We are more than halfway through this grand experiment called 2017 and, thus far, there’s been no sure-fire contender for Best Picture released. There are some massive hits that’ll have their admirers calling for inclusion – Get Out, Wonder Woman, War for the Planet of the Apes, Logan. There are smaller films that stand shots – The Big Sick and The Beguiled. Truth be told, all of these titles are long shots for being nominated for the big prize with the possible exception of Sick.
However, this Friday looks to change the dynamic with the release of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. The World War II action drama had its review embargo lifted this afternoon and some of the critical reaction has been rapturous. It stands at 97% currently on Rotten Tomatoes and here’s a sampling of the praise: Entertainment Weekly calls it the best movie of the year so far. The Hollywood Reporter says it’s a masterpiece. indieWire says it’s Nolan’s greatest achievement.
Bottom line: it definitely looks as if Dunkirk will be nominated for Best Picture and that Nolan will find himself among the five in Best Director. The film could also play in a host of technical and down the line categories, including both Sound races, Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects, Original Score, and Production Design. It probably won’t receive much attention in the acting slots and maybe not even Original Screenplay (the gloriously directed action is said to do the real talking here).
If Dunkirk is among the five to ten flicks nominated, it would be Nolan’s second picture to get recognition after 2010’s Inception. As you may recall, a lot of movie lovers cried foul when 2008’s The Dark Knight didn’t end up on the short list. With Dunkirk, it represents the first release of the year that seems more destined for Oscar attention than not.
My Oscar Watch posts will continue…