So, here we are at the tail end of the CRITICS CHOICE awards, and I can’t help but be overwhelmingly compelled to share thoughts on who is taking Oscar Gold on the 27th of March. It took damn near three months, but I am now caught up on all of the films that have been regularly making the rounds during this award season.
I’ve been following awards season-type shenanigans for a long time, and I understand how important these precursors are to who will take home the gold.
These are BONAFIDE predictions, people. BANK ON THESE. I’m going to close out at least 90% of these predictions. Why?
Okay, the first thing to understand is that THE POWER OF THE DOG has 12 nominations and DUNE has 10. I’ve been watching the Oscars for a long time, and when movies get in the double digits of nominations, stat-padding begins to happen. Blockbusters are always prime to win technical awards even though they have zero chance of winning Best Picture. DUNE will win a LOT of these awards that will not be televised. They are going to DOMINATE the technical awards. Everything involving sound, film editing, production design, and the original score. A score that I absolutely despise. But I want it to win anyway because…
…Hans Zimmer only has one Oscar. One. Back in 1994. FOR THE LION KING!
I will admit that I’m not caught up on the short films. And if I’m going to get on the soapbox really quick, I will say that it’s a damn shame that the directors and the producers of these short films will not get any time to shine on national TV. One simply does not rise from obscurity by winning an Oscar, believe it or not. One rises from obscurity by having the tens of millions watching the telecast SEE you win one.
Anywho, I will now cover the televised awards in detail. Just the winners. If I talk about snubs, I’m just gonna get sad.
The long drawn out idyllic shots of this movie deserve the praise that it’s been getting. Even if those shots take up way too much screen time.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
There wasn’t a single thing in CRUELLA more heavily accentuated than the costume design. When it comes to the time period they are trying to convey, they got every single solitary thing correctly.
Not even remotely close. There’s no disrespect to the other nominees in this category, but it’s not even a conversation. Lin-Manuel Miranda should be standing on the stage as they read off the nominees to save some run time on the overall ceremony.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Don’t be fooled by all the MCU movies in this category. Marvel movies get a f*** ton of nominations in this category on a year-by-year basis, and very few of them win.
SUMMER OF SOUL should be the winner here, but it’s likely going to be the Danish animated docudrama FLEE, and I’m not really mad at that choice.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
Another little fact about the Oscars: if a foreign language film is nominated for Best Picture and has no chance of winning, it will more than likely win for that very same film in what used to be known as the Foreign Language Film category. DRIVE MY CAR winning this award is a lock.
1. Lin-Manuel Miranda will finally win his EGOT when ENCANTO wins the animated short film. “Surface Pressure” and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” are clearly the songs from this soundtrack that stick out for people. Not nominating either of those songs is an absolute joke.
2. The Academy might be fishing for ratings with this particular category, and for that, I think this will go to Beyonce for the song “Be Alive” from KING RICHARD.
3. For the love of all that is good in this world, please DO NOT let that trash theme song from NO TIME TO DIE win in this category. I get sleepy just talking about that song at length, more or less hearing the song out in public. It’s audio NyQuil.
Adapted Screenplay: THE POWER OF THE DOG
Original Screenplay: BELFAST
They’re only a handful of writers who’ve won the Oscar for best-adapted screenplay more than once, and Jane Campion has all the momentum in the universe to become a part of that club. SURPRISINGLY, THE POWER OF THE DOG has proven to be a pretty divisive film (even a lot of us on this website tend to have somewhat radically deferring views on it). Whatever your opinion of it may be, you need to prepare yourself. It’s going to have a big night. I’ll get to that later….
BELFAST, however, doesn’t seem to be polarizing at all. It seemed like the heavy awards favorite going into the new year, and somehow that has not been the case. There are many things about this movie that are absolutely brilliant, the screenplay is one of them. It would be really sad if BELFAST got nothing from its seven nominations. Really sad.
But that won’t be the case here.
There is an argument for literally everybody in this category to win (except Paul Thomas Anderson. He has no chance.) BUT, it’s going to go to Jane Campion. THE POWER OF THE DOG has dominated the precursors. The Academy has shown that they are not shy about giving directors of Netflix movies Oscars (Alfonso Cuaron won the award for ROMA).
THE SUPPORTING PERFORMANCES
Actress: Ariana Dubosie – West Side Story
Actor: Kodi Smit-McPhee – Power of the Dog
It was nice to see Troy Kotsur get some attention, but there has to be an upset somewhere, and this is the one right here. The Oscars really like to start the ceremony with either of the supporting acting performance categories. And I think they’re just going to hit you in the face with what will come later in the day by having the first award go to THE POWER OF THE DOG.
And as far as Dubosie is concerned well, one thing that also often happens with Oscar ceremonies is that there will be one nominee in a supporting acting category that is a virtual lock to win. There is one every single year. Daniel Kaluuya was that last year. Both Brad Pitt and Laura Dern were that the year before that, and Mahershala Ali was the year before that. So at this point, if Dubosie were to lose, it would be one of the bigger Oscar upsets in recent memory.
Actor- Will Smith
The first review I ever wrote for this website was in September of last year for a movie called THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, and in that review, I said that this award was Chastain’s to lose. I am completely unshaken by Nicole Kidman’s Golden Globe win. It doesn’t matter. Kidman has an Oscar already and has been nominated (and lost) for better performances. The SAG awards win makes Chastain the favorite, and I’m patting myself on the back for calling this out 6 months ahead of time.
As far as Smith goes… Well, I will just say this… Last year, Chadwick Boseman was victorious on almost every single precursor leading up to the Academy Awards and lost. It’s one of the bigger upsets in Oscar history. For such a rare occurrence under virtually the same circumstances to happen two years in a row is highly unlikely. This is a top-three performance from one of the most beloved movie stars of our time. As last year showed, nothing is guaranteed in this category. But nothing else really makes a lot of sense other than him winning.
THE POWER OF THE DOG
I’ve had this conspiracy theory for a long time that the Academy was going to fight tooth and nail from giving this particular award to a streaming service for as long as possible. However, everybody else has resigned when it comes to art house films, mid-level dramas, or streaming services that have proven to be vastly superior to theatrical releases. They are also willing to reward them for putting lots of money towards their efforts.
Maybe the Academy is still on their petty s*** and will give this award to BELFAST even though it hasn’t won any precursors whatsoever, or maybe they will channel how out of touch they often tend to be and give it to WEST SIDE STORY as a f*** you to everybody watching the telecast. In the past two years, this business has put Netflix (and streaming services in general really) in a position to continuously be the frontrunner for this particular award, and I don’t know how long that can be ignored. I’m not going to get too preachy about that. As divisive as THE POWER OF THE DOG has proven to be, it wouldn’t be the first divisive film to win.