Five Empire writers on the films and performances that the Oscars will criminally disregard
Mark Hamill for Best Actor (Star Wars: The Last JEDI) Alas, this is going to go how you think. The Academy are going to ignore the return of one of cinema’s most iconic heroes in favour of less fantastical turns. Mark Hamill reinvented the moon-eyed youngster as a tormented, ultimately inspiring mage, giving the film a heavy measure of growly gravitas. But because he milks a space-cow, he’ll be overlooked. NICK DE SEMLYEN, FEATURES EDITOR Tiffany Haddish for Best Supporting Actress (Girls Trip) The Academy doesn’t do comedy. It just doesn’t get it. So it’s highly unlikely that Tiffany Haddish’s turn as human cyclone Dina in Girls Trip will be recognised. Which is a shame: not only is it one of those force-of-nature star-making turns that come along once in a blue moon, but the clip they’d play would have to be where she deep throats a banana that’s been rammed through a grapefruit. Don’t ask. CHRIS HEWITT, ASSOCIATE EDITOR Francis Lee for Best original screenplay (God’s Own Country) One of the absolute best screenplays of 2017 was unbelievably a debut screenplay from a first time filmmaker. Francis Lee crafted the story of an isolated Yorkshire sheep farmer in a shed on his dad’s farm; creating one of the most understated, authentic and beautifully brutal screenplays of the year. It’s impossible to believe that this is his first to make it to screen. It certainly won’t be his last. TERRI WHITE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF PATRICK STEWART FOR Best Supporting Actor (logan) It’s possible to win for a superhero movie, but there is a prerequisite: you have to be Heath Ledger. If there’s been a better performance over the past 12 months than Patrick Stewart’s final turn as Charles Xavier, I’m yet to see it. Logan was a spandex-free, adult-orientated drama, but I doubt voters will see past its comic-book origins.
JONATHAN PILE, DEPUTY EDITOR best picture (the big sick)
Here’s another film to fall foul of Oscar’s unwritten ‘no comedies’ rule. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon’s charming autobiographical tale has charm, humour, a flawless ensemble, a timely take on cross-cultural contrasts, even a heartbreaking tragedy to get those awardsy tear ducts working overtime. Alas, as a romantic comedy, it’s not even in the conversation. For shame!
JOHN NUGENT, NEWS EDITOR
Top: toasts Tiffany her Hadish performance in Girls Trip. Above: Patrick Stewart put in the performance of his life in Logan.