The 2nd Annual Scootzcademy Awards
As 2017 grows distant in the rear view mirror, the Scootzcademy has assembled and judged the year’s best and brightest on the big screen. A few new and altered categories have been introduced to this year’s award show, and the hardware will be awarded shortly. A few notable 2017 releases have not been considered as the Scootzcademy committee hasn’t seen them: The Florida Project, Phantom Thread, Personal Shopper, and The Killing of a Sacred Deer chief amongst them.
And the nominees are:
Best Picture: The Big Sick, Blade Runner 2049, Call Me By Your Name, Split, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Director: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Best Actor: Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), James Franco (The Disaster Artist), James McAvoy (Split), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Jeremy Renner (Wind River)
Best Actress: Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Haley Lu Richardson (Columbus), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
Best Supporting Actor: Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Will Poulter (Detroit), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Ray Romano (The Big Sick), Adam Sandler (The Meyerowitz Stories)
Best Supporting Actress: Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049), Holly Hunter (The Big Sick), Riley Keough (Logan Lucky), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)
Best Screenplay: The Big Sick, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, The Meyerowitz Stories, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MIssouri
Best Score: Blade Runner 2049, Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, Murder on the Orient Express, The Shape of Water
Best Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049, Call Me By Your Name, Columbus, Dunkirk, Wind River
And without further ado:
Best Picture – Call Me By Your Name
2017 was an excellent year for movies with lots of viable nominees and no clear front-runner emerging in the Oscar race. This held true in my personal view until I saw Call Me By Your Name. This beautiful coming-of-age/romance film swept me to a foreign and beautiful Italy, dripping with atmosphere thanks to the excellent cinematography, music, and writing. I wanted nothing more than to live in that sleepy Italian house, eating fresh fruit, biking through the cobblestone streets, and exploring the countryside with my archaeologist father.
But beyond just the cinematic world it builds, Call Me By Your Name is one of the most relatable and stunning displays of the many aspects of young romance that we all feel; the early infatuation of a crush, the anxiety and overthinking that goes into every action, putting yourself out there, and the heartbreak of falling out of love. As a big fan of coming-of-age stories and romance films, I was astonished at how well handled it all was. It was instantly relatable, even with the fact that it was a same-sex romance I wasn’t off-put.
This film will likely be over-simplified and misunderstood by the general audience much like Brokeback Mountain was simply dubbed ‘the gay cowboy movie’, but make no mistake that this film is more than just the homosexual fling at it’s core.
Best Director – Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
Christopher Nolan is an accomplished mainstream director who has garnered mass popularity and praise for his excellent science fiction and comic book blockbusters, but he really showed his chops this year with Dunkirk.
Dunkirk‘s multiple weaving storylines and huge cast of characters were key in painting the whole picture of what was happening in Dunkirk, and how the evacuation was such a triumph, and without Nolan’s vision and steady hand, the movie could have easily fallen apart.
Every piece of the film, from the music, to the cinematography, to the sound design come together to form a cohesive mosaic of one of history’s defining moments and form a thrilling and gripping movie.
Best Actor – Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)
There were many unique and excellent performances this year that blew me away, but the youngest nominee will be the one to take the award, as Timothée Chalamet put together one of the finest performances I’ve ever witnessed for such a young actor in Call Me By Your Name.
Chalamet captured the emotion and physicality of his role excellently, and the delivery of many of his lines simply blew me away. The film relies on his character, Elio, as a vehicle for the romance and utilizes his youth and creativity and (at times) immaturity to deliver the most raw and emotional points of the film and I can’t picture another young actor pulling off a role like this with such incredible nuance.
Best Actress – Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO)
Frances McDormand has long been a favorite of mine, for her great character work in fan favorites such as Fargo and Almost Famous, but Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri saw McDormand as the lead and at her best.
The film is a story of anger, grief, and how to deal with it, and while McDormand’s character Mildred doesn’t exactly handle those things well, but she does handle them in a way that feels raw and real and makes her character instantly relatable.
The movie relies on her emotional performance to drive and humanize the story and no other female lead this year felt as powerful as McDormand.
Best Supporting Actress – Holly Hunter (The Big Sick)
The Scootzcademy is quite upset that The Big Sick did not get much love at the Oscars this year, and no snub hit harder than Holly Hunter.
The Big Sick had proven in it’s first act to have humor, charm, and excellent dialogue, but the introduction of Holly Hunter (and Ray Romano, also nominated here) helped bring the film emotional depth and resonance.
Hunter herself is spunky and energized and feels so real that your heart breaks for her for the position she is in. She delivers an excellent monologue in the last act that helps tie the film together and make it stand out.
Best Screenplay- Get Out
When the first trailer for Get Out was released, I was probably not alone in my surprise that Jordan Peele was writing and directing. Jordan Peele? The sketch comedian? Fresh off of Keanu? Well his debut was a smash success and is sure to keep his name in discussions, and the film is largely a success thanks to it’s excellent screenplay. Whereas many horror films fail to write compelling backstory and characters, Get Out thrives on the strength of the world it’s built. The film is loaded with depth and nuance, with unsettling characters and situations, and with real world commentary that doesn’t feel heavy-handed.
Best Cinematography – Blade Runner 2049
The original Blade Runner is a cult classic and when the sequel was announced, it was always going to be a challenge to capture what made the original so popular. But Blade Runner 2049 honors it’s original by showcasing the world it built with unfaltering detail thanks to the steady eye of Roger Deakins. The prolific cinematographer has been nominated for the Academy Award 14 times but the hardware has always eluded him. He’ll be happy now to take home an even more prestigious prize from the Scootzcademy, and he definitely deserves it. The film is loaded with shots that made me actually say ‘wow’ out loud. From the opening fight to the climactic moments, the film is a true visual treat.
Best Score – Call Me By Your Name
Call Me By Your Name is a triumph on many levels and the inclusion of the music of Sufjan Stevens was perfectly done. The three songs Sufjan contributed to the otherwise solid soundtrack all are used brilliantly in the movie and make moments of heartache, heartbreak, and budding romance feel more real and spectacular. The song above should speak for itself.
2017 was an excellent year for movies. Hopefully 2018 keeps up the good work.