With the noms set, here’s how Deadline first reviewed the films, from Pete Hammond’s lofty perch as both Awards Columnist and Head Film Reviewer. Two notes: He did not review Get Out, sadly, owing to scheduling constraints at the time (it was the earliest of the Best Picture noms to hit theaters, on February 23), or officially Darkest Hour, though he did a spot review of the latter when it bowed at Telluride.
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Sony Pictures Classics
Producers: Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito
Hammond’s recap: Visually, Call Me By Your Name is every bit as sumptuous and inviting as Luca Guadagnino’s previous work, but what I didn’t expect was how deeply affecting it was going to be.
Producers: Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan
Hammond’s recap: Dunkirk retains the scale of some of Christopher Nolan’s larger films, blended with a more intimate and structurally fascinating project like his earlier works.
Producers: JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi
Hammond’s recap: If Phantom Thread is to be Daniel Day-Lewis’ swan song as an actor, at least in movies, than it’s a memorable one to say the least in this very Paul Thomas Anderson creation.
20th Century Fox
Producers: Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger
Hammond’s recap: Steven Spielberg has crafted another masterpiece with The Post, and it fits right in line with his recent films about the right people coming along at just the right time to do the right thing.
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Producers: Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale
Hammond’s recap: Guillermo del Toro’s lifelong love of monsters has informed much of his work, but nothing prepared me for the sweeping romantic magic of The Shape of Water, perhaps his most human, and humane, film yet.