2019 Oscars: A Brief Summary

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My history with the Academy Awards is well documented and often talked about. I slacked a bit last year, but tried to make more of an effort this year. I didn’t see everything, but I saw enough.

Here’s a brief summary of the nominated movies:

Best Picture

  • Black Panther: Obviously a wonderful, innovative, and invigorating superhero movie. It made history, inspired millions, caused an early Oscars scandal, and remained at the top. I greatly enjoyed it.
  • BlacKkKlansman: I’ll admit this was my first Spike Lee movie. (I’d blame my upbringing, but I’m trying to take ownership of exposing myself to non-white culture.) Anyway… I thought this movie was awesome. It was a little tongue-in-cheek at times, but that added to the fun.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody: Who doesn’t love a good biopic about a cultural icon? Definitely not me. I walked out of this movie all smiles and tears and blasted Queen on the drive home. With that said, was this the best movie of the year? Not in my opinion.
  • The Favourite: This is my favorite movie of the year. And it’s my personal pick for best picture. I loved every. single. moment. of this movie. Coming off the wonderful weirdness of The Lobster, I had an idea of what to expect. And my expectations were exceed. It was better than I’d hoped.
  • Green Book: I thought this movie was fun & a great way to spend a couple hours. I loved the characters, and the humor, and the costumes. It’s not my pick for Best Picture. But I still enjoyed watching it.
  • Roma: This is a very narrow second for my favorite movie of the year. It is definitely the most beautiful movie of the year. And if it wins Best Picture, I would be nothing but happy. Every frame is a piece of art, every moment an opportunity to pause and reflect.
  • A Star Is Born: I am and always will be a fan of Lady Gaga & sat with a stupid grin on my face the entire film. Even at the end when I was supposed to cry, I was just sitting with a dumb grin wanting more Gaga. I could never actually review this movie for real, so I won’t even try.
  • Vice: This is the movie I’m supposed to hate. I even didn’t see it for a long time because I didn’t want to support yet another movie about yet another white guy. But then I did at a $4 discount theater. And… (whispers) I didn’t hate it. I actually enjoyed it.

Other Movies Nominated for Other Things

  • At Eternity’s Gate: Willem Dafoe is nominated for Best Actor in this artsy biopic about Vincent van Gogh. I will admit I almost turned it off, because I was tired of watching Willem walk through fields. But I powered through, took it for what it was, and learned a few things. Willem is awesome. But unless you’re a huge fan of artsy, hand-held camera films, watch Loving Vincent instead.
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?: I thought this was a carefully told, almost-perfect biopic about author Lee Israel forging letters from literary greats. Melissa McCarthy is nominated for Best Actress & Richard E. Grant is nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Both are well deserved. As is its nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.
  • If Beale Street Could Talk: I wish this was nominated for Best Picture. And I can’t wait to rent this so I can watch it again. Regina King is nominated for Best Supporting Actress & the movie itself is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay (based on a James Baldwin book). I loved this sad and visual story. I wish it found itself a wider audience. Please see it.
  • Incredibles 2 & Ralph Breaks the Internet: A Pixar sequel like most — with a good story, great animation, and a little less magic than the first.
  • Isle of Dogs: A Wes Anderson (animated) movie like most — with quirky banter, some controversy over cultural appropriation, and lots of familiar voices.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: One of the best movies of the year, stuck in the Animated Movie category. Honestly, I would have been overjoyed if it was nominated for Best Picture. But such is the awards. But it should break the internet because it’s so incredible. (See what I did there?)

Not reviewed here are the Best Animated Shorts & Best Live Action Shorts. But I watched them all and cried and laughed my way through. Highly recommend you just go stream them.

I did not see The Wife (Glenn Close – Best Actress), Cold War (Best Director & Best Foreign Film), First Reformed (Best Original Screenplay), Mirai (Best Animated Feature), the other Best Foreign Films, Best Documentaries, or the Best Documentary Shorts.

This is the first year I legitimately didn’t hate any movie I saw. There’s a few I love and admire more than others. And I know from the internet that some movies are in fact hated.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that the Oscars are flawed, but I obsess over them anyway. So while watching movies this year, I saw them with less of a critical eye. Instead, I set out to just enjoy my time spent in front of the screen. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

It was a great year of movies. I had a ton of fun. I can’t wait for the show on Sunday!