WHAT A NIGHT. Normally I am severely disappointed by The Oscars, but this year had some unexpected (but much deserved) wins that make me think there might be a smidgeon of hope for The Academy. Congrats “Parasite!!!
From the bizarre opening dance number featuring costumes from films that were overlooked, to the strange practice of having a diverse set of presenters FOR the less diverse presenters, to the one brief callout that for the first time in 92 years a woman was being allowed to conduct the orchestra (even though it was only for a few minutes) it was clear that tokenism was alive and well. The Oscars know they have a problem, but are doing very little of actual substance to address it.
Picks in bold were ones I guessed correctly.
Quick note on the Elsa performance… did they only pick the “good” looking Elsa’s? Cause all those women were gorgeous enough to be actual Disney princesses. Also poor Aurora in the background who carries a lot of this song and gettin' about 0 cred.
PARASITE, Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won
This win was my first sign of hope. As much as I loved “Knives Out,” “Parasite” haunts the crap out of me. Also the freaking joy on director Bong’s face when he giggles at his Oscar is just majestic.
JOJO RABBIT, Taika Waititi
Shocked but delighted to see this win. This also makes Taika the first Indigenous director to win an Oscar (also as a mixed Jewish person / person of color it’s always nice to see one of our own succeed).
Live Action Short
THE NEIGHBORS’ WINDOW, Marshall Curry
ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD
Production Design: Barbara Ling, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
As previously mentioned there’s nothing Hollywood loves more than… the nostalgic version of themselves.
LITTLE WOMEN, Jacqueline Durran
Because we couldn’t ignore women and female led films altogether, right? So it was safe to give them costume design (sigh).
AMERICAN FACTORY, Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert
Thank you Mark Ruffalo for pointing out ⅘ of these films are directed or co-directed by women. Now let’s get some of those nominees in more glam categories. Also fun fact: the Obama’s production company is behind the winner, is there anything they can’t do?
Documentary Short Subject
LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL), Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
Congrats to these boss bitches.
Can we also take a moment to acknowledge how hard it must have been for Utkarsh Ambudkar to recap the show in a rap, mid show? That’s some Lin-Manuel Miranda level shit (which Lin-Manuel did at the Tonys)
1917, Roger Deakins
No surprises here, after 15 nominations he’s now on a streak with back to back wins.
Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland, FORD V FERRARI
For a film about cars that go fast, this movie went awfully show… at this point in the show I was worried this could win Best Picture as this category is often an indicator of the top prize winner of the night.
1917, Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy
The intro bit was better than the entirety of the “Cats” movie. Were the VFX in “1917” the most flashy? No, but I guess they were well executed.
Makeup and Hairstyling
BOMBSHELL, Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker
They did indeed do a very good job with the makeup so no complaints here.
PARASITE, (South Korea)
This was pretty much a guarantee so it wasn’t a surprise, but it did dampen my hopes for “Parasite” winning Best Picture.
JOKER, Hildur Guðnadóttir
As someone on the internet pointed out, it would have been great if the only person to win an Oscar for “Joker” was a woman.
"(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again" from ROCKETMAN, Music by Elton John, Lyric by Bernie Taupin
First off, what I wouldn't give for a film with presenters Gal Gadot, Brie Larson, and Sigourney Weaver. Second, no surprises here, although even with this included the songs this year did not feel amazingly strong.
PARASITE, Bong Joon Ho
Bong Joon-ho’s name has been said a kajillion times already, could Spike Lee not have learned how to say it properly? As for the actual win: Hell yes, and shout out to Sharon the translator.
Actor in a Leading Role
Joaquin Phoenix, JOKER
Gross gross gross, also you have a huge platform and acknowledged your privilege and choose to try to shame people about eating meat? Yes that can be an important issue to you but as a reminder there are HUMAN children in cages at the border, yo.
Actress in a Leading Role
Renée Zellweger, JUDY
Did anyone even see “Judy?” I can tell you they didn’t, cause if they did they wouldn’t have voted for this. Also what the hell was her speech about? It went on and on and made no sense. This is also the most moved I’ve seen director Bong at any awards show. Beautiful.
PARASITE, Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho
Holy shit. I knew this deserved to win but I didn’t think it would actually do so. Between this and “The Farewell” (which was grossly overlooked but at least won the Independent Spirit Award for best film) I was so impressed by Asian films this year. I also love that this was a huge F-U to all the xenophobes who think that a film in another language isn’t worthy of “Best Picture.”
Shout out to "Roma" for working on paving the way recently for non-English language films to be taken seriously in this category (I think it still should have won). This is a huge moment in showing that film is global, and not just limited to one language's constraints.
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.