So I know the Oscars are never a ‘fun’ show to watch. They’re always overlong and tedious and full of bad jokes and filler. But man, this year just felt so tedious, the way they did it. Which is weird, because I was into Soderbergh being one of the producers and loved how they set it up at the beginning. It started off so relaxed and seemed like it was gonna be something different and fun. Everyone hanging out at a cocktail hour beforehand outside and then going into that room and trying to do a different type of ceremony…
Then we had those overlong presenter intros that took way too long and didn’t translate as well in person as they maybe seemed when they thought them up. And then it felt almost like they were rushing through stuff rather than focusing on the right parts of the night. Somehow they avoided filler until right near the end, when they did that one bit with Glenn Close (which I didn’t hate, just because I know they have to do stuff to go viral nowadays, but you’d think they’d have done it an hour earlier, and not when we were all looking at the time like, “Okay, let’s wrap this up, guys”).
And then there was that ending, where you had three hours of Black presenters and Black winners and Black music, and an Asian woman winning and all sorts of diversity… and then the two older white people won to end the night. Honestly, how fitting. How ironically fitting, the Academy trying to go, “Look at us! We’ve changed!” and then the older white contingency still going, “…not so fast.”
It was the absolute perfect unintentional metaphor to end that ceremony, especially after you take into account how truly meaningless a lot of this is anyway. (more…)
Once more, unto the breach, dear friends.
It’s Oscar night, and we all know what that means: I get all analytical about what’s gonna win (and why) and nobody cares and only reads the picks. It’s okay. I don’t take it personally.
The goal this year has been brevity… so here’s my pick for Best Animated Short.
I really have tried to skip the rigamarole though, given all we’ve gone through this past year. I’m still gonna give you all the information you need to pick a ballot. I’m just gonna do it as succinctly as I can. Of course, last year I said that and still wrote 30,000 words. So we’ll see how it goes. (more…)
The ASC Award was handed out today. Mank won, which livens up the Cinematography category a bit, since Nomadland won the other two precursors. It was always gonna be between those two anyway, but at least it now no longer looks like an abject rout.
That’s our last precursor, so now we have a week to finalize guesses. I’m pretty much set in what I’m planning to do, so I’m gonna be using this week to just confirm my feelings and finalize my giant article (which, like last year, is basically done already).
Oscar night’s a week away, folks.
– – – – – – – – –
Today is Best Cinematography, a category that was not overly straightforward when trying to guess the nominees, but one I am very pleased about because I managed to guess all five nominees. There aren’t many things related to the Oscars and guessing stuff that make me legitimately happy, but being able to guess nominees 5/5 in a category that’s not so obvious going in is definitely one of them.
This isn’t the usual flashiness we tend to get in this category, but all five are a real solid set of nominees. ASC, the cinematographers guild, doesn’t actually announce a winner until tomorrow night, but even so, I think we’ve got enough evidence to be pretty certain how this one’s gonna go. (more…)
ASC announced their nominations today, and we just got a bunch of help for the Cinematography category. Based on what I’ve seen from BAFTA and BFCA, there’s probably only about seven real contenders for this category, but the guild is the foremost expert on it, so I’m curious to see what they went for.
News of the World
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Cherry. Interesting. That’s been largely absent from things this year, which makes me leery about the odds it has of making the final category. It was shot by Newton Thomas Sigel, who’s shot some great films like The Usual Suspects and Three Kings. Most recently he’s done Drive and Bohemian Rhapsody. And he also shot Da 5 Bloods and Extraction this year. This is his first ASC nomination too. Good for him.
Otherwise, Mank, News of the World and Nomadland have been mainstays. I’ve been waiting to see if Chicago 7 would get on. That’s Phedon Papamichael, who hit the guild last year too for Ford v Ferrari (though his only Oscar nomination is for Nebraska).
They also nominated for the Spotlight award: Swallow (which was immaculately shot), Two of Us and Dear Comrades. In case any of that sways people to guess them for the category. Which, honestly… it might. Also, Truffle Hunters, Gunda and Notturno were nominated in their Documentary category (which… if I was gonna tell you three docs on the shortlist that had great cinematography, those would be the ones I picked.
This is gonna be an interesting one in that you only really have three locks, and anything past that is gonna be intriguing. You might get a sneaky foreign film on this year like we did with Never Look Away in 2018. I’m gonna have to think on this one before Sunday.
– – – – – – – – –