Why The Oscars Got it Wrong


I was looking forward to hearing Toni Collette for Best Actress in Hereditary. It is man or woman to be the best performance of 2018. My brother loved the movie, my sister not so much. Most people, even some who didn’t like it can look at that performance as deserving of recognition. Collette is already an Oscar nominee. She played a different kind of grieving mother in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense. She’s quite Australian, but you wouldn’t know from Little Miss Sunshine or About a Boy. Collette’s award omission might come down to outspending on the campaign front. All Actress nominees are from major distributors: Netflix, Fox, Sony, and Warner Bros.


The studio behind Hereditary; A24 has a reputation as a disruptor since 2012. The subject of the New York Times in 2018 and GQ in 2017, they noted Netflix and Amazon are driving up the cost of talent. Smaller companies must try to be one step ahead with fewer resources. Fox will spend whatever it takes on Bohemian Rhapsody. Catered viewing parties and star galas to rub shoulders with voters and critics. Much chronicled in Peter Hammond’s Deadline blog: Awardsline. Spending time noting interior decor and politics rather than film merits is poison.


The money spent on Awards season should be a win for audiences, as underseen films can get their due. It is why I saw The Shape of Water, Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri, and Lady Bird. Cold War’s Foreign Language, Best Director and Best Cinematography nominations capture my attention. Pretty good for a Black & White foreign language subtitled film in a 4:3 letterbox aspect ratio. Either that movie is good or it is okay and Jeff Bezos and Amazon have deep pockets. Or both.

The Favourite got 10 nominations [Screenplay, Production Design, Costume Design, Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actress x2, Cinematography, and Film Editing] so I was finally able to see it at my local theatre because of the awards attention it received.

The side effects of all this recognition is over exposure and misinterpretation. Black Panther had a legion of people ready to freak out were it not nominated. It scored deserved nominations in Picture, Music and Sound. Yet no Best Supporting Actor for Michael B. Jordan. Looking back on that film his performance is most of what I can remember about it. Aside from the bad green screening. Yet somehow it stole a Production Design nomination over Crazy Rich Asians. The nomination and voting block tastes can be very unrefined. Having filmmakers in their field choose the best film to fill out their category has its limits. Many members could be inactive in the industry or not major film goers. Professionals like most people when choosing films taste ranges from average to bad.


Everybody is ready to write off a movie before they see it, or convinced based completely on others. Did Bradley Cooper REALLY get snubbed for Best Director for A Star Is Born? No because his direction is the weakest part of that film. It managed 8 nominations including writing, producing and acting with his name attached. Is he even worthy of a Best Director nomination? People would agree if they took the time to discuss a great film rather than crying and making memes on Twitter. It reminds me of that one Onion article. Everybody obsessed with what they think will win there is no talk about what actually should.


So here we are. A few weeks left, no host, and my biggest hope for nominees dashed. The best we can make is Bradley Cooper performing with Lady Gaga. I hope they show some good clips. alongside world class dresses.


BEST PICTURE

“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

“Vice”

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlackKKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“Capernaum”
“Cold War”
“Never Look Away”
“Roma”
“Shoplifters”

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

“Black Sheep”
“End Game”
“Lifeboat”
“A Night at the Garden”
“Period. End of Sentence.”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Free Solo”
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening”
“Minding the Gap”
“Of Fathers and Sons”
“RBG”

ORIGINAL SONG

“All The Stars” – “Black Panther”
“I’ll Fight” – “RBG”
“Shallow” – “A Star Is Born
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” – “Mary Poppins Returns”
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” – “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mirai”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“A Star Is Born”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“First Reformed”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“The Favourite”
“Vice”

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

DIRECTOR

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”

PRODUCTION DESIGN

“Black Panther”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Roma”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Cold War”
“The Favourite”
“Never Look Away”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

COSTUME DESIGN

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Black Panther”
“The Favourite”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Mary Queen of Scots”

SOUND EDITING

“A Quiet Place”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”

SOUND MIXING

“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Animal Behaviour”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Detainment”
“Fauve”
“Marguerite”
“Mother”
“Skin”

ORIGINAL SCORE

“Black Panther”
“BlacKkKlansman”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”

VISUAL EFFECTS

“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

FILM EDITING

“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Green Book”
“The Favourite”
“Vice”

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”

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