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The Oscars 2019: Predictions and Response

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The Oscars 2019: Predictions and Response

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As the resident movie critic for the Piper, I am taking it upon myself to announce and review the 91st Oscar nominees and predict the winners. A short disclaimer, I have not seen all of these movies, so for those few, I will be just reading other’s reviews, trailers, clips, and everything else besides the actual movie. I will also not be reviewing all of the categories, so I am sorry if you are super invested in Short Films. Here is the full list of nominees:

 

Best Picture:

Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born, Vice

The biggest surprise here is Black Panther, the first superhero film ever to be nominated for Best Picture. Yes, it is a great movie, but I question its nomination. I don’t think that it is the best superhero movie ever made but it seems to me that that is what the academy is trying to say with this nomination. Nevertheless, I am almost 100% sure it won’t win. Marvel and therefore Disney has a “formula” for their superhero blockbusters that helps develop fans, make a cultural impact, and to make money. I love these movies, but in my mind, they don’t really make Oscar material. The biggest race is between Green Book, The Favourite, and Roma. All three of these movies are beautifully shot and performed, but my prediction goes to Roma to take this spot. It is the most heart wrenching and thought-provoking of the group and had me on the edge of my seat by the end. The slow and simplistic style of the shots gives it that extra edge of realism that drives the emotion forward. It relied on the movement of the actors rather than the camera to show a story that was more human than anything I’ve seen this year. As a foreign film, it relies less on the dialogue and more on the shots themselves to drive it’s emotion home. A 10/10 movie that definitely deserves Best Picture.

Winner: Green Book

I wasn’t really surprised by this win, as the Oscar was pretty much a three-way tie in my mind. Green Book is still a delightful movie and deserves this win. Some have speculated that Roma wasn’t picked because the Academy didn’t want to acknowledge Netflix, Roma’s producer because they don’t believe that one company should own all entertainment. I personally think that even though that might’ve crossed their minds, that wasn’t the full reason. It’s just that Green Book was a better film.

 

Lead Actor:

Christian Bale, Vice, Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born, Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate, Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody, Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

No surprises here, but maybe a snub for John David Washington in BlacKkKlansman. The best in this category are Rami Malek, Viggo Mortensen, and Bradley Cooper. But, and I may be biased here, I think that Rami Malek deserves this award more than anyone. He took on the task of portraying Freddie Mercury, one of the most iconic personalities of all time, and blew me away. He so perfectly captured the essence of Freddie’s character and created a performance that will not soon be forgotten. A daunting task with an amazing payoff from an amazing actor. For these qualities, I believe Rami Malek deserves this award.

Winner: Rami Malek

 

Lead 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?

Not a surprising nomination, but definitely a surprising performance from Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born. She showed that she could act just as well as sing, while sharing the scene with Bradley Cooper. But my prediction is between Yalitza Aparicio and Glenn Close, but I have to go with Glenn Close on this one. I have not seen The Wife, but her performance in it is being seen by many as Oscar-Worthy, and considering the other nominees, I wouldn’t deny that prediction.

Winner: Olivia Colman

A bit of an upset here, as most were expecting Glenn Close to win without contest. Olivia Colman even apologized to Glenn Close for winning, but I digress. I do not agree with this pick, but that’s because I didn’t like The Favourite. I still haven’t seen The Wife, but I believe that Glenn Close should have won.

 

Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali, Green Book, Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman, Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born,

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Sam Rockwell, Vice

I do believe that all of these performances are on equal footing, but if I had to pick one it would be between Mahershala Ali and Sam Rockwell. Both actors drive the film’s lead and story with outstanding performances, but Mahershala Ali pulls ahead with his style and charisma in a perfectly cast role.

Winner: Mahershala Ali

Although it’s sad Viggo Mortensen didn’t win anything, at least Aragorn has some amazing back up from Don Shirley.

 

Supporting Actress:

Amy Adams, Vice, Marina de Tavira, Roma, Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk,

Emma Stone, The Favourite, Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

2018 was a great year for women in films, and these performances prove it. The Favourite shows its superiority with two nominees in this category, and up against two more very formidable actresses, Regina King and Amy Adams. But overall, I think that Emma Stone steals this away from everyone with her well-rounded and multitalented role as the servant to a queen and the queen’s ruling friend. Both comedic and emotional, Emma Stone and The Favourite should take the Oscar.

Winner: Regina King

Honestly, I was arrogant with this pick. The internet would’ve been in an uproar if Regina King hadn’t won.

 

Director:

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman, Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War, Adam McKay, Vice

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite, Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

The two frontrunners in this race are two very different and contrasting directors, Spike Lee and Alfonso Cuarón. Lee has a more modern and evolving style, while Cuarón takes a more simplistic and traditional styling to his films. Both are very powerful and show the director’s prowess, and honestly, this is the hardest decision on this list. But since I have to choose, I’m going to go with Spike Lee for his adaptive and modern political approach.

Winner: Alfonso Cuarón

I can see why he won, for sure. The academy just changed their mind at the last second and went with the traditionalist over the eccentric new-wave artist that is Spike Lee.

 

Animated Feature:

Incredibles 2, Brad Bird, Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson, Mirai, Mamoru Hosoda

Ralph Breaks the Internet, Rich Moore, Phil Johnston

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

2018 was also a great year for animated films, with the top two being Spider-Man and Isle of Dogs. Personally, Isle of Dogs didn’t strike any of the right chords for me and just seemed boring and at some points just plain weird. So my prediction goes to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse to take the Oscar. Honestly, this movie was better than Black Panther and deserved the Best Picture nomination.

Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

With a name that long, I’m surprised anyone remembered it. But that shows you how good this movie is. I strongly recommend it, a well deserved Oscar win.

 

Animated Short:

Animal Behaviour, Alison Snowden, David Fine, Bao, Domee Shi,

Late Afternoon, Louise Bagnall, One Small Step, Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas, Weekends, Trevor Jimenez

Winner: Bao

Not much to say; if Pixar is on your side, you have the upper hand.

 

Adapted Screenplay:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen , Ethan Coen

BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty

If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins

A Star Is Born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters

I would love to give it to BlacKkKlansman, but A Star Is Born just beats it out. It blew audiences away with its heartfelt emotion and drama. An amazing job from everyone, especially Bradley Cooper, so it gets my pick for the Oscar.

Winner: BlackKkKlansman

Spike Lee’s first and long overdue Oscar win, very well deserved. For a minute I thought A Star Is Born might’ve pulled ahead, but the second I saw Samuel Jackson on stage I knew it was a done deal. His name is Spike after all, very attractive on a ballot.

 

Original Screenplay:

The Favourite, Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara, First Reformed, Paul Schrader

Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, Roma, Alfonso Cuarón

Vice, Adam McKay

For originality, I’d give it to Vice. For emotion, I’d give it to Roma. But for straight-up overall writing, I’d give it to Green Book. It was the dialogue and writing that drove the emotion in this film, an overall incredible job.

Winner: Green Book

No surprise here, again Green Book deserves everything it won.

 

Cinematography:

Cold War, Lukasz Zal, The Favourite, Robbie Ryan, Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel

Roma, Alfonso Cuarón, A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

There is nothing that can make your movie look more beautiful and professional than good cinematography. Especially if your film is in black and white. Yes, I know, Roma wins again, and it won’t be the last time.

Winner: Roma

 

Best Documentary Feature:

Free Solo, Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

Hale County This Morning, This Evening, RaMell Ross, Minding the Gap, Bing Liu

Of Fathers and Sons, Talal Derki, RBG, Betsy West, Julie Cohen

RBG was inspiring and powerful, but Free Solo had that drama and suspense that keeps its audience wanting more.

Winner: Free Solo

 

Best Documentary Short Subject:

Black Sheep, Ed Perkins, End Game, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

Lifeboat, Skye Fitzgerald, A Night at the Garden, Marshall Curry

Period. End of Sentence., Rayka Zehtabchi

Winner: Period. End of Sentence.

In the words of Rayka Zehtabchi, “I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar.”

 

Best Live Action Short Film:

Detainment, Vincent Lambe, Fauve, Jeremy Comte, Marguerite, Marianne Farley,

Mother, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Skin, Guy Nattiv

Winner: Skin

 

Best Foreign Language Film:

Capernaum, (Lebanon), Cold War, (Poland), Never Look Away, (Germany)

Roma, (Mexico), Shoplifters, (Japan)

Shoplifters is good, sure, but Roma. It’s Roma. That’s it. Roma wins. Haven’t I talked about it enough?

Winner: Roma

 

Film Editing:

BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown, Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman

Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito, The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Vice, Hank Corwin

No real unique editing this year, but everything that stuck to the basics excelled. Bohemian Rhapsody and BlacKkKlansman were prime examples of this, but I have to give it to my favorite movie on this list, Bohemian Rhapsody. Easy and clean cuts progressed this story very well, especially with jumps in between songs, concerts, and recordings.

Winner: Bohemian Rhapsody

 

Sound Editing:

Black Panther, Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker

Bohemian Rhapsody, John Warhurst, First Man, Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan

A Quiet Place, Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl, Roma, Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay

It might partially be hope, but I would be very surprised if A Quiet Place didn’t win. John Krasinski was already snubbed in the best director category, and this movie definitely deserves an Oscar. The award for Sound Editing goes to the movie about silence, how fitting.

Winner: Bohemian Rhapsody

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, as creating a concert film has to be all about sound, but dang it I’m disappointed. I really wanted to see Jim give an Oscar speech.

 

Sound Mixing:

Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, Roma, A Star Is Born

Both First Man and the two music-centered films lead this list and exemplify what sound mixing is supposed to be, but Bohemian Rhapsody again blew me away with just how smooth the music and sound transitions were.

Winner: Bohemian Rhapsody

Again…a band movie…wonder why it won all the SOUND Oscars…

 

Production Design:

Black Panther, Hannah Beachler, First Man, Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas

The Favourite, Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton

Mary Poppins Returns, John Myhre, Gordon Sim

Roma, Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez

Mary Poppins Returns gave us the old Londen feel, First Man gave us a 60s space feel, but Black Panther was so perfectly designed to its modern-African feel that it finally gets an Oscar.

Winner: Black Panther

A superhero movie that definitely deserved some attention from the academy.

 

Original Score:

BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard, Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson

If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell, Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat

Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

Here we are again, Black Panther should take the Oscar for its modern-Africa feel that surpassed any of the other scores on this list. I would say there’s a snub of A Star Is Born, but Black Panther would’ve won anyway.

Winner: Black Panther

A mixture of rap and Ludwig Goransson (a very composer-sounding name) gives Black Panther a unique and impressive score.

 

Original Song:

“All The Stars” from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from RBG by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

I was about to say that Bohemian Rhapsody was snubbed from this list, but then I remembered it’s called Original Song, so I’ll go with the next best thing. “Shallow” from A Star Is Born encapsulates all of the emotion and power of the film into one, incredible song. If I had to choose a runner up, it would be” All The Stars,” but I hope it won’t win.

Winner: “Shallow”

It won a Grammy, what did you expect.

 

Makeup and Hair:

Border, Mary Queen of Scots, Vice

Mary Queen of Scots had the difficult task of recreating a medieval royal style, and they hit it perfectly, so here’s your Oscar (prediction).

Winner: Vice

A bit of a surprise, until I looked at the side-by-side comparisons of each actor to their character. A LOT of work went into this film, a well deserved Oscar.

 

Costume Design:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Zophres, Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter

The Favourite, Sandy Powell, Mary Poppins Returns, Sandy Powell

Mary Queen of Scots, Alexandra Byrne

Although both Mary Queen of Scots and The Favourite created a stunning and beautiful wardrobe for medieval royalty, the original and unique style of Black Panther’s modern-African style makes for a very enjoyable and new wardrobe that wins it the Oscar pick.

Winner: Black Panther

 

Visual Effects:

Avengers: Infinity War, Christopher Robin, First Man, Ready Player One,

Solo: A Star Wars Story

A definite snub for Black Panther, and certainly a surprise from Christopher Robin, but the rest of the list seems right on point. All of these films are visually stunning (and ⅗ Disney), and I want to give this to Avengers or Solo, but I have to give my prediction to Ready Player One. The majority of the film takes place in a virtual world, and it looks absolutely stunning. All of the visual effects fit the vision of the novel and story perfectly proving that this film deserves the Oscar.

Winner: First Man

A bit of a stun here, but nothing much. Special effects are all so good these days that picking which one is better is like deciding which brick in a wall is your favorite.

 

The Oscars air on ABC at 5 pm on February 24. There is no currently announced host after Kevin Hart stepped down following the finding of several homophobic tweets from 2010. Nevertheless, the show is expected to carry on as usual. We will see if my predictions were correct.

 

The Oscars DID air on ABC at 5 pm on February 24 without a host, and it ran just fine. I think they might’ve benefitted from not having a host, it was actually much more entertaining. As you can see, my predictions were…not great. I forgot to factor in the fact that the Academy is not the general public in any way whatsoever. I am a critic, but for the most part, I like popular movies. The Academy however does not. I asked around and the majority of my friends hadn’t seen or even heard of Green Book, the best picture winner. If you look back at past winners, you realize that you actually know about these movies. Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, Ben-Hur, West Side Story, The Godfather, Rocky, The Silence of the Lambs, Braveheart, Schindler’s List, Forrest Gump, Titanic, Gladiator, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. They were, and still are, popular. Now we have had The Shape of Water and Green Book. I hate to say it, but my prediction is that in a few years, no one will remember these movies. Hollywood is unable to recognize popular films, and just adding a Popular Film category won’t cut it. The Academy needs to rework their whole system to reengage the general public by nominating films that people actually watched. If this means dropping some socially important films, so be it. These film award shows need to be less preachy and more entertaining. After all, I’d rather watch a game show than listen to a sermon.

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