What a weird week.. Film Twitter was a buzz leading up to the Oscars. I hadn’t watched it in years; but I looked forward to watching this year as I knew more about the films nominated. I didn’t see all of them; but still. 2019 was a great year for filmmaking.
Well, it started weird and stayed weird all night. Awkward humor which felt thrown together. The whole production felt thrown together last minute. I would have been fine to forgo the bits and just get to the awards. Btw, the awards don’t really mean anything to me. (I would accept one, don’t get me wrong, if I ever produced something worthy of it, of course, ahem.) The Oscars are given by people who vote sentimentally, not necessarily by merit. But I digress…And the Oscars go to:
Leading Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, for Joker. He was good; but… This was a tough category to be sure. My vote was for Adam Driver. Then Leo.
Supporting Actor: Brad Pitt, for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He was great but I liked his performance in Ad Astra more, so I’m happy he won. I really liked Joe Pesci as his performance was a complete departure from his usual.
Lead Actress: Renee Zellweger, for Judy. Another hard category. While I really liked Renee, my vote was for Cynthia Erivo from Harriet. Much more range, more grit, and just more.
Supporting actress: Laura Dern, for marriage Story. This category felt a little “meh” for me. I liked Laura Dern; but I’m not sure how much of a stretch this character calls for. My vote would’ve gone for Kathy Bates.
Animated Film: Toy Story 4. A fun movie but not sure about best material…My vote was tied between Klaus and I Lost My Body. The animation and story lines were so ingenious and gorgeous to watch. The images still flow through my mind and I don’t have that with Toy Story 4.
Animated Short: Hair Love. Super cute! I din’t see the others, yet.
Cinematography: 1917. I loved this film. I’m happy it won; but my vote was for The Lighthouse. Both of these had technical components which surpassed the remaining nominees by a lot. They were gorgeous to watch and I was completely engaged from start to finish.
Costume Design: Little Women. Yeah, it looked good; but that period has been done sooo much. I wasn’t blown away. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood definitely had a huge task with all the time periods and fashion, so I probably would’ve voted for it; although, I really loved JoJo Rabbit.
Director: Bong Joon Ho, for Parasite. This is a tough category to be sure. Joon Ho is a film crafter, no doubt. For me, it was a tie between Sam Mendes for 1917 and Joon Ho for Parasite. While I love Tarantino and Scorsese, this year they brought films I expected which were good but not as good as they could’ve been with some tweaks. Todd Phillips’ Joker had too many holes and left me with too many questions to consider him a best director.
Film Editing: Ford V Ferrari. My top two were JoJo Rabbit and Parasite because of the way the story was revealed through editing. *I just watched F v F last night. My review is in the Week in Review post for this week.* Car racing is always exciting and I can understand why people voted for the adrenaline rush.
International Film: Parasite. I didn’t see all the nominees. I really like Parasite and plan on seeing the black and white version at Darkside Cinema this coming week.
Make up & Hair: Bombshell. I didn’t see it; however, the transformation of Charlize Theron was pretty good. I despised Maleficient; however, there was definitely a lot going on there. Tough category.
Original Score: Joker. I disagree with this pick as the score did not carry me throughout the film. My vote would’ve been for 1917.
Original Song: I’M Gonna Love Me Again. Elton John. Sorry, boring… I know people are on the Frozen bandwagon; but…I would’ve been happier with Stand Up co-written by Cynthia Erivo from Harriet, then I’m Standing With You from Breakthrough, Diane Warren. Much more powerful.
Picture: Parasite. A double best picture winner creating a bit of controversy. Frankly, I didn’t know you could be in both categories. Apparently, this is the first time and well, we know how it turned out. My vote was for 1917. It held me from start to finish. If The Lighthouse had been nominated, it would’ve won for me. My top film of 2019 by a long shot.
Production Design: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It was like being transported back in time for sure…but they had to actually pace the steps out, dig trenches, and build small villages for 1917. Were there more props and stuff for Tarantino’s team, yeah… okay.
Sound Editing: Ford V Ferrari. Hmm, a tie between that and 1917, I think, for me. I didn’t see Star Wars…
Sound Mixing: 1917. Well, there ya go. one for each of them.
Documentary: American Factory. I haven’t see any of the films. Yet.
Documentary Short: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone. I haven’t see any of the films. Yet.
Visual Effects: 1917. All of the single shots were stunning, to be sure.
Adapted Screenplay: JoJo Rabbit. My vote for sure. The content was so delicate and the balance between satire and historical fiction was woven no neatly. Who would’ve thought we would sit in a theatre and laugh at the atrocious behavior from that time? Perfection.
Original Screenplay: Parasite. A tough category. Technically speaking, Parasite and 1917 had the most completed story lines without holes or superfluous material. The other three; while still very good, had some plot and dialogue issues for me.
The Oscars were not without it’s usual controversy and calls to action. For all the women and People of Color left out of nominations or not represented. I learned some things this time ’round. Most nominations came from films released in the last 6 months of the year. The Oscars have always been a platform for political thank you speeches and political fashion statements. No one is safe from criticism or judgement for either. The In Memoriam left some people out which left Twitter all a flutter. I agree, Luke Perry especially since his last film was Once Upon a Time in Hollywood which was nominated for so many categories. The Academy stated they get hundreds of requests for people to be mentioned and they “just can’t fit them all in”. Well, some slides had one person while other slides had two…so I’m pretty sure they could’ve fit a few more in there. Plus, if the show runs long due to In Memoriam, who cares. It’s a night to celebrate those, both alive and passed on, who’ve contributed to film. Either do it all the way, or don’t do it at all.
The Academy made a big deal about Eimear Noone being the first female conductor for the Oscars. Great! Except for the fact they only let her conduct ONE piece. The original score medley. I know it’s a great “honor” but wouldn’t it have been GREATER to have her conduct the WHOLE show?!! She was so much fun to watch and it made me realize how under-represented female conductors really are. Watch the video of her below:
Were the Oscars everything you hoped for? Were your favorites chosen as winners?