly Old Man Marley.
200 years ago, African descendants were once treated in the United States like they each were only 3/5 of a person, a reality thankfully now behind us. Although numerous circumstances of hate still happen, from Whites against Blacks and vice-versa, which has triggered many anti-racism organizations including Black Lives Matter. Several films over the last several years have commented on this type of racial strife, including Jordan Peele’s horror satire Get Out, which I shall now discuss to give a Christly perspective on our confusing times.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
One prevalent question the film’s protagonist, Chris Washington, gets asked is, “What is your purpose in life?” The question asked to all of us starts at the opening scene, which shows a Black guy getting kidnapped by a white car at night. The song played from the car sings, “bang, bang, bang, bang, goes the farmer’s gun. Run rabbit, run rabbit, run, run, run, run.” This car and the tune appear again in the climax once Chris tries to escape from the house; and who has the gun? His White girlfriend, Rose! Was it God who saved him from having his brain removed and replaced with a White man’s brain?
No, there is a subtle queue that says God did not come to the rescue.
You would not want Denzel Washington’s character as a father. You may recall seeing trailers advertising this movie, where he scolds to his son, “What law is there saying I got to like you? Don’t you eat every day? As long as you in my house, you put a sir at the end of it when you talk to me.” Hopefully you never had a father unnervingly speak similar words to you; if it turns out you did, I’m here to help.
Children all over live under fathers who are poor role models or express no care to love their children. Any child (and mother) wound find it traumatic, even more so when the child has autism.
Everybody’s first impression of adulthood comes from the parents. For girls, the mother must show them how to be a woman. For boys, father must show them how to be a man. In both cases, the father, being the usual household leader, stands as the whole house’s role model. You don’t have to agree, but in most circumstances, that is just how it goes.
I am an author who loves to talk about movies. I enjoy Seattle, cats, cookie dough ice cream, and photography. Subscribe to my site for autism lessons in your favorite movies!
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