In some years, I have trouble determining who will win in the Best Production Design category. There are so many different ways to design a film’s story-world, that I can get bogged down in the minutiae and get confused as to what the voters will actually like.
But this year I am much more confident. Who knows, maybe I’m getting better at this unnecessary skill of Oscar predictions.
Continue reading 2020 Oscar Predictions — Best Production Design
I’m going to admit it right up top: I am not confident in my picks in these two sound categories. I will elaborate further as we go, but just know that there are two potential winners in each category. That makes four possible combinations, and any of those four outcomes could come to pass.
But let’s go more in-depth on Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
Sound Editing – The Nominees:
Continue reading 2020 Oscar Predictions — Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing
The Best Visual Effects Oscar has flourished over the past decade, growing into a full-fledged category with five nominees. Prior to that, the category would generally be three nominees. Given the industry’s increasing reliance on visual effects, it is a surprise that it took until 2010 to expand the category to a guaranteed five nominees per year.
2020 is a prime example of this reliance. The category is not reserved for the blockbuster films that are, more and more, composed of VFX. This year, the dramas The Irishman and 1917 use extensive VFX, and the films would be very different without those effects. Then, of course, there’s The Lion King…not all visual effects are a good choice.
Continue reading 2020 Oscar Predictions — Best Visual Effects
The 2020 group of Best Cinematography nominees are composed of a three-time winner, a three-time nominee, a one-time winner (15-time nominee), and two first-time nominees. It is mostly a respectable group. I can’t say there aren’t others I would like to see represented here, but it’s not a bad group.
Continue reading 2020 Oscar Predictions — Best Cinematography
Twitter was ablaze the morning the Oscar nominations were announced. Joker received 11 (count ’em, 11!) nominations? No The Farewell? No Uncut Gems? No J-Lo? No Greta Gerwig for Best Director? No this. No that. Why this, but not that? There was room for X, but they choose Y? Blah-blah-blah.
The grumblings from Film Twitter is not without their merit. The Academy is known for its massive oversights year after year, and this has become particularly evident in the past few years. But there is a futile exhaustion to the Film Twitter banter, which is equal parts righteous, ironic, furious, annoyed, and contrarian. The reality is that the Academy is a somewhat arbitrary selection of industry insiders choosing what is culturally relevant. It has its limited import, but it is not worth getting up in arms about.
Continue reading 2020 Oscar Predictions — Best Picture
The buzz surrounding 1917, the new film by Sam Mendes in tribute to his grandfather, is its technical achievement of appearing as if it is two extremely long takes. Aside from one pointedly hard cut, the film hides its edits in its pans across surfaces which cover the frame or in tunnels of darkness.
It is a technique reminiscent of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Birdman or Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (Hitchcock would have attempted a completely one-take film if he were not limited by the technical capabilities of the time, which only allowed about seven minutes of footage before the film had to be changed out). The long tracking shots through trenches might also bring to mind Stanley Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, whose long takes make the film feel surprisingly modern.
If you are a long take purist, however, you may Continue reading 1917 (2019) Movie Review
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