So, this year’s Oscars are going to be a complete farce aren’t they? I mean, have you all been following how everything’s been going over there? With them cutting categories from the broadcast then putting them back in and not having a host because they decided that it wasn’t important enough to hire a new one when their last one quit because he refused to say “I’m sorry” when it came out that he’d made homophobic statements that technically count as jokes because he didn’t mean them (because that’s a joke now, apparently). Oh and then there’s the stuff about them nominating a film made by an accused sex offender, one of the directors being kind of called out for flashing people on set, then there was the stuff about them not showing all the Best Original Song nominees until they got serious backlash from everyone, including Lin Manuel Miranda who literally wrote one of the songs that weren’t going to be performed… yeah, this ceremony is going to be a mess and because it’s going to be a mess, it’s time to be messy and pick who I, someone with no influence whatsoever, think should get each one of these formerly-prestigious awards that are now basically glorified advertisements for movies that they want people to go see and not an actual display of what would be considered “Best” of anything… I’M BITTER, IN CASE YOU CAN’T TELL!
This year is possibly one of the more controversial years for Best Picture nominees. one of the films is copping flak because it was directed by a potential sexual predator (and was also just an average generic biopic with one good performance in it and some very weird editing choices), another one is copping it due to issues regarding the white saviour complex that basically rules the entire narrative and another one is copping it because it’s a superhero film and apparently that’s a bad thing… it’s a very eclectic group and the potential for vote splitting is huge.
I’m personally rooting for BlacKkKlansman, the Spike Lee film about a black man infiltrating the KKK that has the most powerful ending of any film I saw in 2018. It was a wonderfully acted and well directed piece of comedy-drama that was one of the most strangely enjoyable films I’ve seen in recent years. I’d be fine with any of the films winning, with the exceptions of Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody because I just generally do not think they’re as good as a lot of other films that came out last year, and certainly nowhere near as good as the rest of the films they’re nominated with (I say this knowing that Green Book will probably win anyway and in 5 years we will view that the same way we view Crash winning)
This year has a strong batch of contenders and while I have problems with the film itself, this award is almost destined for Rami Malek for his engaging performance as Freddie Mercury. There are so many little quirks to this performance that takes it beyond just your average impression of a real person. He’s not pretending to be Freddie, he became Freddie. Every move, every line, the way that he looked at someone was pure Freddie Mercury and it was the exact performance that you would hope for, even if the film itself wasn’t able to live up to that. He was given one of the hardest characters to play in a movie that’s been in development hell for a long time and no matter what is said about the film, Rami’s performance is destined to put a statue in his hand.
In my original review of Star Is Born I explicitly stated that I want Gaga to take this award home and I genuinely mean that, she’s obscenely talented and if you just look at the scene where she sings Shallow for the first time you will see the Oscar performance that everyone was waiting for. I still want her to take it home, I genuinely think she could… but give the goddamn award to Glenn Close.
I’m sorry, she’s been nominated for the award 7 times and probably should’ve won it at least 3 of those (Certainly for her work in Fatal Attraction, which admittedly was up against Cher in Moonstruck but still that award should’ve been Glenn’s!). It’s time to give her one, it was time to give her one ages ago. If Leonardo DiCaprio being nominated 4 times was enough for the entire internet to push for him to get it on his 5th, can we hurry up and get Glenn one now that she’s up to 7? To cap it off, her work in The Wife is absolutely amazing and filled with so many subtle acting moments and a final scene where she just unleashes years of pain in one great performance that it tears your heart out and demands that you look at it. She should be getting the award for this year and it’s frankly a crime that she hasn’t gotten it before now.
Again, not a fan of Green Book. I think it’s an overly simplistic white saviour story that basically resembles nothing in reality according to the people who knew Dr Shirley and decided that a story about racism needed to be told from the white racists POV because we really needed to learn how some white guy wasn’t racist anymore… but Mahershala Ali is nothing short of amazing in his performance and needs to have another Oscar on his shelf now. He made his character so fascinating to watch and made me genuinely believe that he should’ve been the main character (because he should’ve been and it’s a failing in the scripting that he wasn’t, though the script was written by a relative of the main character so… the fix was in). This should be me praising him in the Best Actor section of this editorial, but because they didn’t want to split the votes they put him in supporting actor (just a hunch I have). I wouldn’t be too upset with anyone else winning, but this award really should go to Mahershala.
This one is a tough one to call because I agree that Amy Adam’s gave one hell of a performance in Vice, really a great role by a great actress and any other year I could see her as a shoo in for the award. Plus she has the whole “6 Nominations” thing going for her and usually a large run of nominations does give the actor in question a boost to get the award but she happened to be nominated in a year where Regina King gave a fantastic layered performance in If Beale Street Could Talk and there is nothing that will convince me that the award will go to anyone but Regina King. Regina King just gave a performance that pulls you in slowly, you enjoy her in the first few scenes and want to see more of her, and then you get to her big blow up moment at the end and want to wipe away her tears with an envelope that just got handed to whoever is presenting Best Supporting Actress because that’s the award she deserves.
Spike Lee. That’s it, end of the discussion really. Yes, every other director nominated is great. They made great films and have done great work, but Spike Lee is not only deserving of this award because he made a great film but because, much like Glenn Close, he goddamn deserves it after so long making great films. You all realise this is the first time that he’s been nominated for Best Director right? Spike Lee, a man so iconic that I really just have to say “Spike” and you probably know who I’m talking about, has never even been nominated in this category before. Everyone else nominated is truly great and can work on getting their own Oscars on another day, but Spike is deserving of this award not only for making a great film but as a marker of a great career.
Best Animated Feature Film
The chances are good that this one is going to go to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and it really should. One of the most inventive animated films of the year, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse not only tested the limits of computer animation by combining multiple animation styles to see if they’d fit, it told an engaging story, was visually gorgeous and had some great performances. It’s one of the best films in general, honestly it should probably be nominated for Best Picture, but it deserves the nod as Best Animated film because it’s a true masterpiece that does something unique with the artform.
…as long as Incredibles 2 doesn’t get the award, I’ll be fine (nope, never letting that one go. We covered how I’m horribly bitter right?)
Shallow has got this one, easily.
It’s won pretty much every version of this award that it’s been nominated for and it’s a song that instantly grabs the audience without letting go. Honestly the only thing about this category that surprises me is that it didn’t include Ashes or Upbeat Inspirational Song About Life, but then again I shouldn’t be shocked that fun entertaining songs aren’t a part of the ceremony this year since it seems as though fun isn’t a major element of the Oscars this year (bitter). Shallow is not only a generally great song on its own merits but its place in the narrative of the film that it’s the inciting moment that begins the character’s journey to stardom. It’s the scene where everyone watching saw Gaga staking her claim as a genuinely great actress and, in general, it’s just a great goddamn song.
In the other categories I’m afraid I can’t call anything, the technical awards are always the hardest to call and my evidence for that statement is the fact that I can technically say “Academy Award Winner Suicide Squad” and be actually accurate. We do not know what they could pick for best sound editing or sound mixing, what might be considered best cinematography or who might like what script better. I am hopeful that A Quiet Place picks up the one award it’s nominated for and I have a feeling in my gut that Black Panther is going to sweep through the technical categories, but that’s a guess at best and is just based on me hoping to have the media talk about how the big winner of the night was a superhero movie, because that will delight me. I know the night itself is going to be one for the books, if nothing else with no host maybe we won’t have to deal with 20 minute bits about how the show is running 15 minutes long. I’m going to inevitably watch it because I have no taste and am just generally a bad person, but I doubt it’ll be enjoyable… except for when Bette Midler sings Where The Lost Things Go, that part I plan on enjoying but other than that, this is going to be a rough one kids, so strap in because it’s going to get bumpy.