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Oscars 2019: Who will (and should) win

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Oscars 2019: Who will (and should) win

The Academy Awards are like a massive ship. A massive sinking ship. A massive sinking ship with an old, out of touch crew who are doing nothing but shooting their own ship with massive cannons.

The Oscars are a mostly meaningless award show. They aren’t really relevant anymore and the awards don’t really mean anything. Despite that, I think the Oscars should be a time to honor the best movies of the year. They should be a time to introduce people to smaller filmmakers and the art they have created.

Giant blockbusters make millions of dollars at the box office; that is their award. Everybody knows about them. Many smaller more artistic/arthouse films don’t make a lot of money and don’t make their budget back as blockbusters do. I think that the Oscars should be a time to reward smaller, more artistic films and introduce people to smaller films and filmmakers. A small, talented filmmaker will have a much easier time getting films made if they have an Oscar win under their belt. The Oscars can be very important for this reason.

The Oscars are slowly losing viewers; last years show had 26 million viewers, which was the lowest in Oscar history. In a feeble attempt to win back viewers, The Academy announced that they would add a new category called Best Popular Film. This announcement was immediately met with confusion and anger from most, myself included. I asked questions like “What determines the most popular film? Is it the box office gross? Is it fan scores on Rotten Tomatoes?”.  After a lot of repercussions, The Academy decided to rectify its decision and scrap the award.

Later in the year, the Academy announced that Kevin Hart would be the host of the 2019 Oscars. This sentiment was short lived because resurfaced homophobic tweets of Hart’s forced him out of the position. Instead of finding someone else to replace Hart, The Academy decided that for the first time in 30 years, The Oscars would have no host.

After that controversy, the Academy announced that they were shorting the length of the show. Many Oscar ceremonies run for over 4 hours including the red carpet. Now, this was a decision I was happy with. I thought the Academy would get rid of the useless montages, unfunny monologues, and unfunny skits where A-List celebrities mingle with “the common folk”. Instead, The Academy announced that in order to meet the time requirements, certain categories such as Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Hair/Makeup would be given out during the commercial break.

The Oscars are an award show that honors cinema and they decided to give out the cinematography and editing awards during the commercial break. How moronic is that? The decision, as per usual, was met with anger and backlash. Many famous directors and cinematographers including Spike Lee, Alfonso Cuarón, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Roger Deakins, Emmanuel Lubezki, Robert Richardson, Guillermo Del Toro, Damien Chazelle, Spike Jonze and more signed a letter urging Academy to rethink their decision. A few days later, you guessed it, the Academy reversed their decision.

The Oscars have been plagued with nothing but scandals and controversy as of late and the Academy isn’t doing itself any favors because the nominations are abysmal.

Who Will and Should Win

Best Picture 

Black Panther 

BlackKklansman

Bohemian Rhapsody 

The Favourite 

Green Book 

Roma 

A Star is Born 

Vice

Black Panther makes history being the first superhero movie to be nominated for best picture. After The Dark Knight was famously snubbed for best picture in 2008, the Academy expanded the number of nominees from 5 to 10. This year, the Academy only nominated 7 and left out some of the best movies of the year. Why isn’t Barry Jenkins’ poetic love story, If Beale Street Could Talk nominated? Why isn’t Eighth Grade, a heartwarming tale of adolescence nominated for best picture, or anything at all? Why not nominate these movies?

I cannot even begin to comprehend how Bohemian Rhapsody was nominated. I know everyone loves Queen and the movie made a ton of money at the box office. Heck, I love Queen’s music, but this is nothing but a messy, poorly made, trainwreck of a concert movie half made by an extremely problematic director. 

In my opinion, Roma and The Favourite are the two best movies nominated for Best Picture, and I would be so happy if either of these movies won. I think that Roma has a good shot. However, this year’s best picture is a toss-up. I could see the Academy giving the award to Black PantherBohemian Rhapsody, or even Green Book.

Will win: Roma? Green Book? Black Panther? 

Should win: Roma, The Favourite

Best Actor 

Christian Bale- Vice 

Bradley Cooper- A Star is Born

Willem Dafoe- At Eternity’s Gate 

Rami Malek- Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen-Green Book 

Ethan Hawke was massively snubbed for his incredible performance as a pastor in crisis in Paul Schrader’s challenging First Reformed.  The stars of Blindspotting, Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal give better performances than every actor nominated. Diggs, Casal, or Hawke should win. I think that Christian Bale or Rami Malek will win, as they have been the frontrunners and winning all the other awards. I guess I would be happy if Christain Bale won because he was the only aspect of Vice I enjoyed.

Will win:  Rami Malek or Christian Bale

Should win: Christian Bale

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio- Roma 

Glenn Close- The Wife 

Olivia Colman- The Favourite 

Lady Gaga- A Star is Born 

Melissa McCarthy- Can You Ever Forgive Me? 

I was so happy to see that Yalitza was nominated for her stellar performance in Roma. She is a native of Mexico and Roma was her first acting gig. I assumed the Academy would snub her because she was completely unknown. Either Yalitza or Olivia Colman should win. Colman was absolutely perfect as Queen Anne in The Favourite; however, Glenn Close will win for her performance in The Wife. I haven’t seen it, but Close has been nominated for 7 Oscars and has never won. The Academy will award her with the “you’ve had this coming for a long time award” like they did with Gary Oldman last year and Leonardo DiCaprio a few years prior. I was disappointed that Toni Colette got snubbed for her excellent performance in Hereditary, but the Academy looks down on horror movies so she had no chance, despite her performance being a powerhouse.

Will win: Glenn Close

Should Win: Olivia Coleman, Yalitza Aparicio

Best Director

Alfonso Cuarón-Roma 

Yorgos Lanthimos-The Favourite 

Spike Lee-BlackKklansman

Adam McKay-Vice 

Pawel Pawlikowski-Cold War 

The best director category is extremely diverse from an ethnicity standpoint. Cuarón is from Mexico, Lanthimos is from Greece and Pawlikowski is from Poland. However, the Academy completely left out female directors like Lynne Ramsay and Debra Granik who directed some of the years best movies (You Were Never Really Here and Leave No Trace respectively).

Cuarón will and should win; his direction is masterful, but I would be very happy if Lanthimos won too, however he has a much smaller chance of taking home this award. Adam McKay should not be on this list at all as his direction of Vice was sloppy. Barry Jenkins (Beale Street) should have undoubtedly been nominated over McKay.

Will win: Alfonso Cuarón

Should win: Alfonso Cuarón, Yorgos Lanthimos

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali-Green Book 

Adam Driver-BlackKklansman

Sam Elliot-A Star is Born 

Richard E. Grant-Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Sam Rockwell-Vice 

Mahershala Ali will win. He has won almost all of the other awards. He is a guy who can get nominated every other year, and his performance in Green Book is pretty solid. However, I think that the Academy should have nominated Daniel Kaluuya for his bone-chilling performance as a hitman in Widows. Also, Steven Yuen, famous for The Walking Dead gives the best performance of his career in a South Korean thriller called Burning. Yuen completely and successfully transforms into an eerie and charismatic character.

Will win: Mahershala Ali

Should win: Mahershala Ali

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams-Vice

Marina de Tavira-Roma 

Regina King-If Beale Street Could Talk 

Emma Stone-The Favourite 

Rachel Weisz-The Favourite 

Regina King will rightfully win. Her performance is subtle and powerful. I would be very happy if Emma or Rachel won too as their performances were top notch and some of the best of the year.

Will win: Regina King

Should win: Regina King, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz

Best Original Screenplay

The Favourite

First Reformed 

Green Book 

Roma 

Vice 

The best screenplay out of the bunch is First Reformed. Schrader is a master of his craft and it really shows. As this was the only nomination First Reformed received, I hope and think it should win. Bo Burnham’s heartfelt debut Eighth Grade got completely snubbed from this category. The Favourite is also a near-perfect screenplay so I would be happy if that won. However, I think that Green Book is going to win and while it is not a bad screenplay it doesn’t compare to the others.

Will win: Green Book 

Should win: The Favourite 

Best Adapted Screenplay

A Star is Born 

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs 

BlackKklansman

If Beale Street Could Talk 

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

If Beale Street Could Talk will and should win. Barry Jenkins perfectly adapts James Baldwin’s book onto the big screen. He remains true to the source material by taking lines straight out of the book, but the new additions he made (a scene with Dave Franco specifically) fit perfectly.

Will win: Beale Street 

Should win: Beale Street 

Best Cinematography

The Favourite 

Never Look Away 

Roma

A Star is Born 

Cold War

If Beale Street Could Talk was completely snubbed for this category. James Laxton’s work on this film is impeccable. Roma will (and probably should) win this category, and I am okay with that. Cuarón acted as director and cinematographer and his work is great. I would also love if The Favourite won as well.

Will win: Roma 

Should win: Roma, The Favourite 

Best Documentary

Free Solo

Hale County This Morning 

Minding the Gap

Of Fathers and Sons 

RBG

I mentioned in my favorite of the year article how there were so many good documentaries in 2018. It was the first year I ever saw a documentary in theaters; the best were Wont You Be My Neighbor, an emotional tribute to Mr. Rogers and his lovely neighborhood and Three Identical Strangers, a shocking and unnerving doc about triplets separated at birth. These were both left out of the race, which I think is crazy. My vote goes to Free Solo for a couple of reasons: It is the only nominated documentary I’ve seen and it is a crazy story about a rock climber who climbs up the 3,000 foot tall El Capitan in Yosemite without any safety equipment. It’s visuals simultaneously put my jaw on the floor and made me scared of heights.

Will win: Free Solo

Should win: Free Solo 

Best Animated Film

Incredibles 2

Isle of Dogs 

Mirai

Ralph Breaks the Internet 

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The Best Animated film is a Disney/Pixar dominated category. The last winner that wasn’t a Disney/Pixar film was Rango all the way back in 2011. Many believe that their movies win because Disney owns ABC  (which is the channel the Oscars air on). For that reason, I think there is a chance that Incredibles 2 will win. However, Spider-Verse completely deserves to win and it most likely will. Its inventive and unique and has some of the best animation I have ever seen. It has also won all of the other major awards.

Will win: Spider-Verse, Incredibles 2

Should win: Spider-Verse

Best Foreign Language Film

Capernaum (Lebanon)

Cold War (Poland)

Never Look Away (Germany)

Roma (Mexico)

Shoplifters (Japan)

Roma is obviously going to win and for good reason, its a masterpiece. Except, I sort of wish that it wasn’t nominated for this category because it doesn’t feel like the other movies have a chance, and many of them are really great. Shoplifters is a fantastic little movie about a family of shoplifters that deserves to win. While I didn’t love Cold War as much as everyone else, I think it is deserving of a win. Even Burning, a South Korean thriller from Chang Lee Dong deserves to win, and it wasn’t even nominated.

Will win: Roma 

Should win: Shoplifters, Roma 

Best Original Score

BlacKkKlansman 

Black Panther

If Beale Street Could Talk 

Isle of Dogs 

Mary Poppins Returns 

Best score will and should go to Nicolas Brittell for his superb work on If Beale Street Could Talk. Enough said.

Will win: Beale Street

Should win: Beale Street

Best Original Song

All the Stars by Kendrick Lamar and SZA (Black Panther)

I’ll Fight by Diane Warren and Jennifer Hudson (RBG)

The Place Where Lost Things Go by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Mary Poppins Returns)

Shallow by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson and Anthony Rossomando (A Star is Born)

When A Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch (Ballad of Buster Scruggs)

Right after I walked out of the theater in October, I said: “Shallow is going to win Best original song at the Oscars”. It’s a good song, and often I would cue it up in the car and jam out with Lady Gaga. However, I want When A Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings to win. I didn’t expect this to get nominated but it is absolutely hilarious and it should win.

Will win: Shallow

Should win: When A Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings, Shallow

There was a trend in this article. If Roma, The Favourite, or Beale Street is nominated, I want it to win. I think that many of the movies nominated don’t deserve their nominations. I think the Academy left out many of the year’s best movies. Blindspotting, Hereditary, First Reformed, Widows, Eighth Grade, The Sisters Brothers, First Man, You Were Never Really Here got completely shut out from the Oscars (First Reformed got one). These movies got left out and a lukewarm, safe, boring Queen biopic made by a problematic director is nominated for best picture.

These nominations are horrible. The Academy’s attempts to pander are completely embarrassing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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