Full disclosure: Today’s ramble is full of my takes on the Oscar nominees, but here’s a rejected topic, if you want to participate: Pick a movie or two that you think should’ve gotten some love from the Academy? (Mine are Paddington 2 and Widows.)
Ramble of the Day
If you’re an old customer and/or have been paying attention, I’m a very big fan of movies, so naturally, the Academy Awards is something I’m interested in. I don’t necessarily think they get everything right, but the award season itself is an interesting study in who likes what, who is important in Hollywood, how much people work to win awards, and lately, how much the Academy is changing. Above all, it’s a reason to have takes about something I care about, and what else is the Hoddle if not a place for me to share my unsolicited takes?
I’ll start by quickly summarizing how I feel about the nominees:
Black Panther: Hardly a traditional choice, but it’s well-thought out and entertaining, made a ton of money, and is very significant culturally. It’s earned its spot here.
BlacKkKlansman: Fascinating story that Spike Lee did a great job telling. The smaller details in the screenwriting really make it what it is.
Bohemian Rhapsody: As I’ve said before, a Wikipedia page has more narrative structure than this film. This film does a disservice to Freddie Mercury, and makes me think negatively of the two Queen members that were heavily involved with it.
The Favourite: Outstanding execution of a unique idea. Everyone involved knocked it out of the park.
Green Book: There isn’t an innovative thing about it, and in some ways, it’s the opposite of that.
Roma: You feel every note of this very personal film, which was ambitiously made and succeeded in every way.
A Star is Born: Hits the emotional levels really well, and is an impressive first directorial effort from Bradley Cooper.
Vice: It’s innovative at the very least, but Adam McKay doesn’t pull this one off the way he did with The Big Short. Christian Bale and Amy Adams are genuinely good, though.
For me, Roma and The Favourite are very easily my top two choices. I had a tough time picking, but I’ll go with The Favourite as my favorite because I love how the filmmakers turned a period piece on its head.
I’m always going to pick the director of the film I think is the best one, so Yorgos Lanthimos is my answer.
I haven’t seen At Eternity’s Gate yet, so I can’t comment on Willem Dafoe. Viggo Mortensen is easily the weakest of the performances I’ve seen, while the remaining three are different levels of impressive. Rami Malek does well in Bohemian Rhapsody, but I honestly keep thinking that movie didn’t quite capture the essence of Mercury correctly, so I’ll have to knock him off, too. Cooper is very good in A Star is Born, but I think I’ll let Bale have this one. He captures Dick Cheney’s essence very well.
Lady Gaga does well in A Star is Born, but I’d rather see her in a different type of role before saying she deserves an acting Oscar. The other four are really sublime, and I found that Glenn Close, Olivia Colman, and Melissa McCarthy in particular did Oscar-winning work. I have to pick one, so I’ll pick McCarthy. She’s got great range, and really nailed it in Can You Ever Forgive Me?.
Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell is the only performance of the bunch I didn’t like, and while Mahershala Ali and Adam Driver were good in their movies, they’re not my favorites of the group. I’m happy Sam Elliott got his Oscar nomination — the scenes with him and Cooper were some of the best parts of A Star is Born — but the choice for me is obviously Richard E. Grant. He and McCarthy are probably the year’s best on-screen pairing, and like her, he absolutely nails his role.
Best Supporting Actress
I hate that Adams is going to be a six-time Oscar loser, but Vice did her a disservice by not having more of Lynne Cheney in it if it claims she’s the reason Dick Cheney is the way he is. I loved the other four, but I’m stuck between Regina King, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Stone. I loved The Favourite, so I’ll give it to Weisz, especially for her final scene with Olivia Colman.
I’m looking forward to your takes in the comments.
tl;dr: I once again sound off on the films vying for Oscars on Sunday.
Links of the Day
Millwall has been charged by the FA after a group of fans chanted racist messages during the team’s FA Cup victory over Everton. The club plans on issuing lifetime bans to those fans.
Stoke is considering sacking Saido Berahino following an arrest on suspicion of drunk driving.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been fined £45,000 by the FA after he criticized
BBC Two has commissioned Afternoons, a comedy series about three off-duty footballers of a fictional Premier League team, that will be produced by Liverpool chairman Tom Werner.
Today’s longer read: Suzanne Wrack makes suggestions on how to improve refereeing in the women’s game for The Guardian