Oscars 2020 Winners (predictions and actuals): May the morning after be bright with sunshine and minimal bloodbath

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Oscar is tonight and it's time for last minute predictions! Added my friend Griz's predictions in purple. May the best prognosticator win at doing things that don't matter! (Actual results will be in red).

So, a few thoughts about the show and the winners :
- New hashtags: #oscarstryhard, #oscarsgoodnoracist, and #oscarsokorean
- How amazing is Bong Joon-ho and his speeches? The best of the night, honouring the fellow nominees so beautifully and unexpectedly.
- The cow and the milk and the cow's milk in your coffee. Well, they did give the prize to Joaquin, so I guess that was par for the course.
- Does anyone know what Renee was on?
- James Corden and Rebel Wilson in cat costumes playing with the mic was a thing. Unfortunately, we also had Emimen and Phoenix so there were lots of things.
- Eilish was the least weird of the night.
- Maya and Kristen were funny and NOT weird. Why was that so hard to do?
- Lovely speech from the woman composer, Hildur Guðnadóttir.
- I love Olivia Colman.
- Sigourney Weaver said "All women are superheroes"? Speak for yourself, sister. I'm here for the okay people. *channeling Boyega*

Alt. 1917

I'm going to be bold and predict something outrageous. Come on SAG, you can help it!


Alt. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Sam Mendes - 1917
Alt. Bong Joon-ho - Parasite!!!!!

This is Sam Mendes' to lose. <----- and lose he did! Wowza.

Sam Mendes - 1917
Alt. Bong Joon Ho - Parasite

Renee Zellwegger - Judy
Alt. Scarlett Johansson - Marriage Story

The acting categories have been a clean swept, so I'd expect no difference at the Oscars. It's so sad that Scarlett will go home empty handed - she's had a major year, and would've won with Jojo in another year.

Renee Zellweger - Judy 
Alt. Scarlett Johansson - Marriage Story  

Joaquin Phoenix - Joker
Alt. Antonio Banderas – Pain and glory

Joaquin Phoenix - Joker 
Alt. Adam Driver - Marriage Story 

Laura Dern - Marriage story
Alt. Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit

Laura Dern - Marriage Story
Alt. Scarlett Johansson - Jojo Rabbit 

Brad Pitt - Once upon a time ... in Hollywood
Alt. Anthony Hopkins – The two popes

Brad Pitt - Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Alt. Joe Pesci - The Irishman

Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin Wong - Parasite
Alt. Noah Baumbach - Marriage Story

WGA gave it to Parasite, and Bong's fans may be pushing for this award for him at the very least.

Alt. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

Taika Waititi - Jojo Rabbit
Alt. Anthony McCarten - The two popes

I hope Jojo gets it - consolation prize for Waititi.

Jojo Rabbit 
Alt. Little Women 

Alt. Pain and glory

As if there's another choice. Too bad really, because I'd pick Pain and Glory over Parasite.

Parasite (South Korea)
Alt. Pain and Glory (Spain)

Alt. Toy story 4

I would've picked Toy Story 4, but the Annie surprisingly went to Klaus so I dunno.

Toy Story 4

American Factory
Alt. Honeyland

Having seen American Factory, I'd say it's a shoo-in because the Oscars is concerned with Americans (but also, serious issues).

American Factory
Alt. Honeyland

Roger Deakins - 1917
Alt. Robert Richardson - Once upon a time ... in Hollywood

Freakin' Deakins.

Alt. Joker 

Parasite x Ford v Ferrari!
Alt. Jojo Rabbit

This is a big technical category for Parasite to win, and determines most of the time the Best Picture winner.

Ford v Ferrari
Alt: Parasite

Alt. Once upon a time ... in Hollywood

It's open, but 1917 just looks laborious.

Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood
Alt: 1917

Alt. The Lion King

I'm going to 'serious.'

The Lion King
Alt. 1917

Ford v Ferrari x Joker
Alt. 1917

Ford v Ferrari 
Alt. 1917 

Alt. Ford v Ferrari

I'm only switching around because Joker may get something technical and this may be a good category for it to take. But there's no reason why Ford couldn't take this category either. Flip a coin!

Ford v Ferrari
Alt. 1917

Alt. 1917

There's Judy, and maybe Judy may take it. But the whole thing around Bombshell has been how much Charlize looks like whatsherface, so I'm guessing it'll get something here.

Alt. Joker

Little Women
Alt. Jojo Rabbit

Consolation prize?

Little Women
Alt. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Alt. Joker

Very notable song sung in the film, and notable soundtrack too, so I'm betting on that.

Alt. 1917 

Alt. Frozen II

Elton's to lose.

Alt. Toy Story 4


CINEMAPS' BEST OF 2019: All the pain, all the gains

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I know I'm saying this every year, but it's especially true this year: life was exceedingly stretched for me, and as a result, my film watching time shrunk significantly. Without the Toronto International Film Festival, I don't know if I would have had anything to write for this post. I removed myself almost completely out of the awards season loop once I realized that it was going to be a bloodbath. I have less than zero interest in debating the political correctness of awarding films. As usual, my picks reflect my love and admiration for the films and their various features. The most political thing I would look at is a film's relevance and message to our time. Without further ado, here is the year in film for me:

Pain and Glory

01. Dolor y gloria (Pain and glory; Almodóvar) ****1/2 A devastating look at a life that has an undercurrent of both pain and beauty (my alternate title for the film). The pangs of regrets, to love and to have lost, embraced and escaped - all were sobering and filled with shades of light in this Almodóvar magnum opus. Antonio Bandaras was heartbreaking, and Penelope Cruz was just so radiant. Glorious.

02. Apollo 11 (Miller) ****1/2 I saw this in IMAX and it was transcendental. I was so moved by humanity's hope, and awash with sadness that we live in a time depleted with this much sense of collective wonder.

03. Om det oändliga (About endlessness; Andersson) ****1/2 I'm rapidly becoming a huge Andersson's fan. I picked this film to see at TIFF based on it being directed by him, despite not being all that keen on the synopsis that spoke to it being more of a series of vignettes. The existential angst and humour continued to lead the way, threading through various straight-face set ups. Theatrical, sad, absurdly funny, and just all around brilliant.

04. Synonymes (Synonyms; Lapid) **** The kinetic energy was so bold and infectious, it reminded me of the early (fun) Godard cinema. The film had lots to say about belonging and rootlessness, wrapped in the complexities of immigration and integration. It played almost like a satire in some ways. The scene with the citizenship class was so precise in its commentary, it was painful to sit through. And yet, the whole sequence developed in such surprising ways that one could not help but be glued to what was going to happen next. Exciting filmmaking.

05. Parasite (Bong) **** So much fun. Despite some of the more obvious over-the-head scenes, the picture was assuredly directed and Bong made certain his characters were highly accessible to the audience.

06. Jojo rabbit (Waititi) **** I love this movie more than probably most people, and I love this cast so, so much. Its sweetness at the core moved me to cry so many rivers. It's probably Waititi's most accomplished picture yet.

07. Marriage story (Baumbach) **** This should be mandatory viewing for those going through a divorce or about to go through/thinking of one. It was scarily accurate and heartbreaking in its earnestness. Scarlet Johansson was good, but the way that the script unfolded made sure that the film belonged to Adam Driver.

08. EMA (Larraín) ***1/2 Hypersexualized and daring in ways that most films featuring female protagonists would not attempt. Forget Joker, see EMA instead for the modern portrait of an intensely magnetic anti-hero whose edges defied moral conventions. If nothing else, see it for the dances!  

09. Atlantique (Atlantics; Diop) ***1/2 A unique and hypnotizing tale of young love in the time of separation and disconnect. The mystical, supernatural part of the story was seamlessly woven into the reality of life in the dust of industry and progress. Notably, the 'haunted' people were not treated as something to be scared of; rather, they were like ancestral ghosts coming back to make things right with their naughty relatives.

10. Ford v Ferrari (Mangold) ***1/2 Wonderful casting made this movie better than it would have been otherwise. I thoroughly enjoyed the car racing sequences, but it was Bale whose commitment elevated the material and centered the film's emotional core.

Apollo 11
Grin and Pulse
The most fun I had watching a movie this past year
Apollo 11
Jojo Rabbit
Ford v Ferrari
Knives out

Impressive, memorable staging of a shot or series of shots
Night time shelling, 1917
Jojo ties his mother's shoe, Jojo Rabbit
Ema's crew dancing, EMA
Mallo & his mother wake up in an empty building, Pain & Glory
Soldiers in a line walking in the snow, About endlessness

Confident storytelling, with a touch of "wow"
Pedro Almodóvar, Pain and Glory
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Roy Andersson, About Endlessness
Nadav Lapid,  Synonyms

I feel you

Scarlet Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Adam Driver, Marriage Story / Star Wars: the rise of Skywalker  
Antonio Banderas, Pain and glory
Carol Duarte, The invisible life of Eurídice Gusmão
Leonardo Di Caprio, Once upon a time in Hollywood

Mariana Di Girolamo, EMA
Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker   
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Lupita Nyong'o, Us

Create interesting, layered, cohesive universe; would make for a great read on its own
Pedro Almodóvar, Pain and glory
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Noah Baumbach, Marriage story
Fernando Meirelles, The two popes 

1917 Night battle behind the scene
Interesting, effective cuts and stitches that support and move the story visually
Apollo 11
Jojo Rabbit
Ford v Ferrari

Takes my breath away
Pain and glory
About endlessness
Once upon a time in Hollywood

About Endlessness
Art Direction / Production Design
Transportive, impactful set design
Pain and glory
About endlessness
Jojo Rabbit
Once upon a time in Hollywood

Movie Magic
Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker
Ford v Ferrari
Spiderman: Far from home
Another beautiful day in the neighborhood

Amplify the visuals and enrich my sensory experience
Ford v Ferrari

Was it memorable?
Ford v Ferrari

Stray comments:
- Buckets of tears ranking: Pain and glory (regret scene), Apollo 11 (all the moon footages), Jojo Rabbit (Jojo with his mother), Another beautiful day in the neighborhood (death 'anything human is mentionable, anything mentionable is manageable'), Marriage story, Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker (Chewie, Kylo 'I know what I'm supposed to do but I'm not sure I can do it')
- Totally did not expect to like Skywalker as much as I did, and a large part of it was Adam Driver's performance as Kylo Ren
- Scarlet Johansson's role in Jojo Rabbit is the most tailor made for her as a movie star as I've ever seen - she was absolutely stunning in it
- Newcomer George McKay was great in 1917, even though I don't have room on my top 10 for him
- Speaking of performances, Charlize Theron kills it as Megyn Kelly but I think half of that is prosthetics' work
- So sad about Dark Phoenix - what a waste of a cast!
- What the heck is with all the straight-to-Netflix films like Earthquake Bird and 6 Underground?
- Ana de Armas is MADE for the big screen; so is Mariana Di Girolamo, who commands and wills her film into being 
- Everyone should watch Marriage Story, for the intricacies of a dissolution of a well intentioned relationship
- Little Women was good but Greta made a better movie in Lady Bird.

Films I'm intending to see that could make a dent on the list above
They shall not grow old
The lighthouse
The farewell
Doctor sleep
Honey boy
Dark waters
Portrait of a lady on fire
Queen and slim
A hidden life
In Fabric
Varda by Agnès
The kingmaker
The cave

Ranked out of *****
Pain and Glory (Almodóvar)
Apollo 11 (Miller)
About Endlessness (Andersson)

Synonymes (Synonyms; Lapid)
Parasite (Bong)
Jojo Rabbit (Waititi)
Marriage story (Baumbach)

EMA (Larraín)
Atlantics (Diop)
Ford v Ferrari (Mangold)
Us (Peele)
I was at home, but ... (Schanelec)
Once upon a time in Hollywood (Tarantino)
Star Wars: the Rise of Skywalker (Abrams)
1917 (Mendes) 
Uncut gems (Safdie & Safdie)
American Factory (Reichert & Bognar)
Another beautiful day in the neighborhood (Heller)

Knives out (Johnson)
The two popes (Meirelles)
Toy story 4 (Cooley)
Martin Eden (Marcello)
Little Women (Gerwig)
Rocketman (Fletcher)
Bombshell (Roach)
The Irishman (Scorsese)
J'ai perdu mon corps (I lost my body; Clapin)

Ad astra (Gray)
Avengers: end game (Russo & Russo)
Spiderman: far from home (Watts)
A vida invisível (The invisible life of Eurídice Gusmão; Aïnouz)
Joker (Phillips)
John Wick 3: parabellum (Stahelski)
Dolemite is my name (Brewer)
Captain Marvel (Boden & Fleck)

The report (Burns)
The laundromat (Soderbergh) 
Stuber (Dowse)

6 Underground (Bay)
The operative (Adler)
Earthquake bird (Westmoreland)
Dark phoenix (Kinberg)



Recently Seen (out of *****)

  • One night in Miami (King, 2020) ***
  • Mank (Fincher, 2020) ***1/2
  • Coming 2 America (Brewer, 2021) **1/2
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Wolfe, 2020) ***1/2
  • I care a lot (Blakeson, 2020) **

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