In the Mix

February 25, 2019

The 91st Academy Awards

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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Every year, the Oscars have something to live down. This year is no exception. So this year’s drama is over the host… or lack thereof.

The word is that the show’s producers reached out to several people but couldn’t make anything work… the worst of which was the scandal surrounding Kevin Hart and some insensitive comments he made many years ago…

So ultimately, they decided to go with no host at all… Final word on that later. Let’s get to the recap:

Actress in a Supporting Role: Regina King/If Beale Street Could Talk
Nominees: Amy Adams/Vice, Marina de Tavira/Roma, Regina King/If Beale Street Could Talk, Emma Stone/The Favourite, Rachel Weisz/The Favourite

Yea. Several things…
First, I loved Regina King in this role. She made the movie for me. In fact, I didn’t like the movie overall and didn’t like any other performance. Only Regina King…

But I also had a similar experience with both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in The Favourite… Moved more by Rachel Weisz. Either is a winner for me…

Actor in a Supporting Role: Mahershala Ali/Green Book
Nominees: Adam Driver/BlacKkKlansman, Mahershala Ali/Green Book, Richard E. Grant/Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Sam Elliott/A Star Is Born, Sam Rockwell/Vice

Marginal Yea. I think Mahershala Ali is stunning as an actor. His performance in Green Book was inspired. But, I also loved Adam Driver in BlacKkKlansman.

Both performances were tied to such important stories that I can’t tell if I’m overwhelmed by the reality or truly moved. Again, either way, I would have been good…

Actress in a Leading Role: Olivia Coleman/The Favorite
Nominees: Glenn Close/The Wife, Yalitza Aparicio/Roma, Olivia Coleman/The Favourite, Lady Gaga/A Star Is Born, Melissa McCarthy/Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Nay. Glenn Close in The Wife. Not to mention she’s been nominated seven times and still hasn’t won?

Olivia Coleman’s performance was good, but, I think to truly appreciate how good, one would need to research the real life story of Queen Anne. I don’t know enough about her to say it seemed spot on so… Glenn Close…

Actor in a Leading Role: Rami Malek/Bohemian Rhapsody
Nominees: Christian Bale/Vice, Willem Dafoe/At Eternity’s Gate, Rami Malek/Bohemian Rhapsody, Bradley Cooper/A Star is Born, Viggo Mortensen/Green Book

Big Yea. All good performances but Rami took it to the next level. He passed my litmus test: I forgot I was watching Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury and thought I was actually watching Freddie Mercury…

Directing: Alfonso Cuaron/Roma
Nominees: Spike Lee/BlacKkKlansman, Powell Pawlikowski/Cold War, Alfonso Cuaron/Roma, Adam McKay, Vice, Yorgos Lanthimos/The Favourite

Yea. This film is so quiet and dramatic and specific. It’s clear that the director put a lot of thought into the scenes and how they fit together. There’s nothing gratuitous in this film. THAT’s good directing…

Cinematography: Roma
Nominees: Cold War, The Favourite, Never Look Away, A Star Is Born, Roma

Yea. As I stated last year, while I appreciate the value of pictures-to-words, I appreciate words more. But, Roma is a visual gem. AND, in the absence of words – which this film has a lot of – the images speak volumes. Kudos to Alfonso Cuaron…

Original Screenplay: Green Book/Nick Vallelonga + Brian Currie + Peter Farrelly
Nominees: The Favourite/Deborah Davis + Tony McNamara, First Reformed/Peter Schrader, Green Book/Nick Vallelanga + Brian Currie + Peter Farrelly, Vice/Adam McKay, Roma/Alfonso Cuaron

Yea. In this field, Green Book is the winner. The other films speak to quality in other areas. This being a true story overshadows all of the other stories in intensity…

Adapted Screenplay: BlacKkKlansman/Spike Lee
Nominees: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, BlacKkKlansman, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, A Star Is Born, If Beale Street Could Talk

Yea. As previously stated many, many times, I am not a Spike Lee fan. However, I am a big fan of this film because the story is so satisfying. So I’m willing to overlook his Spike Lee-isms in the name of the KKK being punk’d…

Foreign Language Film: Roma/Alfonso Carol
Nominees: Capernaum/Lebanon/Nadine Labaki, Cold War/Poland/Powell Pawlikowski, Roma/Mexico/Alfonso Cuaron, Never Look Away/Germany/Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Shoplifters/Japan/Hirokazu Kore-era

Yea. I will admit I didn’t see any of these films except the one that won. I will likely see all of them at some point, but, this win confirms for me that I got the best of the best in this category.

I wanted this film to win this category because I didn’t think it should have been nominated for best picture. It’s a foreign film. Better chance of winning and look what happened…

Best Picture: Green Book
Nominees: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born, Vice

Yea. Hard choice between BlacKkKlansman and Bohemian Rhapsody – all three were moving stories. I guess Green Book had more Academy support.

The other nominees were good, but, didn’t rise to the level of social value for Green Book and BlacKkKlansman and the performance value of Bohemian Rhapsody.

So now let’s address the drama…
No host. Big thumbs up…

Johnny Carson is dead in more ways than one. He hosted the Oscars for years and was one of the best. My only other host thumbs up is Hugh Jackman. But, I think the days of Oscar hosting are over. In the last ten years, there have been so many host-flops… they need to just call it a day on the hosting and continue this new tradition of the announcer introducing the presenters. Worked for me. Show moved along better with exception of the winners being complete buffoons…

So if the Academy wants to improve the Oscars even more, coach the nominees on how to give an acceptance speech without sounding like a complete idiot…

Wishful thinking…






 
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