First and foremost, we at Passion River are major cinephiles, which means that when we aren't churning out indie gems, we are spending every waking moment thinking about and watching films. We had some strong feelings about this year's nominees so we thought we would hit the airwaves and share them.
Mat Levy- Director of Acquisitions
While my prediction for the win is THE SHAPE OF WATER. A film I had the privilege of seeing at a last minute 8:30AM screening at TIFF having known absolutely nothing about it (the absolute best way to watch this movie), my personal Best Picture pick is CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. The only flawless film saw this year. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is lush, subtle, and gorgeous in cinematography, art direction, and pace. It is a film driven by dialogue, performance, and very careful direction. Like Casey Affleck's performance last year, Timothee Chalamet gives a lesson on minimalism in acting and hoping he can also pull off a win though Gary Oldman has the much "showier" performance that Oscar adores. While I will be OK with a THE SHAPE OF WATER win (and even more OK with a Sally Hawkins win), I think in another year if we didn't have the politics of Oscar and the fear of two LGBT films winning back to back, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME would certainly the get the attention it deserves to grab the gold
Liam Collins- Distribution Coordinator
The field for Best Picture this year is very dense and diverse making for a very tough call. I really enjoyed LADY BIRD and I think Get Out and The SHAPE OF WATER both have very interesting arguments in the category, but the film that left a lasting impression on me personally is THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE OF EBBINGS MISSOURI. It is a flawless movie by no means, but the performances from Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and especially Frances McDormand (My pick for best Actress) are nothing short of incredible. Director Martin McDonag walks the line between heartbreak and hilarity better than anyone in Hollywood and he expertly uses these talents in Three Billboards, creating the best black comedy since Fargo.
Josh Levin- Theatrical Director
I don't really have a dog in the Oscar fight this year, in that I thought that for the most part the films nominated were good but not great. I therefore am rooting hard for GET OUT, the one film I was truly blown away by, and MUDBOUND cinematographer Rachel Morrison -- it's about time we blow the roof off of that glass ceiling."
Tonight wraps up a great year in film. We saw the medium pushed to its limits with new talent and creativity and we are eager to see what this upcoming year in filmmaking will bring us both as a Distributor and as film lovers. Hope you all enjoy the night- and go out and see some of these great films if you haven't already!