Oscar Nominations

It is that time of year again, award season. Celebrities take to the red carpets donning the top designers of our day. I am a big fan of award season, it is a nice book end after a year’s worth of content. In a social media age, people are often comparing, ranking, and favoriting what they think is the best stuff to come out the past year. I’m sure your timelines were hit with “The Best XXX of 2018” lists as well. Award season is here to make all of that nonsense official.

Of the major award shows, the Tony’s are in June, the Emmys are in September, and the Golden Globes have already aired. Award shows like the Independent Film awards and SAG Awards often go unwatched. Really the significance of a SAG award to the public is to make an actor’s case for his or her Oscar. So that really only leaves the big two, The Academy Awards and the Grammy’s (and the Grammys suck now.) So I’m here to talk about the granddaddy of them all, The Academy Awards, known more commonly as, The Oscars.

For those of you unaware, The Oscars take place this year on Sunday, February 24th, but more pertinent to us are the Oscar nominations, which came out yesterday, January 23rd. All of my pop culture conversations up until the show will be dictated by The Oscars. I may reference past years and how they stack up to this year’s slate. I may reference movies that got snubbed. I may talk about staggering careers in film. All in the name of The Oscars.

In the upcoming month, there will be a diligent effort made by myself (and many others) to make sure we see as many nominated motion pictures as we can. I will be going to weird independent theatres that screen arthouse films much longer than their AMC counterparts. I will be renting movies for $4.99 on Amazon Prime for a single viewing. I will be digging the deep pages of Reddit to try and find links to short films and documentaries, all in futile attempt to be as educated as possible on the big night.

Now, here is the fun part. We forget all of that and make our way-too-early predictions based solely on the movies I happened to have already seen, and what I have read on our dear friend, the Internet. (Golden Globe wins play a part in this but not nearly as much as the lay-viewer assumes.) Below are nominees, probable winner, and a dark horse/fan favorite. I only hit the major categories and a few I like to watch each year. I wrote a blurb about any category I was particularly inspired about.

Hey this is fun, I’m (coincidentally) drinking Francis Coppola’s Pinot Noir as a write this, he’s an Oscar darling but makes shit Pinot.

Best Picture:

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star Is Born

Vice

Will Win: Roma

Has a Shot: A Star is Born

Netflix is really showing out this year with 15 nominations, including Roma here. Beautifully directed by Alfonso Cuarón, Roma is a powerful yet subtle piece of cinema. I can’t wait to actually watch it. If anyone has a shot at stealing Roma’s thunder it is A Star is Born. The Academy loves a movie about the entertainment industry, and this movie is dripping in it. The storyline of the movie itself and the storylines surrounding the film. Actor turned first time director. Pop star turned leading lady. A remake of remake of an old Hollywood movie. And, oh yeah, it’s about a washed up rocker coaching blossoming pop icon.

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

Will Win: Christian Bale

Has a Shot: Rami Malek

Freddy Mercury is a beloved figure, and Malek portrays him wonderfully. I think the sympathetic character of Mercury certainly helps his chances. Quite the opposite, there may be no one less beloved than Dick Cheney, but HOLY SHIT. Christian Bale hit this one out of the park. Remember when he got nominated for The Fighter and everyone was like “he acts exactly like a junkie.” And for American Hustle everyone was like “he actually gained all that weight.” Well in Vice, he actually gained all that weight and acts just like a motherfucker. Dick Cheney, ladies and gentleman.

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?

Will Win: Glenn Close

Has a Shot: Lady Gaga

I love this category all around. Glenn Close is such a force. After an incredible career, it’s great to see her performing at such a high level. Also, if you haven’t seen her Golden Globes acceptance speech please go watch it. Literal chills. Lady Gaga showed she’s got the chops to carry a movie, and as a first time actress that will help her. Truth be told I love seeing a Melissa McCarthy nominated here and would be very happy with an Olivia Colman win. Very strong category.

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

Will win: Mahershala Ali

Has a Shot: Sam Rockwell

Mahershala Ali has come into his own as a top-tier actor. After nominations for Moonlight, and a sensation current run on True Detective Season 3 Ali has proven himself to be the best of the best. Green Book is nothing short of that. His generation’s greatest character actor and personal vision board resident, Sam Rockwell, puts on an incredibly convincing performance of former president, George W. Bush in Vice. Rockwell steps up to the plate, swings, home run!

Supporting Actress:

Amy Adams, “Vice”

Marina de Tavira, “Roma”

Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Emma Stone, “The Favourite”

Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Will win: Regina King

Has a Shot: N/A (vote split)

Listen, I hear you. I also wish Emma Stone could win an Oscar every year until I’m dead. I deserve that. Hell, she deserves that. And she’s great in The Favourite. The only thing hurting her is, Rachel Weisz was also great in The Favourite. Amy Adams puts on a wonderful Lynn Cheney, which is hard because if you’ve seen Vice you’ll see Lynn Cheney is far from wonderful. At the end of the day, Regina King does what Regina King do. An emotionally packed performance in a very moving movie. King stays Queen.

Director:

Spike Lee - BlacKkKlansman

Pawel Pawlikowski - Cold War

Yorgos Lanthimos - The Favourite

Alfonso Cuarón - Roma

Adam McKay -Vice

Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón

Has a Shot: Spike Lee

Michael Jordan plays basketball. Bill Gates builds computers. And Alfonso Cuarón directs movies. These are facts of life. He put together a beautiful, heartfelt, cinematic movie that feels like everyday life. Roma was honored with 10 nominations this year, and I don’t see them leaving the night without at least this one. Spike Lee told an amazing story in the way that Spike Lee does. A seasoned director with a resume as stellar as his is difficult to count out.   

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

Will win: Bao

Has a shot: Nope

BAO!

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

Will Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Has a Shot: Incredibles 2

Full disclosure, I have not seen this installment of Spider-Man movie, but boy howdy, do I know it’s good. I think it’s a great take on the story that has been rehashed many, many times. Pixar is a movie factory and Incredibles 2 is no different. A very well made movie that is in serious awards contention. I have to imagine Incredibles 2 was hurt a bit, because the animated short played before it was Bao. And I have to imagine that every voting member of the Academy watched Bao, and then watched Incredibles 2, and during Incredibles 2 was like, “What the hell is this shit? You turned Bao off for this? Bring back Bao! We want Bao!” And the theatre erupted into a chant.

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

Will Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Has a Shot: BlacKkKlansman

BARRY!!! Barry Jenkins is at it once more. Did you know Barry Jenkins is actually short for Barack Jenkins? That’s how good this thing is. Barry Jenkins makes really good movies and this one is exceptional. BlacKkKlansman tells a story so incredible I can’t believe it’s true. It’s an adapted screenplay and the story sounds like it came from the brain of Spike Lee himself. Could have a shot.

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

Will Win: The Favourite

Has a Shot: Roma

The Favourite has some crazy dialogue dictated wonderfully by the women at the helm of the film (Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz). It’s an out-there story that has all the makings of a Best Original Screenplay. As for Roma, I don’t know a category that Alfonso Cuarón has ever been in that you could count him out of.

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

Will Win: Shallow

Has a Shot: I mean…

I’M OFF THE DEEP END WATCH AS I DIVE IN I’LL NEVER MEET THE GROUND CRASH THROUGH THE SURFACE WHERE THEY CAN’T HURT US WE’RE FAR FROM THE SHALLOW NOW

 

You like me! You really like me! There you have it! My way-too-early-not-fully-informed Oscar pics. It’s an honor just to be nominated. Let me know what you’re betting on, as well as your thoughts on the remaining categories by tweeting with #MillenialFriday

 

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