Oscar Nominations 2019
The highlight of your calendar is here once again as Stephanie Coffey and I discuss this year’s crop of Oscar nominations!
T: I did not see this. Am I a racist?
S: I did see this because I am not a racist. The story was intriguing but it left me wanting. Also note to Adam Driver if you ever read this: you cannot just sound like Adam Driver and convince the KKK that you are John David Washington. Act, boy! Do a voice! Try something! Anything! Phew. Okay. I’m done.
T: See above.
S: The fact that you have not seen both I’m afraid does make you a racist. Your opinions for the rest of this blog can now no longer be trusted.
I am very happy for all parties involved and I champion diversity but this was ultimately just another Marvel film. This nod is the Academy begging to be relevant in the cultural zeitgeist and I say put your hand down, Oscar! No!
T: Hot on the heels of American Hustle and The Big Short, we now have Explosion at the Wig Factory III. If you don’t overthink it, this is a jolly fun romp. It’s made a shitload of money worldwide, but as for quality? I dunno. I think people just really, really like Queen.
S: My mom really liked it.
T: Go Nada!
S: I was hungry while shopping at the Indigo at the Scotiabank place and so I went upstairs with a dream to watch one of the Oscar films and eat a burger. Bohemian Rhapsody fit my schedule and it was pretty much exactly as you described. It’s fun, don’t overthink, Rami was excellent! I had a maple BBQ burger with sweet potato fries and a glass of Malbec if anyone wants to know.
T: Like, you had a full meal in the theatre?
S: So Thomas, these days they are offering a bougey VIP theatre experience in Canada. Servers come into the theatre and you order from a full restaurant menu and they bring it to your seat. It’s needlessly decadent but sometimes you gotta live a little. Amirite?
T: This was excellent. Dirty, sexy, off-centre, funny…my personal favourite out of all of these. And so queer! Probably a bit too “out there” for Academy voters.
S: I had always been on the fence about Yorgos. I always felt his films had such potential but just didn’t quite deliver. But this off-kilter, wide angle-using zany film stole my heart. It is also my favourite which is probably why we’re best friends and write Oscar blogs.
T: Don’t know, I hear it’s racist and anti-queer or something so it’s a no from me.
S: Is it? It looks like it would be those things. This is me blindly agreeing with Thomas’ hearsay. I just can’t even bother to try to want to go see this movie.
S: Okay so I went to the Lightbox to see Roma in all its 4k glory. It also had some really interesting sound design. I really wanted to love this film and I created the best environment to do so. However, it kind of bored me. It needed more heart, more emotion, less camera panning.
A Star Is Born
T: Stephanie and I just wrote a long blog about this. Spoiler: this film is only okay, and if it weren’t for the ballyhoo around a) being a remake b) being Gaga’s first lead role and c) Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, everyone would see this is a fairly standard run of the mill musical biopic.
S: Agreed. It’s an okay first film on an unexciting topic. Bradley got a C in his High School media arts class. Without the soundtrack, it ceases to exist. The limit does not exist.
T: Or, Explosion at the Prosthetics Factory. No thanks.
S: So many prosthetics. Why do we need a movie about Dick Cheney?
Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
T: Now then. Glenn Close is the Meryl Streep of her generation. I say this very deliberately as I believe that if it weren’t for Meryl, Glenn would be rightly recognised more widely as one of the greats. She’s seven nominations in, and it’s time she won. She’s brilliant in The Wife, as she is in everything else. The film, however? Not great. But I’m pretty sure she could swoop in and win this, especially as she won the Golden Globe and the SAG award.
S: I agree that Glenn is exceptional. But sometimes it’s hard to stand out in a mediocre film. The performances don’t seem to resonate with me as much if the piece of art as a whole is lacking.
T: I wouldn’t be upset in the slightest if Olivia Colman won it. Hilarious but unexpectedly moving and poignant in her role as Queen Anne, I think it all depends on whether the Academy really embraces the tricky sexual politics and off-kilter tone of The Favourite.
S: It’s Glenn or Olivia or bust. I realize that’s not usually how you use that phrase but I am clearly torn. Which is why if it was up to me I would choose Olivia as she was the magnificent cherry on top of a beautifully-done movie cake. But I understand Glenn’s legendary and deserving of a win so I won’t hate on her, but in my heart of hearts this one goes to Olivia.
T: More people need to see Can You Ever Forgive Me? because Melissa McCarthy is excellent in it. Lady Gaga: well done love but you were clearly operating at the outer elastic of your ability and it showed. No Oscar for you.
S: Lady Gaga needs acting lessons. Someone teach her to act like when she’s singing. Sing-acting. More emotions please.
T: Also, screw it, replace Lady Gaga with Emma Thompson in The Children Act as that stern high court judge. She was amazing!
S: The scene where she’s crying?! Emma Thompson crying for the Oscar!
Christian Bale (Vice)
Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
T: In as much as I care about male actors, I was sure Christian Bale had this in the bag for Vice until Rami came along and started winning things. Yey fatsuits!
S: The prosthetics should be nominated for best actor. And the winner is: the inanimate carbon rod!
T: I wouldn’t cry if Rami won this. He was having a lot of fun as Freddie, and also we like him. The latest Bryan Singer allegations haven’t done much to dent his chances as he won the SAG and the BAFTA, so I think he has this in the bag.
S: I vote Rami because Christian Bale already won and I am still not over that time he screamed at the lighting guy. *holds grudge*
T: Bradley Cooper, no. He sounded like Cher the whole time, which amused me. Willem Dafoe I literally had not heard of this film in any awards conversation until the second this nomination was announced. Apparently he plays Van Gogh, which is fun. In fact, I change my mind. Give it to Willem Dafoe.
S: I saw a poster for this at TIFF. His head is peaking out of the bottom of the page. That’s all I know.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (Vice)
Marina de Tavira (Roma)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
T: I am torn. Rachel Weisz I’d never really cared about, but she was great in The Favourite. Emma Stone does not deserve another Oscar until she gives back the one she won for Blah Blah Bland #pun.
S: I actually do love Rachel Weisz and she was excellent in The Favourite so that would be fine. I am willing to barter Emma Stone’s Oscars. Emma give the other one back and take one for The Favourite. Correct history. You were excellent in this, darling.
T: Regina King is brilliant in general and she’s excellent in If Beale Street Could Talk. However the Academy hasn’t really gone mad for that film, whereas they have wholeheartedly embraced Vice. And here is where the problem lies: I love Amy Adams and I’d love to see her win…but for this? And at the expense of Regina King? Tricky.
S: Yeah, this is tricky. Amy Adams has been repeatedly looked over by the Academy and she deserves to win an Oscar but not this Oscar. There’s just a better role maybe two years down the road where she wins Best Actress like she deserves. Regina King is a legend. She’s always amazing. Marina De Tavira played the rich mom in Roma and she had a solid performance but probably won’t make much headway with these heavyweights. Hmmm. This is an excellent category. I am torn between Regina and Rachel. I love you more than anything Amy, you know that, but you’re better than this so just hold tight for your Best Actress.
T: Okay so if Amy can sit tight and wait for her Still Alice then we can give this to Regina King and everyone’s happy. Great.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Sam Rockwell (Vice)
T: Literally no idea what’s going on here. Give it to Richard E Grant because he was wonderful.
S: I had to wrack my brain to remember most of these performances. This was my train of thought: Oh yeah Sam Rockwell played George Bush… he’s married to Leslie Bibb…Remember Popular?
T: I do remember Popular. Leslie Bibb was also in GCB. Remember GCB? We were considering watching it and then it got cancelled. It also starred Annie Potts!
S: I am surprised we had the willpower not to watch it. We watched all of Smash. Leslie Bibb was also in The Skulls with 90s hearthrobs Joshua Jackson and Paul Walker. It was filmed at University of Toronto! What were we talking about? This has been Leslie Bibb’s filmography.
Best Costume Design
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Mary Zophres)
Black Panther (Ruth E. Carter)
The Favourite (Sandy Powell)
Mary Poppins Returns (Sandy Powell)
Mary Queen of Scots (Alexandra Byrne)
T: I guess the great Sandy Powell has this sewn up (That’s punny!) I’m gonna say she wins this for The Favourite, although her threads in Mary Poppins ain’t half bad.
S: Sewing Puns. Boo. But also, it was amazing and I loved it. Yay The Favourite! Dresses! But I too would be happy with either of her nods.
Best Foreign-Language Film
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
T: Apparently Shoplifters and Cold War are both excellent so wouldn’t be surprised if they take them.
S: I’ve heard amazing things about Shoplifters, I missed it at TIFF sadly. Obama said it was one of his favourite films of 2018 so…
Also, what are the politics of Roma being best foreign and best picture? Is this allowed?
T: Oh, well spotted! What if it won both?! Interesting. At BAFTA we have a Best Film and Best British Film category, and you’ll often see multiple nominees in there.
S: Would this be the first time in history that a film won both?
“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Roma received ten Academy Award nominations, the highest number of nominations ever garnered for a foreign language film. No foreign language film has been a recipient of an Academy Award for Best Picture, although eight foreign language films have been nominees for the award.” – Wikipedia
The Favourite (Robbie Ryan)
Never Look Away (Caleb Deschanel)
Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)
A Star Is Born (Matty Libatique)
Cold War (Lukasz Zal)
T: Baffled as to how Beale Street missed out on this one but hey ho. A Star Is Born? Really? Weird. What on Earth is Never Look Away?
S: I don’t know but that is Zooey and Emily Deschanel’s Dad. Fun!
T: Daddy Deschanel is a cinematographer? I had no idea!
S: Yes! Here is a YouTube interview from 2009 where Zooey tells you about her dad being a cinematographer and how she traveled around the world as a child. She’s blonde, extra zany and makes fun of Yugoslavia (my homeland) and I would watch this a lot in university.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Mary Queen of Scots
T: What the fuck is Border?! I guess Explosion at the Prosthetics factory takes this one. I vote for, um, Mary Queen of Scots, I guess?
S: It’s won stuff at Cannes. It’s supposed to be very good. Why not The Favourite here? Write in vote for The Favourite.
Best Adapted Screenplay
A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters and Eric Roth)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
T: A Star Is Born? Right then. Back here on planet Earth, Nicole Holofcener’s screenplay for Can You Ever Forgive Me? is excellent. But let’s give this to Barry Jenkins for his insightful and inventive screenplay for If Beale Street Could Talk.
S: Like, seriously, give it up A Star is Born. Though they have basically been shut out which has made me evil comic book happy through awards season thus far.
T: Yeah! Go on then, Barry!
Best Original Song
“All the Stars” (Black Panther, written by Kendrick Lamar, Al Shux, Sounwave, SZA and Anthony Tiffith)
Performed by Kendrick Lamar and SZA
“I’ll Fight” (RBG, written by Diane Warren)
Performed by Jennifer Hudson
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” (Mary Poppins Returns, written by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman)
Performed by Emily Blunt
“Shallow” (A Star Is Born, written by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt)
Performed by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, written by Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch)
Performed by Tim Blake Nelson and Willie Watson
T: I reckon Gaga will take this for her shitty A Star Is Born song, which I’m fine with as it means she loses Best Actress to Glenn or Olivia. Although I bloody love The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins.
S: The only thing I’m annoyed by is I actually think there are better songs in A Star is Born. Like what about I’ll Never Love Again, or Always Remember Us this Way? Those songs are actually quite beautiful and well produced. I also think Look What I Found is a banger but that’s just a personal aside. I find Shallow kind of annoying…is it just me?
T: Wow…someone got really into the A Star Is Born soundtrack.
S: You know what, I really did. After I saw the film I had some jam sessions while doing the dishes. A lot of the Gaga songs are good! I said before the soundtrack is great the movie sucks.
- The Oscars take place on Sunday 24 February