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2020 Awards Season

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Honestly, I don’t mind if every member of the academy watches every eligible movie from that year before nominating films. If the academy were actually diverse, majority of eligible films would have an audience represented by the academy. It sounds like many academy members can’t be bothered to watch all of the nominated films before voting for a winner, which is ridiculous. If you want to maintain the integrity of your awards, abstain from voting in categories you haven’t watched all the films for instead of complaining about having to watch so many movies! This is why I’m starting to only respect the Critic’s Choice Awards. At least they watch the films instead of bitching about who didn’t smile enough at their luncheon. 

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For argument's sake, let's say that the Academy voters do have a difficult time arranging their schedules to incorporate viewings of the nominated movies.

One thing that can be changed is the duration between the announcement of nominations and the deadline for votes. This year there's less than a month between the nominations and ceremony which means that the voting window is much smaller. That time also includes the award ceremonies from the various guilds and the technical ceremony and plenty of Academy members attend those as well as the nominees in the midst of campaigns. So that cuts into time to watch the nominated movies. I can appreciate that. So I would say extend the period of time between nominations and voting deadline.

For the Academy, the only real way to keep track of if they watch is to do something like have some kind of DVD tech that lets you know the screener in question was watched. Of course, the issue then can be that the voter may not have watched it themselves but passed it along. And this already happens as voters have admitted to giving screeners to family, friends, employees and then voting based on what they thought but at least there would be a record that it was seen.

6 minutes ago, absnow54 said:

This is why I’m starting to only respect the Critic’s Choice Awards. At least they watch the films instead of bitching about who didn’t smile enough at their luncheon. 

And they love having access to these movies instead of seeing it as a burden.

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Why does the Oscar ceremony keep getting pushed up earlier and earlier anyway?  What is the problem with it being in March?  It's already in the following year as it is whether it's Jan, Feb, March, so, who cares?

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7 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Why does the Oscar ceremony keep getting pushed up earlier and earlier anyway?  What is the problem with it being in March?  It's already in the following year as it is whether it's Jan, Feb, March, so, who cares?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy_Awards

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The ceremonies were moved up from late March/early April to late February, since 2004, to help disrupt and shorten the intense lobbying and ad campaigns associated with Oscar season in the film industry. Another reason was because of the growing TV ratings success coinciding with the NCAA Basketball Tournament, which would cut into the Academy Awards audience. (In 1976 and 1977, ABC's regained Oscars were moved from Tuesday to Monday and went directly opposite NBC's NCAA title game.) The earlier date is also to the advantage of ABC, as it now usually occurs during the highly profitable and important February sweeps period. Some years, the ceremony is moved into the first Sunday of March in order to avoid a clash with the Winter Olympic Games. Another reason for the move to late February and early March is also to avoid the awards ceremony occurring so close to the religious holidays of Passover and Easter, which for decades had been a grievance from members and the general public.

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 In 2010, the Academy contemplated moving the ceremony even further back into January, citing TV viewers' fatigue with the film industry's long awards season. However, such an accelerated schedule would dramatically decrease the voting period for its members, to the point where some voters would only have time to view the contending films streamed on their computers (as opposed to traditionally receiving the films and ballots in the mail). Furthermore, a January ceremony on Sunday would clash with National Football Leagueplayoff games. In 2018, the Academy announced that the ceremony would be moved from late February to mid February beginning with the 92nd Academy Awards in 2020.

I believe the balloting is entirely done online now, but most of the other factors are still at play.

*

I think a blue ribbon panel/jury deciding on the nominees wouldn't be a horrible idea in theory, but it would probably go over very badly with many Academy members and get attacked from many corners as a de facto quota system. It could have the unintended consequence of the voting body as a whole going for the most "traditional" options either by default (because that's what naturally appeals to them out of what did make the cut), or in retaliation against a system they feel is trying to "force" them to vote a certain way. 

Edited by Dejana
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On 1/18/2020 at 7:55 AM, truthaboutluv said:

Glad you mentioned this because this is exactly why I've read a few think pieces by some women of color who say they feel like the outrage of this is selective and more an issue of "white feminism". That in other words, the white, privileged woman is left out and suddenly everyone is so up in arms. Yet there doesn't seem to be as much outrage regarding the women of color directors who have also been ignored.

For the record, I'm not saying I agree completely with their sentiment but there is something to be said that twice now in recent years, the loudest outcry about "no female directors nominated" come about when a vocal group of individuals believed that Greta Gerwig should have gotten a nomination. It's her name that always seems to be attached to the outrage.

I think two things are behind the focus on Greta.  One is the fact that her movie is headed towards 100 million dollars at the domestic box office with a high critics score.

The other is white privilege.  A lot of the articles I read mention Lula Wang and Melina Matsoukas but the focus is primarily on Greta. I do think The Farewell got the biggest snubs considering how shut out it was.

So I see the white feminism but I also bristle at the scarcity notion that we've all just seemed to unconsciously adopt. 

Anyway, since this is so subjective, there are always reasons why someone gets left out but there's always something predictable about what the people who get in will look like.

5 hours ago, kiddo82 said:

I think if the Academy is serious about making real change the first step is to ensure that the voters see all the nominated films in all the categories. 

I do think voters try, to an extent, to see the as many of nominated films as they can because once we have the nominees, it's a much more manageable number of movies.

But then we're stuck with what the still rather homogeneous voting body makes time to see for the nominating process.

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The female directors I hear the most about are

Alma Har’el for Honey Boy
Lulu Wang for The Farewell
Mati Diop for Atlantics
Céline Sciamma for Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Unfortunately, France didn't put this one forward.  But it's great and I thought the main actor Noemie Merlant was incredible.  Apparently it wasn't as well received in France as Les Miserables.)
Marielle Heller for A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Not all of the ones listed here are winners - some of these are quite bad - but some are great:

https://letterboxd.com/ingridgoeswest/list/female-directed-2019-films-a-billion-times/

People could say these are small movies / not well known but those types of things don't seem to hurt male directed movies.  Once Oscar buzz picks up a movie it becomes well known and then more people throw money at it.  

I assume each non-American country can only submit one film to the Oscars, and then it becomes eligible for any award?  Is that how it works?  

8 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

I think two things are behind the focus on Greta.  One is the fact that her movie is headed towards 100 million dollars at the domestic box office with a high critics score.

Hustlers directed by Lorene Scafaria has made $157 million which is great.  87% on RT, not too shabby.

 

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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I think two things are behind the focus on Greta.  One is the fact that her movie is headed towards 100 million dollars at the domestic box office with a high critics score.

Greta Gerwig is also a pretty blonde lady, and lord knows how much Hollywood has always loved that.

Seriously though, this does feel like a second snub after she didn't get in for Ladybird.

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12 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

I think two things are behind the focus on Greta.  One is the fact that her movie is headed towards 100 million dollars at the domestic box office with a high critics score.

The other is white privilege.  A lot of the articles I read mention Lula Wang and Melina Matsoukas but the focus is primarily on Greta. I do think The Farewell got the biggest snubs considering how shut out it was.

So I see the white feminism but I also bristle at the scarcity notion that we've all just seemed to unconsciously adopt. 

Anyway, since this is so subjective, there are always reasons why someone gets left out but there's always something predictable about what the people who get in will look like.

All the voters who didn't even watch Hustlers because "it's not an Oscar movie," can't really say that about Little Women. It's not "too small" or from a filmmaker they've never heard of, or too quirky or not in English, but a literary classic that's been adapted and nominated before. That can be a drawback, too, because voters may like previous versions better and wonder why this latest one even exists. The narrative technique Gerwig employs for it has been used by other Best Picture nominees in the past, and those other movies got "I didn't understand what was happening," complaints in those anonymous ballot stories. Directors should make the movies they want, but if the goal is to play to a group whose members are not always known for grasping complex storytelling... Somewhere, Christopher Nolan is probably looking at all the hardware Sam Mendes and 1917 are collecting and is thinking, "Really?!" But calibrating a movie too much to appeal to awards bodies can backfire, and land you in the "This Had Oscar Buzz" pile. 

The demographic makeup of the Academy is often discussed,  but the people who professionally write/blog/podcast about the awards all year are not necessarily any more diverse, and they have a hand in shaping the Oscar conversation. Maybe there are more women in the space, but it's very white overall. And these writers are a bit more openminded than Oscar voters in general, but anyone can have unconscious biases.

Sometimes they can be caught up in statistics and trying to be right in their predictions, and dismiss contenders that don't seem Oscary enough, even if they like them. The media/critics championing a contender sometimes pushes a movie over the top, but if it seems hopeless, they'll give up. Gerwig wasn't the only woman who directed an acclaimed movie last year, but the one with the best chances for a Directing nomination by far, and maybe the one a lot of awards media identified with the most, so she got more attention from them than the others. 

Unfortunately, I think whatever chances Lulu Wang and The Farewell had at Oscar nominations weren't helped by the rise of Parasite as a major contender. Of course, they are very different stories, but as it's been pointed out, Oscar's history with Asian/Asian-American movies and especially performers is not great. Should they be able to appreciate two movies with Asian casts, primarily not in English? Yes, but that it didn't happen is sadly predictable. The Farewell not being eligible for the International Film category at the Oscars also placed it at a disadvantage. The more categories where a movie is a contender, the more inclined people might be to watch it. 

Edited by Dejana
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5 hours ago, Dejana said:

Unfortunately, I think whatever chances Lulu Wang and The Farewell had at Oscar nominations weren't helped by the rise of Parasite as a major contender.

Oddly, I think the attention Parasite is getting is making the ignoring of The Farewell even more prominent to me. 

In the past I might have just thought, oh well, heavily subtitled films have a tougher fight but here we have a well reviewed movie helmed by an Asian man that is being welcomed into these categories while The Farewell is forgotten.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVED Parasite and I'm happy it's getting recognition, it's just an interesting data point for me.

5 hours ago, Dejana said:

The demographic makeup of the Academy is often discussed,  but the people who professionally write/blog/podcast about the awards all year are not necessarily any more diverse, and they have a hand in shaping the Oscar conversation. Maybe there are more women in the space, but it's very white overall. And these writers are a bit more openminded than Oscar voters in general, but anyone can have unconscious biases.

Absolutely true.

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On 1/18/2020 at 7:09 AM, kiddo82 said:

Lupita Nyong'o, on the other hand?  There weren't five performances better than hers this year.  There may not have even been one.  I could personally easily slot her in over any other actress in the lead category.  That to me is a snub.

Having seen all of them except Erivo now (I will before the end of the month), I can say the one I'd pull to make room for Nyong'o is Charlize Theron. This is not to say she's bad at all. She nails Megyn Kelly's mannerisms and voice. But it always plays like a good impersonation she's working to maintain; neither she nor Kidman really seems "settled." Also, the screenplay doesn't go very deep into the issues it pokes around in, so there's that working against them (and others). Margot Robbie, playing the composite/fictional figure, is the one who manages a triumph.   

Ronan, Johansson, and Zellweger, I think, would be strong nominees in any year. I've never really been a Zellweger fan, but I won't mind much if the conventional wisdom wins out and she takes it. The movie itself is just one of those serviceable "troubled star" biopics that have an Oscar-bait moment on every other page, but she steps up and does her part of being what we'll remember it for.

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On ‎01‎/‎19‎/‎2020 at 7:44 AM, truthaboutluv said:

So based on the PGA Awards last night, looks like Globes may have been on the money with their win, and 1917 is heading towards the Best Picture prize. Obviously nothing is absolute until Oscar night.

And it would be well-deserved.  I saw it over the weekend, and it was terrific.  And if Roger Deakins doesn't win Best Cinematography for it, that would be an outrage.

On ‎01‎/‎20‎/‎2020 at 1:42 PM, Ms Blue Jay said:

Isn't that exactly what people said in the Dreamgirls era about why he didn't win the Oscar for that?

Mostly they said that Norbit coming out during the voting period killed Murphy's chances of winning the Oscar for Dreamgirls, and there's probably a lot of truth in that.  Shame, really, he should've won.

Edited by proserpina65
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On 1/19/2020 at 4:11 PM, Dejana said:

“First of all, ‘Hustlers’ is not an ‘Oscar movie.’ It’s a little too rough around the edges, and I’m assuming some other people in the acting category didn’t see it,” said a longtime character actor and Academy member. “Florence Pugh seems to have gotten the J. Lo spot — maybe because ‘Little Women’ is a prestige movie and she’s a bright, new star.

Hey, didn't Midnight Cowboy win Best Picture in 1970?  You know, that movie about a man who moves to New York at a time when it was an absolutely disgusting place to be, and lets a con man pimp him out?  The movie that originally had an X rating, and had to be reissued as an R?

I doubt that Hustlers is as "rough around the edges" as that particular movie, but what do I know?

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Midnight Cowboy.  One of my all time favorite movies.  To this day, I still sing "Everybody's Talkin' " when I'm doing chores around the house.

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3 hours ago, Billina said:

Hey, didn't Midnight Cowboy win Best Picture in 1970?  You know, that movie about a man who moves to New York at a time when it was an absolutely disgusting place to be, and lets a con man pimp him out?  The movie that originally had an X rating, and had to be reissued as an R?

I doubt that Hustlers is as "rough around the edges" as that particular movie, but what do I know?

“Rough around the edges” is code for “these woman are acting like whores/sluts, and I’ll be damned if I’m gonna see them as real people whose story deserves to be told. Plus, not enough white women. Too rough.”

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21 minutes ago, kiddo82 said:

I don't necessarily agree with the whole timeline (I'm giving Blanchett the Oscar for Blue Jasmine any day of the week and twice on Sunday no matter what) but it is a fun look at the Oscar ripple effect.

LOL.  I'm in total agreement with you on that.  That's my second favourite performance of the past decade.

I'm going to look up the acting race for the 2009 movies.  Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia was absolutely magnificent (IMO).

Edit, okay, I haven't seen any of those other movies.  Except for "An Education" and sorry to Carey Mulligan but I vote for Meryl.  I'm going to try to see "Precious" this week.  I've been scared to for 10 years.  LOL.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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This is one of the thoughtful ones, though it's a low bar for Anonymous Oscar Ballots. Thiis voter isn't big on franchises, Joker and has strong feelings about Bombshell/Megyn Kelly. 

 

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Coming into the home stretch, it is Writers Guild Award time!

Some interesting choices with Parasite winning Best Original Screenplay and especially Jojo Rabbit taking Adapted Screenplay, since I figured it was going to be Little Women for sure.  Still, nothing is set in stone as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood wasn't eligible here, and I still wouldn't be too surprised if Little Women bounces back if a lot of voters just want Greta Gerwig to get something finally.  But I guess we'll see how this plays out in a week or so!

Edited by thuganomics85

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Jojo Rabbit's win was definitely the surprise, because yes, most were expecting Gerwig for Little Women. Parasite winning Original Screenplay was pretty much a given, IMO, once Once Upon a Time was not eligible. 

Of course, if we go by last year, one could say these wins are meaningless, considering Green Book lost Original Screenplay last year to Eighth Grade but won the Oscar and Eighth Grade wasn't even nominated. And Can You Ever Forgive Me won Adapted Screenplay but lost the Oscar to BlacKKKlansman. 

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It's the most wonderful time of the year! That's right today was Oscar Shorts day at my independent theater which means I'm caught up on all the categories now. As always I go with my personal favorites with these three categories and I'm happy to report that I have a solid track record that I hope to continue this year.

Best Animated Short

Dcera-Daria Kashcheeva
Hair Love-Matthew A. Cherry
Kitbull-Rosana Sullivan
Memorable-Bruno Collet
Sister-Siqi Song

If Hair Love doesn't run away with this Oscar then I have nothing left to believe in. First, it's fantastic. Second, the book it's based on is also fantastic. Third, Matthew Cherry himself is fantastic at promoting his work so I think this is one that even the most cynical voter will have heard of. My second favorite in this category was Kitbull so I wouldn't object to a tie.

Best Documentary Short

In the Absence-Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone-Carol Dysinger
Life Overtakes Me-Kristine Samuelson and John Haptas
St. Louis Superman-Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
Walk Run Cha-Cha-Laura Nix

I wouldn't object to a tie here as well as my two favorites are St. Louis Superman and Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone. I loved Learning to Skateboard a smidge more so it's my top choice.

Best Live Action Short

Brotherhood-Meryam Joobeur
Nefta Football Club-Yves Piat
The Neighbors’ Window-Marshall Curry
Saria-Bryan Buckley
A Sister-Delphine Girard

Brotherhood and The Neighbors' Window were both excellent and I loved Saria and A Sister but, for me, my runaway favorite is Nefta Football Club. OH MY GOD! That is one of the best damn movies I've seen in YEARS and I now want everyone to ignore the rules and vote it Best Picture. It's funny, clever, perfectly paced, and brilliantly acted. From start to finish Nefta was EVERYTHING and Yves Piat better watch out because I will fangirl hard if we ever meet. Everyone should watch all the shorts but especially Nefta. Fucking brilliant.

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For anyone interested in coverage of Sunday night's BAFTA Awards:

How to watch the EE British Academy Film Awards

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The EE British Academy Film Awards red carpet will be broadcast live on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube from 17.00 to 18.30 GMT on Sunday 2 February 2020.

17.00 (5 p.m.) GMT is 12:00 Noon Eastern.

Quote

If you live in the UK, the Awards will be aired as-live on 2 February on BBC One and BBC One HD from 21.00 to 23.00 GMT. You can also watch it online or on catch-up on BBC iPlayer.

The Awards will also be broadcast live internationally on the following channels (times vary): 
USA     BBC America

I checked the Sunday schedule for BBC America and although the BAFTA site says it's being broadcast live, BBCA's schedule shows it airing at 9:10 p.m.-11:40 p.m. Eastern.

Edited by ProudMary · Reason: To clarify EST.

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Hair Love was great! I hope it wins.

I finally saw Parasite and I'm glad I did. Thank you to everyone who assured me that it wasn't scary and that there wasn't a lot of dialog so the subtitles shouldn't be a problem. They weren't.  

I liked it a lot. It was original, funny, heartbreaking and there were some beautiful shots. Technically, I think it's near the top of the list of the BP nominees. For personal enjoyment, there were others I liked better, but, I get why there's a possibility that the 2 top contenders are this one and 1917.

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@Shannon L.:  I was most impressed with Parasite, not only of the nine nominees but of the 2019 films I've seen, but if I were betting, I'd put my money on 1917. It's the kind of movie both the Academy and a preferential balloting system favor. It's a period/historical piece, it's about something suitably big and serious, it's technically impressive, and not many people seem to hate it. One could say the nominated movies of Bong Joon-ho, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, and others show more of a personal style and voice, but the Mendes film won't alienate anyone, So most will have it at or near the top.

Plus, as we saw with Roma, when something is double-nominated in Foreign/International and Best Picture, a lot of voters feel that giving it the former is enough.  

13 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

Of course, if we go by last year, one could say these wins are meaningless, considering Green Book lost Original Screenplay last year to Eighth Grade but won the Oscar and Eighth Grade wasn't even nominated. And Can You Ever Forgive Me won Adapted Screenplay but lost the Oscar to BlacKKKlansman. 

The Guild showed better taste in screenplays last year, I am reminded. A year in which Green Book and BlacKkKlansman are the summit of writing for the screen would be a year to stay home. Not that I hated either film. but Eighth Grade and Can You Ever Forgive Mewere more prize-worthy on the writing level.  

Edited by Simon Boccanegra

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So BAFTA Awards are done and yup, looks like the acting awards are going to go the way of two years ago and the same four actors are going to sweep. And looks like it's all but a done deal that Sam Mendes is going to take Best Director. 

Best Picture is still a little interesting because BAFTA gave it to 1917. But BAFTA hasn't correctly picked the Best Picture in like five years or so. And I still can't shake the feeling that we're going to have another La La Land/Moonlight situation (sans mix-up at the show, hopefully), where La La Land won PGA and BAFTA and looked the sure thing, only for Moonlight to sneak in and win on Oscar night, likely due to the preferential ballot. 

I just can't shake the feeling that there is a growing swell of support behind Parasite that's going to result in a "come from behind" win on Oscar night. We shall see. Also interesting is that BAFTA went exactly as WGA for the Screenplay categories, even though Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was eligible there. I do think if Parasite wins Original Screenplay on Oscar night, that might be a clue that things are heading its way for Best Picture. 

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Yeah, all the actors swept the main categories, right?  At least last year, Olivia Colman won the BAFTA over Glenn Close, so her winning the Oscar wasn't 100% far-fetched.  But it would be close to pure insanity if someone takes it over the frontrunners here.

At this point, I'm most curious about Best Picture and the Screenplays.  I suspect it will be 1917 vs Parasite, and I really don't know yet which way that will go.  Original screenplay is probably Once Upon a Time vs Parasite, and while I won't count out the former, I can easily see the general support for Parasite; along with Quentin already have two Oscars; be enough to sway it that way.  As for Adapted, I still have a feeling that a sizable amount of voters will want Greta and Little Women to at least get something, but Jojo Rabbit getting the BAFTA as well makes me cautious on that prediction.

Hopefully it will be fun, at least!

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59 minutes ago, thuganomics85 said:

At least last year, Olivia Colman won the BAFTA over Glenn Close, so her winning the Oscar wasn't 100% far-fetched. 

Last year Olivia and Glenn both won a Globe Award, because they weren't competing in the same category. Then Glenn tied with Lady Gaga at the Critics Choice, but won SAG, while Olivia won BAFTA. So yeah, Best Actress was not a done deal for the Oscars.

Similarly, Regina King won the Globe and Critics Choice but didn't even get nominated for SAG and BAFTA. Rami won the Globe but so did Christian Bale (because like Olivia and Glenn, they were in separate categories) and Christian won the Critics Choice. The only acting category that was solid all Award Season last year, was Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali. So this year is definitely very different. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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Didn't Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, and Viola Davis all get rewards during that 2011-12 awards season? That was a pretty wide open Best Actress race, too.

Edited by methodwriter85

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1 hour ago, Simon Boccanegra said:

I read the whole thing but she loses me in the Best Picture explanation with this:

"Parasite is beautifully done, but it didn't hold up the second time, and I don't think foreign films should be nominated with the regular films."

On the one hand, thank you for being honest and not trying to feed us a bullshit reason you won't be voting for it. On the other: go fuck yourself.

I would really like to know who all the anonymous voters are but I'm wondering if we can figure this one out based on the hints she gives us: is really against non-Americans winning in the big categories even if she thought the performance/movie was great, was active in Hollywood in the late 60s, knows Scorsese well enough to refer to him as Marty*, same with Tarantino and Kathy Bates.

She and I are in agreement on wanting Nefta to win for Live Action Short but that's it.

*I do this too but that's because I'm a lazy ass who always takes the easiest route when talking about these people. I also refer to Queen Elizabeth as Liz if you need further proof.

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Actor: I thought Joaquin’s performance in “Joker” was fantastic. Complicated. Upsetting. Moving. But here’s a perhaps strange calculation I’m making. I think that Adam Driver could have played Joker just as well as Joaquin Phoenix, but I don’t think that Phoenix could have played Driver’s character in “Marriage Story.” I thought Driver knocked it out of the park in a much less showy, more internal role. I’d be happy with Phoenix winning too, though.

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8 hours ago, scarynikki12 said:

I would really like to know who all the anonymous voters are but I'm wondering if we can figure this one out based on the hints she gives us: is really against non-Americans winning in the big categories even if she thought the performance/movie was great, was active in Hollywood in the late 60s, knows Scorsese well enough to refer to him as Marty*, same with Tarantino and Kathy Bates.

Just for my own amusement, after the first "Marty," I was mentally reading it in the voice of Ellen Burstyn, but it could be so many people.

I liked more of her choices than you did, and I thought she described Pain and Glory (one of my 2019 favorites) really well, but some other things did bug. I'm over that business of "I won't vote for [X] because I don't like the real person s/he played," which she does twice. I'd expect someone who's an actor herself to be beyond that.  

Keeping up the pattern of the best Honest Oscar pieces being anywhere except The Hollywood Reporter, this three-for-one (a writer, a director, and producer) for the Los Angeles Times is a delight to read.  

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2020-02-04/secret-oscar-ballots-how-three-academy-members-voted

ETA: "Jinx," @Dejana.  

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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20 minutes ago, Dejana said:

 

 

That's an interesting observation and I kind of agree. Honestly, I've said from the beginning that this is what was difficult about choosing between Joaquin and Adam's performances. Because they were so different but both brilliant in their own way. The downside for Adam is that his was the quieter performance.  And quiet sometimes doesn't play very well to voters. 

21 minutes ago, Simon Boccanegra said:

Keeping up the pattern of the best Honest Oscar pieces being anywhere except The Hollywood Reporter,

Yup, they really are the ones that feature the asshole anonymous voters. 

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1 hour ago, truthaboutluv said:

That's an interesting observation and I kind of agree. Honestly, I've said from the beginning that this is what was difficult about choosing between Joaquin and Adam's performances. Because they were so different but both brilliant in their own way. The downside for Adam is that his was the quieter performance.  And quiet sometimes doesn't play very well to voters. 

Yup, they really are the ones that feature the asshole anonymous voters. 

I saw that sort of comparison between Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio a few years back, with the sentiment being that Matt could have done just as well in The Revenant but Leo in The Martian was much harder to imagine. All actors have their strengths and weaknesses, and that exercise doesn't work so well to compare portrayals of fictional charcaters vs. well-known historical figures (Hugh Glass was a real person, but not someone with a defined image in the public imagination). Probably why that voter laments all the biopic nominees in Best Actress. 

The anti-Fox News sentiment has appeared in more than one Anonymous Ballot. Vice did manage the Makeup and Hairstyling win last year, but I guess it was viewed as a less sympathetic portrayal of its protagonists compared to Bombshell

Edited by Dejana

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Re: the Hollywood Reporter (hopefully has-been) actress:

" I loved [The Two Popes'] Jonathan Pryce, but I don't know if I want to give it to the pope."

"I liked 1917 and Sam Mendes' direction, but I thought Quentin did a great job, and I want an American director to win. The Oscars is an American thing; English things win BAFTAs and the French vote for the French, and Quentin Tarantino should be honored for a great American movie."

" [...] because it's a beautiful story about saving the environment that is told so simply, without hammering us over the head like Greta whatever"

"I won't vote for [Harriet's] Cynthia Erivo because I think that they should have gotten an American actress to play Harriet [Tubman], not an English actress."

 

Holy crap, Anonymous Actress is one hell of a heinous, xenophobic asshole. "Stay in your lane, foreign people! Leave Oscars for the 'muricans!" While it totally won't, I kinda hope OUaTiH gets shut out, just out of spite. Also, she really really really hated Marriage Story. I like to think it's because it reminds her of her many failed marriages. She just seems the type to be a 3+ times divorcee.

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4 hours ago, dmeets said:

Holy crap, Anonymous Actress is one hell of a heinous, xenophobic asshole. "Stay in your lane, foreign people! Leave Oscars for the 'muricans!" 

She's not even consistent. It bothers her that the fictional sisters of Little Women and Harriet Tubman are not played by Americans, but then she gushes over Australian Margot Robbie's un-nominated Sharon Tate. 

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Best Picture:

Quote

The Writer: It’s not just about the quality of the movie. It’s always about the broader cultural conversation, so I’ll go with Parasite. I feel like the other films are all looking back, and Parasite is looking forward to where the industry is going. We’re buying diversity in the Academy with internationalism, and Parasite represents that future. [Its themes] will play on a global level in a way that some of our other more domestic issues won’t.

Quote

 [The Composer:] The third controversial opinion is probably Marriage Story, which completely missed my expectations… I had a big problem with Scarlett Johansson. They wanted her to look like an average mother, not particularly beautiful, her hair was, I don’t know, cut with scissors, she’s dressed in baggy shirts, it was just over the top [de-glamming]. It didn’t feel realistic. Almost all actresses that I know personally would never afford this kind of image to the outside world. It was bloated with this need of proving the point.

Penalized for too much of a de-glam, that's a new one...

Best Director:

Quote

[The Male Director:] I have a lot of respect for Todd Phillips because the guy’s coming from a completely different background. If Scorsese had made Joker, it wouldn’t have the controversy. It’s because he made Hangover and these other films and he’s not getting enough respect for it.

He liked Phillips but is voting for Bong Joon Ho. 

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The Female Director: Bong Joon Ho. This is really hard because I want Martin Scorsese to have [another] Oscar with all of my heart. The Irishman, I was freaked out by the blue eyes. One of my friends said it was like The Polar Express…. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, even though I love watching Brad Pitt meander as much as anyone, I had a feeling that if I’d directed that movie, people would be like, “This chick had Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt and she turned in this?” It would’ve been over for me. It’s an exercise in privilege, like, he’s meandering around the things that fascinate him and shows it to you for two hours and it gets all the awards.

She says that on her nomination ballot, she voted for women (including Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wang and Alma Har'el) and Bong.

Best Actor:

Quote

The Female Director: I went for Antonio Banderas. I love Adam Driver, but, I don’t know any director that breaks into full Sondheim songs when their play wraps. It’s like, what the f— is this? What’s happening?

Quote

The Writer: I love when any Oscar performance has that Oscar moment where the actor wears down your critical analysis and you’re just so fully with them that they can do anything they want with you in moments of pure emotional intensity and authenticity. When Adam Driver sings the Sondheim song, which you’re convinced is not going to be interesting when it starts, he slowly sucks you in and it’s so powerful and emotional that you’re crying like a baby.

The Academy, definitely not monolithic in their opinions!

Best Actress:

Quote

The Composer: Saoirse Ronan. It’s lovely and simple. I’m choosing from the nominees only, she wouldn’t be my choice overall. But, she produced something beautiful and touching. [If it wasn’t limited to the nominees], it would be Lupita Nyong’o for Us. She was a victim of a genre movie, which are often dismissed.

Best Supporting Actor:

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The Female Director: I’m going with Anthony Hopkins because The Irishmanwas just too bananas for me. Joe Pesci is perfectly Joe Pesci. My friends have been calling Al Pacino “Alice Pacino” because the more work these older men have to have, the more they look like women and it’s so distracting to watch. It’s like, Wanda Beatty and Alice Pacino. We have to give it to Anthony Hopkins for not doing any work on his face whatsoever.

Best Supporting Actress:

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The Male Director: Kathy Bates. I’m not a big fan of Clint Eastwood’s movies in general, but this one is a great story. I’m going for her because the Supporting Actress category is not as strong as the rest of the categories, and all the other performances around her [in the movie] deserve some recognition.… so, I’d go for Kathy as a representative of all the performances in that film. The whole thing about Marriage Story…. I don’t want to see movies about actors from Upper East Side and how hard they’ve got it.

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The Actress: I was surprised [that Jennifer Lopez] didn’t get in. I had her on my nominations ballot. Laura Dern I’ve known since she was a baby, and [her mother] Diane Ladd is one of my best friends, so I tend to support my friends as they supported me when I was up for [my Oscar nomination]. Laura has done many more challenging roles than this, but if this is the one that they pick, she’s been nominated and I think it’s her time.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Quote

The Male Director: It’s quite slim pickings this year. Just because I enjoyed the film so much, I’d go with Joker. Phoenix is the film, and I imagine that he put a lot of ideas into the story. [Little Women] didn’t blow me away. It’s been adapted before and is it remarkably better than it has been before? I’m not entirely sure. The bottom line is: If you’re good enough, you’re in there. It balances itself out. The most dangerous thing that can happen in the film industry is for people to get rewarded for one reason or the other when it’s maybe not the right time for them. I feel that with Scorsese as well. I feel like he was rewarded for the wrong movie. The amount of films he’s made, and then he gets rewarded for The Departed, which is probably one of his worst films. The other thing I don’t like is when a director doesn’t get nominated and when they go public and start shouting about it. It’s like, don’t do that. It’s embarrassing.

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The Female Director: I’m torn between Jojo Rabbit and Little Women, but, I think I’m going for Little Women because it was bold to take on something everybody knows so well, and one that was more true to what women were going through at the time instead of just focusing on the romance of it all. [I loved Greta’s] focus on what it was like to want to work in an industry that doesn’t really let you work in it, which struck close to home.

It's interesting to see so many "I can't deal with these privileged people and their problems" takes on Marriage Story. You have to wonder how much of it is Los Angelenos rejecting the New York element of it, because it's not the only nominee about people living in rarefied air compared to the average person.

The whole thing is an interesting read. There are a lot of strong opinions but they're not the awful people some of the other outlets have dredged up.

 

Edited by Dejana
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The one from EW is about midway between the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times models.

Just addressing a few of the points in it... 

Quote

The amount of films [Scorsese's] made, and then he gets rewarded for The Departed, which is probably one of his worst films

Nah. Time has treated The Departed well, in my opinion. And even in 2006, it was a damn sight better than Boxcar BerthaNew York, New YorkThe Color of MoneyBringing out the Dead and other clearly lesser Scorseses. I also like it more than The Irishman

Quote

The performances [in Marriage Story] are good, but the beginning is like, “Look at me! I’m Woody Allen!” I don’t know if everyone forgot how good Woody Allen’s movies are.

He bears some of the responsibility if so, because not many of them have been good recently. And by "recently" I mean the last 20 years, when there were four exercises in retreading and wheel-spinning for every one that was sort-of-good. But yeah, '70s/'80s/'90s Woody had more hits than misses. There was excitement surrounding his annual film when he was at his peak, and it's easy to spot his influence in relationship comedy-dramas by the younger generations.  

Quote

It’s not just about the quality of the movie. It’s always about the broader cultural conversation, so I’ll go with Parasite. I feel like the other films are all looking back, and Parasite is looking forward to where the industry is going. We’re buying diversity in the Academy with internationalism, and Parasite represents that future. [Its themes] will play on a global level in a way that some of our other more domestic issues won’t.

That is a good insight.

I hadn't really thought of it before, but of the nine nominees, only Parasite and Marriage Story are directly about life in 2019. You might say that Joker and Little Women are indirectly so (contemporary concerns in past-era Trojan horses), but in a literal sense, the other seven nominees are an '80s period piece, two '60s period pieces, a crime epic mostly set in the '70s and '80s, one movie for each World War, and a 19th-century costume picture. And of Parasite and Marriage StoryParasite is certainly the one that owes less to existing models. With Marriage Story, love it or hate it, you can compare it to other movies about marital conflicts and breakups: Scenes from a MarriageKramer vs. KramerThe War of the RosesHusbands and WivesBlue Valentine, etc.  

Edited by Simon Boccanegra

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Best Picture

My favorite film of the year didn't even get a nomination — I'm embarrassed to admit it because a lot of people hated it, but it was Yesterday. That movie made me feel fucking great. Two movies that I really hated were Ford v Ferrari and Little Women. The director [of Ford, James Mangold] knows nothing about racing, and admitted as much at the Q&A after it screened at the Academy — you don't have someone putting on their goggles once they're already driving or staring longingly at the guy in the next car as he passes him! [The 1966 film] Grand Prix had class and style and knew what it was about. With Little Women, the timeline was ridiculous — I was really confused sometimes, and I know I'm not the only one. Thank God she [star Saoirse Ronan] cut her hair, because that at least gave me a bit of a reference point. As for Marriage Story, I needed to care for the kid, and I didn't. And I know that those two actors [Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson] poured their souls into those roles, but it's getting harder and harder for me to care about entitled people's marital relationships. 

Doesn't care for the movie about entitled New Yorkers but is a big Once Upon a Time in Hollywood fan...

Quote

Best Actress

I just didn't mesh with Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story at all — she has a great woe-is-me speech in the beginning of the third act, but the movie just didn't do it for me. I love Saoirse [Ronan of Little Women], but the movie was just a nothing — I actually don't want to use that phrase anymore because that's a Trump phrase — it just didn't do it for me. And it makes me sick when they [Ronan and writer/director Greta Gerwig, who previously collaborated on 2017's Lady Bird] say they're going to work together forever — they'll work together for a while and then something else will happen, a studio will get tired of one of them and that's it.

 

Quote

Best Supporting Actress

Everyone is going on about the "snub" of J. Lo [Hustlers' Jennifer Lopez] — fuck J.Lo. I'm allergic to that movie. It isn't a movie about "empowering" women; it's a movie about slipping asshole men roofies and fucking jacking them. Roger Corman made better stripper films — they had some meaning.

They don't call these Brutally Honest Ballots for nothing! Wonder if this voter would have warmed to Hustlers if it had shared the Corman sexploitation vibe?

Quote

Best Adapted Screenplay

I think Greta Gerwig is really great, but I shouldn't need a scorecard to keep track of a movie's timeline, so I ruled out Little Women first. I wasn't big on The Two Popes, although it was beautiful to look at the Catholic Church in that way. The Irishman   was fine. But it was between Joker and Jojo Rabbit for me. Joker was great, but Jojo was an adapted screenplay but an original story, man — the humor and everything was so smart. It was hard for me at first because I thought, "I can't laugh at this!" But then it became clear that I could, and it came close to being my favorite film of the year.

MY VOTE Jojo Rabbit

Unsurprisingly, some people really don't respond to nonlinear narratives and some of them have Oscar votes. The "I learned so much more about the Dunkirk evacuation from Darkest Hour!" types, revisted.

 

Quote

Best Original Screenplay

I hated Marriage Story. Knives Out was okay — it was really just a vehicle for stars to do silly shit. 1917 was sort of one-note. Parasite was excellent. But Once Upon a Time in Hollywood definitely gets my vote — it's a Hollywood insider's movie that everyone can like. It's a story about living in Hollywood and how our lives are so in flux — from minute to minute they can change, for better or worse, at the drop of a hat, over one meeting or one handshake or one diss. Your whole career can be made or fucked. I loved it.

MY VOTE Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

 

This voter goes through all the categories and spoiler warning, divulges major plot points for various nominees, Parasite in particular.

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I hate these every time I read them and yet I look at them.

You don't need a scorecard to figure out Little Women. Hell, you don't even need a brain.  You just need eyes. I feel like for some of these voters, they don't want to come out and say "I didn't pay attention because it was about women...zzzzz" so they latch onto the non-linear storytelling is confusing.  It might make them sound stupid but at least they're not misogynist.

1 hour ago, Dejana said:

Doesn't care for the movie about entitled New Yorkers but is a big Once Upon a Time in Hollywood fan...

I know.  I can't relate to entitled people but EVERYONE can related to Hollywood stories.  What? 

I also roll my eyes over the fact that he's upset by Greta and Saoirse wanting to work together forever when almost every popular bro director out there has his stable of regulars that appear over and over in his films and that's perfectly all right. Leonardo has worked with Scorcese five times.  Depp has done 8 with Tim Burton...etc.

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That's definitely the most f-bomb-filled Honest Oscar piece I've ever read.  

Quote

Martin Scorsese has done this a lot, and often better. Listen, I've seen Casino, in its entirety, start to finish, 20 times — that movie makes you want to be a gangster; this one was depressing

Do we still say "Whoosh!" or is that too '90s?

It's reasonable to criticize The Irishman for several things. It's only my sixth-favorite Best Picture choice this year, and it's not Scorsese's best on mobsters and hoods. But this producer zeroes in on one of its strengths and describes it as a weakness. It's intended to be a sad, mournful movie about corruption, as if a trap is slowly closing on the main character from the first. Nothing Sheeran does ultimately means anything or gets him anywhere. He ends up just another lonely, enfeebled old man, boring a young nurse with stories about a once-famous person who's no more than a name to her. It's just about the least glamorized portrayal of the mob I've ever seen.

Yes, in some of his other movies, Scorsese dwelt more on the fun of getting away with things and living it up before the bills came due, but it doesn't mean he has to make that choice every time.  

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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17 hours ago, Dejana said:

They don't call these Brutally Honest Ballots for nothing! Wonder if this voter would have warmed to Hustlers if it had shared the Corman sexploitation vibe?

I don't entirely disagree with his assessment of Hustlers' plot, though.

15 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

You don't need a scorecard to figure out Little Women. Hell, you don't even need a brain.  You just need eyes. I feel like for some of these voters, they don't want to come out and say "I didn't pay attention because it was about women...zzzzz" so they latch onto the non-linear storytelling is confusing.  It might make them sound stupid but at least they're not misogynist.

I haven't seen the film, so I don't know how non-linear it actually is, but there are some films where I do have trouble with that kind of structure.  My film professor really thought I would like Pierrot Le Fou, but it's non-linear nature made it too hard to keep track of for me.  Somehow, though, I doubt that Little Women was anywhere near as discombobulating as that film.

 

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Ok I feel like if I don't do this now I'll just completely forget. So, here are my predictions of the winners:

  • Best Picture-Parasite
  • Best Director-1917
  • Best Actor-Joaquin Phoenix
  • Best Actress-Renee Zellweger
  • Best Supporting Actor-Brad Pitt
  • Best Supporting Actress-Laura Dern
  • Best Cinematography-1917
  • Best Animated Film-Klaus
  • Best Foreign Film-Parasite
  • Best Costume Design-Little Women
  • Best Film Editing-Parasite
  • Best Makeup/Hairstyling-Judy
  • Best Production Design-Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
  • Best Sound Editing-Joker
  • Best Sound Mixing-1917
  • Best Visual Effects-Avengers Endgame
  • Best Original Screenplay-Parasite
  • Best Adapted Screenplay-Jojo Rabbit
  • Best Original Score-Joker
  • Best Song-Elton John and Bernie Taupin
  • Best Documentary Feature-American Factory
  • Best Documentary Short-Learning to Skate in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)
  • Best Animated Short-Hair Love
  • Best Live Action Short-Nefta Football Club

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One more anonymous-ballot piece from IndieWire, from an executive. 

See if you can guess to which Best Picture nominees these descriptions correspond: 

(1) "I had an intense spiritual experience watching the movie, it’s such a large point that it makes so eloquently. It was such a flat-out brilliant idea. And to pull that off in the midst of all the other stories [...] They got it so right. It was a knockout punch. I walked out of the theater and said, 'I don’t know what could possibly beat this movie for me this year.'"

(2) "I was never going to see the movie. When I finally saw it, I thought it was one of the best movies of the year! It’s so misconstrued, the whole conversation on what it was about. It reminded me that you can’t pay attention to what anyone says. You have to see it for yourself. The movie is a sad, tough, meaningful, devastating indictment, and it’s sophisticated in the way it’s told, not manipulative."

(3)  "It was cold in a way that set me back. The characters were all so creepy, they all deserved shit, you know? I didn’t think any one of them deserved anything good to happen to them. I admire the craft, the filmmaking, but I was turned away by the fact that you aren’t supposed to root for anybody."

https://www.indiewire.com/2020/02/anonymous-oscar-ballot-2020-executive-tarantino-1202209671/

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13 minutes ago, Simon Boccanegra said:

One more anonymous-ballot piece from IndieWire, from an executive. 

See if you can guess to which Best Picture nominees these descriptions correspond: 

(1) "I had an intense spiritual experience watching the movie, it’s such a large point that it makes so eloquently. It was such a flat-out brilliant idea. And to pull that off in the midst of all the other stories [...] They got it so right. It was a knockout punch. I walked out of the theater and said, 'I don’t know what could possibly beat this movie for me this year.'"

(2) "I was never going to see the movie. When I finally saw it, I thought it was one of the best movies of the year! It’s so misconstrued, the whole conversation on what it was about. It reminded me that you can’t pay attention to what anyone says. You have to see it for yourself. The movie is a sad, tough, meaningful, devastating indictment, and it’s sophisticated in the way it’s told, not manipulative."

(3)  "It was cold in a way that set me back. The characters were all so creepy, they all deserved shit, you know? I didn’t think any one of them deserved anything good to happen to them. I admire the craft, the filmmaking, but I was turned away by the fact that you aren’t supposed to root for anybody."

https://www.indiewire.com/2020/02/anonymous-oscar-ballot-2020-executive-tarantino-1202209671/

Okay, I'll bite. Number 1 is where I'm stumped. I can see it being Parasite or Once Upon a Time. Seems crazy to me that someone will refer to Once Upon a Time as a spiritual experience but crazier things have happened.

Number 2 is either Joker or Jojo Rabbit. Leaning towards Joker. Number 3 is either Parasite or The Irishman (maybe even Marriage Story. I can see this being a cynical take on Marriage Story). But I'll lean towards Parasite.  And now I'll check to see how wrong I was, lol

HOLY CRAP, I called it all. I swear, I didn't cheat. 

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And locking in my final predictions. Last year I correctly predicted 18 out of the 24 categories. Hoping I do better this year. 

  • Best Picture - Parasite 
  • Best Director - Sam Mendes
  • Best Actor - Joaquin Phonenix
  • Best Actress - Renee Zellweger
  • Best Supporting Actor - Brad Pitt
  • Best Supporting Actress - Laura Dern
  • Best International Film - Parasite
  • Best Cinematography - 1917
  • Best Film Editing - Ford v Ferrari
  • Best Live Action Short - The Neighbors' Window
  • Best Sound Mixing - 1917
  • Best Visual Effects - 1917
  • Best Original Score - Joker 
  • Best Original Song - (I'm Gonna) Love Me Again
  • Best Sound Editing - 1917
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyle - Bombshell (although I was distracted while doing my Vanity Fair Ballot and accidentally picked Joker)
  • Best Original Screenplay - Parasite
  • Best Adapted Screenplay - Jojo Rabbit
  • Best Costume Design - Little Women
  • Best Documentary - For Sama
  • Best Documentary Short - Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)
  • Best Production Design - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Best Animated Feature - Klaus
  • Best Animated Short - Hair Love 

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Parasite won Best Foreign Film at the Independent Spirit Awards and got another standing ovation. Best Picture is going to be exciting tomorrow night.

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