Kermode and Mayo on the Oscars

Awards season may be drawing to a close and the gongs have been given out, but for many film critics, the question is whether they got it right? Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review, a Five Live radio segment starring Mark Kermode and MN2S’ Simon Mayo made their predictions earlier this month. So how did they do?

Call Me By Your Name

What’s it about? A romantic drama about a love story playing out between two young men in the 1980s in Italy.

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Mark said, “I wasn’t quite as knocked out by it as some people, I thought it was really well written but it does have a genuinely touching sentimentality about it. As someone who’s got a soft spot for The Psychedelic Furs, I could tolerate the terrible dancing… It’s not going to win.”

Darkest Hour

What’s it about? The early days of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, with Nazism engulfing Europe.

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Mark said, “Gary Oldman is going to win Best Actor, but it’s not going to win Best Picture. As much as I’m sure of anything.”


What’s it about? The landings at Dunkirk, when hundreds of small vessels rescued retreating soldiers in WWII.

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Mark said, “Wonderful, overwhelming experience, incredibly directed… but I don’t think it will win. There was a point when it was a real Best Picture contender, but I don’t think it is now.”

Get Out

What’s it about? A horror film with a racially-charged plot twist.

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Mark said, “I loved it, I thought it was just great… I think it’s really really great that Get Out is nominated this year, I don’t think it’s going to win but I absolutely loved it.”

Lady Bird

What’s it about? The relationship between a mother and daughter in 1990s California.

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Mark said, “I had a theory about Lady Bird, which now I think is turning out to be wrong. What I said is that I think Lady Bird is going to win Best Picture, and my theory was that Three Billboards and The Shape of Water were leading as far as the bookies were concerned… but the thing is that they divide audience. The thing is with Lady Bird that lots of people love it, but nobody hates it. I’m probably wrong.”

Phantom Thread

What’s it about? A period drama about a dressmaker and his sister.

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Mark said, “I loved Phantom Thread… It’s a total outsider, but the fact that it’s nominated is great.”

The Post

What’s it about? A political thriller set in a newsroom.

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Mark said, “I think people think it’s a bit old fashioned and a bit staid… but it was from script to being finished in under six months. I don’t think it’s got a cat in hell’s chance of winning best picture.”

The Shape of Water

What’s it about? A cleaning lady’s encounter with a mysterious scaly animal in a government lab.

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Mark said, “It’s the director’s best film since Pan’s Labyrinth, it’s got two brilliant central performances, it’s got a wonderful score and there is a possibility that it will win. At the moment, however, all the smart money seems to be saying that it’s lagging behind Three Billboards.”

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

What’s it about? One woman’s fight for justice after the murder of her daughter.

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Mark said, “It was an awards contender so obviously it got into a controversy… but all of the smart money is on Three Billboards.”

So, how did the film critics do? In the end it was The Shape of Water which walked away with the Best Picture award; something that Kermode and Mayo didn’t rule out, but didn’t think was the most likely option either.

Film critics can make fascinating guests and are some of the most interesting celebrities on the books at entertainment agencies. If you’re interested in booking Simon Mayo to talk film at an event you’ve got coming up, get in touch with the agents at MN2S.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Movies category on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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