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2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Today is Best Makeup & Hairstyling, a category that’s quietly gone over a bit of an overhaul the past few years that nobody noticed. Just three years ago, there were only three nominees in this category and no real precursor help to speak of. Now we’ve got it all — a shortlist, five nominees, three major precursors… and still generally the same stuff winning every year.

This year presents us with an intriguing referendum on the integrity of voters. Because we know they love actor transformations in this category, almost as much as they love ‘how did they do that’ makeup effects. So here, we have our classic actor transformation alongside a stunning achievement in makeup effects. However, one of those films is a foreign film. So now you have to wonder — are voters actually gonna watch all the nominees like they’re supposed to before they vote in this category? Or are they simply gonna vote for what they know and not consider the foreign film because it hasn’t come across their radar?

That’s what lies before us in this year’s Makeup & Hairstyling category. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Ever just the same / Ever a surprise / Ever as before / Ever just as sure / As the sun will rise.” ♫ (30th Anniversary)


Oscars 2020: CDG Awards

The Costume Designers Guild handed out their awards today.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won Period, Mulan won Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Promising Young Woman won Contemporary.

All that basically means that despite the frills of Emma, Ma Rainey has won every single Costumes precursor and is basically gonna win the Oscar.

That was easy.

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2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Original Screenplay

Today is Best Original Screenplay, a category I wanted to wait on the BAFTAs to go over, just in case they decided to go against how the tide in this one was already going.

In the end, we’ve got a pretty straightforward one, and it’s pretty clear which choice is gonna win and who’s gonna win if that one doesn’t. You really couldn’t ask for better help than that.

So here’s what this one looks like: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Say you, say me say it for always / That’s the way it should be / Say you, say me say it together / Naturally.” ♫


2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Director

Today we go over Best Director, a category we arguably could’ve gone over a week ago and nothing would’ve changed.

But hey, at least now we’ve got both DGA and BAFTA in, and they’ve confirmed what we already knew, so this one’s basically a walk in the park and there’s not much we need to discuss. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “The days of wine and roses laugh and run away like a child at play / Through the meadow land toward a closing door / A door marked “nevermore” that wasn’t there before / The lone-ly night discloses just a passing breeze filled with memories / Of the golden smile that introduced me to / The days of wine and roses and you.” ♫


2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Adapted Screenplay

Today is Best Adapted Screenplay. A category that, in the 90s, used to dominate the writing categories. Most Best Picture nominees came from this category. But in recent years, that tide has turned. And it feels like now most Picture nominees come from Original, while there’s always those other few who end up here. And because it’s not as overly stacked as it used to be, most years there’s been that overwhelming #1 that you’re almost certain is gonna win.

This year is no different, and we pretty much know where this one’s gonna go and we really don’t need to waste too much time talking about it. (more…)


Oscars 2020: BAFTA Awards

So the BAFTA Awards were handed out in two parts this year, which is strange to me. I’m just gonna cover it like I usually do and run down all the categories. But some of these were handed out yesterday.

Either way, I’m curious to see what, if anything, this does for the Oscar race, since at this point most of my beliefs about what’s going to happen locked up (even if that belief is ‘the category is wide open’). Mostly I’m expecting them to either solidify the things I feel are going to happen or go completely off the board and not help at all. But we’ll see.

Here are your BAFTA winners: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “You’ll never know just how much I miss you / You’ll never know just how much I care / And if I tried, I still couldn’t hide my love for you / You ought to know, for haven’t I told you so / A million or more times? / You went away and my heart went with you / I speak your name in my every prayer / If there is some other way to prove that I love you” ♫


Oscars 2020: DGA Awards

And the DGA Awards.

Chloe Zhao won for Nomadland, which sews up that category in case you had any doubt about that. She’ll finish up with a BAFTA win tomorrow, now that she needs it, and we’ll have yet another locked category on the night.

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Oscars 2020: ADG Awards

The Art Directors Guild handed out awards tonight.

Mank won for Period Film, Tenet won for Fantasy Film and Da 5 Bloods won for Contemporary Film. And Soul won Animated.

Which pretty much just confirms my suspicions that Mank is gonna win the Oscar, especially now that it’s swept all the precursors. So that just made another category easy.

DGA’s happening now, so I’ll update that once they announce that Chloe Zhao won.

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2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Original Score

Today’s category is Best Original Score, which has largely been a really solid category throughout the years. And the reason I know that is because, even since they’ve started announcing a shortlist for the category, even those have been solid. Sure, like International Feature this year, there are a couple of entries on there that are more about the stature of the composers more than the scores themselves, but that’s why you have a shortlist of 15. To be able to have that extra padding. Overall, these categories have been really good most years and while I can quibble about some of their choices of winners, they generally get it right in terms of the nominees.

This year, we get a nice mix of great scores, respected composers and overall good movies represented. And, like most years, while I can quibble one choice over another, it’s a really nice list that really feels like it cares about quality above all else. And you have to respect that, especially given the ups and downs this branch has had in the Original Song category over the years. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “So let’s dance, the last dance / Let’s dance, the last dance / Let’s dance, this last dance tonight.” ♫


2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Costume Design

Today is Best Costume Design. Normally I’d wait to go over a category like this until I see what BAFTA and the guild have to say, but given how this one looks I think we can make pretty solid guesses as to how it’s gonna turn out. If things change based on those other two, then we can recalibrate. But until then, we’re just gonna follow the usual logic for this category — follow the frills.

Everybody knows what normally wins in Costume Design, and I bet most people just glancing at all five nominees in this category will know automatically what’s most likely to win. That’s really the only kind of logic you need most of the time. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Raindrops are falling on my head / And just like the guy whose feet are too big for his bed / Nothing seems to fit / Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling / So I just did me some talking to the sun / And I said I didn’t like the way he got things done / Sleeping on the job / Those raindrops are falling on my head, they keep falling.” ♫


2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Supporting Actor

Today is Best Supporting Actor, a category that has been really solid in recent years. And also really easy to guess. This year is no different. We basically know who’s gonna win from a mile out. Which really just means that I have to figure out what the hell to say here to justify an intro rather than a one-sentence article.

Honestly, I don’t really have anything. So let’s just get into the category. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel / Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel / Like a snowball down a mountain, or a carnival balloon / Like a carousel that’s turning running rings around the moon / Like a clock whose hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face / And the world is like an apple whirling silently in space / Like the circles that you find in the windmills of your mind.” ♫


2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Original Song

Today we’re going over Best Original Song. And the beauty of this category is that everyone can participate in it. You simply just have to listen to 5 songs and then pick which one you think is the best.

It’s weird because there aren’t any real precursors for this category and you’re pretty much just going based on what you think everyone’s tastes are gonna be, and yet almost every single year you pretty much know “Okay, this should win, but in case it doesn’t, this is gonna win instead.” It’s weird how that works out. But then, I guess Academy members are ultimately pretty predictable.

I’m not sure if this is one of the categories affected by the pandemic or if it’s just a weak year in film songs. Either way, we’ve got a pretty forgettable category here that came from a pretty forgettable shortlist. So this is a situation where we’re just gonna do our best and try to get through it. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Some day, when I’m awfully low / When the world is cold / I will feel a glow just thinking of you / And the way you look tonight.” (85th Anniversary)


Oscars 2020: VES Awards

The VES Awards were handed out tonight. Theoretically they’re helpful in picking what’s gonna win the Oscar, but given what this year looks like, I’ve already written my my category breakdown because the category is so cut and dry. This is one of those situations where, just by looking at the list of nominees, you know exactly which one is gonna win. Wanna know how I know that? Here’s the category:

Love and Monsters

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

The One and Only Ivan

Tenet

(Yup, that’s right. Academy Award winner The One and Only Ivan.)

Anyway, here’s what VES did: (more…)


2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Animated Short

Today is Best Animated Short. I know most people tune out during the shorts categories, but this one at least has cute stuff in it, so maybe some people pay a little bit of attention during it. Though I know most people could care less about them.

Most of the time this category is fairly easy to pick apart. You know Pixar or Disney is one of the top two most likely to win and then you have to decide if it’s gonna beat the other emotionally-affecting short that’s on the list. Most years you’ve got a really solid hold on the category and at worst it’s usually ‘will A win or will B win’?

This one feels kinda like that, though maybe more skewed toward ‘A should win, but… Pixar…” Which the argument I feel like I’m usually having when I pick this category every year. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “There can be miracles / When you believe / Though hope is frail / Its hard to kill / Who knows what miracles / You can achieve / When you believe somehow you will / You will when you believe.” ♫


2020 Oscar Category Breakdown: Best Documentary Short

Today’s category is Best Documentary Short, which is one of those categories the average viewer doesn’t know anything about and either just sort of guesses or looks up what people are saying is gonna win. But contrary to popular opinion, this is generally a pretty easy category to guess. I’ve started telling people — one of three things wins this category year in and year out: people in third-world countries overcoming dire circumstances, people with mental illness overcoming it to create art, or the occasional Holocaust short. That’s pretty much all that wins here. Go back and look at the winners. There’s maybe like one short over the past 15 years that falls out of that pattern.

Most years a clear winner presents itself just when you talk about what each is about. It’s really not that bad. This year is interesting because we’ve got a few interesting scenarios at play here. (more…)