Ah the Oscars have come and gone. This website might be a pleasant microcosm of the descent of these ceremonies over the past ten years. In 2011 I had a whole OSCAR ZONE feature and broke down every major category, and even the screenwriting. I live blogged the ceremony with my reactions in real-time, which grew into a fun tradition.
This year, uhhh....I checked Twitter the day after. I watched about a half-hour at the beginning and couldn't fathom how bored I was. It felt very disconnected and I couldn't tell why, until I realized that they were starting with screenwriting while showing no clips and instead favoring inane, self-congratulatory banter. We are in the self-aware age, folks, and the Academy, for all its attempts to be a bastion of liberal hope, still has far to go, but more on that later. Anyway, Oscars = bad is far from a hot take, but suffice it to say that I agree for all the reasons why everyone else agreed. Some of that was COVID protocols, some of it wasn't.
Most of it was the fact that there was just literally NO movie in this lot that the majority of people had seen. I am a nerd so I was pumped up and cheering for Another Round (2020), which I really enjoyed while my wife sat there like "whaaaa??" Same with...pretty much everything here. Nomadland (2020) is a legit movie and so deserving of its praise. No one watched it. They SHOULD watch it, but they have not, so this what we get.
Here is how I have done in all the years since starting this:
Yeah - I am not actually very good at this. I have actually always been above .500 the last few years barely so. This year...I add to that monumental streak. We had one less category, so 23 total, which is a number that feels very weird. But I'm 12/23! Hooray! Let's run through this with some quick thoughts:
Correct - 12
Director - I am pumped for Chloe Zao, not only because she's somehow only the second woman all-time to win, and the first Asian American Woman, but Nomadland is a legit achievement and I sat there thinking, "Who directed this?" Oh yeah, Chloe Zao! That whole thing! She has the high profile Marvel movie The Eternals (2021) coming up, which is a tough act to follow, because that movie will almost certainly be bad, but I'm a little more excited now.
Supporting Actor - Daniel Kaluuya is great and this is a nice nod after a lot of underseen and overseen work he's done. I still find it weird that neither of the headling actors in Judas and the Black Messiah (2020) were considered leads. But this is great.
Original Screenplay - WHAT DID I SAY?! Promising Young Woman (2020) was the second best movie of the year, so it gets this compensation award. Boom, that's it.
Production Design - A direct quote from my prediction post: "...it almost always goes to some random period drama in recent years. Mank fits that bill, and there are enough fogies that reminisce about old Hollywood." Yep. All of that happened.
Sound - another no brainer, but glad Sound of Metal (2020) got the nod. Sometimes NOT having an upset is something to celebrate.
Score - went to Soul (2020), deserving, not much competition here this year, again, no brainer, but glad it came through.
Visual Effects - I am very proud of my predictions. TENET is deserving, but also totally fulfilling the trend of original Nolan movies winning this award. It was definitely a blockbuster-free year, but TENET's effects are really cool.
International Film - Another Round was the most high profile International Film in the lot, and it's so good. Great win.
Live Action Short - Let's have another direct quote, which sums this up: "Time loops and cops killing black people are in right now and 'Two Distant Strangers' has both!" I'm just glad to get one of the shorts right. They are always so all over the place.
Animated Feature - I am pretty sick of Pixar, because they're well past their prime at this point, and it's actually really weird that the Academy just defaults to them. Wolfwalkers (2020) was better, but this was always going to SOUL.
Best Picture - Heyyyy I got a BP guess right for the first time in seven years! Go me! This was maybe the most in the bag a BP has been in the last few years, but then again, I've thought that a lot over the ages here.
Best Actress - I actually wasn't so sure about Frances. She seemed so ahead all season but she also has two awards already, one very recent. Well, now she has three, and becomes one of the Academy's most honoured actresses. It's great, deserving, and no upset. Now, ahem...
WRONG - 11
Supporting Actress - listen, everyone predicted Youn Yuh-jung and it wasn't an upset, and people clearly liked Mank, it picked up two other awards. Whatever, I was trying to call an upset and got the category wrong.
Adapted Screenplay - Do I need to watch The Father (2020)? Most of my fault came from undervaluing this film. I guess Nomadland really wasn't in a position to sweep, as few BP's are these days (the last film to win more than four categories was The Artist ). This was a gap and I paid for it.
Original Song - Will Ferrell was clearly robbed. I don't have an explanation for this, other than One Night in Miami... (2020) was clearly seen and cared about less than Judas and the Black Messiah. I still think this should have gone to "Speak Now" and would have called that had I made predictions again today, but whatever.
Cinematography - Meh, see my misstep on Adapted Screenplay. Nomadland was winning, but wasn't going to win that much. I'll reiterate, "This will probably go to Mank or something stupid."
Costume Design - Listen, my predictions are truly phenomenal. "Ma Rainey would be fun, would the Academy give this to the Black Period Piece? I mean, why trust them now?" That movie really didn't stand out to me, but it clearly did with some of these technical bits.
Editing - It became unfortunately clear that Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) wasn't going to win anything. This is a sweet win for Sound of Metal, who I said might be in the running. I still really enjoyed Chicago 7. Oh well.
Make-up and Hairstyling - Peeved on this one, dude, this always goes to crap like Hillbilly Elegy (2020). Ma Rainey is much more well deserved, though, so even thought I got this wrong, I can be happy it went to a good spot. I guess with the team of virtue signaling caring about diversity for three hours this was never going to go to a Hillbilly movie.
Animated Short - I called "If Anything Happens I Love You" too traumatic. I really seemed like I thought this out. Oh well, this is always such a toss up.
Doc Feature - I should have guessed this would go to the most memeable entry with the weirdest name. I already forget what Collective was about. Keep it simple, man.
Doc Short - "Collette." Fine.
Best Actor - Alright, this fuckin shit. Damn, guys. You know, Chadwick Boseman isn't going to get another shot at this! But hell, Anthony Hopkins probably isn't going to either. Hopkins is a revered actor who deserves all the praise in the world and a head to toe class act, but there is something sublime about a ceremony designed to show the world how inclusive and diverse the Academy is now, that builds for three hours to this award which totally intended to honor a dynamic actor taken far too soon, only to give it to the oldest whitest male winner of all time. Hopkins was apparently sleeping and found out the next morning, which is straight adorable.
Again, any other year an Anthony Hopkins win would be great and something to truly celebrate. Ageism is a thing in Hollywood, too. But yeah, this undeniably should have gone to Chadwick. This is a big, sincere whiff that leaves a sting only slightly less than the loss of Chadwick himself. His loss still makes me sad. Hopkins will probably die soon, too, so I dunno.
Both top acting award winners were people who appeared in Michael Bay Transformers movies, too. Does that mean Jon Voight, Rainn Wilson, or Rosie Huntington-Wheatley will get the nod soon? You had better believe it. At least Anthony Anderson.
Well that's it for this year! Godzilla vs. KONG (2021) will surely sweep a la Return of the King (2003) in 2022. We'll be there. I guess.