Going to an Oscars Party? Gather the gals together and check out the best in film this weekend! And here’s some tips and inside information so you’ll be ready to fill out your ballot!
And yes, we have some MAJOR Geek representation at the 91st Academy Awards this Sunday, February 24 at 8 PM EST. In a huge victory for geekdom, the first superhero movie to be ever nominated for Best Picture is Marvel’s Black Panther. It was also nominated for Best Production Design, Best Original Music Score, Best Sound Mixing, Best Costume Design, and Best Sound Editing. It should clean up in the technical categories and has a decent shot at Best Picture. Wakanda forever! According to a USA Today poll, it won overwhelmingly as the people’s pick for film of the year and honestly, I loved it.
Speaking of Best Picture…
Let’s look at the other nominees and their chances:
Written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, Roma is a touching meditation of 1970’s Mexico through the eyes of a domestic worker and her world. Cuaron has already won the Director’s Guild Award, which usually predicts the winner for director and makes this film the odds-on favorite for picture.
Hugely popular music bio of Queen and Freddie Mercury that was widely panned by critics. It also was directed by Bryan Singer, who faces charges and accusations of sexual misconduct and was removed as the director. SInger still receives director credit and this cloud has followed Bohemian around all awards season long.
Spike Lee’s film based on the Ron Stallworth book about a Black cop taking on the Ku Klux Klan. Strong film with excellent performances, but the Academy is not too fond of Lee’s politics and the fact that liberties were taken with the truth while being projected as a true story.
Period piece featuring some fantastic cat fights! Strong performances by Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Olivia Colman in an unusual look at a British Queen and her competing servants. It received 10 nominations but may be a bit too outlandish for the Academy.
Crowd-pleasing comedy-drama that tells the story of Black pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) who hires racist New York bouncer Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen). This odd-couple story has already won several other major awards from critics and could be the dark horse in the category. Down side? A “green book” was actually a guidebook for Blacks in the U.S. during the years 1936-1964 to help travellers find accommodations and restaurant in the South during segregation. This is touched upon briefly in the movie, but largely ignores the greater implications of racism. But to that effect, the Academy does like films with a “positive” spin and this fits that bill.
A Star is Born
Also hugely popular, with amazing music and acting, this emerged as a strong favorite but has largely been ignored at the Golden Globes and SAG awards. It will sweep the music categories, most certainly for showstopper, “Shallow”, and there are whispers it could upset, but don’t bet on it (Like if you have one of those ballots and you’re betting, don’t pick this, but then don’t listen to me because I always lose those ballot betting contests). And I’m not gonna lie, I actually prefer the 1976 cheesefest that is Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson and some fabulous 70’s fashion.
Okay, I have to admit I didn’t see this because I have a low tolerance for politics these days, but it received 8 nominations, largely for its acting core. It didn’t do well at the box office and may be too hot a topic for the Academy to reward.
And to be honest, there are some contenders in this next category:
Best Animated Film
Isle Of Dogs
Ralph Breaks The Internet
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a strong contender (loved it!!!) but Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs is visually stunning and Wes Anderson never wins the big one so the Academy may give him this one. Incredibles 2 comes 15 years after the first film and doesn’t quite live up to the original. Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai, a quiet Japanese film that reflects on a young boy’s adjustment to his new sister, is beautiful but is not one of Japan’s strongest entries. Ralph Breaks the Internet is both a funny and satirical look at the state of the internet, but doesn’t have the wow factor of Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse.
GEEK ALERTS!!! WATCH OUT FOR THESE!
Avengers: Infinity Wars is nominated for Best Visual Effects, as are Solo: A Star Wars Story and Ready Player One. Other than that, my geek gals, Black Panther bears our flag.
QUICK TAKES! Get your ballots out!
Glenn Close for The Wife
This is her 7th nomination, she’s got this lock, stock and barrel…unless…
Olivia Colman from The Favourite
Critics have raved about her kooky performance as Queen Anne and she has the acting chops and British theatre connections the Academy loves….so she could swoop in.
“The award is being nominated”– This holds true for Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Lady Gaga in A Star is Born and Yalitza Aparicio in Roma…all first timers, all notable performances.
Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody
Having cleaned up at all the major film and critics’ awards, Malek should capture this one, too. He was amazing as Freddie Mercury, and I have to admit that as a lifelong Queen fan, I was skeptical about taking on such a storied and famous persona, but Malek nails the voice, mannerisms and effete style perfectly.
Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born
Cooper has been nominated seven times but this ain’t the year. He’ll be back.
Willem Dafoe for At Eternity’s Gate
As a person with major depression myself, I eagerly watched Dafoe’s elegiac performance as Vincent Van Gogh and loved it. However, next to Malek’s tour de force, it pales.
Christian Bale for Vice
Bale put on 45 pounds to play Dick Cheney and then lost it…losing 45 pounds should get you some sort of award, just not this year.
Viggo Mortensen for Green Book
Also a multiple nominee, it’s a masterful transformation into thuggish Tony “Lip” Vallelonga, but not enough to overcome Malek.
Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz cancel themselves out in their supporting roles in The Favorite; Amy Adams in Vice has been passed over in previous awards as has Marina de Tavira in Roma…it’s Regina King’s night for the shamefully overlooked If Beale Street Could Talk.
Close race between Sam Elliott in A Star is Born and Mahershala Ali in Green Book…Elliott is a popular favorite and the Academy does love to reward the crowd pleasers. But Ali has won all other major awards and should take this one home too. Sam Rockwell in Vice won last year and Richard E. Grant from Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Adam Driver from Blackkklansman are in the “award is being nominated” slots.
DON’T SHORTCHANGE THE SHORTS!
If you have a chance this weekend, check out your local theaters to catch a showing of Best Documentary, Best Documentary Short, Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short. Theaters will occasionally showcase these films prior to the Academy Awards show.
For Best Animated Short, Bao, which was the Pixar short shown before Incredibles 2 is nominated and is a wonderful look at family and food. Animal Behaviour focuses on a group of animals who meet weekly for therapy, including a praying mantis who can’t seem to hold on to a man and an OCD cat. Late Afternoon is a precious Irish film about an aging woman and her reflections over tea. Taiko Studios, which is a Chinese/American enterprise formed by Disney alums, produced One Small Step. One Small Step tells of Luna, an imaginative girl who dreams of being an astronaut. Look for Taiko to begin production on full length animated films soon. Weekends looks at life shuttled between two divorced parents in 1980’s Toronto.
This is a much cheerier category to check out rather than the Live Action Short category, which includes an interview with the children who murdered James Bulger at a mall in Britain and a look at growing up with White Supremacists. Yikes. Enter at your own risk.
Welp, my friends, that wraps up the Geek Gals’ Guide to the Oscars this year! May the champagne be flowing, may you win the office/party Oscar pool, and hopefully the damn thing will be over by 11–last year’s four hours almost killed me.
Let us know in the comments or tweet us @GeekGalsCo which films you want to see win at the 91st Annual Academy Awards!
Featured image credit: The Academy