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…)
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…)
Our second easiest category for me to go over: Original Score. Because I listen to 100 scores every year to list my favorite ones and find good ones to keep in my personal collection. So I’ve listened to the majority of what’s gonna get shortlisted, if not all of it. Not that having listened to them matters in terms of guessing, but at least I feel like I know as much as I possibly can for the moment.
There were 136 scores eligible this year, they’ve pared that list down to 15, of which 5 will be nominated. Here’s the Original Song shortlist:
Ammonite (Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka)
Blizzard of Souls (Lolita Ritmanis)
Da 5 Bloods (Terence Blanchard)
The Invisible Man (Benjamin Wallfisch)
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (John Debney)
The Life Ahead (Gabriel Yared)
The Little Things (Thomas Newman)
Mank (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)
The Midnight Sky (Alexandre Desplat)
Minari (Emile Mosseri)
Mulan (Harry Gregson-Williams)
News of the World (James Newton Howard)
Soul (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste)
Tenet (Ludwig Göransson)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Daniel Pemberton) (more…)