Saturday, March 20, 2021

SUNDAY BEST: Oscar Nominations 2021

 So the nominees were announced this past week for the 93rd Academy Awards.

These awards remain the most prestigious in film.  And while many of you, dear readers, are of the opinion that all awards shows are terrible and should simply be shunned, it is my perpetual hope that Hollywood will reform itself and once again nominate movies that matter.

That is not this year.

Granted, this was a terrible year for movies.  Because of COVID, so many films were delayed and held from release.  The Academy even bent their own rules and nominated films that premiered on streaming.  And still the list is poor.

Normally, I would make a comparison between the top 10 box office earners and the films nominated for Best Picture in order to illustrate the divide between the Academy and the common man.  However, we have so little reliable data on what people actually watched this year.  Streaming services are notorious for keeping their viewing numbers under wraps.  So while anecdotally I can tell you a lot of people watched Hamilton on Disney+, I don't have any hard information for you.

 My own top ten of the year include:

1. Hamilton
2. 1917
3. The Way Back
4. Wonder Woman 1984
5. Greyhound
6. Soul
7. Tenet
8. Bill and Ted Face the Music
9. Godmothered
10. Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Even I have to admit that in a normal year, most of these films probably would not have made the top ten, but pickings are slim.

However, if you paid me to come up with a list of nominees that would guarantee the lowest-rated Oscars ever, I don't think I could do better than what the Academy gave us.  So if you have no interest in the Academy Awards this year, I don't blame you.

So below are my thoughts on some (not all) of this year's nominees.  

And next week, I will open it up if you would like to participate in this year's Oscar Game!

Best Picture:
"The Father"
"Judas and the Black Messiah"
"Promising Young Woman"
"Sound of Metal"
"The Trial of the Chicago 7″

The only movie that I have seen on this list is Mank, and it was terrible.  The only other film that looks like it could be good is Minari, but I'm not sure if I'd pay money to see it.  Everything else on this list are things I wouldn't spend money on to see.

Performance by an actor in a leading role
    Riz Ahmed, "Sound of Metal"
    Chadwick Boseman, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
    Anthony Hopkins, "The Father"
    Gary Oldman, "Mank"
    Steven Yeun, "Minari"

    -Boseman was my choice for best actor of the year and he should win.  His performance in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is outstanding.  Oldman is always good.  I'm very happy for Steven Yeun, as he is a talented actor and I'm glad he is getting this recognition.

    Performance by an actor in a supporting role
    Sacha Baron Cohen, "The Trial of the Chicago 7"
    Daniel Kaluuya, "Judas and the Black Messiah"
    Leslie Odom Jr., "One Night in Miami"
    Paul Raci, "Sound of Metal"
    Lakeith Stanfield, "Judas and the Black Messiah"
    -Haven't seen any of these films.
    Performance by an actress in a leading role
    Viola Davis, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom"
    Andra Day, "The United States vs. Billie Holiday"
    Vanessa Kirby, "Pieces of a Woman"
    Frances McDormand, "Nomadland"
    Carey Mulligan, "Promising Young Woman"

    -I've only seen Viola Davis who was fantastic as always.  But the Academy might lean towards Carey Mulligan as her performance gained a lot of buzz.

    Performance by an actress in a supporting role
    Maria Bakalova, "Borat Subsequent Moviefilm"
    Glenn Close, "Hillbilly Elegy"
    Olivia Colman, "The Father"
    Amanda Seyfried, "Mank"
    Youn Yuh-jung, "Minari"

    Close should have been nominated for Best Actress, because her performance is extrodinary, but she deserves to win in this category.

    Best animated feature film of the year
    "Over the Moon"
    "A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon"

    -Soul is not one of PIXAR's best, but it is better than Onward, the only other movie I've seen in this category.

    Achievement in directing
    Thomas Vinterberg, "Another Round"
    David Fincher, "Mank"
    Lee Isaac Chung, "Minari"
    Chloe Zhao, "Nomadland"
    Emerald Fennell, "Promising Young Woman"

    Fincher makes Mank look great, even though the movie is awful, but I haven't seen the others to comment.
    Adapted Screenplay:
    "Borat Subsequent MovieFilm"
    "The Father"
    "One Night in Miami"
    "The White Tiger"

    -Haven't seen any of them

    Original Screenplay:

    "Judas and the Black Messiah"
    "Promising Young Woman"
    "Sound of Metal"
    "The Trial of the Chicago 7"

    -Haven't seen any of them
    Original Score:
    "Da 5 Bloods"
    "News of the World"

    Soul has a decent score.  That's the most I can say about any of these.

    -Ben Affleck, Gavin O'Connor, and Brad Ingelsby were completely overlooked for The Way Back, one of the best movies to come out this year.
    -Hamilton should have been nominated, but I think there was a prejudice against it because they considered it simply a stage play.
    -Tom Hanks and Greyhound was incredibly compelling and entertaining and I think it would have reached a wider audience if it was not on Apple TV
    -Tenet had a lot of problems, but as a technical piece of work, Nolan should have been recognized.
    -Glynn Turman and Amy Adams should have gotten nominations


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