OSCAR 2020 RECAP

by Alan Yudman

It’s recap time and like the audience demanded at the end of the show, I, like PARASITE, will not be played off or have the lights turned out on me!

There wasn’t much in the way of surprises, except for the domination of PARASITE in the major categories and Eminem performing “Lose Yourself” to a raucous welcome.

I’ll leave the critique of the show to others. But a couple of observations before the recap. Rene Zellwegger’s speech was a rambling, off the rails mess. That’s where you bring in the music. And Joaquin Phoenix should have lead with a quote from his brother River’s lyrics.

Strap in… here we go.

BEST ACTOR

Choice: Joaquin Phoenix √

Prediction: Same

Every time I think about JOKER I like it less. But without Phoenix it would have been truly unwatchable. The most predictable win except for….

BEST ACTRESS

Choice: Saorise Ronan

Prediction: Rene Zellwegger

Zellwegger’s streak continued, but you’d think she would have had the acceptance speech thing down by now.

At some point Saorise Ronan will win an Oscar. She’s young and marvelously talented.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Choice: Joe Pesci

Prediction: Brad Pitt

Yeah, Pitt deserved it. Tough category.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Choice: Laura Dern

Prediction: Laura Dern

Yeah, yeah.. Jennifer Lopez was done wrong by not being nominated at all. But Dern gave 2 standout performances in LITTLE WOMEN and MARRIAGE STORY. She should win for both.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Choice: Thomas Newman

Prediction: Hildur Guðnadóttir

Guðnadóttir deserved this. I’d forgotten she also scored the best TV show of 2019… HBO’s CHERNOBYL

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Choice: PARASITE

Prediction: ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

I was happy/shocked. I figured old Hollywood would tip its cap to Tarantino. But they gave the Oscar to the screenplay that deserved it. The first domino in the domination of PARASITE.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Choice: LITTLE WOMEN

Prediction: LITTLE WOMEN

I read the comments of an anonymous voter in the Hollywood Reporter before the ceremony who said he couldn’t keep track of the jumps back and forth in time. Ridiculous. Absurd. I still believe LITTLE WOMEN should have won. But, I can’t dismiss the selection of JOJO RABBIT. This would have been the biggest surprise if not for PARASITE.

BEST DIRECTOR

Choice: PARASITE

Prediction: 1917

Maybe the guild awards are no longer an accurate predictor of Oscar success. The Directors and Producers gave their awards to 1917. The Academy decided Bong Joon Ho’s genre breaking film was more deserving. Who am I to argue?

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Choice: 1917

Prediction: 1917

Roger Deakins is a god. His god-hood continues unchallenged.

BEST PICTURE

Choice: PARASITE

Prediction: 1917

I actually threw my hands up in the air and screamed “YES!”, then did a fist pump. I was more excited than Bong. Nah, probably not. The choice of this remarkable movie does not forgive last year’s choice of GREEN BOOK, but I’m on the road to forgiveness.

Maybe the changes the Academy has made over the past few years are finally bearing fruit. A Korean film with subtitles won the big awards, the first non-English language film ever to win Best Picture. Next challenge is recognizing the acting categories need to be less white. Progress can be slow and I’m willing to wait and see.

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