Tuesday December 12, 2017
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A screengrab from ‘The Florida Project’ that stars Willem Dafoe among others.A screengrab from ‘The Florida Project’ that stars Willem Dafoe among others.LOS ANGELES, Dec 12 — The build-up to the Oscars has been taking shape in recent days with award announcements from various American film critics’ circles, revealing their best films of the year. The Florida Project, Lady Bird, Get Out, The Shape of Water, Call Me by Your Name and Phantom Thread are currently among the favourites.

In 2016, three key contenders for the Academy Award stood out clearly from the rest: Moonlight, La La Land and Manchester by the Sea. This year’s frontrunners are less clear-cut, with more contenders still in the field as the Oscars approach.

Few of the USA’s major film critics’ circles agree on the best movie of 2017. Earlier this month, the New York Critics Circle picked Lady Bird, whereas the Los Angeles Circle chose Call Me By Your Name. This weekend, the Boston Online Film Critics Association crowned Get Out, while the Boston Society of Film Critics opted for Phantom Thread. Only the New York Film Critics Online and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle picked the same movie, with The Florida Project.

More consensus in acting categories

No director stands out as a unanimous favourite this year either. Paul Thomas Anderson is much prized for Phantom Thread, but so is Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water.

However, there’s more consensus when it comes to acting. Sally Hawkins leads the way for her portrayal of a mute woman in The Shape of Water, followed by Australian actress Margot Robbie, who plays figure skater Tonya Harding in the biopic I, Tonya. Saoirse Ronan is also proving popular for her performance in Lady Bird, along with co-star Laurie Metcalf who gains unanimous acclaim.

For male actors, Willem Dafoe is a hot favourite for his supporting role in The Florida Project, after being hailed by all of the critics’ circles. However, everything is still up in the air for in the lead actor category. Rising star Timothée Chalamet is one of the names coming up regularly, as well as — to a lesser extent — Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out and Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour.

In the foreign-language category, French movie BPM (Beats Per Minute) was the San Francisco Film Critics Circle’s winner. In fact, the French Oscar contender scooped its third prize in recent days after wins from the New York and Los Angeles circles. Best European Film of 2017, The Square, won in Boston, although the Boston Online Film Critics Association picked First They Killed My Father, directed by Angelina Jolie. The best foreign-language movie for the New York New York Critics Circle was In the Fade by German filmmaker Fatih Akin. — AFP-Relaxnews

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