So it’s Oscar nominations day today! As always I expect their choices to be safe and dull, ignoring the real stand outs and disappointing everyone in the process. Because hey that’s the Oscars for you! The correct choices rarely win. I’m anticipating multiple noms for Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, A Star is Born, Roma and Vice, an all male directors shortlist (because only one woman has ever won (all hail Kathryn Bigelow) and Greta Gerwig’s nomination at the height of the “Me Too” scandal felt like pure tokenism) and total shut outs for some of my faves from the past year – Destroyer, First Reformed and You Were Never Really Here.
But if I were in charge (one day, one happy day!) my dream Oscar ballot would be the following (favourite listed first):
Spiderman:Into the Spider Verse
You Were Never Really Here
Why should the Oscars only seek to nominate all the movies about grim and depressing things? Let’s have super heroes with heart, magical nannies and adorable immigrant bears in the mix. The Favourite though with its stunning trio of lead performances and canny mix of bawdy humour and pathos would still triumph.
Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Panos Cosmatos (Mandy)
Ryan Coogler (Black Panther)
Karyn Kusama (Destroyer)
You Were Never Really Here was promoted outside award season but Ramsay is my choice for her lean, mean hardboiled noir. And I stand by the inclusion of Panos Cosmatos for Mandy – one of the best looking films of the year.
Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here)
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
Ryan Gosling (First Man)
Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
In reality probably only Cooper and Mortensen are going to make the list (with Cooper possibly getting the acting prize as a consolation for Cuaron taking best film and director). Gosling’s performance was a master class in subtlety and deserved far more love than it received. Hawke hits a career high as a priest questioning his faith. However I’d give the Oscar immediately to Joaquin Phoenix who did an astonishing job as a tortured hit man looking for a kidnapped girl. Owing to his inate inability to self publicise he’ll inevitably get passed over for Christian Bale or Rami Malek (and as good as their work is god I’m fed up of people awarding imitation over creating a character from the bottom up) but he remains possibly the best actor working today.
Nicole Kidman (Destroyer)
Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place/Mary Poppins Returns)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Toni Collette (Hereditary)
Carey Mulligan (Wildlife)
In reality this will be a Close/Colman/Gaga death match but I’m astounded that the best performance of the year is probably going to go un-nominated. Kidman is astonishing as a tough as nails cop in Destroyer and obliterates the competition. Blunt has had herself quite the year and deserves the love. Collette was the lynchpin of Hereditary – it never would have worked without her. Wildlife was a cold fish of a piece but I was transfixed by Mulligan who sold her mess of a character beautifully.
Best Supporting Actor
Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Hugh Grant (Paddington 2)
Sam Elliot (A Star is Born)
Ben Whishaw (Mary Poppins Returns)
This category will be Ali’s to lose but he’s the co-lead. I prefer Michael B. Jordan’s soulful, nasty turn as Killmonger which effortlessly lifted him to the top of the MCU’s best villains list. But if comedy was as respected as drama this would have Hugh Grant’s name on it.
Best Supporting Actress
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Nina Ariadna (Stan and Ollie)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Zoe Kazan (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs)
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
This is King’s to lose and rightly so but I adored Rachel Weisz who I felt was by some measure the best thing in The Favourite. Kazan crams a feature’s worth of characterisation into 20 minutes and shines. Nina Ariadna pops on the screen in Stan and Ollie and her’s is more the sort of performance that should be nominated in a category which is often filled with female leads committing category fraud.
Mandy (Johann Johannson)
Black Panther (Ludwig Goransson)
First Man (Justin Hurwitz)
Suspiria (Thom Yorke)
You Were Never Really Here (Jonny Greenwood)
I’m here for the Radiohead death match but I’d give it to Mandy which has the most interesting beautiful score of the year with its psychedelic synth tracks.
Best Animated Feature
Spiderman: Into the Spider Verse
The Incredibles 2
Ralph versus the Internet
I struggled to come up with more than three so lets just give it to Spidey as it’s amazing
Theres no point even listing nominees as it’s going to Shallow. But please nominate Suspirium by Thom Yorke as I want to see if he’ll show to sing it.