Hugo Ballot 2018: BDP – Long Form

If BDP-Short was tough because all the choices seemed a bit flawed, BDP-Long is a meaty, populist, movie marathon full of treats and still a tough set of choices.

Best Dramatic Presentation – Long Form [full list]

  • Blade Runner 2049, written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, directed by Denis Villeneuve (Alcon Entertainment / Bud Yorkin Productions / Torridon Films / Columbia Pictures)
  • Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele (Blumhouse Productions / Monkeypaw Productions / QC Entertainment)
  • The Shape of Water, written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, directed by Guillermo del Toro (TSG Entertainment / Double Dare You / Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi, written and directed by Rian Johnson (Lucasfilm, Ltd.)
  • Thor: Ragnarok, written by Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost; directed by Taika Waititi (Marvel Studios)
  • Wonder Woman, screenplay by Allan Heinberg, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg and Jason Fuchs, directed by Patty Jenkins (DC Films / Warner Brothers)

Reverse order here:

6. Blade Runner 2049 – I’ve watched it but I note that I didn’t review it. When I don’t review things it is either I meant to and events got in the way and then I forgot OR I didn’t have anything to say good or bad. Bad films can be fun to review, even mediocre films can be fun to review. I don’t know with Blade Runner 2049. I didn’t hate it. It did not actually feel superfluous as a sequel. Baby Gooseman was very good and the Harrison Ford cameo was not gratuitous. It, of course, was visually excellent.

But…it just didn’t really engage me. A carefully crafted tribute to an aesthetic.

5. Wonder WomanMy views haven’t changed much on this. It had some good qualities but it was overlong for the story it was trying to tell. Gal Gadot remains the most valuable actor in the DC Universe and is the point from which they should build outwards.

4. Star Wars: The Last JediIf you are going to make sequels and keep franchises continually going then at least do something both new and in keeping with the franchise. Rian Johnson took the palette of Star Wars films and assembled them into something both new and familiar. It was what I wanted out of a new Star Wars film even though I didn’t know that beforehand. Good stuff and a strong contender.

3. Thor: RagnarokI loved this on first viewing and loved it even more on second viewing. Mainly just a fun, disco-coloured romp which underneath has themes about colonisation and the retreat from Empire.

2. The Shape of Water – An excellent film, whose storyline is quite simple (almost overdone) but with a depth of character and compassion that really lifts it. Not a comedy exactly but there is a comedic eye to things that makes it feel lighter than it is.

1. Get Out – Not the most science-fictional of the choices but the most tightly crafted of the set of films. So much packed into this film and I’m still processing elements of it.

Those top four choices are so close that I may well swap the order of them more than once before the ballot closes. I wouldn’t take bets on a likely winner – I can see all six possibly taking the lead (although Blade Runner 2049 is the least likely to win I think).

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5 thoughts on “Hugo Ballot 2018: BDP – Long Form

  1. Blade Runner I kinda hated, being both a fan of the original and the PKD story it was loosely based on. It felt like they completely missed an opportunity to mirror the experience of the hologram AI with the physical robots from the first movie, that and it required us to believe that robots really just want to be human and make babies, which was never really given a reason for and ignores a lot of stuff like cloning or the fact that robots can pretty readily make more robots.

    The aesthetic choices were cool but as a sci-fi movie I thought it tried to hide how dumb it was behind cool visuals and too many things kept suspending my disbelief. And I watch pro-wrestling so I’m willing to suspend my disbelief for stupid a lot so I’m not sure how this one got so much positive reactions.

    All the rest of the movies I loved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt Y: It felt like they completely missed an opportunity to mirror the experience of the hologram AI with the physical robots from the first movie, that and it required us to believe that robots really just want to be human and make babies, which was never really given a reason for and ignores a lot of stuff like cloning or the fact that robots can pretty readily make more robots.
      The aesthetic choices were cool but as a sci-fi movie I thought it tried to hide how dumb it was behind cool visuals and too many things kept suspending my disbelief.

      This perfectly captures my response. I loved the aesthetics of the movie — but the script was terrible. Which was a huge shame, because they had the opportunity to explore some really meaningful issues here, and they… just didn’t. 😐

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The thing I love about subjective lists is that my current order is exactly the reverse of this one, although I do agree that Blade Runner 2049 is the least likely to actually win, even if I love it.
    (But it’s still one of the strongest shortlists for this category I have ever seen. I’d watch any one of these at any time no matter how often I’d seen it before, which is very rarely the case.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes – this is a great movie marathon or if a local cinema had a special SF season showing these films I’d be delighted. Blade Runner is decent enough and I don’t hate (and it looks gorgeous)

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