13 January 2020 831 Views

The Oscar Nominations are In. Meh. Yawn. So What?

by James Murphy

THE ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS..THIS YEAR BROUGHT TO YOU BY ALGORITHM 

 

Whilst I would never diminish the honour of being nominated, let alone winning an Oscar? This year’s selection could have been designed via template. And that’s kinda depressing.

BEST ACTOR IN A JOKER PERFORMANCE: Joaquin Phoenix. Following on from Heath Ledger. Next guy who plays it might be given Best Director, too, even if they only acted in it. Coz Joker = awards. Unless you get a Jared Leto kind of screw over..or Jack Nicholson level $$$ (Jack shoulda been nominated back in 1990 for best supporting actor).

BEST COMIC BOOK MOVIE (Oh shit we cannot do that..I mean BEST PICTURE nod): JOKER! Yet ENDGAME will get some visual effects silver medal, despite its being every bit as epic as Return of the King and far more daring in its way than this new DC wannabe Scorsese clone Joker ting..

BEST DIRECTOR IN NEED OF A PAT ON THE BACK: Sam Mendes. I LOVE Sam. I welcome ANY award he gets. A much deserved, long overdue knighthood came his way this year. The man reinvented Theatre. He made one of the best James Bond films of all time (no, not SPECTRE..)..SKYFALL. He once wrote me a lovely, hand written note when I was a student at New College, Oxford. That alone..gets him my vote.

But it’s a BIT predictable, though? As though it’s simply Sam’s TURN to get an award again, 20 years on? 1917 is indeed, universally acclaimed. But how could it NOT be? War movie with message. Visual and structural innovation. Taps into zeitgeist. Cast of Oscar bait Brit luvvies from Firth to Cumberbatch. It’s like this was designed by a computer programme to get Oscars. And it will. And fair enough. ANYTHING that prevents JOKER winning..gets my vote..and anything from Sam, too! Even so..well you know what I mean.

BEST LACK OF DIVERSITY QUOTA BAIT THAT IS IN FACT JUST AWARDING HER TALENT AND HARD WORK: I do not like JOKER. Had you guessed? But WHAT a sublime score. And its composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir, won a Golden Globe. She has been nominated here. Because she is an amazing TALENT. Because her hard work and innovation paid off. And she HAPPENS to be a woman. So let’s NOT make this ABOUT her being a woman and let’s NOT have everyone bemoan the LACK of diversity when surely, this shows, that talent and hard work and creativity = reward not some quota / deficit / guilt trip that need not even be there? Just sayin, like. Might be nice to give the gong to John Williams though for Rise of Skywalker: if only to combat the irrational hatred of a lovely film and crown a career whose music has defined cinema in many senses for over 40 years.

BEST ACTOR WHO IS NOT ROBERT DENIRO: EVERYONE on THE IRISHMAN seems to have got a gong nod. Why? It’s a fine film. But also long, dull, brutal, done before and better by Scorsese, Coppola et al. Maybe Stephen Graham and Joe Pesci are award worthy in it. But Pacino did a better job of this type of thing in Donnie Brasco /Godfather; it simply was not a stretch for him. I would consider giving the picture best editing, sound and special effects too. But a big no to a major directing / picture /acting gong.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR WHO IS NOT ROBERT DOWNEY JUNIOR: Downey SHOULD have an Oscar by now. Heck, he should have LOTS of them, with bells attached. Sadly he must wait until he meets the sympathy for an old man quota when he hits 70. I know the man did not want lobbying for his turn in ENDGAME. But tough shit, Bob: you gave a bloody GREAT performance in a movie founded on a legacy you built; you played every emotion going and every kind of human frailty whilst keeping things fun, clean and still an ensemble spirit. This was a unique opportunity to award you and indeed Marvel without going down the divisive route of ‘best popular film’.

Instead? We may get yet another Tom Hanks win (in addition to his lifetime achievement Golden Globe; yes he is a great actor..but no, he is not retired, overlooked or dying so..). I would be very cool with Brad Pitt winning in Downey’s absence. Brad is a character actor of great calibre, mistaken for a movie star. He is long overdue an award to match his years of talented hard work both onscreen and behind camera as Producer.

BEST MOVIE ACTORS AND OTHER PEOPLE INVOLVED IN SOMETHING TO DO WITH POPES: Two Popes looks like it might win big, too. It is a brilliant film and accessible, literate, reflective, beautiful, measured etc. But I have an irrational loathing for Jonathan Pryce and I never warmed to Pope Francis anymore than I did Benedict so if he wins something I will fall asleep. Give his award to Martine McCutcheon and then I’ll be up for the win. Anthony Hopkins could win something, maybe? His Pope Benedict is one of his most studied recent performances;every bit as good as his Nixon back in 1996.

 

THE OSCARS WILL BE LIVE STREAMED IN FEBRUARY. PRESENTED BY MEGHAN THE DUCHESS OF DISNEY (COPYRIGHT; TRADE MARK) AND PRINCE EMERITUS HARRY SUSSEX-WALES-WINDSOR. In the nude. To save on carbon footprint. The nudity will be designed from recycled fibre: By Stella McCartney. 

 

 



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