In the Mix

February 9, 2020

The 92nd Academy Awards

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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The #Oscars were really early this year. I usually have the month of February to prepare, but, not 2020…

Recap ensues but first I want to continue to applaud the hostless Academy Awards. Still a big fan. Still like the way it works. Hope they never go back to hosts…

In what is now a Communicado standard, hindsight is 2020. Ha Ha…

Actress in a Supporting Role: Laura Dern/Marriage Story
Nominees: Kathy Bates/Richard Jewell, Laura Dern/Marriage Story, Scarlett Johansson/Jojo Rabbit, Florence Pugh/Little Women, Margot Robbie/Bombshell

Yea. Laura Dern is quintessential California lawyer in this film. Cut-throat but breezy at the same time. I find this combination of characteristics unsettling, but it exists and she nailed it.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Brad Pitt/Once upon a Time in Hollywood
Nominees: Tom Hanks/A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Anthony Hopkins/The Two Popes, Al Pacino/The Irishman, Joe Pesci/The Irishman

Big NAY! I didn’t like the movie. I didn’t think Brad Pitt was particularly good, in fact, I felt like I was watching Brad Pitt be Brad Pitt. But the word is that this was Brad getting his due. Still not seeing where he was due…

This category should have gone to Tom Hanks or Anthony Hopkins… likely Tom Hanks. He was Fred Rogers…

Actress in a Leading Role: Renee Zellweger/Judy
Nominees: Cynthia Erivo/Harriet, Scarlett Johansson/Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan/Little Women, Charlize Theron/Bombshell, Renee Zellweger/Judy

Marginal yea. Both Cynthia Erivo and Charlize Theron passed my litmus test that I couldn’t see them in the character and so did Renee Zellweger… but there can only be one winner. And while I’m not a fan of Renee Zellweger, I cant dispute that her performance was there.

Actor in a Leading Role: Joaquin Phoenix/Joker
Nominees: Antonio Banderas/Pain and Glory, Leonardo DiCaprio/Once upon a Time in Hollywood, Adam Driver/Marriage Story, Joaquin Phoenix/Joker, Jonathan Pryce/The Two Popes

Marginal nay. Joaquin Phoenix was disturbing as the Joker, but, Adam Driver’s performance made me feel New York… his theatre roots were illuminating and Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis had me mesmerized. Either would have been my choice over Joaquin Phoenix.

Directing: Bong Joon Ho/Parasite
Nominees: The Irishman, Joker, 1917, Once upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

Big yea. The only other film that comes close in this category is 1917 because of the war action scenes which require a lot of detail. But Parasite wraps the details in a stunning story. Well deserved.

Writing (Original Screenplay): Parasite
Nominees: Knives Out, Marriage Story, 1917, Once upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

Big yea again. See above…

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Jojo Rabbit
Nominees: The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, The Two Popes

Confession because the Pope is in this category: I haven’t seen this film, mostly because I’m not much for German culture, nazi stories or Adolph Hitler… but I’m told this story is well done as a satire and I should see it. I’ll see it. Look for my review at a later date.

BUT, it’s gonna have to move me to hysterical tears to change the idea that it’s better than The Two Popes. For me at this moment, this category belongs to The Two Popes…

International Feature Film: Parasite
Nominees: Corpus Christi (Poland), Honeyland (North Macedonia), Les Miserable (France), Pain and Glory (Spain), Parasite (South Korea)

Because most foreign language films have such limited runs at mostly boutique theatres, they are hard to find. But, because of the success of Parasite, I’m gonna deduce the academy got this category right.

BUT – I will eventually see every one of these films. Stay tuned for the reviews…

Best Picture: Parasite
Nominees: Ford vs. Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

Big yea! First foreign language film to ever win best picture. Won for International Feature Film, Directing, original writing… the academy got this one right despite its non-traditional aspects…

This years show was pretty blah. The winners were not necessarily eagerly anticipated with exception of Parasite. It really just came and went. The most significant thing I have to say is to the makers of Les Miserable and Little Women…

Please do some introspection. Find you creative spirit. The world doesn’t need anymore versions of a EITHER of these tales. We loved them the first three times… that’s enough…

See you next year…