So let’s talk about those Oscar noms! I honestly don’t really care to but I feel obligated with a movie blog and all. As usual, many deserving movies and talent were ignored. But there were films that got their due, like The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and 1917. Little Women scored a Best Picture nomination (and should win it) while Greta Gerwig was snubbed for Best Director, a category dominated by many talented men (Scorsese, Mendes, Tarantino, Bong) plus Todd Philips. Philips getting a nomination over any of the more talented women with movies this year like Gerwig, Marille Heller, Lulu Wang, Celine Sciamma, Olivia Wilde, or literally anyone else makes all of us who love movies question why we even bother to care about the Oscars.
Joker got more than a Best Director nom, scoring multiple categories including, dreadfully, Best Picture. I don’t mean to exaggerate but I may quit movies if Joker wins Best Picture. Anyway, on a more positive note- Rian Johnson with an Original Screenplay nominated, yay! Ford v. Ferrari with a Best Picture nod, yes! Once Upon a Time in Hollywood killing it with a Best Picture, Best Actor (Leonardo Dicaprio), Best Supporting Actor (Brad Pitt), Cinematography, Director, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, and Original Screenplay, indeed! Parasite with Directing, Best Picture, and Best International Feature, let’s go! I hope it wins both, take that English-language films. Marriage Story got some much deserving love as did 1917.
Ad Astra for Sound Mixing? I’ll take it. The Best Original Score category is satisfying except John Williams’ score for Rise of Skywalker is one of his least memorable pieces- Hildur Guonadottir for Joker (one of the few good things about that movie) Alexandre Desplat for Little Women, Thomas Newman for 1917, and Randy Newman for Marriage Story. The two popes in well, The Two Popes, each got nominated in their respective categories- Best Actor for Jonathon Pryce and Anthony Hopkins for Best Supporting Actor. Both good performances for an underwhelming movie. Antonio Banderas for Best Actor with Pain and Glory is a wonderful surprise. Scarlett Johansson with two nominations (Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress) for Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit, much deserved. Joaquin Phoenix will win Best Actor for Joker and I’m actually fine with that- he was great. Renee Zellweger will win Best Actress for Judy and that’s good too but Judy was a mediocre biopic and Joker was a derivative mess and less than mediocre. Great performances don’t make it a great movie. Oh well, that’s the Academy Awards. I’m sure Joker fanboys will tune in root for their beloved, groundbreaking masterpiece, making ABC happy to see ratings go up. However, many congratulations to all of these talented people, it's nice to see art recognized and dreams come true.
No love for Uncut Gems or Portrait of a Lady on Fire or Booksmart or Midsommar or The Farewell (a crime for this one) or Honey Boy or Last Black Man in San Francisco or Hustlers (Jennifer Lopez) or Waves or A Hidden Life or Monos or The Report or Apollo 11 or Her Smell (Elizabeth Moss needs a nomination for everything) or Atlantics or Dolemite is My Name and so much more. Get my gist? There are no doubt some great movies competing for Oscars, but there’s more to watch than that. There’s more to experience and more stories with more depth than Joker. Seek them out. That’s all it takes. I would list the nominations below but I don't have that time. If you have time to Google the Oscar nominations, you have time to Google more movies. Thank you and happy Sundance season. Bring on more movies!