The Lowdown on the Oscars 2018

Check out Haaretz's coverage of the main films competing in the 90th Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday, from 'Three Billboards' to 'Dunkirk'

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Oscar statues backstage at the Academy Awards.
Oscar statues backstage at the Academy Awards. Credit: Christopher Polk / Getty Images

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony takes place in Los Angeles on Sunday. Guillermo del Toro's fish-out-of-water romantic drama "The Shape of Water" leads the way with 13 nominations, followed by Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" (eight nominations) and Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

However, the elephant in the room will be a man who was synonymous with the event for over 25 years: the disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein. How much will he and the #MeToo movement dominate the night? Host Jimmy Kimmel says it will definitely be part of the show – although thankfully for Hollywood's male elite, Natalie Portman won't be present to chastise them for overlooking women in the best director category (and at least Greta Gerwig is nominated for "Lady Bird" this year).

Haaretz film critic Uri Klein says this year's best picture list includes "five good movies with real cinematic power": "Dunkirk," "Get Out," "Phantom Thread," "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" – and if it were up to him, he'd give the Oscar to "Three Billboards":

Uri Klein on What's Different About This Year's Oscars

Speaking of "Three Billboards," one Israeli who'll be rooting for the film on Sunday night is its production designer, Inbal Weinberg.

She told Haaretz recently that "the film’s important topic is the nature of revenge, the idea of an eye for an eye, and I think this is relevant to Israel as an issue that’s deeply understood by the people."

You can read the full interview to find out what a production designer actually does:

The Israeli Face Behind 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'

There are no Israelis in contention for Oscars this year (after "Foxtrot" was overlooked in the best foreign film category, despite a big push for a nomination). However, "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot will be in attendance to hand out an Academy Award. It will be the perfect time for Hollywood to thank her for her film's stellar performance at the box office last year:

How Gal Gadot Saved Hollywood's Summer

Director Steven Spielberg was largely overlooked for "The Post" this year for his real-life drama about the Washington Post's decision to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971 (only scoring two nominations: best picture and best actress for Meryl Streep).

The actual leaker, Daniel Ellsberg, tells Haaretz he has only one regret about his actions:

The Real Person Behind 'The Post': An Interview With the Leaker Nixon Hunted

Kimmel is reprising his performance as host, of course, following last year's debacle when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty incorrectly announced "La La Land" as the best picture winner instead of "Moonlight." Kimmel will be hoping there are no similar screw-ups from starstruck accountants this year. Still, if he's looking for some last-minute tips, he could learn something from previous hosts such as Billy Crystal and Jon Stewart:

So, which movies did Haaretz film critic Uri Klein praise and which did he haze? Check out his best picture reviews here to find out:

"Call Me By Your Name"

"Darkest Hour"


“Phantom Thread”

“The Post”

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