As Oscar Sunday approaches, tensions rise between Hollywood’s greatest actors fighting for the coveted golden statue. 2020 has been an amazing year for the film industry with three films receiving ten or more nominations! Joker coming in first with eleven nominations. Following closely behind are Once Upon a Time in Hollywood… and 1917 with ten nominations. Not only are there a plethora of nominations creating buzz in the media, but there is much controversy surrounding this years red carpet. The #OSCARSOWHITE tag has made its comeback with only one African American receiving a nomination. There has also been some tension behind nomination snubs, considering many of the Golden Globe winners and nominees for acting in a motion picture were not even nominated. A few notable names being Jennifer Lopez, Aquafina, and Taron Egerton. Another snub in the director’s category goes to Greta Gerwig for Little Women. The Oscars have been trying to cover up their lack of female representation by pointing out their anti-female bias, ultimately giving the final director spot to Todd Philips for Joker.
Best Picture Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, 1917, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood Parasit
This year’s best picture category will be a tough one for audiences to decide on themselves. Almost every single movie on this list has been praised by critics and audiences across the nation. However, Joker and 1917 seemed to be making the most buzz in the press. 1917 has been hailed by critics across the board, receiving a fresh rotten tomato score. On the other hand, Joker did very well with audiences and reached the billion-dollar mark. This one is a close call but I’m going with 1917.
Best Actor Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory, Adam Driver, Marriage Story, Joaquin Phoenix, Joker, Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes, Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Although this category is full of astounding performances, one stands out to me for its authenticity and daringness. “And the Oscar goes to… Joaquin Phoenix”. I truly believe that Phoenix deserves this Oscar. Not only for his work in Joker, but for his previous nominations in Gladiator (2000), The Master (2013), and Walk the Line (2006). The performance Phoenix gives is unlike any other and really challenges the audience to feel real emotion for a traditionally villainess character. Phoenix has had a controversial Oscar campaign season, allowing the potential for Adam Driver to possibly sweep in and win the Oscar for Marriage Story. This will most likely not happen since Phoenix has won every other award leading up Oscar Sunday.
Best Actress Cynthia Erivo, Harriet, Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan, Little Women, Renée Zellweger, Judy, Charlize Theron, Bombshell
The best actress category is full of surprises this year making for an eventful night to come. Many of the nominees have been hailed for portraying real life figures. Renée Zellweger returns to the acting world in the motion picture Judy where she plays the late Judy Garland. Charlize Theron memorizes as she completely transforms herself into Megyn Kelly in Bombshell. The academy is known for under-representation on the African American community. To counter act this, they nominated ONE person of color, Cynthia Erivo for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in Harriet. I try not to merge politics with the nominations sent out each year, however, representation needs to start within the industry before we can make change within the awards season climate. Although this is Saoirse Ronan’s fourth nomination at the ripe age of twenty-five. There is no doubt that the Oscar will go to Renée Zellweger for Judy. She has been the talk of this years awards season ever since the film festival circuit made its run. Although some believe Zellweger has had her time in the Oscar spotlight and the Academy should to a fresh face such as Ronan for Little Women.
Best Supporting Actor Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes, Al Pacino, The Irishman, Joe Pesci, The Irishman, Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
This lineup screams Oscar veterans! All of the nominees except for Brad Pitt have one before, building Pitts case to win even more than he already has. I will say that I do have a sort of Bias when it comes to brad Pitt, however, this has been a wonderful year for him. His take in the Film Ad Astra was heavily underappreciated but Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood will make up for his losses there. Pitt delivers an authentic performance that captivated viewers every time he was on screen. Brad Pitt will not only win this Oscar, but he also truly deserves it. You could relate this situation to Leonardo DiCaprio’s win for The Revenant in 2016.
Best Supporting Actress Kathy Bates, Richard Jewel, Laura Dern, Marriage Story, Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit, Florence Pugh, Little Women, Margot Robbie, Bombshell
These nominations have brought so much joy, particularly newcomer Florence Pugh’s nomination for Little Women. Scarlett Johansson has really set herself up to win by receiving her second nomination in the supporting actress category. Margot Robbie has also proven herself in Hollywood by consistently being nominated each year. A shocking nomination that came at the cost of another was Kathy Bates for Richard Jewel. Many thought that this spot would go to Jennifer Lopez for Hustlers, considering she received the nod from the HFPA at the Golden Globes. This win will honestly go to Laura Dern for her portrayal of a divorce lawyer in Marriage Story. Laura has been nominated since 1992 and is a favorite for awards critics. However, the Oscars is known for upsets, and with so many talented women in this category, it could very likely happen.
Best Director Bong Joon Ho, Parasite, Sam Mendes, 1917, Todd Phillips, Joker, Martin Scorsese, The Irishman, Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
These nominations really took a loop considering Greta Gerwig was not nominated for Little Women. Each of these directors are very deserving of their nomination but Greta female or not delivered a complexly modernized and fresh rendition of an iconic story beloved by so many. With this category I like to play a little game called “who should win vs. who will win”. Should win: Bong Joon Ho should win for parasite. A foreign language film has one before so this would not be impossible. Bong Joon Ho has brought something completely new to cinema with a jaw dropping story that portrays greed and classification in an innovative but dangerous light. Who will win: Sam Mendes in my opinion will win for 1917. Mendes is able to bring a new experience to cinema through his one shot take that makes audiences feel as if they were actually experiencing the horrors of World War 1.