Posted Feb 07 2020
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Last Word Calls The Oscars 2020

Remember how this awards season started out – and was for many months after – referred to as the most wide-open in many a moon? When did all that change? (Most likely after 1917 debuted.)

Whatever it was, this Sunday’s Oscars is looking like the most predicable in years. Bookies have probably even stopped being bookies.

But, as we always do, here is the Last Word’s thoughts on things. Unlike other years however, we are eschewing the “in reverse order” nature of things and – simply cutting to the chase. The short version of this is as follows –

1917

Mendes

Joaquin

Renee

Brad

Laura

& Parasite.

If you want to read on – we have more –

BEST PICTURE – Yes, we’re starting at the end! This was originally a shoo-in for The Irishman, but everyone hates Netflix, can’t be bothered with Greta Gerwig (shame on you), could possibly pivot towards Quentin – but, at this stage, the wind appears to have gone out of the sails of all the above. Especially, after the one-take war movie 1917 appeared at the last minute (last minute favourite often work for the Academy as they act like a breath of fresh air after all the campaigning for those who chose to screen earlier.) Mendes’ powerful epic has already found Globe, DGA and BAFTA love and is more than likely to repeat that here on Sunday night. At this stage the only real competitions is Parasite (QT’s Once Upon A Time… is probably too flippant to win) – but are the Oscars voters ready to give this to a foreign language film. No! They will however give it INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM.

BEST DIRECTOR – Parasite has a shot here with Bong Joon-ho. There’s also an outside chance that QT could be given this as some form of compensation prize. Scorsese, who for so long, looked a cert to nab his second Oscar is now no longer a player. So, following his glory at so many of the other season’s major players, Sam Mendes is taking this one home.

BEST ACTRESS…goes to Renee Zellweger – but this has been clear for many months now.

BEST ACTOR – He may have ruffled more than a few feathers with his BAFTA acceptance speech last Sunday, but we’re presuming much of the voting was done before that moment. And also, there hasn’t really been that much of a backlash – considering he was berating his entire industry (but also himself to be fair.) So, this sees Joaquin Phoenix finish off his remarkable run for a remarkable performance.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Laure Dern been picking this up on a regular basis for Marriage Story – so why stop now?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Brad’s been due for awhile, and Once Upon A Time…saw the man seriously deserving. So, a welcome win for him – hope he shows up to time to make some jokes about Jen, Ange, Prince Harry – whoever!

BESTANIMATED FILM – This one’s a tougher call. It should rightly go to Toy Story 4 – but when has a “4” ever one an Oscar? And there’s been a lot of like for I Lost My Body. But, ultimately, we see this going to the “4” – and rightly so – as it may even be better that the “1”, the “2” or the “3.”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM – Given that Apollo 11 was (surprisingly) not even nominated, and For Sama may prove too much of a stretch, this goes to American Factory, a very topical movie that explores the gulf between American and Chinese ideologies in the workplace.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Is this the moment where QT and his “Hollywood” gets some salve? Noah Baumbach is also due some love, and Marriage Story was a remarkable piece of writing. But we see Parasite taking this one home, proving that Academy voters are woke enough to be able to read sub-titles.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – And speaking of salves – having ignored her for Best Director – and with Little Women out of the serious running in Best Picture – this is where the Academy choose to remind Greta Gerwig that she one of them after all.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Roger Deakins – all day long!

BEST EDITING – Ford V Ferrari seems an obvious choice, but bear in mind that its first hour was a tad sluggish all round, compared to its second vibrant and engrossing half. Whilst Joker was compelling and beautifully put together from start to finish, so we think this goes there.

BEST SCORE – And speaking of Joker – Hildur Guonadotter’s remarkable work goes away triumphant. (Although there is a possibility that the sentimental vote sways things and gives it to John Williams for reprising a score he originally won for 43 years a long time ago.)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – Elton John! And he’s there to sing it for you?? Dragging himself away from this never-ending farewell tour??? It’s a no brainer.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – This is a clash between Quentin’s ‘60s and Joker’s ‘;70s/’80s melange. We prefer the former but it’s going to the latter.

BEST HAIR AND MAKE UP – Again, our heart is with Joker, but Bombshell beats it – taking TV ‘dos to the big screen.

BEST SOUND EDITING AND SOUND MIXING – Another arena, another clash – with Ford V Ferrari taking on 1917. Both are superb at what they do, but, as the evening turns Mendes’ way, we see these two (yes, both of them) becoming an early indicators to 1917’s later glory.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – Could be Star Wars 9. Should be Avengers 5 (yes, we’re calling Captain American Civil War an Avengers film.) Will be 1917 – triumphant.

And there we have it. An Oscar ceremony that will be remembered not so much for its lack of host (again) but its sheer predictability.

As ever, we’re pretty sure we have all of the above completely right – so feel free to go and put a bet on – if any bookies are still giving odds when there seem to be so few. (As ever, of course, the Academy voters may still screw things up - they often do.)

Either way, come back Sunday when we’ll be live blogging the whole thing, albeit in a droopy eyed manner.

See you then!

 

 

 

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