You can bet that on February 24, I'll be eagerly ignoring my homework and watching the Oscars, hoping that my favorite movies come out on top.
So as both of my dedicated followers may know, last year I wrote this article about the 2018 Oscar nominations, and I had a lot of fun doing it. I figured, why mess with a winning formula? This year I've decided to channel the literally minutes I've spent reading Oscar-related things online into an article that summarizes exactly what I think about this year's nominations (and notable snubs).
1. Biggest Oscar snub for someone who was actually nominated for another Oscar - Bradley Cooper for directing 'A Star Is Born'
The only thing about A Star Is Born that's gotten more attention than its awards hype this season is how few major awards it has actually won. I think this started at the Golden Globes, when the only award it won out of five nominations was for Best Original Song. Since then, Bradley Cooper has consistently been shut out of winning any of his multiple nominations for Best Actor and Best Director, which I think is a real shame. Though I'm 100% on board the "Rami Malek for Best Actor" hype train this awards season, I was so impressed by Cooper's acting and directing in A Star is Born that not even nominating him for Best Director is a real oversight.
2. Movie I incorrectly predicted would be an Oscars favorite - 'Mary Queen of Scots'
If my approximate hype for a movie could be measured on a scale of 1 to "Mary Poppins Returns," this movie would be pretty close to "Mary Poppins Returns." I was so excited to see a movie starring two of my favorite actresses, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, in meaty historical roles, and I was so sure that they'd both be nominated for Oscars that I actually uttered out loud, "And the Academy Award goes to..." while watching the trailer. Needless to say, neither were nominated in any acting categories, which given their heavily-lauded status in Hollywood was pretty surprising to me.
3. Obscure categories I actually feel strongly about this year - Sound Editing & Sound Mixing
These two awards are usually the ones that I don't pay any attention to while watching the Oscars, but this year is a different story. Why? Because Bohemian Rhapsody is nominated for both of them. After watching the gloriously recreated Live Aid and other concert sequences in the movie, and reading about how Freddie Mercury's voice was blended with Rami Malek and Marc Martel to create the "Freddie" that you hear in the movie, I heartily applaud this movie for its sonic achievements.
4. Category I usually feel strongly about, but this year don't care desperately who wins - Best Animated Feature
This category is always fun for me, because usually there's one animated movie per year that I absolutely love and root for to win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Nine times out of ten, my preferred choice does not end up winning the Oscar, so I've gotten used to mild disappointment whenever this category is announced. However, this year, several animated features I loved and supported like Incredibles 2, Spider Man, Isle of Dogs, and Ralph Breaks The Internet were all nominated in this category, so I'll be less likely to quizzically throw my hands in the air at whoever wins.
5. Most re-watchable trailer that translated into most re-watchable movie - Bohemian Rhapsody
In the last few years, I don't recall zealously re-watching a trailer for any movie as much as I re-watched the Bohemian Rhapsody trailer. I think I watched it at least four times in a row when I first saw it, and I probably watched it at least once a day for the next week. I also don't recall immediately wanting to re-watch a movie as much as I wanted to re-watch Bohemian Rhapsody as soon as the lights came up. Though I don't think that it was technically the best movie of the year, if there even is such a thing, I do think it was probably the most entertaining.
6. Oscar nominee that most exceeded my expectations - BlacKkKlansman
Maybe I just missed it, but I don't remember hearing much awards buzz about BlacKkKlansman when it came out, or when awards nominations were announced. However, after seeing a free screening of it on a whim, I can't believe that this movie isn't favored to win more Oscars. It had everything I like most in a movie: a basis in reality, laugh-out-loud humor, a tight story that doesn't drag, and a supporting character played unexpectedly endearingly by Adam Driver. I do think it has a great chance to win for Best Adapted Screenplay, but I genuinely think it should be higher up in the consideration set for Best Picture this year.
7. The "Christian Bale" award for "Nominee I didn't know was British until they spoke on the Golden Globes red carpet" - Christian BaleGolden Globe Awards - Season 76
I can't be the only one out there who has honestly never seen a video of Christian Bale out of character and talking normally. He's played so many characters with American accents, from Batman to Dick Cheney, that I always just assumed he was American. Therefore, you can imagine my surprise as I watched the Golden Globes, heard him speak in a clear British accent, exclaimed "He's British?!?!" out loud, and Googled it to confirm my surprise.
8. The 'La La Land' award for "Best song nominee that isn't even the best song in its own movie" - "The Place Where The Lost Things Go"
I debuted this category with respect to The Greatest Showman last year, and this year with Mary Poppins Returns the sentiment is still there. "The Place Where The Lost Things Go" is a perfectly OK song, but in a movie filled with lively, magical numbers like "Trip A Little Light Fantastic" and "The Cover Is Not The Book," I thought this song fell a little short. Both of the songs I just mentioned were much more memorable for me and, in my opinion, more worthy of an Oscar nomination.
9. The "female Leo DiCaprio" award for "Oscar nominee who I always root for, but who never wins" - Amy Adams
With her nomination this year for Best Supporting Actress in Vice, Amy Adams has now amassed a total of six Oscar nominations, yet has never won. SIX. Getting nominated for six Oscars is an extraordinary accomplishment for any actor, and I can't think of anyone more deserving of finally winning an Academy Award than Amy Adams. She has been one of my favorite actresses since I first saw her grace the big screen in Enchanted, and though somehow I doubt that this year will be her year to win, I'll be rooting for her just the same.
10. Most obvious, crowdpleasing solutions to the "no Oscars host" ridiculousness - John Mulaney and Nick Kroll
Though this year's Oscars doesn't seem as shrouded in "Me Too" controversies as last year, it still has a little thing to deal with in that its chosen host, Kevin Hart, backed out of hosting months ago due to resurfaced controversial tweets. The Academy later announced that there would be no host for this year's Oscars, which I think is a silly PR move. If the Academy really is trying to attract more viewers, having likable, popular hosts with proven comedic chemistry, like John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, would do a lot more to accomplish this than attempting to shorten the show to three hours.
With all of these opinions in mind, you can bet that on February 24, I'll be eagerly ignoring my homework and watching the Oscars, hoping that my favorite movies come out on top. Oscar night is the one night of the year where everyone gets to feel like a movie critic, and actual movie critics feel like they rule the world.