Oscars 2021, sort of

I hit my immunity date today. 2 weeks after receiving a surprise J&J vaccine when I had to stop by the doc’s for a quick follow up appt. So I’ll be ready for the first round of “must movies” on my list. Black Widow is the only movie I woulda gone to if I wasn’t vaxxed, but thankfully with that pushed, I’ll be good well before then. First one I hafta go to is Spiral, but I might get one or two in before that. Still debating if I wanna keep this blog going tho. I keep having technical issues that don’t feel like they’re worth the hassle. At this point, it’s a sunk cost fallacy problem. I’ve put so much work into it, have soooo many posts (over 1800), and hell it even helped me get my current job, but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and it became such a chore. Just today I spent way too long trying to get an SSL certificate since my security software doesn’t like my page. We’ll see how things go this summer tho.

But first, Oscar movies. After over a decade of hitting at least every best picture, most if not all of the above the line nominees, and the majority of the ones that didn’t include the words “documentary”, “short”, or “foreign”, I barely got any in this year. Obvi I wasn’t going to see things in theaters. I’ve still been on a roll with buying movies and revisiting things on my wall, that I didn’t wanna put much money or effort into tracking these down. So my recap will be short this year.

Best Picture

Minari – Absolutely gorgeous and worth all the hype that built it up. It’s beautiful in its simplicity, and felt so different. Sadly, it felt different because this is a type of representation we haven’t seen much of lately, but hopefully it’s another step forward to a more inclusive cinema scene.
Mank – I got bored watching this and just never got around to finishing it. It’s like it was trying too hard to live up to the legacy of Citizen Kane, but comes off too pretentious. I say all this as a huge David Fincher fan.
Sound of Metal – Loved this movie. Another unique perspective and story that hasn’t been explored much on film. The feel of the film is a little rough and unpolished, so not what I’d normally peg as a best pic. Bonus points for any movie that gets me to momentarily brush off my minimal ASL skillz.
Promising Young Woman – Easily my favorite, and the one I want to win all the awards, tho I don’t see it as the type of film the Academy would get behind as their best pic. However, it is a frontrunner for screenplay, which I am completely behind. If I had seen this in a theater in 2020, it certainly would have made my top ten and possibly even been my #1. It’s very much my thing: dark and funny and smart and stylish.
The Father – Didn’t care enough to chase this one down. I’ll get to it one day.
Judas and the Black Messiah – I really wanna see this one. Right now my only options are to pay $20 to rent it in time to watch it once for the Oscars or pay $20 to own the BluRay a week late. I already put in my pre-order.
Nomadland -Timely story, beautifully crafted on all fronts, but for what’s being touted as the current front runner, I wasn’t very impressed. There was a wow factor missing for me.
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Enjoyed it, as I always do Aaron Sorkin, but he sets a very high bar. It feels like a very safe nominee, since Sorkin already has a base level wow factor, I didn’t feel like it added anything above and beyond what we’re used to from him. The performances were quite entertaining for sure tho.

Best Actor

I’m a little torn on this one. First off, very upset that Delroy Lindo didn’t get in for Da Five Bloods (which should have been nominated across the board for things, including picture). I want Chadwick Boseman to have his posthumous Oscar, and I suspect he will. Actually, I wanted him in for supporting for Bloods to take that win and give this to Lindo or Ahmed (more on him in a second). I wasn’t as wowed by Ma Rainey’s and its performances as others were, but I was in a weird headspace when I was watching it: alone on Christmas, wearing new glasses with an incorrect script that were giving me headaches. Speaking completely objectively, I loved Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal. That was the full package for me with the emotional performance and the added difficulty of learning ASL. Also love Steven Yeun in Minari, but his nomination is his victory.

Best Actress

The one thing I most wanna see happen this year (that isn’t otherwise guaranteed or impossible) is Carey Mulligan taking this. This category is wide open this year with each lady taking a different precursor, but Mulligan has been gunning for this honor since An Education. The Academy does love to crown younger actresses on their way up (Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon, etc), even if she’s been on her way for a while. As much as I love Frances McDormand, she already has two and for me Nomadland was nowhere on par with her previous wins. Granted, this was more subtle than showy, but she’s not doing it for me. Viola Davis was all show, but not a very substantive role for my tastes. I haven’t seen the other two.

Best Supporting Actress

I’ve only seen Amanda Seyfried and Youn Yuh-jung, and I absolutely fell in love with Yuh-jung. Would be happy with her winning to represent Minari. I do feel bad for Glenn Close who has been nominated so many times, but will likely still go home empty handed. From the negative buzz I’ve heard about Hillbilly Elegy, I’m surprised she even made it on here. Have heard good things about Maria Bakalova, and wouldn’t be upset with her getting it. She’s a little green tho, so it’s a long shot.

Best Supporting Actor

Word on the street is this is Daniel Kaluuya’s to lose, and even without seeing his performance yet, I’m on board. He’s another one that’s been predestined to win one day, and this may be that day. I appreciate Paul Raci’s nomination, but that’s as far as he’s going. I did like Sacha Baron Cohen and could see him taking it as a celebration of Trial and Borat, but I don’t think it’ll go that way.

That’s about as much as I have any real opinions on this year. Still debating if I’m gonna try and put effort into finding a way to watch or if I’ll just watch highlight clips the next day. But at least my return to theaters is nigh