We’re finally here. It’s Oscars Night. I’ve also managed to watch all but 2 of all the films nominated this year (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and The Lion King). I didn’t think I’d manage it but we got there. This means I finally feel ready to put down my predictions for how the show’s going to go. However, there are no real definites I guess. I mean, has anyone got over the shock that was Green Book winning Best Picture last year. The Academy is unstable and, as we can see from the nominations, aren’t always concerned about who or what is really the best. The Oscars are even more political and insane than Eurovision. But this isn’t the time for another rant. This is a time to predict the result of a stupid system that will be streamed to the world from a glitzy and expensive award show that really doesn’t need to exist. But at least everyone attending gets to dress up again this year.
This week has been a bloody long one. I’ve posted more blog posts in one week than I think I ever have. Which is great on the one hand but does mean that I haven’t had much spare time for reading. I barely have enough time to write this rundown because I wrote so many posts this week. I should take a break for a while. But I won’t. Not only do I have a self-imposed schedule to keep but, you know, it’s my job.
Hopefully, you’ve noticed that this week I’ve gone a bit Oscars crazy on the blog. Every year I watch all of the Best Picture nominations before the ceremony and this year, as I was already well ahead, I decided to get through as many as possible. This meant that I was faced with a load of films that I wanted to review. With my schedule as it is, I’d still have been reviewing my Oscar watches two months from now. So, I decided to just go with it and get them done this week. It’s not been easy but I’m getting there. This weekend is going to be interesting but I’ve come this far. As of today, I’ve only got a couple (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Pain and Glory and Richard Jewell) left to watch. I’m not going through foreign films, short films, or documentaries otherwise I’d probably die. And I know there are two films nominated for technical awards only that I haven’t seen (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and The Lion King) but I’ll have to live with that. Despite that, I’m going to talk about my winners for the main categories. That is the people I’d like to win not who I think will win. We can talk about that before the awards on Sunday when I’ve seen everything I’m going to see.
In just a few hours the 91st Academy Awards ceremony will be in full swing and the best and brightest stars in Hollywood will come together to pat themselves on their already much too celebrated backs. I can’t say I’m a big believer in the sheer amount of film awards that there are but I guess it’s all good for the industry. And it’s fun to see people get all dressed up and excited. 2019 has already been made an absolute delight because of how much of a good time Richard E. Grant is having just being nominated. Imagine what it’s going to be like if he wins? As I have done for the past few years, I managed to successfully watch all of the Best Picture nominations before the ceremony as well as a few other nominated films. I still have a few big ones to see though. A fact that might make my next task kind of difficult. I missed it last year but I’m here again to attempt to understand the Academy voters. It’s a weird year for Oscar nominations so, really, it’s kind of anyone’s game. But let’s give this a go anyway.
So, we’re here. The last film to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. I was supposed to be writing this review when I got home from work yesterday but I was absolutely exhausted. I figured future Laura could deal with it tonight. Well, future Laura isn’t happy now. Especially because, after a rough day, a work friend and I were in desperate need of a drink to unwind. So, I got home late and am madly trying to finish this. Which is a shame because I still haven’t quite worked out how I feel about Green Book. It was something I was really looking forward to but didn’t really know much about. It sounded a bit like Driving Miss Daisy which didn’t appeal but, let’s be honest, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali were enough to get me interested. Both are very interesting actors and I imaged they would work well together. But then I watched it. And I had a lot of thoughts. So many that, earlier tonight, I couldn’t explain it to my drinking buddy. God knows what that means for this post.
Fucking Bradley Cooper, man. I can’t say that I’ve ever been a massive fan but, once again, I seem to be in the minority. We’re in a situation in which the guy has been nominated for an acting Oscar 4 times. 4 times! One Best Supporting and three Best Actor. I just don’t get it. His best role to date, in my mind, is his voice performance as Rocket Raccoon. His performance in Silver Linings Playbook was messy and over-the-top. His performance in American Hustle wasn’t exactly stand-out either. Basically, I’ve just never seen him do anything that really wowed me. He’s just been lucky enough to be surrounded by better actors who make manage to disguise him. So, when I heard he was starring in and directing a remake of A Star Is Born I was hardly queuing up outside the cinema to see it. But then is got all sorts of fucking praise and attention during awards seasons. I kept putting this film off for as along as possible but I finally had to accept that I needed to watch it. So I did. And I have some thoughts.
What? A review? On a Sunday? No, you aren’t going mad. I’ve decided that, in order to get all my pre-Oscar reviews up before the big day, that I’m going to have to change my schedule for a bit. I started writing this yesterday but ended up feeling so bad that I went to bed early. But that’s not important because, at this point in my life, I have watched all of the Best Picture nominees. The only ones I want to try to watch before the ceremony, if I have the time, are The Wife and At Eternity’s Gate. But, if I don’t then I won’t do feel bad. I managed to watch the films I wanted to and well on time. Unlike last year when I was watching them up to the last-minute pretty much. I think I saw my final one the day before the ceremony. In fairness, there were 9 nominees last year. That’s a whole extra film to find the time for. It was tough! But I digress… So, I’ve seen all the nominees but I still need to review 3 of them. And, let’s not forget, the actual ceremony is on February 24th which is just over a week away. If I’m going to have the reviews up in time then I need to hurry the fuck up. Meaning the fact that I’m starting my extra reviews with a non-Best Picture film is kind of absurd… but I watched this before the other two. And I’m not really looking forward to having to write the final 2. To say I have mixed feelings about them is an under-statement.
I’m going to be honest, I’d forgotten that today was Tuesday until a few minutes ago. I was happily sorting everything out and trying to organise my shit when I realised. I needed to hurry up and write this damn review. It’s all because my shifts have changed this week so I’m all off. I keep thinking it’s Sunday or something. But it’s not and I have another Best Picture nominee to review. The BAFTAs took place on Sunday and, despite having several nominations, Vice didn’t do too well out of the ceremony. Winning an award for Best Editing, it missed out on the other 5 categories it was up for. Christian Bale looked like a real contender for Best Actor but Rami Malek beat him out. Whether that changes Bale’s chances at the Oscars remains to be seen but, if you ask me, he’s still a pretty strong possibility. Malek was great but will it speak to the Academy? Especially when Bohemian Rhapsody was so disappointing. Who can say? But, all I know is, it’s never a good idea to discount Bale whenever he drastically alters his appearance for a role. I mean the guy even went to the lengths of thickening his neck. If that’s not commitment to a character then I don’t know what is.
After last week’s disappointing Bohemian Rhapsody, I was ready for a better Best Picture nominee to review. So, I went for one that I’ve been looking forward for ages. Any story that sounds so insane yet is based on a real-life event is something you just have to watch, right? Plus, and without wanting to prove just how superficial I really am, Adam Driver is looking good in that trailer. I admit that I kind of lost interest thanks to his nipple-height trousers from that scene in The Last Jedi but the minute I saw him in a plaid shirt I was back. And it’s great that he’s been given a nomination for his role here. Hell, it’s great that this film got a Best Picture nomination. Not only because I get an excuse to watch it but also because of the lack of recognition for If Only Beale Street Could Talk. Barry Jenkins obviously killed with Moonlight but the Academy have done the least possible for his latest film. Neither the director or the film are being recognised. I know I haven’t seen it yet but everything I’ve seen leads me to believe it deserves a place. Especially now I’ve seen Bohemian Rhapsody. But we can’t have everything.
You find me feeling really annoyed today. As you know, I had intended to finish watching all of the films nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award before the Oscars. I managed it but failed to get down my predictions for the awards. To be honest, I was so tired after work on Sunday that I fell asleep. It’s a problem I often have. What can I say? I love to nap. If I had published my predictions I would have been pretty much 100% accurate. The only one I refused to call was Best Support Actress because it was a tough call. Every other main category, I got right. Of course, saying this without proof is meaningless. However, I was one of the few people who correctly saw that Three Billboards wouldn’t win Best Picture. Not that it was a terrible film; it just isn’t an Oscars film. The Shape of Water was the obvious winner. It was beautifully made and beautifully performed. It was an all-rounder. The only one that might have beaten it? Lady Bird. Frances McDormand and Gary Oldman were, basically, unstoppable. And Sam Rockwell. Sorry to anybody else in that category but he was the star. My only upset at the awards was the lack of award for Greta Gerwig. I knew Guillermo Del Toro would win but it would have been a great move for the Academy to give the female director her due. It just goes to show, no matter how well #Timesup and #Metoo are doing, there is still a long way to go for gender equality. And let’s not even get started on racial equality. Hollywood may be improving but it’s still a man’s world.