My Ranking of the 2018 Best Picture Oscar-Nominated Films

With the 90th Academy Awards set to take place on Sunday, March 4, this Oscar season is coming to an end. For me, Oscar season means seeing as many nominated films as I can and pretending I'm some sort of film intellect (Zac Efron deserved an Oscar just for that "Bet On It" scene and you can't convince me otherwise). This year, I have seen all but one of the Best Picture nominated films (sorry, Phantom Thread). That being said, here is my ranking of this year's Best Picture Oscar-nominated films.

Note: These movies are ranked based on my opinions on the storylines and cinematography elements. This list is not necessarily the order in which I think the films deserve to win Best Picture.

1. The Shape of Water

I saw Shape of Water a month ago, and I probably think about it every day. The score is mesmerizing, the cinematography is exquisite, the acting is phenomenal, and the story is interesting — like, really interesting. On the surface level, this film freaked me out (it made me really thirsty, but then made me feel weird about drinking water). Metaphorically speaking, however, it's a great film. Since no film has ever caused me such internal conflict by making me question everything about reality the way Shape of Water has, I'm honoring it with first place. I also still can't look at my roommate's fish.

2. Get Out

As anyone who has seen this movie already knows, Get Out is a thought-provoking, relevant film that deserves every nomination that it got. Jordan Peele's drama/horror flick adds a much-needed perspective to the conversation on race in America, as its hidden layers provide deep social commentary. 

3. The Post

From what I've seen, I'm probably alone in ranking The Post in my top five, and I know I'm falling victim to predictable Oscar bait, but I love this movie. In a day and age where we're suffocated by cries of "fake news," this movie demonstrates the power of the freedom of press — and why we need to protect it. I'd be lying if I said I didn't get chills throughout this film. 

4. Lady Bird

Unlike The Post, Lady Bird is not your typical Oscar movie: no one's life is in jeopardy, it isn't super dramatic, it's not providing critical analysis on society — and this is why I like it so much. Lady Bird is genuine, and like most girls I know who have seen it, I can relate heavily to it. It's refreshing to see nominations for a beautifully shot film that simply celebrates family, friendship, and (hey!) Sacramento.

5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Taking fifth place on my list is Three Billboards, and this is due to the strong acting delivered by Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell. The actors give exceptional performances as their characters experience human emotions in their rawest forms, putting the cherry on top of an already powerful film. 

6. Dunkirk

I am on board with basically anything Christopher Nolan does, and Dunkirk is no exception. While most war movies are first and foremost about people, Nolan takes an interesting approach as he focuses on the event of Dunkirk itself; the characters are secondary. I really enjoyed this approach. Add together the captivating cinematography, Hans Zimmer's intense score, and, well, Harry Styles, and this film is a winner in my book.

7. Call Me By Your Name

You might think I'm crazy for not ranking this fan-favorite higher on my list, and that's okay. Look, I really liked Call Me By Your Name. I've loved Timotheé Chalamet since Interstellar and Armie Hammer since The Social Network. The indie film is set in Northern Italy, so of course it’s beautiful. That last scene made me emotional. Like Lady Bird, I liked the realness of it. The music was wonderful. It was just a little too… slow for me.

8. Darkest Hour

Another World War II film, Darkest Hour tells the story of Winston Churchill, played by an unrecognizable Gary Oldman. This movie was good, but it didn't blow me away by any means, nor did I feel like it did anything exceptionally outstanding.

9. Phantom Thread

I haven't seen this yet, so I'm putting it in last place by default. I'm sure Daniel-Day Lewis did a phenomenal job in his role, and I hear the costume design was wonderful.

Bonus film: Mudbound. After seeing how easily accessible this film was (you can find it on Netflix!), I decided to watch it, as it is up for four Oscars. I was blown away. If it had been nominated for Best Picture, I would have put it in third or fourth place. The plot has so much depth to it, the story's message is important, and this film was made almost entirely by women: the director, editor, cinematographer, and composer are all empowering women. When you get the chance, be sure to watch it!

The 2018 Academy Awards will be Sunday, March 4th at 5 p.m. PST. Tune in to see which of your favorites wins an Oscar!