' ' Cinema Romantico: Countdown to the Oscars: Completely Ridiculous, Totally Legitimate Oscar Predictions

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Countdown to the Oscars: Completely Ridiculous, Totally Legitimate Oscar Predictions

Infinite other awards punditry sites will have Oscar predictions that you can use to help guide you in your Oscar pools. Cinema Romantico’s Oscar predictions, as always, balance playing favorites with rampant absurdity. Copy and submit these in your Oscar pool at your own peril.

Completely Ridiculous, Totally Legitimate Oscar Predictions

Best Picture: Get Out. I’m a little wary of pseudo-progressive Hollywood feeling like it can pat itself on the back if it honors Jordan Peele’s fine, incendiary film as Best Picture, but these are trying times. And in times so trying, any Best Picture that might make the National Review and its brethren pen They Just Don’t Make ’Em Like They Used To screeds is probably the right choice anyway.

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread. It does not appear to be PTA’s “time”, not yet. But then, if anyone could somehow re-fashion the physics of Oscar “time” and make it his, perhaps it would be Paul Thomas Anderson?

Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird. I understand that Saoirse’s “time” will come, or so they tell me, but what if it doesn’t? (See: Willem Dafoe below.) So let’s just save ourselves heartache later and take care of this now.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread. Gary Oldman, myriad personal foibles aside, is a brilliant actor who deserves one of these golden dudes, whether for “Darkest Hour” or as a kind of career achievement in disguise. Still, like former Nebraska Football Coach Tom Osborne being sent off to retirement with one more national title from his peers for old times’ sake, I can’t help but wish that the Academy might do the same for our foremost performative titan.

Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird. There is this great moment in an episode of “Roseanne” – the 100th episode I discovered after digging around on the Internet – which ends with a fourth wall breaking as Metcalf polishes her Best Supporting Actress Emmy in the Connor living room, and then eventually Roseanne Barr and John Goodman find their way into the living room and there is a brief scrum for possession of Metcalf’s Emmy. Man, I loved it. That’s all.

“We’re gonna lose this Oscar race.”
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project. No matter how many times I hear Sam Rockwell is a “lock”, I will believe with all my heart that Dafoe will finally win an Oscar until he doesn’t and my heart is broken.

Best Original Screenplay: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird. In trying to keep my distance from the white noise of Oscar scuttlebutt, I have nevertheless brushed up against observations about “Lady Bird” being a good film, a nice film, but maybe not an award level film, and, oh my God, f*** that s***. Compared to Gerwig’s work on the page, every other screenplay in 2017 was trash.*

Best Adapted Screenplay: [Prediction left intentionally blank, though we would probably say James Ivory.] See above.

Best Foreign Language Film: The only one of the five nominees I have managed to catch up with so far is “On Body and Soul”, and while I am still working out my thoughts, I nevertheless would not think it right to simply make that film my pick on the strength of it being the one I have seen. And because personal hang-ups with picking the favorite just to pick the favorite therefore prevent me from picking “A Fantastic Woman”, I’ll pick “The Insult”, because it’s the first nominee from Lebanon and hey, why not give the Republic a win too?

Best Animated Film: My beautiful girlfriend has forced me out of my comfort zone in many ways. She has opened my eyes to the wide-ranging wonderfulness of the Chicago food scene, whereas I used to be content to just eat any meal out in my own neighborhood, and helped spur me to travel more, rather than wiling away all my time watching movies. Not that we don’t still watch movies. We watch plenty because she loves them too. But she also loves animated movies, which for eons I would generally just pass over. And that is a long way of saying that in another year I might have just picked Coco to pick “Coco.” But I saw “Coco” because she wanted to see “Coco.” And I loved it. Those colors popped, man. Go “Coco.”

Best Documentary Feature. This blog placed Strong Island in its Top 10, and while we would love to say something pithy here, this is not a movie for pithiness. I hope it wins, and that Yance Ford, who puts himself front and center in his film as if forcing White America to look Black America in the face and tell them it’s not About Race, gets to stand on the Oscar stage in front of 37 million people.

Darkest Hour turned this man into King George VI.
Best Makeup and Hair: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick, Darkest Hour. No, no, no, not because of their turning Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill. Ha! Because of their turning Ben Mendelsohn, the one actor in Hollywood most able and willing to consistently let himself look like complete shit, into a freaking Royal. Respect.

Best Costume Design: Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water. I’ll make this pick if only because out of all the nominees this, I think, had the most everyday sort of costuming, even if it was set in the sixties, which is this blog’s preference. And that is why this blog’s Best Costume Design of 2017 goes to Fernando Rodrigues for “The Florida Project”.

Best Film Editing: Lee Smith, Dunkirk. There was editing in movies that I preferred to any of the five nominees, but I’ll take Smith for the impressiveness of his aerial scenes as well overseeing a less than two hour Christopher Nolan blockbuster which is a triumph on a towering scale.

Best Sound Editing: I’ll be sitting out the sound categories this year in protest of “Phantom Thread” not being nominated.

Best Sound Mixing: See above.

Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049. I mean, take your pick of pictures here, sure, but I’ll shout out the immortal Rog for how he manages to find new life in the looking-through-rainy-window image, like somehow breathing new life into a cover of “Jolene.”

Best Production Design: Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola, Blade Runner 2049. Building upon some of the most impressive, legendary production design in movie history is no easy task.

Best Visual Effects: John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer, Blade Runner 2049. Why not? Let’s make it the “look of the film” trifecta.

Best Live Action Short Film / Best Documentary Short Subject. For the second year in a row, this blog fell down on the job. We have seen none of the nominees. Ah, but my girlfriend’s dad, doing his Oscar due diligence, has seen all the nominees, and so I consulted him for his favorites. For Live Action, he indicated his favorite was the least serious of the bunch, The Eleven O’Clock, which I take as a refreshing reminder in these overly serious times that not all our movies have to “say something.” And for the doc, he preferred Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, for its sheer filmmaking skill, which is a reminder that documentaries should not simply be photographed journalism.

Best Animated Short: Negative Spaces. Do you want Kobe Bryant winning an Oscar for “Dear Basketball” just so he can lord it over LeBron James when The King inevitably fails to score an Oscar nod for “Space Jam 2”? No. You don’t. You want the Oscar to go to a couple dudes like Ru Kuwuhata and Matt Porter who live for this sort of animation the way Kobe used to live for 24 foot fall-aways. So give them the Academy Award, why don’t you?

Best Original Score: Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread. It’s like...it’s like......it’s like you’re at the symphony and you are positively swimming in the symphonic virtue, and then suddenly, figuratively, but maybe literally, the walls open up and you’re no longer swimming; you’re drowning in sheer terror.

Best Original Song: “Band Aid” didn’t completely work, but its “Love and Lies”, which was shortlisted for this category, would have actually lent some interesting, inventive heft to this typically terrible category. Alas, it was not nominated. That complaint aside, the music in “Coco” was not just ornamental, it was there for a reason, and while I would have preferred “Un Poco Loco”, well, that was not originally written for “Coco”...but don’t get me started. And anyway, Remember Me was solid and crucial to the narrative too.

*This is a wildly unfair hot take that I do not actually believe, but that I do also actually believe because I loved Gerwig’s script that much. I do not apologize. Go Greta. This one and Mr. Dafoe are what we will be rooting for most come Oscar night.

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