Mixed reactions to Oscar noms at Siskel Center panel

 Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center held its annual film critics reaction panel for the 90th Academy Awards Nominations Panel on Tuesday, January 23 with panelists J.R. Jones of the Chicago Reader, Sergio Mims of Shadow and Act, Ray Pride of New City, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune and our very own contributor Pamela Powell. Felicia Middlebrooks (the morning-drive news anchor of of WBBM Newsradio) served as moderator.

Categories discussed included Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director and Best Film. (Note that Greta Gerwig — nominated for Lady Bird — is only the fifth female director to be nominated for Best Director in Oscar’s 90 year history.)

There was a lively discussion about the nominations, starting with Phillips noting the over-hyped Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, “It’s the film that may inadvertently capture the hallmark of the Trump era; which is comic brutality.” Mims said he hated it, calling it “lazy screenwriting.” Mims also talks about the film Lady Bird, calling it “cute” and “charming,” but he stated that he wasn’t impressed.

When Powell was asked of her opinions of the nominations, she calls herself the oddball because she was the only female of the five panelists and because of her opinions of Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri and Lady Bird. She deemed Three Billboards “very powerful” and pointed out the importance of the mother/daughter relationship in the film. Read more on her thoughts HERE.

During discussion of the Best Actress category, there was a moment of major misogyny when Jones commented that Frances McDormand was the “most macho” character in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, “Frances probably will win because she plays the most macho character of all of them. To win the Oscar, you have to be like a man.” (Yes, this was a comment made by a man in the 21st Century…)

The Oscar broadcast is scheduled for  Sunday March 4th (8 PM Eastern & 5 PM Pacific) on ABC. 

Candidates for Best Film: Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Candidates for Best Actor: Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Isreal, Esq.

Candidates for Best Director: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk. Jordan Peele, Get Out. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water.

Candidates for Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird. Meryl Streep, The Post.

Candidates for Best Supporting Actress: Mary J. Blige, Mudbound. Allison Janney, I, Tonya. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water.

© Stephanie A. Taylor (1/26/18) FF2 Media

Featured Photo from GSFC (from left): Jim Jones, Sergio Mims, Pam Powell. Felicia Middlebrooks, Ray Pride & Michael Phillips.

Photos: FF2 Media Senior Contributor Pam Powell (top) & Gene Siskel Film Center audience (bottom). Photo Credits: Brigid Presecky (1/23/18)

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Stephanie A. Taylor is a multi-award-winning journalist whose accolades span three publications including FF2. Some of her favorite articles she's written are Emma Cooper’s ‘The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Lost Tapes, FACETS Honors Chaz Ebert F2F at Screen Gems 2022 Benefit, and Dorothy Arzner’s ‘Merrily We Go to Hell’ Discusses Modern Day Problems. She currently lives in Chicago. Reading, writing, and watching old films are some of her many passions.
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