Ay and now it’s time to swing ’round this tyre fire to see what the Academy reckons, with it’s infinite wisdom and judgement, is the peak of cinema this past year. Wait, what? Black Panther? Really? WHAT? BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY?? Pff, fuck it, let’s call it off.
Sadly, that’s not the case and we’re apparently humouring average movies this year; good-o. Still, if those bellends can give their two cents, then I can add my two cents as well and make… a dime? I dunno how that works. I’m gonna judge their judgements like the dick I am, giving my thoughts (and predictions!) on a couple of the bigboi categories (some of my predictions will be made during the ad breaks so you’ll just have to miss them), as well as damning the bastards for the snubs and *choices* they’ve made.
Anyway, let’s get into the biz!
I think the biggest snub this year was Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade, a movie with the enough indie charm, directorial flair and heartfelt writing behind it that I thought it’d at least score in the screenplay categories, but no dice; a shame considering some of the *choices* that are there instead.
Best Animated Film.
*Oop, I missed a couple more of the nominated movies this year, Mirai being one of them, so that’ll be omitted from my thoughts
In all the dodgy picking from the Academy this year, it’s the Animated film category (which last year included the now-Oscar-nominated Boss Baby and Ferdinand) that has one of the most respectable line-ups with this year’s ceremony. Ralph Breaks The Internet is probably my least likely to win this year, as it didn’t really stand out among the soon-to-be-irrelevant internet references and familiar plotlines. Moreover, Isle of Dogs, one of my favourite films of 2018, period, doesn’t look like a huge contender, its quirky stop-motion style, great script and stellar voice acting going seemingly unrewarded throughout award season. Regardless, it’s my favourite of the pack.
I was tempted to formally predict the visually-stunning and whole-lotta-fun Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse to win this year, with it’s BAFTA scoop being very promising. However, the cynic in me can’t shake Pixar’s winning streak, especially with Incredibles 2 being their best in years.
Best Supporting Actress.
I tempted fate last year, calling this category a little dry, because this year, like many of the categories, the lows are even lower. Amy Adams‘ turn in Vice was fine bordering on mediocre, often feeling on-rails in terms of narrative direction, bringing very little in the way of character to the turn, much like everyone in that movie. Furthermore, Marina De Tavira‘s performance in Roma felt nigh-on inconsequential to the plot in many ways, with her subplots failing to interest me even half as much as the main narrative.
Both Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone are nominated for their roles in The Favourite, the dichotomy and chemistry in each of their performances making me wish they could win a joint prize, though Stone’s characterisation was a titch more likeable and engaging to watch. However, though I haven’t actually seen the film, the sheer buzz surrounding Regina King and her role in If Beale Street Could Talk would not leave me surprised to see her take home the prize tonight.
Best Supporting Actor.
Probably one of the weakest categories in the big un’s, both Sam Elliott (who I do love regardless because of his role in Lebowski) and Sam Rockwell had so little to do in their respective movies that a nomination on either seems tenuous, while Adam Driver, though his character in BlacKkKlansman was great to watch, didn’t really have any standout moments worthy of Oscar gold here either.
The other two, however, are more than matched for the prize, and could be interchangable as my prediction. Richard E. Grant was a joy to watch in Can You Ever Forgive Me? and managed to be the highlight of that movie, bring his familiar brand of eccentricity to comfortable yet winning role for him. On the other hand, there is just something about the stature Mahershala Ali manages to hold in any role he takes that has me seeing him taking home the award for the second year in a row.
*Oh, and I’ve also not seen Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War, either, so that’ll be omitted too
In the Director category, while both of their films had a driving atmosphere that made them very watchable, I’d be surprised to see either Spike Lee or Adam McKay win gold tonight as they lacked a discernable style; the former reducing BlacKkKlansman‘s blaxploitation-inspired plot and giving it the veneer of any other action blockbuster out in the past 10 years, and the latter serving us Vice as a biopic too enamoured with its own (admittedly sound) politics to give us a story worth really listening to.
On the other hand, it’s fantastic to see Yorgos Lanthimos finally get some love, with his work on The Favourite being his first directing Oscar, a shock considering his stellar filmography and sense of artistry. Needless to see, that artistry is seen throughout The Favourite, with one of the strongest cinematic atmospheres over the year, albeit a very offbeat one. That said, while it wasn’t my favourite by a long shot, Alfonso Cuarón‘s evident passion for Roma, a film not only exceedingly well-made, but one that screams Oscar winner, would see him happily take home his second directing Oscar.
Ah great! Another flop of a category. I’ll cut through these short because you know what I’m gonna say. Christian Bale‘s turn as Dick Cheney was fine, kind of one-note, and is only really notable because of his physical transformation (although it does echo Gary Oldman in The Darkest Hour a little bit) that saw him impressively gain 40 pounds, good-o lad. Also, I swear to God, if Bradley Cooper wins for A Star Is Born, we might as well give a retrospective statue to every bland leading man in every weepy chick flick under the sun, so Ryan Gosling’s gonna be raking them in. Also, Viggo Mortensen was inequivocably lame in Green Book, again just personifying the “uplifting” predictability of that film.
On the other hand, Willem Dafoe, much like last year, is easily, almost heartbreakingly, the strongest in his category, his portrayal of Vincent Van Gogh being so intricately layered and complex, it had me shaken throughout At Eternity’s Gate‘s runtime. I say “heartbreakingly”, of course, because Rami Malek is almost definitely gonna win this year, because he fully was Freddie Mercury. I still have my reservations, however, because, as much as he can do the teeth and voice, there was something of a lack of heart in his performance, at least in comparison to Dafoe’s powerhouse.
*Aaaaand I am also yet to see The Wife, so Glenn Close’s lead role in that will be omitted today (Christ, this is getting embarrassing)
Much like last year, the Best Actress category is one of the strongest of the bunch, even if this year isn’t as unpickably strong as 2018. Melissa McCarthy, fresh off of her Razzie win for The Happytime Murders, is nominated for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, in a biopic (surprise!) role that was well-acted but not particularly outstanding. Furthermore, I’m somewhat indifferent to Yalitza Aparicio‘s nomination for Roma, as, in her full-on acting debut in anything, she struck me as not particularly the most dynamic actress to watch, nor one who showed that much in the way of skill. Then again, there is a sense of realism and ambience in her portrayal that leaves me unshocked to her nom. Also, in a move that surprised no one, Lady Gaga is up for A Star Is Born. This is one that I can definitely see happening, as she is easily the best thing about that movie and is surrounded by buzz.
However, if she wins over Olivia Colman, who’s performance in The Favourite is undoubtedly the strongest of the year, I’d be disappointed. Colman’s balance of comedy and unpredictability, as well as the feeling of power she weilded over the supporting characters created one of the most fascinating characters of last year, and one that I couldn’t keep my eyes off throughout the film.
Oy vey. Right, Best Picture is a messy one this year, guys. I’mma storm through the films that I think shouldn’t even be nominated quickly for you. Black Panther, just a superhero film added due to immense pressure. Bohemian Rhapsody, a fucking average biopic with some kind of mainstream hype. A Star Is Born, just another standard kinda chick-flick-y kinda drama deal. All three of these films were just added to make the Oscars seem relevant and it really does ruin a lot of the prestige in the awards — keep the Oscars for movie fans and award good movies, yeh?
In serious contenders, we have Green Book, Vice and BlacKkKlansman paddling about the general Oscar fare, with the latter offering some slight diversity that interests me a little. However, my main two are Roma, the sheer technique of which could very comfortably see it taking home a little golden boi, and The Favourite, a movie so bewilderingly and essentially brilliant that it should, and hopefully will, be victorious on that stage tonight.
What were your impressions of the Academy’s picks? Any snubs/surprises? Leave a comment and tell me. I want to know. No, I do. Seriously. I promise this time.
Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations