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Arts and Entertainment Reviews

OSCAR PREDICTIONS, SNUBS, AND SURPRISES!

The 92nd Academy Awards are only days away, and the nominations are getting everyone excited! There were plenty of snubs, but also many wonderful surprises! The nominations were announced on January 13, and since then, filmgoers and audiences alike have been predicting who will take the top prize. There are a total of 53 films that have received 124 nominations in total. And comparing it to other years, it looks like there is a lot of competition this year due to how many fantastic films have been released in 2019.

The film that has received the most nominations is the DC Comics box-office smash, Joker, with 11 nominations in total, including Best Picture, Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), and Director (Todd Phillips). Eight other films have been nominated for Best Picture such as The Irishman, 1917, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, in which all three have received 10 nominations. The other Best Picture nominees include Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story, and Parasite. This is probably the first year in a long time where most people can agree that all nine films nominated for Best Picture deserve to win, which will make it very difficult to predict who will take the top prize.

But before discussing the predictions on who will win, it is important to notice the films, filmmakers, and actors that sadly didn’t receive a nomination they were anticipating. The most controversial snubs this year are the exclusion of female directors, who were left out in the Best Director category for the second year in a row. Greta Gerwig, director of Little Women, was sadly snubbed this year. She has been nominated two years ago for Lady Bird, but this year, the Academy probably gave the fifth spot to Korean director Bong Joon-ho for Parasite. Another surprising snub Uncut Gems receiving zero nominations. The film was praised for its intense tone, screenplay, direction, cinematography, and Adam Sandler’s career-best performance, but the Academy missed out on what many people call one of the wildest and anxiety-inducing movies of the decade. 


PREDICTIONS (15 out of 24 categories mentioned)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Avengers: Endgame

From epic space battles in The Rise of Skywalker to creating photo-realistic creatures in The Lion King, 2019 has given audiences some of the best effects ever shown on film. The Irishman certainly makes viewers believe they’re watching Robert De Niro and friends in their forties, and 1917 uses CGI minimally to look more authentic and realistic. But in terms of epic scale, Avengers: Endgame definitely deserves the award due to its groundbreaking effects that will hold up for decades.

 BEST FILM EDITING: Thelma Schoonmaker – The Irishman

In a year where Thelma Schoonmaker, the long-time editor of most Martin Scorsese films since the 1960s, it would be surprising if she doesn’t win for The Irishman. The film is three and a half hours long, and her editing keeps the film entertaining for the entire runtime.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins – 1917

It was an absolute surprise and joy that The Lighthouse was nominated for the category, being cinematography. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Joker, both have excellent cinematography and made viewers believe they were in 1969 L.A. and Gotham City. And as much as I love my second uncle Rodrigo Prieto’s cinematography in The Irishman, 1917 is most likely to win here. Similar to films such as Birdman (2014), the entire film is shot to make it look like it’s all one take. The film is an absolute marvel to look at, and Roger Deakins most certainly deserves his second Oscar win for the film.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again – Rocketman

Image result for rocketman

Many were disappointed that the Elton John biopic, Rocketman, was only nominated for one Academy Award, being Original Song. It would be fair that the Academy would give the Oscar to Rocketman for the only category it was nominated for. Sure, “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II has been stuck in our heads for a few months now, but Elton John could just win his second Oscar.  

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Hildur Guðnadóttir – Joker

Randy Newman’s score in Marriage Story is a joy to hear. His cousin, Thomas Newman’s score for 1917 made the war film a wild ride. And who doesn’t love John Williams getting his 52nd nomination?! Out of all the original music we heard in 2019, Hildur Guðnadóttir’s tragic score for Joker has been in our minds for so long. When you hear any music used for the film, you think of the Joker. It’s become a meme at this point through social media!

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM: Parasite

This year was top-notch for international films. Pain and Glory from Spain is both earnest and tragic. France showed us criminal lives with Les Misérables. And North Macedonia gets its first nominated film in 25 years for Honeyland. But Parasite is the clear winner for the category. Many consider the film to be one of the best, or even the best international films ever made. It won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, the festival’s highest prize. Many Americans also seem to enjoy the film as it became the highest-grossing international film in the U.S. of 2019. Blind Brook junior, Zach Berger, believes Parasite should win the award calling it an “intelligent, thrilling, beautifully presented piece of socially conscious art which definitely proves that cinema is a universal language.”  

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Toy Story 4

Even though it didn’t win the Golden Globe for Best Animated Film, Toy Story 4 is still very likely to win the Oscar. It’s definitely not the best film in Pixar’s filmography, but it still was an incredible success and a somewhat bittersweet conclusion to the Toy Story franchise.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Greta Gerwig – Little Women

Despite not getting her second Director nomination, Greta Gerwig should definitely win the award for Adapted Screenplay. Gerwig excellently brings the classic novel to life for a modern audience with the help of her terrific cast.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

There were plenty of fantastic original stories brought to life through film in 2019. Knives Out was probably the best murder mystery film in years, 1917 and Marriage Story had very realistic characters and dialogue that had heart. And Parasite’s originality and quotability is outstanding and perfect. However, it’s pretty safe to say that Quentin Tarantino’s witty, meta, and extremely entertaining comedy-drama that puts fictional movie stars in the 1960’s is what Tarantino was born to make.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Laura Dern – Marriage Story

The Supporting Actress category has some pretty excellent contenders this year. Margot Robbie was powerful in Bombshell, Scarlett Johannson gives a wonderful, silly comedic performance in Jojo Rabbit, and the magnificent Florence Pugh is the best part of Little Women. But ever since Marriage Story premiered at the Venice Film Festival in August, it was very clear that Laura Dern was the leading frontrunner for the Oscar, as she has been winning almost every award so far. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

This year, the Best Supporting Actor nominees are full of A-list actors such as Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, and even Joe Pesci! All of the nominees have won in the past…. except for one: Brad Pitt. Many say he’s long overdue a win and there’s plenty of love for his very charismatic work in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Brad Pitt deserves the Oscar because we will never forget Cliff Booth.

BEST ACTRESS: Renée Zellweger – Judy

This year’s Best Actress nominees have been complicated. There were many snubs, but there were also actresses that were nominated that deserve to win, but sadly won’t. Charlize Theron and Saoirse Ronan were pretty great as Megyn Kelly in Bombshell and Jo March in Little Women. And Scarlett Johannson gets her second nomination for Marriage Story the same year as she was also nominated for Jojo Rabbit in the Supporting Actress category. She deserves the win, but the award is likely to go to Renée Zellweger for Judy, as she has been winning every award for Best Actress.

BEST ACTOR: Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Adam Driver gave the best performance of his career so far in Marriage Story. And Leonardo DiCaprio and Antonio Banderas were terrific in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Pain & Glory. But this award will 100% go to Joaquin Phoenix for Joker. Even people who hated Joker tend to have positive things to say about Joaquin Phoenix’s performance. Phoenix has seriously been overdue for an Oscar, having been nominated for three Oscars in the past. 

BEST DIRECTOR: Bong Joon-ho – Parasite

The Best Director category this year has probably the best of the best compared to other years. Both Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, two of the best living directors of all time are nominated for The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Sam Mendes gets his second nomination in twenty years, and Todd Phillips gets his first. But Bong Joon-ho would be one of the biggest highlights of the awards if he wins. Joon-ho made history as the first South Korean director to receive this nomination, and could very well win. Tarantino is long overdue, and Sam Mendes could win his second Oscar. No matter who wins, it will certainly be an interesting choice.

BEST PICTURE: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

This is the toughest to decide, as it is every year. 2019 was the best year for film probably since 1999. 1917 is a masterpiece and has plenty of love, and has a very likely chance of winning Best Picture. There are a lot of Netflix haters among the Academy, which could ruin the chance of Marriage Story or The Irishman winning. Joker definitely has its fans, as evident by the insane number of nominations it received, but may still be too divisive for the Best Picture win. Parasite is also very, very likely, but some members of the Academy could just ignore the film completely just for being a foreign film. But when someone thinks of Tarantino’s Best Picture, they think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It’s Tarantino’s second-to-last film and is a perfect homage to the 1960s film, television, and entertainment industry, and its flawless ensemble cast continues to inspire young filmmakers.