My Favorite Performances & Below the Line Contributors in 2017
 
Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow morning, so I figured I would provide a list of the people whose work stood out to me in each respective category. Whenever anybody listed below gets nominated tomorrow morning, I will applaud the Academy's immaculate taste. Whenever somebody gets nominated who isn't mentioned below, I will remind you that awards are stupid nonsense that deserve nothing but derision. 

Real quick, the people who gave great performances in multiple movies in 2017: 

  • Adam Driver (Logan Lucky, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Colin Farrell (The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer)
  • Nicole Kidman (The Beguiled, The Killing of a Sacred Deer)
  • Robert Pattinson (The Lost City of Z, Good Time)
  • Ben Stiller (Brad's Status, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected))
  • Michael Stuhlbarg (The Shape of Water, Call Me By Your Name)
  • Also shoutout to Carter Burwell who did two very good scores for Wonderstruck and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Without further ado:

Best Director

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
  • Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper)
  • Sean Baker (The Florida Project)
  • Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected))
  • Bertrand Bonello (Nocturama)
  • Robin Campillo (BPM (Beats per Minute))
  • Terence Davies (A Quiet Passion)
  • Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water
  • Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
  • James Gray (The Lost City of Z)
  • Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Todd Haynes (Wonderstruck)
  • David Lowery (A Ghost Story)
  • Cristian Mungiu (Graduation)
  • Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
  • William Oldroyd (Lady Macbeth)
  • Ruben Östlund (The Square)
  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  • Ben & Josh Safdie (Good Time)
  • Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049
  • Edgar Wright (Baby Driver)

Best of the Category:  Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread). Plenty of quality options here, from Christopher Nolan's technical mastery to Greta Gerwig's moving character study. But PTA is my favorite filmmaker, and the confident precision of his eighth feature is a joy to watch.

Best Actor

  • Claes Bang (The Square)
  • Javier Bardem (mother!)
  • Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)
  • Colin Farrell (The Beguiled)
  • Colin Farrell (The Killing of a Sacred Deer)
  • James Franco (The Disaster Artist) 
  • Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049)
  • Jake Johnson (Win It All)
  • Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
  • Jason Mitchell (Mudbound)
  • Robert Pattinson (Good Time)
  • Nahuel Pérez Biscayart (BPM (Beats per Minute))
  • Jeremy Renner (Wind River)
  • Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes)
  • Ben Stiller (Brad’s Status)
  • Channing Tatum (Logan Lucky)
  • Adrian Titieni (Graduation)

Best of the Category: Robert Pattinson (Good Time). Robert Pattinson channels 70s era De Niro in the Safdie brothers' New York crime movie.

Best Actress

  • Gemma Arterton (Their Finest)
  • Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)
  • Ellie Kendrick (The Levelling)
  • Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (mother!)
  • Melanie Lynskey (I Don’t Feel At Home in This World Anymore)
  • Garance Marillier (Raw)
  • Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Cynthia Nixon (A Quiet Passion)
  • Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project)
  • Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth)
  • Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)
  • Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
  • Kristen Stewart (Personal Shopper)
  • Meryl Streep (The Post)

Best of the Category: Kristen Stewart (Personal Shopper). Shutout to all of the Twilight heads out there. Who knew the co-leads of a teen vampire franchise would grow up to become two of the world's best living actors? Stewart is mesmerizing as the introverted, grieving Maureen in her second collaboration with French director Olivier Assayas.

 Best Supporting Actor

  • Austin Abrams (Brad’s Status)
  • Gil Birmingham (Wind River)
  • Steve Carell (Battle of the Sexes)
  • Keith Carradine (A Quiet Passion)
  • Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project
  • Paul Dano (Okja)
  • Adam Driver (Logan Lucky)
  • Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
  • Buddy Duress (Good Time)
  • Lars Eidinger (Personal Shopper)
  • Dave Franco (The Little Hours)
  • Graham Greene (Wind River)
  • Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Ed Harris (mother!)
  • Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • Paul Walter Hauser (I, Tonya)
  • David Hewlett (The Shape of Water)
  • Dustin Hoffman (The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected))
  • Lil Rel Howery (Get Out)
  • Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water)
  • Barry Keoghan (The Killing of a Sacred Deer)
  • Tracy Letts (Lady Bird)
  • Joe Lo Truglio (Win It All)
  • Hamza Meziani (Nocturama)
  • Rob Morgan (Mudbound)
  • Rabah Nait Oufella (Raw)
  • Bob Odenkirk (The Post)
  • Finnegan Oldfield (Nocturama)
  • Robert Pattinson (The Lost City of Z)
  • John C. Reilly (The Little Hours)
  • Seth Rogen (The Disaster Artist
  • Ray Romano (The Big Sick)
  • Mark Rylance (Dunkirk)
  • Adam Sandler (The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected))
  • Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water)
  • Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out)
  • Ben Stiller (The Meyerowitz Stores (New and Selected))
  • Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Michael Stuhlbarg (The Shape of Water)
  • David Troughton (The Levelling
  • Bradley Whtiford (Get Out)
  • Steve Zahn (War for the Planet of the Apes

Best of the Category: Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name). The supporting categories are always filled with great work. If you're wondering why I picked Stuhlbarg's work in Call Me By Your Name as the best of the bunch, read this. (Note: It's come apparent over the last few months that Dustin Hoffman is one of the many garbage men that work in the movie industry. His work in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) is undeniably strong, but his talent obviously doesn't excuse his behavior. But I don't know if it's useful to pretend like he isn't a great actor because he's a bad person. So that's why I decided to include him above.)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Catherine Bailey (A Quiet Passion)
  • Lia Bugnar (Graduation)
  • Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049)
  • Aislinn Derbez (Win It All)
  • Jennifer Ehle (A Quiet Passion)
  • Elle Fanning (The Beguiled
  • Betty Gabriel (Get Out)
  • Claudia Gerini (John Wick: Chapter 2)
  • Sylvia Hoeks (Blade Runner 2049)
  • Holly Hunter (The Big Sick)
  • Manal Issa (Nocturama
  • Dafne Keen (Logan)
  • Catherine Keener (Get Out)
  • Riley Keough (Logan Lucky)
  • Nicole Kidman (The Beguiled
  • Nicole Kidman (The Killing of a Sacred Deer)
  • Sophia Lillis (It)
  • Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread)
  • Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
  • Elizabeth Marvel (The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected))
  • Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
  • Kate Micucci (The Little Hours)
  • Elisabeth Moss (The Square)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer (mother!)
  • Ella Rumpf (Raw)
  • Millicent Simmonds (Wonderstruck)
  • Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)
  • Laure Valentinelli (Nocturama
  • Bria Vinaite (The Florida Project
  • Allison Williams (Get Out)
  • Robin Wright (Blade Runner 2049)

Best of the Category: Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird). It was a good year for parents in movies. Laurie Metcalf's hardworking, frustrated mother in constant loggerheads with her teenage daughter is one of the year's best characters. Hopefully Metcalf decides to act in more movies in the future. She's incredible.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
  • Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper)
  • Noah Baumbach (The Meyerowitz Stores (New and Selected))
  • Bertrand Bonello (Nocturama)
  • Ronald Bronstein & Josh Safdie (Good Time)
  • Robin Campillo & Philippe Mangeot (BPM (Beats per Minute))
  • Terence Davies (A Quiet Passion)
  • Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water)
  • Julia Docournau (Raw
  • Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird
  • Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick)
  • Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  • Makota Shinkai (Your Name)
  • Mike White (Brad’s Status)

Best of the Category: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird). I thought Lady Bird was really well-written. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Alice Birch (Lady Macbeth)
  • Gary Dauberman, Cary Fukunaga & Chase Palmer (It)
  • Efthymis Filippou & Yorgos Lanthimos (The Killing of a Sacred Deer)
  • James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist
  • Brian Selznick (Wonderstruck)

Best of the Category: James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name). A shallow category this year. I'm always unsure how to credit adapted screenplays. If a screenwriter adapts a really good book and copies large excerpts from the book into the screenplay to create some of the movie's best scenes...what/who are we rewarding? Someone's ability to copy and paste? Anyway, Call Me By Your Name is a well-written movie. Credit to James Ivory or André Aciman or whoever wrote most of the words. 

Best Cinematography

  • Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
  • Thimios Bakatakis (The Killing of a Sacred Deer)
  • Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)
  • Andrew Droz Palermo (A Ghost Story)
  • Florian Hoffmeister (A Quiet Passion)
  • Darius Khondji (The Lost City of Z)
  • Ed Lachman (Wonderstruck
  • Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water)
  • Matthew Libatique (mother!)
  • Rachel Morrison (Mudbound)
  • Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Hoyte van Hoytema (Dunkirk)

Best of the Category: Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049). Going to try hard not to care about who wins Oscars this year, but if Deakins doesn't finally win one I'm gonna be INCONSOLABLE.

Best Film Editing

  • Walter Fasano (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Jon Gregory (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
  • Nick Houy (Lady Bird)
  • Jennifer Lame (The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected))
  • Gregory Plotkin (Get Out
  • Lee Smith (Dunkirk)
  • Joe Walker (Blade Runner 2049)

Best of the Category: Jennifer Lame (The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)). *Pretends to know how to determine good editing.* Lame's editing for The Meyerowitz Stories is definitely the noticeable kind of editing, which I normally assume is the bad kind of editing, but I like the way the movie effectively uses smash cuts for comedic effect.

Best Production Design

  • Paul D. Austerberry (The Shape of Water)
  • Dennis Gassner (Blade Runner 2049)
  • Jade Healy & Tom Walker (A Ghost Story)
  • Philip Messina (mother!)
  • Anne Ross (The Beguiled)
  • Rusty Smith (Get Out)
  • Mark Tildesley (Phantom Thread)

Best of the Category: Paul D. Austerberry (The Shape of Water). Guillermo Del Toro's movies always look fantastic and The Shape of Water is no exception. The practical sets really enhance the movie.

Best Costume Design

  • Joseph G. Aulisi (The Meyerowitz Stores (New and Selected))
  • Stacey Battat (The Beguiled)
  • Mark Bridges (Phantom Thread)
  • Jane Bryant (It
  • Jürgen Doering (Personal Shopper)
  • Sonia Grande (The Lost City of Z)
  • Catherine Marchand (A Quiet Passion)
  • Giulia Piersanti (Call Me By Your Name)
  • Sandy Powell (Wonderstruck)
  • Luis Sequeira (The Shape of Water)
  • Holly Waddington (Lady Macbeth)
  • Mary Zophres (Battle of the Sexes)

Best of the Category: Jürgen Doering (Personal Shopper). Some really great work done in this category. Mark Bridges would be a no brainer choice for Phantom Thread. So would Giulia Piersanti for Call Me By Your Name. Janie Bryant does some fun stuff with her 80s child characters in It. But at this moment I have a razor's edge preference for Doering's work in Personal Shopper, which I discussed here.

Best Score

  • Carter Burwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Carter Burwell (Wonderstruck)
  • Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water)
  • Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread)
  • Daniel Hart (A Ghost Story)
  • Mark Mothersbaugh (Brad’s Status)
  • Oneothrix Point Never (Good Time)
  • Robin Urdang (Call Me By Your Name)

Best of the Category: Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread). I have listened to "House of Woodcock" countless times since Greenwood's score became publicly available. The piano on that track is beautiful. The score is a near constant presence in Phantom Thread. At different points, it makes the movie feel like a fairy tail, a gothic romance, a tense thriller, or like the characters are on the precipice of committing violent acts. Wait...now that I think of it, didn't I hear some of these tunes before on a Lana Del Rey album? I kid, I kid. That joke's for anyone who keeps on top of legal issues between music artists. 

Quick Hitters:

  • The best original song in a movie this year is "Mystery of Love" by Sufjan Stevens from Call Me By Your Name
  • The Oscars have two sound categories, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. I sometimes feel like I might know the difference between the two, but to make it easier for me: Phantom Thread has the best sound design of any 2017 movie. Never has buttering toast or pouring tea sounded so disruptive.