2021 Oscars Thoughts

The 2021 Oscars happened. That’s all I can really say. The ceremony was underwhelming, I mean, it was bound to be since last year’s was so momentous. My enthusiasm wasn’t that great, as nearly all of my favorite films of the year were snubbed from most of the categories, save for Minari, One Night in Miami, and Da 5 Bloods (which only got one nomination). Either way, here are my thoughts on a few of the categories: (If I disagreed with the winner, I put my opinion of who should’ve won)

Best Picture –

Winner: Nomadland

Anyone paying any attention to other awards could’ve guessed this one. Nomadland was the most obvious pick, as it already got so many other awards. I didn’t like it that much, but I get why others like it.

My pick from the nominees: Judas and the Black Messiah

No other choice. The most powerful and impactful pick out of all the other nominees. It’s genuinely insane that any other film won.

Best Director –

Winner: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Easy prediction, as she’s been getting almost every other ‘Best Director’ award. Zhao’s direction is somewhat mixed. There’s some great moments in the film, and then there’s some off-putting ones.

My pick from the nominees: Lee Isaac Chung, Minari

Chung’s Minari is a mighty effort. It’s equal parts tender and bitter. This is thanks to Chung’s talents as a director. There’s a good chance it ends up in my top ten of the year.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Winner: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Yeah, another easy pick if you follow other award shows. She’s fine. The movie’s fine. I’ve said all I need to.

My pick from the nominees: Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

All of my personal picks weren’t nominated, so out of the options, Davis deserves it. A very good performance.

Best Actor in a Leading Role –

Winner: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

They really left this category for last and made Boseman last in the ‘In Memoriam’ segment, to savor every last speck of hope, and gave the Oscar to Anthony Hopkins. This is nothing against Hopkins, who’s performance is great, but it’s the fact that everyone was expecting it to go to Boseman, and the fact that the Academy clearly knew that, and did everything they could to wring out every ounce of explotation out of it… that’s just disrespectful.

My pick from the nominees: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

It’s not my preferred Boseman performance from this year (that would be Da 5 Bloods), but his performance in Ma Rainey’s is very good, probably my favorite in the film. It’s painful, soulful, and amazing to witness.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role –

Winner: Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

I was very surprised that Youn actually won! If I remember correctly, she’s the first Korean to ever win an Oscar, which is neat. She deserves it, too, as her performance was a standout in the film.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role –

Winner: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

This was the one. This was the moment of the night where I felt like the Academy got it 100% right. There’s no other choice for this category but Kaluuya. Any other option is ignorant and wrong. His performance was alive and powerful.

Best Original Screenplay –

Winner: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman

This was the first award announced. It set a tone for the rest of the night. The tone was that of disappointment. I disagree with this decision, but hey, at least it wasn’t The Trial of the Chicago 7. So, that’s something, I guess.

My pick from the nominees: Judas and the Black Messiah

Like I said, no other choice. It’s uncompromising. It doesn’t attempt to wash clean of the dirt. It shows people, warts and all.

Best Adapted Screenplay –

Winner: Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller, The Father

It’s not a bad script, in fact, it’s a good script, but I wouldn’t say it’s Oscar-worthy.

My pick from the nominees: Kemp Powers, One Night in Miami

I adore One Night in Miami, and I’m thankful it got a nomination, but it deserved the win.

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