Do people want a complete rundown of the year’s Oscar-nominated movies from someone who has only seen “Get Out” and “The Last Jedi” six times? Who knows! I am trying to get better at having strong opinions about things I know nothing about, since otherwise I cannot possibly ever hope to get on television.
“Call Me By Your Name”: People I have not seen for years have approached me, weeping, to clasp my hand and tell me that this film was poignant and changed their lives for the better. Their pores are clearer, their eyesight has improved, and their hearts have grown eight sizes. All promotional material for this movie that I have seen has given me the impression that the entire movie is scored by a single Sufjan Stevens song playing over and over again. Speaking of calling me by your name, it has been two whole movies and we still don’t know Rey’s last name. Does she just not have one?
“Darkest Hour”: My grandmother was so entranced by this film that she got on the wrong escalator in the movie theater! I want to guess based on the poster that it doesn’t include any sequences where a beloved character milks a space manatee and then drinks it and some of it runs into his beard, but you really can’t tell these things from the poster after all, I have discovered.
“Dunkirk”: Oh, wait, I did see this movie! I liked the part where they called the beach “the mole.” I also liked when Mark Rylance and his son, a Ralph Lauren ad, used a yacht to save England. I feel like there are not enough positive portrayals on film of people who own yachts. If you love movies where hope is kept alive by small groups of people escaping from a battle in little ships, “The Last Jedi” also includes that, but Harry Styles does not appear in it.
“Get Out”: I loved “Get Out”! Here is my impression of every white person talking about “Get Out”: “I saw ‘Get Out’ 18 times, and each time I discovered a new layer I hadn’t even realized was there! It was sublime. No. Sublime doesn’t cover it. The great thing was that the villain was, you know, society, and it just, it made you, you know, and the sunken place, and of course, there were, you know, well. Allison Williams was great! Wasn’t she great? She was so great. Chilling. And Bradley Whitford was just perfectly cast because, like, that’s exactly the sort of person that this movie is about, is, ughhhh, you know, and, uh, that lady who played Georgina was just, wow, just, man, just, ha. Did you know that Jordan Peele is married to Chelsea Peretti? Boy, I bet it was awkward visiting her family, ha ha ha. I wonder if there’s anything autobiographical, ho ho ho ha ha ha, no, I haven’t seen ‘Mudbound.’”
“Lady Bird”: This seems good. Is it about a bird? Why isn’t there a bird on the poster? “The Last Jedi” has birds but they are called porgs.
“Phantom Thread”: Daniel Day-Lewis plays “Reynolds Woodcock.” I ask you: Are all the movies this year about birds? It says he is supposed to be a clothing designer from the 1950s, but I don’t think anyone would buy clothing from “Reynolds Woodcock,” so I am pretty sure he is a bird. Also, if you told me Daniel Day-Lewis was playing a bird, I would believe you. He is the Andy Serkis of actors who are allowed to use their own face in movies.
“The Post”: I am contractually obligated to say that this movie was great. It isn’t about a bird, I don’t think. New York Times, I am sorry that this movie was not about you.
“The Shape of Water”: “The Shape of Water” is about a woman who is so fed up with all the men that she finds love with a sea creature from a tank. Honestly, relatable. What have men done for us lately? A man made “Mother!” — a film I saw this year and hated.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”: Technically every billboard I have ever seen is a billboard outside Ebbing, Missouri, but I do not think this film is about any of them. If the trailer is right, the whole movie is about a town that really hates billboards and curses like British people. Also Frances McDormand sets her jaw and kicks people in the groin. That does not happen in “The Last Jedi.” I don’t know what kind of role birds play in this movie.
Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter, @petridishes.