Think of watching the Oscars like a booty call. Or the hookup you reluctantly fall back on once a year.
Neither may be the best use of your time but each offers a chance for something mindless, seductive, exciting and fabulous, perhaps all at once.
Be nice… after all, Green Book can’t win again.
Never mind there’s a 98.6% chance that won’t happen. We all live for that elusive 1 (plus) percent. And isn’t that what the Oscars are really about?
So, don’t pretend you won’t watch, hate watch or go to some event where you sort of watch or shhhh shhhh everyone so you can watch. You will and so will we – live and on Twitter and via Facebook. In the meantime, here are five things to watch out for while you’re watching this year’s Academy Awards:
1- THE TAMING OF NETFLIX – For the first time in Oscars’ history it’s not a film studio leading the pack for the most nominations but a….streaming service. That would be Netflix with 24 nominations – 10 for The Irishman, 6 for Marriage Story, 3 for Two Popes, 2 for best-animated feature (Klaus and I Lost My Body) and 1 for best documentary short (Life Overtakes Me).
It’s not that Netflix will get entirely shut out of the game – after all, money from prestige films is really hard to come by these days. It’s more that the streamers need to know their place. So look all three of Netflix’s dramatic feature nominees to go home empty handed in every category with the exception of Laura Dern’s win for best supporting actress in Marriage Story. A second award will likely be in the animated feature category, probably for Klaus. But that should be all.
GO GET YA OSCAR, DERNZ!
2- BILLIE EILISH – She just co-wrote and performed the theme for the upcoming James Bond film and, as such, will likely be an Oscar nominee next year. But this year the iconoclastic 18-year old will be performing…..something.
My guess is that it’s either an imaginative background vocal to the In Memoriam segment or some weird preview of the Bond song.
Or, well…okay, the truth is I have no idea. But I’ll bet she wears sparkly pajamas while she’s doing it and they will be the top online seller of Oscar knock off outfits the very next day.
I want to understand this… I think?
3- PARASITE vs. 1917 – Since the four acting prize winners are pretty much set (Note: Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Renne Zellweger (Judy), Brad Pitt (Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood) and Laura Dern (Marriage Story)) that leaves best picture and director to provide the suspense.
What seems inevitable is a split between the 1917 and Parasite with our money on Sam Mendes as best director for 1917 and Parasite taking home the big best picture prize. Why? Because everyone admires 1917 as opposed to loving it and no film speaks to this moment in time better than Parasite.
4– BRAD PITT’S STANDING OVATION AND ACCEPTANCE SPEECH – He’s the only one in his category to have never won an acting Oscar. He was great in Once Upon A Time. He’ a 56 year old shirtless wonder. He’s made fun of himself in truly hilarious, self-effacing speeches all throughout awards season and everyone wants to see/hear what comes next. (Note: Ahhhhh, no, it won’t be Jen….Or will it?).
This might be the second to last time I can post this… OK let’s be real, I will post this forever #goodlawd
5- POLITICS DRINKING GAME – The main attraction. You likely won’t hear the word Trump mentioned at all during the show. But throw one back every time you do hear the words peace, equality, global warming, justice, America or any variation of the phrase: lawless White House Orange Pumpkin Monster.
It will ensure the best Oscar experience you’ve ever had and you won’t remember a thing in the morning.
Elton John with Taron Egerton – “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”
The 92nd Oscar nominations were reliably predictable. No, this year’s list of honorees cannot rightly be categorized as #OscarsSoWhiteStraightMale. But neither could the group even vaguely be considered #OscarsSoColorful, #OscarsSoInclusive or even #OscarsSoPurelyArtistic.
It does seem a bit quaint to even be discussing what Hollywood(Note: Whoever or whatever that is) deems deserving of its annual golden statuette when the world is falling apart around us but perhaps that’s the very reason to spend a bit of time on it. We all need a diversion or two, or twenty-three, and well, every year the Motion Picture Academy never fails to both come through AND simultaneously disappoint.
The Academy always comes through…
That said, it was interesting to see just how aware the Academy was of just how white the awards had the potential to be. You could tell by their choice of not one but two people of color – Issa Rae and John Cho – to announce the nominees to an international audience. That’s twice as many non-White people that were nominated in all four acting categories combined!
It’s a sad state that Green Book was more diverse
Meaning, Cynthia Erivo was the sole person of color to be singled out in an acting category this year for her lead performance as famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman in the fine historical drama, Harriet. Does it count for diversity that Antonio Banderas was also nominated for his lead role in Pedro Almodovar’s brilliant semi-autobiographical pic Pain and Glory? That’s for social media to decide so you’re on your own there.
Leading the list of this year’s nominated films with ELEVEN nods was…Joker? Well, the title of that film alone says everything you need to know about the times we live in. Close behind were: The Irishman and 1917 and Once Upon A Timein…Hollywood with ten each.
More like a TEN (but really, this did factor in right?)
The aforementioned Ms. Erivo was also one of a handful of recipients to receive two Oscar nominations in two separate categories this year. Her second was as co-writer in the best song category for Harriet’s “Stand Up.” Also double nominated were: Scarlett Johansson as both lead actress and supporting actress for Marriage Story and JoJo Rabbit, respectively; and David Heyman as a producer on two potential best picture winners, Marriage Story AND Once Upon A Time in…Hollywood.
Here is a full list of the nominations along with some (accurate? snide? bitchy?) opinions on those chosen and those left out of the major categories. Let’s save the rest for when the awards are handed out on Feb. 9th. In the meantime, get your Joker masks ready, the next four weeks promise to be….memorable?
My mantra to get through these nominations
FORD V FERRARIPeter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold, Producers
THE IRISHMANMartin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
JOJO RABBITCarthew Neal and Taika Waititi, Producers
JOKERTodd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
LITTLE WOMENAmy Pascal, Producer
MARRIAGE STORYNoah Baumbach and David Heyman, Producers
1917 Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall, Producers
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODDavid Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino, Producers
PARASITEKwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho, Producers
The question is, what DIDN’T get nominated? Pretty much all the films predicted to get a nod in this category managed to squeak through. The possible exception was Knives Out, which nevertheless received what more and more seems to be the consolation prize of a writing nomination, in this case for its director Rian Johnson.
Still gets top honors for best knit!
What else MIGHT have been nominated in this category even though you’d be crazy to expect it? Well, the indie movie The Last Black Man in San Francisco should not have to rely solely on the Independent Spirit Awards to be named among the best films of the year when it is clearly that and more. But don’t get me started on the #OscarsSo……. Again.
THE IRISHMANMartin Scorsese
JOKER Todd Phillips
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODQuentin Tarantino
PARASITEBong Joon Ho
Here’s the thing. Greta Gerwig, Little Women, Lulu Wang, The Farewell, Marielle Heller, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Alma Har’el, Honeyboy and Kasi Lemons, Harriet. When you have five women who directed the aforementioned Oscar caliber films and not one gets nominated in this category, well, this is why people begin to talk.
We riot at dawn #burnitdown #justiceforGreta
Though whenever this subject comes up I point to the SOLE FEMALE to WIN best director, Kathryn Bigelow. She got the award for her work on The Hurt Locker, a war movie with a male protagonist. What this tells us, aside from the fact that Bigelow is a great director, is that the subject matter of a movie has as much to do with the gender of a director where the Oscar nominees (and winners) are concerned.
Anyone hungry? #sausagefest
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
ANTONIO BANDERAS Pain and Glory
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
ADAM DRIVER Marriage Story
JOAQUIN PHOENIX Joker
JONATHAN PRYCEThe Two Popes
There are those who might rightly be grousing that the performances of Taron Egerton in Rocketman and Robert DeNiro in The Irishman should have gotten a nod. But truly the best performance of the year NOT in this category was in Uncut Gems. Adam Sandler did the best acting of his career as a Jewish, compulsive gambler jeweler who can’t get out of his own way in an unrelenting and uncomfortably riveting film. Does he deserve the Oscar for it? Yes. Do I care if you disagree? No, cause it’s true.
Get ready for Grown Ups 3 #sigh
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
TOM HANKS A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
ANTHONY HOPKINS The Two Popes
AL PACINO The Irishman
JOE PESCI The Irishman
BRAD PITT Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
Brad Pitt is really the only one who matters here…for so many reasons. Least of which is that Mr. Pitt is the sole person in this category NEVER to have won an acting Oscar.
This category is so 90s, you have to watch all the nominees on VHS
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
CYNTHIA ERIVO Harriet
SCARLETT JOHANSSON Marriage Story
SAOIRSE RONAN Little Women
CHARLIZE THERON Bombshell
RENÉE ZELLWEGER Judy
Yeah, it was between Cynthia Erivo and Awkwafina (The Farewell) for the female of color slot and Cynthia won. Just kidding, sort of, but not…really. However, it won’t matter. Renee Zellweger’s daring recreation of Judy Garland at the end of her life, singing and all, will win and should win.
Although Charlize wins for inspiring the most gasps (and nightmares)
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
KATHY BATES Richard Jewell
LAURA DERN Marriage Story
SCARLETT JOHANSSON Jojo Rabbit
FLORENCE PUGH Little Women
MARGOT ROBBIE Bombshell
Did you really think J Lo would be nominated for doing her Oscar pole dance in Hustlers? Really? No, I mean…really??? Really????????
MAYBE WE DID CHAIRY?!?!
WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
THE IRISHMANScreenplay by Steven Zaillian
JOJO RABBITScreenplay by Taika Waititi
JOKER Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
LITTLE WOMENWritten for the screen by Greta Gerwig
THE TWO POPESWritten by Anthony McCarten
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
KNIVES OUTWritten by Rian Johnson
MARRIAGE STORYWritten by Noah Baumbach
1917 Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODWritten by Quentin Tarantino
PARASITE Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won; Story by Bong Joon Ho
You could have read three or four articles predicting the screenplay nominations and scored close to 100% in both of these categories. But for my money, the big omission is Booksmart, a coming of age/last night of high school story chock full of memorable characters in hilariously awkward situations you felt you had both seen and never seen before. So imaginative, heartfelt, funny and extremely difficult to achieve that it took four writers – Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel and Katie Silberman. Of course the fact that they’re four women writing a female driven narrative had NOTHING to do with the snub!
What does the Oscars have against girls and poles?
Not to downgrade the rest, but I got up at 5:15 am for this! So, here they are without comment:
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
I LOST MY BODY
TOY STORY 4
THE IRISHMANRodrigo Prieto
JOKER Lawrence Sher
THE LIGHTHOUSEJarin Blaschke
1917 Roger Deakins
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODRobert Richardson
THE IRISHMANSandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
JOJO RABBIT Mayes C. Rubeo
LITTLE WOMENJacqueline Durran
ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOODArianne Phillips
THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY
DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
IN THE ABSENCE
LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL)
LIFE OVERTAKES ME
ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN
WALK RUN CHA-CHA
FORD V FERRARIMichael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
THE IRISHMANThelma Schoonmaker
JOJO RABBITTom Eagles
JOKER Jeff Groth
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
HONEYLAND North Macedonia
PAIN AND GLORYSpain
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
LITTLE WOMENAlexandre Desplat
MARRIAGE STORYRandy Newman
1917 Thomas Newman
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKERJohn Williams
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
I CAN’T LET YOU THROW YOURSELF AWAYfrom Toy Story 4; Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
(I’M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAINfrom Rocketman; Music by Elton John; Lyric by Bernie Taupin
I’M STANDING WITH YOUfrom Breakthrough; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
INTO THE UNKNOWNfrom Frozen II; Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
STAND UPfrom Harriet; Music and Lyric by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo