Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced this morning. CCT asked some alumni in the film industry about their favorites from last year.
Without a doubt: Get Out. The most original film of the year. And Daniel Kaluuya’s performance — a knockout.
Ben Cosgrove ’90, executive producer; credits include Please Stand By (2017); Serena (2014); Syriana (2005):
Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Sam found the troubled complexity in a character who might have been cartoonish in someone else’s hands. And he brilliantly dramatized his evolution from a nasty, small-minded bigot to someone you actually felt sympathy for.
Betsy Kalin ’91, producer and director; credits include Before Homosexuals (2017); East LA Interchange (2015); Hearts Cracked Open (2004):
My favorite film this year was I Am Not a Witch, by Rungano Nyoni. My favorite performance was Daniela Vega in A Fantastic Woman.
I loved Holly Hunter in The Big Sick. I love her fire, humor and vulnerability — I would watch her do anything. I also loved Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. What a joy to witness unapologetic abandonment of all pretense, and also her ability to hold compassion at the ready. Thirdly, I loved Wonder Woman! I just loved watching Gal Gadot kick some ass.
Ramin Bahrani ’96, director and screenwriter; credits include 99 Homes (2014); Chop Shop (2007); Man Push Cart (2005):
Phantom Thread, by Paul Thomas Anderson.
Leah Katznelson ’02, costume designer; credits include Stronger (2017); Rough Night (2017); Collateral Beauty (2016); 21 Jump Street (2012):
My favorite performance was from Jake Gyllenhaal in Stronger, directed by David Gordon Greene — coincidentally a film I costume-designed!
Justin Marks ’02, screenwriter; credits include Counterpart (2018); The Jungle Book (2016):
My favorite film of the year remains Blade Runner 2049, months after I first saw it. From a place of tone, mood and attention to detail, nothing holds a candle. The best movies don’t just stick with you in the moment, they linger over time. I’ll be hearing the roaring sound of those flying trucks rolling by for many years to come.
The documentary Strong Island. The filmmaker, Yance Ford, is a good friend of mine, an incredible human being and a huge inspiration in my own filmmaking process.