The 2019 Oscar Nominations: Analysis, Part One

oscars GIF by The Academy Awards

The 2019 Oscar nominations were announced recently and we here at MBC decided to stop watching Hallmark movies for half a minute and comment on them. Of course, we could mention the snubs – “If Beale Street Could Talk” for Best Picture, Timothée Chalamet for “Beautiful Boy,” Ethan Hawke for “First Reformed,” Toni Colette for “Hereditary” and literally any woman who directed a movie this year – but we’re going to focus on the films actually nominated instead. So, sit back, relax and enjoy some analysis from some assholes on the internet who could be twelve years old for all you fucking know.

toni collette crying GIF by A24
People actually thought the Academy would recognize a horror movie. LOL

For this article I will review the “major” awards. I will return in the coming weeks to take a look at the “technical” categories.

BEST PICTURE

Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

Scanning my Twitter feed after the announcements made one thing apparent – the only thing people care about is the fact that “Black Panther” was nominated for Best Picture. Seriously, were any other movies even nominated? I could probably spend the rest of this article discussing “Black Panther.” Did it deserve to be nominated? Was it even the best superhero film of 2018?

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Answer: No.

Instead, I’ll simply say that whatever side of the debate you fall on the Academy wins. Ever since the Academy went to ten Best Picture nominees in 2009 they have always nominated a few “popular” films that have no chance of taking home the award. Whether it’s “Up” or “Toy Story 3” or “Mad Max: Fury Road.” In fact, that’s the entire reason they went to ten nominees in the first place – to help boost ratings by nominating films people actually saw. With no host this year the Academy desperately needed to nominate “Black Panther.” Love it or hate it, you’re probably going to watch the awards. “Bohemian Rhapsody” falls into this category too.

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Once again: No

So, is it too early to talk about who’s going to win this thing? When the Best Picture field expanded in 2009, Roger Ebert noted that if you actually want to know who the real Best Picture nominees are you need only look at the Best Director category. This has proven true. In the ten Oscars since the Academy expanded the field, no film has taken home the Best Picture award that wasn’t also nominated for Best Director. If that’s the case this year, that means “The Favourite,” “Roma,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “Vice” are our real Best Picture nominees (there are only four due to Pawel Pawlikowski surprisingly being nominated for the Polish film “Cold War”).

lady gaga GIF by Variety
It’s an honor just to be nominated, “A Star Is Born.”

I don’t believe “BlacKkKlansman” or “Vice” are contenders for the award, despite my overwhelming love of the former. Most would point to “The Favourite” as the frontrunner, and rightfully so. It was an incredible film, and my personal favorite of the year. However, there’s one giant wild card in this year’s race – “Roma.” Ignoring the fact that that it’s certainly deserving of being named the Best Picture of 2018 (it’s currently streaming on Netflix if you haven’t seen it), the Mexican film comes to us at a very interesting time politically.

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Fake News

As much as the film deserved every single one of them, I couldn’t help but see the ten nominations that “Roma” received as a form of protest against the American president due to his handling of immigrants crossing the Mexican border. Would the Academy be so brazen as to name “Roma” Best Picture as a massive fuck you to the commandeer-in-chief? I certainly wouldn’t complain if “Roma” was named Best Picture.

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Thanks, Meryl.

“Roma” does have a few things working against it though. No foreign film has ever won Best Picture in the history of the Academy Awards. There’s also the Netflix situation. The narrative in recent years has been that Netflix isn’t a part of the Hollywood club. It’s entirely possible that the Oscars reject “Roma” simply for its association with the streaming platform. However, there are some signs the narrative is changing. Netflix recently joined the Motion Picture Association of America or MPAA. There are also rumors that Netflix is spending a whopping $25 million on the Oscar campaign for “Roma” – supposedly the second most expensive Oscar campaign of all time after “The Social Network.” Those are all signs that Hollywood might be welcoming Netflix into its club.

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All this is to say that I’m predicting “Roma” to walk away with the Academy Award for Best Picture. I would personally pick “The Favourite,” but I think “Roma” will make history this year. It has all the elements in a Best Picture winner. It really is a perfect storm.

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Let’s run through some of the other awards:

BEST ACTOR

Willem Dafoe – “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek – “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Bradley Cooper – “A Star Is Born”
Christian Bale – “Vice”
Viggo Mortensen – “Green Book”

Christian Bale wins. Hands down. Rami Malek, Willem Dafoe and Viggo Mortensen all did amazing jobs, but that wasn’t Christian Bale in “Vice.” That WAS Dick Cheney. If anyone else wins this award it’s a robbery. If Bradley Cooper wins they should burn the Kodak theater to the ground.

golden globes vice GIF by Variety
Hail Satan!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Adam Driver – “BlacKkKlansman”
Mahershala Ali – “Green Book”
Richard E. Grant – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Elliott – “A Star Is Born”
Sam Rockwell – “Vice”

A harder category. I suppose the two biggest standouts would be Adam Driver or Richard E. Grant, despite Mahershala Ali winning the Golden Globe in this category (who takes the Golden Globes seriously anyway?). I have no idea why Sam Rockwell is nominated here. An amazing actor, but his performance as George W. Bush did not merit a nod.  This is my least confident pick, but I’m going to say Adam Driver for “BlacKkKlansman.”

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He did convey the right amount of stupidity though.

BEST ACTRESS

Glenn Close – “The Wife”
Yalitza Aparicio – “Roma”
Lady Gaga – “A Star Is Born”
Olivia Colman – “The Favourite”
Melissa McCarthy – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

I would absolutely adore it if Yalitza Aparicio won in this category. She definitely deserves it, but I have a feeling the Academy refrain due to her lack of notoriety (“Roma” is her first and only film to date). Lady Gaga and Melissa McCarthy, meanwhile, should just be happy to be nominated. Olivia Colman’s performance, despite being incredible, should honestly be in the supporting category. That’ll hurt her in the end. That leaves Glenn Close for “The Wife,” simply due to the process of elimination.

the favourite film GIF by Fox Searchlight
You would have been a lock for supporting!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams – “Vice”
Marina de Tavira – “Roma”
Regina King – “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone – “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz – “The Favourite”

Typically when two actors are nominated in the same category for the same film they end up cannibalizing one another’s votes. That will probably happen with Stone and Weisz. This leaves the door wide open for Regina King, who is the favorite in this category.

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BEST DIRECTOR

“BlacKkKlansman” – Spike Lee
“Cold War” – Paweł Pawlikowski
“The Favourite” – Yorgos Lanthimos
“Roma” – Alfonso Cuarón
“Vice” – Adam McKay

Despite my prediction that “Roma” will win Best Picture, I do not think that Alfonso Cuarón will win Best Director. Should he win? Probably. However, I don’t think the Academy will reward him again after giving him the same award for “Gravity” a few years ago. That’s my gut feeling. Spike Lee winning the award would be a great considering he should have won it thirty years ago for “Do The Right Thing,” but giving it to him now would be more of a legacy award than an award for directing “BlacKkKlansman.” I believe that the Academy will give the Oscar to Yorgos Lanthimos. With “Roma” taking the top prize, this will be a consolation prize for “The Favourite.” The Academy Awards does that a lot, unfortunately.

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Sorry, Spike. The Knicks will never be good.

That’s it for now. I hope you enjoyed reading. Feel free to tell me I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about in the comments. I’m new to reviewing movies on this site. I haven’t covered too many, but I did review “The Favourite.” Feel free to check it out: http://www.mousebearcomedy.com/the-favourite-2018/

MBC

Mousebear Comedy is just a couple dudes hiding behind an anthropomorphic mouse and bear in order to purge our shadow through webstuff. If you enjoyed this then check out our News & Blog or read our Reviews. You can also listen to our Mousebear Music or feel free to drop us a line.
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