Oh, Oscar Night: You Cruel Lady of Terror

Oh New Queer’s Eve was quite the shakeup with some relocation and the notification of so many maybes, we wound up at Capitol Cider with a corner we solidified we a few excited people chatting about films and trying not to spill drinks. Next year, we’ll certainly be moving to a larger place so we can have some guests for a party. Until then we have memories of Fey-Poehler-Rudolph kicking it off with a bang proving we don’t need an attention drawing host disappointing any time it’s not Ellen. The category specific Oscars are as follows:

I’ll just use this opportunity to name my favorites of 2018 per eligible category. I realized I haven’t named my own choices.

Best Picture

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
My guess and my choice: Roma
WINNER: Green Book
A Star is Born

Oh gurl, this was a sad night overall with some major upsets and some unwarranted consensus. The lies that have been reported about Green Book’s story dishonors its main subject for another appropriation of black suffering by a white man. Thirty years since Driving Miss Daisy or Mississippi Burning. Fifty years from In the Heat of the Night. This is the category that will take the longest to change.

Best Director

Spike Lee (BlacKKKlansman)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
Adam McKay (Vice)

Some notes: Such an intimate feature. So atmospheric and gorgeous, it’s a shame it didn’t have a wider theatrical release. Cuaron developed a beautiful feature.

Best Lead Actor

Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)
MY GUESS AND WINNER: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
Christian Bale (Vice)

My choice: Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)

Some notes: Malek’s award was presented following lipsynching cheese before a truly disappointing win from a truly stellar acting year (outside the nominations, of course).

Best Lead Actress

My Guess:Glenn Close (The Wife)
Yalitza Apricio (Roma)
WINNER: Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me)

My choice: Toni Collette (Hereditary)

Some notes: I had to be consoled following Glenn’s loss, but Colman is my favorite actress of the nominees, and she had the best speech of the night. Off the cuff, grateful, bringing the amazing energy of that kind of unexpected win for a truly exceptional performance. I think of her moments–lying on the floor screaming after being pulled off her own dramatics–and I’m transformed back to those dark corridors far more quickly than memories of Stone or Weisz.

Best Supporting Actor

Adam Driver (BlacKKKlansman)
MY GUESS AND WINNER: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me)
Sam Rockwell (Vice)
Sam Elliott (A Star is Born)

My choice, ugghh. I’m gonna need to say Richard E. Grant, but part of me wants to say Alex Wolff in Hereditary, but part of me needs to rewatch Steven Yeun in Burning. God, they missed the mark with these nominations

Some notes: Ali won. Ali is a goddamn lead actor; the story just simply wouldn’t exist if he weren’t in it. His character was lied about and used, and to stamp a big FU on his grave, Mahershala Ali gets his second Oscar for a subjugated queer man of color still second to a racist caricature he employed.

Best Supporting Actress

Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
Marina de Tavira (Roma)
Amy Adams (Vice)
MY GUESS AND MY CHOICE AND WINNER: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)

Some notes: Regina King was so vibrant in the force of motherhood honoring James Baldwin’s tremendous literary energy. Beautiful first award for the night.

Best Original Screenplay

My Guess: The Favourite
WINNER: Green Book
First Reformed

My Choice: The Favourite / Eighth Grade: I really can’t choose. Both are visceral and hilarious. One has sumptuous intrigue; the other, relatability across generations.

Some notes: Green Book tells a lie and told it with a deceptive flair. If you learn the issues, you almost feel embarrassed watching it.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
My choice and my guessCan You Ever Forgive Me
A Star is Born
If Beale Street Could Talk

Some notes: BlacKKKlansman had some fabrication, but in the service of relating to modern society and doing it with style. Spike Lee laid himself bare on that stage. On rewatch, BlacKKKlansman was even better for the darting storyline capturing headlines of action with intimate moments or brash humor or hopeful romance. Can You Ever Forgive Me is easily my favorite, though: a crisp, hilarious, lively film I will watch on repeat.

Best Documentary

Hale County This Morning This Evening
Of Fathers and Sons
My guess and my choice:Minding the Gap
WINNER: Free Solo

Some notes: Minding the Gap is my choice, and I was hopeful and atypical winner would take it. Free Solo is the only nominee I hadn’t seen, but I’ve heard excellent things. I actually often miss the winner: I still haven’t seen Icarus from last year.

Best Animated Movie

Ralph Breaks the Internet
Incredibles 2
My choice: Isle of Dogs
My guess and WINNER: Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse

Some notes: I liked Spiderman, but Isle of Dogs remains one of my favorite movies of the year.

Best Cinematography

MY Choice: Cold War
Never Look Away
The Favourite
A Star is Born

Some notes: Still haven’t seen Never Look Away and where I loved Roma’s black and white capture, Cold War established such bold imagery servicing its storytelling: framing every moment of drifting dissatisfaction.

Best Costume Design

Mary Poppins Returns
The Favourite
Mary Queen of Scots
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Some notes: Ruth E Carter deserved this and her speech was amazing. OMG such iconic costuming.

Best Production Design

Mary Poppins Returns
The Favourite
First Man

Some notes: Hannah Beachler may be the first African-American nominated and clearly to have won, but I think she may become the first recognizable production designer. ABOUT TIME! Touching speech and that dress!

Best Editing

My guess: Vice
Green Book
The Favourite
WINNER: Bohemian Rhapsody

Some notes: Bohemian Rhapsody is an objectively poorly edited film.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

My choice: Border
Mary Queen of Scots
My guess and WINNER: Vice

Some notes: Vice did have pretty fantastic makeup, but Border serviced it’s story in grimy, full body glory and made it sexy. Worst speech, maybe ever.

Best Sound Mixing

AKA: mixing score, sound effects, dialogue into the movie.

My choice: Roma
First Man
My guess and WINNER: Bohemian Rhapsody
A Star is Born
Black Panther

Some notes: This is the only award I was fine with Bohemian Rhapsody winning. They had to make the lipsynching work, and there was a lot of sound to manage. Plus, one of the winners missed for Baby Driver. Roma deserved it for the atmospheric experience of this film; more people needed to see this in theater to appreciate it fully.

Best Sound Editing

AKA: creating and changing sounds for film

My guess and my choice: First Man
A Quiet Place
Black Panther
WINNER: Bohemian Rhapsody

Some notes: I though this was where First Man was going to win (wishful thinking), but Bohemian Rhapsody stole it with crowd scenes and instrument sounds. There’s too much overlap.

Best Score

My guess and WINNER: Black Panther
MY Choice: If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

Some notes: I don’t hate Ludwig winning anything, and Black Panther has a tremedous, memorable score. If Beale Street Could Talk’s score made me cry. I couldn’t hate either, and Brittell will be back.

Best Song

My guess and WINNER: Shallow (A Star is Born)
I’ll Fight (RBG)
All the Stars (Black Panther)
Where the Lost Things Go (Mary Poppins Returns)
When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs)

My choice: I don’t know really. The Cover Is Not the Book from Mary Poppins Returns gets stuck in my head; and its nominee WTLTG is swell as well. Maybe It’s Time and Shallow are both fantastic. I’ll just say Shallow as it did have an amazing impact.

Best Visual Effects

My guess and my choice: Avengers: Infinity War
WINNER: First Man
Christopher Robin
Ready Player One

Some notes: I loved First Man. I’m glad it was recognized.


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