Entirely Unnecessary Thoughts on the 91st Academy Award Nominations
I’m on record as saying that, despite often choosing mediocre or outright bad movies, the Academy Awards are generally speaking a force for good. I put that tweet out there mere days before the nominations were announced and…then got so busy that I never managed to write out my thoughts on the nominees. So, with perpetual lateness, here are my thoughts on the nominees for the 91st Academy Awards:
A Star is Born
The gulf between good and bad nominees here is vast, with a lot of my best 10 here and also a lot of garbage. No Annihilation, Death of Stalin or Sorry to Bother You though. Cause they’re cowards. Most of these movies probably wouldn’t stand a chance in another year but here maybe they all do? Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book have no right to be here though. I’d say the best bets are BlacKkKlansman or The Favourite with maybe Black Panther or Roma on the outside.
Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski for Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite
Alfonso Curaon for Roma
Adam McKay for Vice
This is a lot better, as all these directors either did great work or have done great work elsewhere if I haven’t seen their movies. I’d say that Spike Lee is probably the shoe in, although Yorgos Lanthimos might grab it if it’s a split year.
Christian Bale for Vice
Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe for At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen for Green Book
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, this category is a wasteland with really only bad choices (except maybe Dafoe? I haven’t seen it). I’d say Malek is probably the best bet, although maybe they’ll give to Viggo as an apology for not giving it to his jaw dropping performance in Eastern Promises. Also, where is Steve Buscemi for Death of Stain? Cowards.
Yalitza Aparicio for Roma
Glenn Close for The Wife
Olivia Colman for The Favourite
Lady Gaga for A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Much better, all of these would be worthy wins (I haven’t seen The Wife but it’s Glenn Close so I’m sure she’s fine). I’d say Olivia Colman is probably walking away with it, but it could go to someone else, and it’s nice to see Melissa McCarthy get a nomination for a deeply underrated movies.
Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali for Green Book
Adam Driver for BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliot for A Star is Born
Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell for Vice
We’re back in middle ground here, although the distinct lack of Michael B. Jordan irritates me more than a little. This is also usually a good spot to nominate some weirder movies or performances, something they completely failed to do. Honestly, any of the three middle ones would be worthy wins (I’m not even a fan of A Star is Born but Elliot is doing his damndest to hold up every scene he’s in), but if I had to put money I’d probably say either Elliot or Adam Driver.
Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams for Vice
Marina de Tavira for Roma
Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone for The Favourite
Rachel Weiz for The Favourite
All good choices here. With The Favourite’s votes split between two people, Regina King should walk off with this pretty effortlessly, although they might give it to Amy Adams as an apology for not giving it to her in…fuck, there’s too many, let’s say The Master for now. Or Arrivial.
Best Original Screenplay:
Green Book aside, this is a good set and an early one to watch for hints at what’s gonna grab best picture. I’d say The Favourite is a heavy favorite (pun intended) but don’t count out Roma. Disappointed, but not surprised, to not see Sorry to Bother You here.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star is Born
No real bad choice, although A Star is Born would be deeply subpar. I’d like to see it go to BlacKkKlansman (which is where it’s probably going) or Can You Ever Forgive Me? but I wouldn’t say no to Beale Street either.
Best Animated Feature:
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
There’s really only one right answer here. Give it to Spider-Verse academy. No, don’t think, don’t question, just do it.
Best Foreign Language Film:
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma has this sewn all the way up. The ONLY way it’s not getting it (in which case it’ll be Cold War) is if Roma is getting Best Picture, which I doubt.
Best Documentary Feature:
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
The STUNNING failure to nominate Won’t You Be My Neighbor means that this going to RBG. Seriously academy, how do you fuck up that bad?
A Few Technical Award Thoughts:
Most of the technical awards should be going to either The Favourite or Black Panther, although it’s nice to see Border (a movie I’ve been desperately trying to see) up for Hair and Makeup. Bohemian Rhapsody getting a nomination for Film Editing is amazing in light of the clip that’s doing the rounds on Twitter of some jaw droppingly terrible editing. Maybe it’s a nomination for stitching together a movie from what is, at best, maybe a third of the coverage you needed?
Hokay, those are my quick thoughts on the Oscars. See you during the awards ceremony.
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