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Arty Chick’s Oscar Ballot

Between the two of us , we saw most of the films that are nominated this year and reviewed most of them here at Chickflix, so if you’re filling out a ballot (here’s one you can download), you can use this to read up on all the ones you might have missed, though we did miss a few. But it’s also my ballot, with my picks bolded. I’ll say right up front, I know a lot of my choices are non-mainstream and I won’t win any pools with this ballot, but I’m okay with that!

So happy Oscars! Here’s hoping the producers pull off a creative remote show without glitches. And I am hoping for a few surprises in the voting, too.

Tune in Sunday April 25, 2021 at 8pmET/5pPT on ABC.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Riz Ahmed,  Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman,  Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins,  The Father

Gary Oldman,  Mank

Steven Yeun,  Minari

Is the late Chadwick Boseman a lock for this one?  He did turn in a great performance. But then so did Riz Ahmed. Ultimately I think the Academy with go with Boseman and I’m good with that.

 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Sacha Baron Cohen,  The Trial of the Chicago 7

Daniel Kaluuya,  Judas and the Black Messiah

Leslie Odom Jr.,  One Night in Miami

Paul Raci,  Sound of Metal

Lakeith Stanfield,  Judas and the Black Messiah 

Daniel Kaluuya has gotten a lot of buzz, but I wonder whether the fact that two actors from the same film are up for this one could split that vote. I’m going with Sacha Baron Cohen, though I know it’s a long shot.  I loved him in the film and appreciate his non-comedic acting chops.

 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Viola Davis,  Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day,  The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Vanessa Kirby,  Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand,  Nomadland

Carey Mulligan,  Promising Young Woman

Frances McDormand feels like the one that the Academy will go for. She was amazing in the film. But so was Carey Milligan, and I’m voting for her brave, multifaceted performance.

 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Maria Bakalova,  Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close,  Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman,  The Father

Amanda Seyfried,  Mank

Youn Yuh-jung,  Minari

Everybody loved Youn Yuh-jung in her Grandma role, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the film. So I’m going with Amanda Seyfried because I came away from the film wishing there’d been more of her and less of Gary Oldman.

 

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Onward

Over the Moon

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Soul

Wolfwalkers

I’ll admit I didn’t see any of these, so I’m going with the buzz.

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Sean Bobbitt,  Judas and the Black Messiah

Erik Messerschmidt,  Mank

Dariusz Wolski,  News of the World

Joshua James Richards,  Nomadland

Phedon Papamichael,  The Trial of the Chicago 7

One of the things that made News of the World worth watching was the beautiful cinematography. But Nomadland‘s imagery was another character in the film, the landscapes, the faces. So that’s my pick!

 

COSTUME DESIGN

Emma

Ma Rainey’s Blackbottom

Mank

Mulan

Pinocchio

I forgot that EMMA was this year. And though I wasn’t a big fan of it, the costumes were delightful. But I expect the Academy to be more drawn to the prestige films, and that probably means Ma Raney’s Blackbottom, which did have some great costumes.

 

DIRECTOR

Thomas Vinterberg,  Another Round

David Fincher,  Mank

Lee Isaac Chung,  Minari

Chloe Zhao,  Nomadland

Emerald Fennell,  Promising Young Woman

It’s a great list for having two women, two Asians, and only one white America man for a change.  I’d love it if Emerald Fennell won, but I suspect Chloe Zhao will take home the statue. And she should. The film is an amazing feat, working with all those non-actors, making a narrative from a memoire. It’s unlike anything that’s come before.

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Collective

Crip Camp

The Mole Agent

My Octopus Teacher

Time

This is a hard category. I LOVED Collective. And My Octopus Teacher, too. But I’m going with Collective because when I saw it I was blown away and wouldn’t stop talking about it to everyone I met.

 

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

Colette

A Concerto Is a Conversation

Do Not Split

Hunger Ward

A Love Song For Latasha

I’m torn in this category, too. All of them are strong. But I think A Love Song for Latasha is the most timely and the one that made me cry. (Okay, I shed more than a few tears with some of the others. It’s a sad set of shorts)

 

FILM EDITING

The Father

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

I’m leaning towards Nomadland for this one because working with all those non-actors must have produced a lot of footage that had to be massaged to come out looking like a real narrative film.  Sound of Metal will probably win, and I’m okay with that, but my gut tells me that Nomadland deserves it.

 

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

Another Round  – Denmark

Better Days  – Hong Kong

Collective  – Romania

The Man Who Sold His Skin  – Tunisia

Quo Vadis, Aida? – Bosnia and Herzegovina

The fact that they nominated Thomas Vinterberg for Best Director means that the Academy really liked Another Round. So did I, though I’d love to see Collective win.

 

MAKEUP and HAIRSTYLING

Emma

Hillbilly Elegy

Ma Rainey’s Blackbottom

Mank

Pinocchio

I haven’t a clue, and like Costumes, I wish EMMA would win, but it will most likely go to Ma Rainey.

 

ORIGINAL SCORE

Da 5 Bloods

Mank

 Minari

News of the World

Soul

I remember liking the music in Da 5 Bloods, though I’d be hard pressed to tell you anything about it now. News of the World was too heavy handed for my taste. But since Soul is about music, I think it may have the edge. But since I think Da 5 Bloods was really snubbed, I’m giving it this vote.

 

ORIGINAL SONG

Fight For You  from  Judas and the Black Messiah

Hear My Voice  from  The Trial of the Chicago 7

Husavik  from  Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

lo Sì (Seen)  from  The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)

Speak Now  from  One Night in Miami…

I can’t say I remember any of them, though I did watch a couple of videos in the last week. The dark horse is Husavik, and I’d love to see it win, but I think Speak Now will take it home.

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Father

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

News of the World

Tenet

What Mank had in spades was a visual style. And it felt right.

 

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Burrow

Genius Loci

If Anything Happens I Love You

Opera

Yes-People

This year’s nominees are as different as can be, and the question is what will the Academy voters prize? The actual animation, the story, the feeling? Or will they be swayed by the marketing campaigns from Pixar and Netflix? I’m going for the one with the most interesting animation, also the oddest.

 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM 

Feeling Through

The Letter Room

The Present

Two Distant Strangers

White Eye

This was a great set of films! I’m thinking the Academy votes will go with Feeling Through because it has a sweet message, and has a blind/deaf actor in a lead role for the first time ever. It’s a memorable film. So is Two Distant Strangers, my second pick.

 

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND

Greyhound

Mank

News of the World

Soul

Sound of Metal

I’m pretty sure that Sound of Metal will win this. And it should.

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

Love and Monsters

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

The One and Only Ivan

Tenet

I only saw one of these, but I think Tenet depended on Visual Effects the most, so I’ll go with that one.

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Borat Subsequent MovieFilm

The Father

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

The White Tiger

As adaptation go, I can’t remember another that took a book and treated it like Nomadland, with the documentary/narrative structure.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Judas and the Black Messiah

Minari

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

This is a total tossup. They’re all excellent, but Promising Young Woman is truly a creative script from beginning to end, and the only one about a woman taking on the world on her own terms. (Like Nomadland in that respect.)

BEST PICTURE

The Father

Judas and the Black Messiah

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

I think Nomadland is going to win this, and I’d like that to happen for a whole lot of reasons. A Chinese woman made a film about an American woman on the fringes, using real people in near homeless conditions. And she got incredible performances from them all.

 

I just took a peek at Mainstream Chick’s ballot and we agree on most of the categories.

Happy Oscar Viewing!  

 

 

 

 

 

Review: One Night in Miami

Academy Award winning actress Regina King’s extraordinary directorial debut is an adaptation of a play that tells the story of one evening in 1964 when four African-American icons get together in a small motel room in Miami. Those men are Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir, “Peaky Blinders”, “High Fidelity), Cassius Clay, soon to become Mohammed Ali (Eli Goree, Race, “Ballers”), Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge, Hidden Figures, The Invisible Man), and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton‘s Aaron Burr). They come together to celebrate their friend Clay’s upset victory over world heavyweight boxing champ Sonny Liston. But amidst the revelry their conversations turn to the power and responsibility of being a celebrity in the Black liberation movement’s early years. What’s great about the script is that it isn’t dogmatic or preachy. It’s the kind of conversation old friends might have, peppered with jokes and digs and a heated disagreement or two along the way.

Review: Small Axe: Mangrove

The first film of Steve McQueen’s (12 Years a Slave) Small Axe anthology sets a high bar for the 5-part series.  Mangrove tells the true story of a group that would come to be called The Mangrove Nine. Centered on a restaurant in the Notting Hill neighborhood of London where the West Indian diaspora gather, it’s a harrowing indictment of the Metropolitan Police’s violent systemic racism and a powerful story of the community’s push-back that landed nine of them in a high profile court case. And while there are nine defendants, the film’s heart is with Frank Crichlow (Shaun Parkes, “Lost in Space”), the owner of the Mangrove restaurant who is one policeman’s favorite target. The film boasts great performances, intense action, and a yell at your television story.

Review: I’m Your Woman

I’m Your Woman is a quiet and engrossing crime drama starring Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) as a woman forced to go on the run after her thief of a husband wrongs the wrong people.