If the news is true, and Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread does indeed mark Daniel Day-Lewis' retirement from acting, it's an occasion for remorse, if also delight that the legendary performer is at least going out on a high note. (The movie is deservedly nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, and Actor.) But woven into the sadness of “No more Daniel!” is a very specific kind of regret, because man is it a shame the guy didn't make more comedies.

Heading into this morning's announcement of nominees for the 90th Annual Academy Awards, there were loads of questions waiting to be answered. Would The Shape of Water set a new record for most nominations? Would the late release dates for The Post and Phantom Thread damage their Oscar chances? Would the announcement of James Franco's name result in spontaneous booing?

You wouldn't think anyone could make a feel-good entertainment about the War in Afghanistan, still raging after nearly 17 years. But blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer isn't just anyone, and so we have 12 Strong, a demolition-heavy drama about the first Special Forces team sent to Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Here are my official predictions for the 90th (!) Annual Academy Awards, scheduled to be announced on the morning of Tuesday, January 23. Boldface denotes predicted nominees, non-boldface denotes runners-up, predictions are in order of probability, and mild commentary is attached at no extra charge.

When the film's focus sticks to Graham's gradual transformation from kowtowed socialite to proud defender of print journalism, The Post is a smashing success. Where it's less successful, unfortunately, is in just about everything surrounding Graham's personal struggle, effective though the film frequently is.

Painful, wrenching, and, in my view, deeply empathetic toward its subject, this is one of the least funny “comedies” I've ever seen. I mean that as a compliment.

Director Craig Cohoon's production was such a ticklish and sustained creep-out that I chuckled and smiled in appreciation as much as amusement, even when I was silently begging one of our leads to not, not, open that scary-ass door.

If it weren't for the presence and narration of Jessica Chastain, you might spend the first five minutes of Molly's Game – the frequently winning, sometimes frustrating true-life tale of high-stakes poker entrepreneur Molly Bloom – thinking you wandered into the wrong movie by mistake.

In recent years, I held off on composing my annual Movies of the Year roundup until one or two January weekends had passed, hoping to catch at least a couple of those acclaimed, Oscar-friendly titles that generally get to our area just prior to the announcement of Academy Award nominees. (This year's lineup will be unveiled on January 23.) But I'm just as relieved to be bidding farewell to 2017 as you likely are – and, after a year of disappointing grosses and endless scandals, as Hollywood no doubt is – so what say we get right to it?

The River Cities' Reader is looking to add two or three area-theatre reviewers to our team, so if you've ever read one of our stage critiques and thought, “Gee, I could do that … “, here's your chance!

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