|Trevor's View on Hollywood||
History has just been made! This was a ceremony really unlike any other, with the COVID restrictions preventing a traditional ceremony, the awards had to be announced in an entirely different location from the usual Dolby Theater, and several of those nominees had to be telecast from remote locations around the globe. There also was a shift in focus in the ceremony, where jokes were kept to a huge minimum, and the speeches were centered around the nominees themselves rather than the movies. This actually was a nice change of pace, as it humanized these celebrities and behind-the-scenes workers more, revealing how even during a global pandemic we all need artists to guide us on how to sort out the confusion of our times. Although there were still plenty of issues that made this more of an awkward ceremony than even the unfortunate Best Picture mix-up four years ago. But before I go into that, here's the full list of winners from last night:
This year is expectedly going to end up entirely different from a lot of other years, due to movie theaters being closed and a rather small amount of films being widely seen by the general public. I can already anticipate that this year will hit a new kind of low for Oscar viewership, so much so, that it will force a monumental change in the Academy's strategy of marketing and streaming the ceremony.
It's especially tricky because a number of these categories have no clear frontrunner, or even no frontrunner at all. Look at the Best Actress race: The Golden Globe went to Andra Day, the BAFTA went to Frances McDormand, the SAG went to Viola Davis, so WHO WILL WIN??? Also, while Nomadland may technically be the frontrunner for Best Picture, is it really the type of movie that the Academy will just gush over? I don't think so, it's not that relevant for what went on in America in 2020, which led me to wonder if The Trial fo the Chicago 7 winning best cast ensemble at the SAGs will give it a chance at winning the top prize. I mean, it sounds like the ideal safe pick with its appeal to the #BlackLivesMatter protests of this year and with its all-star cast and with it being directed by someone the Academy already loves. So honestly, I'm going to have to guess that Trial will jump out and surprise us all. Don't get me wrong, it's not necessarily a good movie, in fact, it's the worst of the nominated films, but I'm trying to predict which wins would be the most realistic, rather than what I want to see win.
So without further ado, here's my predictions on the winners in all 23 categories:
Years like this prove why storytelling is really so important. Working on a motion picture may not be an "essential" profession, but just what stories offer us are probably the most effective modes of moral and informative guidance for the average human being, far more so than what the government may try to do to control our lives. When Jesus had to give an answer to the question, "Who is my neighbor?" Jesus didn't just say, "Everybody is your neighbor" and call it a day, he did something far more impactful: he gave a parable, a potential scenario that the listener could relate to, so that he could see Jesus' point made in action. It's exactly the same way with the movies and TV shows we watch nowadays. We may watch them primarily for entertainment, but we always consciously pick up on new ways to look at the world and obtain moral guidance on issues we are uncertain about.
That's why your state governor could tell you all he wants that you are required to wear a mask while in a public space. But that alone won't necessarily convince you to do so. Rather, if you heard about someone who wasn't wearing a mask while out shopping and someone s/he came into contact with got Coronavirus and died a few weeks later, that would motivate you in a heartbeat to add a mask into the essential items you must have on you every time you leave the house, along with your phone, keys, wallet, and ID.
Thus, as my custom every year around awards time, I will give my picks for the best out of the films I saw this calendar year. Except I won't be including the January-February 2021 timeframe that the Academy of Motion Pictures added this year to accommodate to the films that suffered from delayed release dates. But don't worry: Nomadland, The Father, Minari, and Judas and the Black Messiah will gladly be in next year's TVOH Awards!
Oh my gosh... I did probably the worst I've ever done at this predicting game. That's kinda the most I have to say about this. I've been unable to sleep all night, totalling at probably an hour of sleep, because I was so anxious and fearful of how accurate I would be in my predictions. Turns out I had every right to be afraid, because I didn't do so well compared to past years. I mean, I guess you can't blame me, because this has been the weirdest year for movies the world has ever seen. So let's just get to it. Here are the official Academy Award nominees:
Well, it's happening. It's two months late, but it's happening. Since movie theaters have been shut down for most of this year, it seemed often like it wouldn't have even been worth it having the Oscars ceremony at all. But with this two month delay, there seems to be a passable amount of films that would work out well as Oscar nominees. I can already tell that 2020 marked as a massive turning point for the movie industry, while that unfortunately means the theatrical experience may have to go extinct or just be not as common, it's leaving more opportunities for films released straight to streaming to get noticed. So with that said, here's my predictions in what will be nominated next week (March 15th 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT) for the Academy Awards!
Sorry for not posting my winner predictions here on this blog, but I did post them on my other social media sites, including Instagram. In total, I predicted 17 out of 24 correctly, which is shockingly not much of an improvement based on how I did in past years. Yet compared to how previous ceremonies have went (particularly last year's), I am so much more satisfied with what happened; my complaints this year are relatively few.
First, here's the full list of winners last night:
Best Popular Film
What do these three have in common? The latest changes the Academy has made, with the inclusion of a 25th category: Best Popular Film. What does that mean? Well, to be honest, nobody knows, not even the Academy themselves! They're still working out the details...
Another significant change they made includes condensing the ceremony to a much stricter 3 hour run time, which means the winners of the smaller categories will only be able to have their speeches condensed into a shorter montage run during commercial break, kind of like how the Tony Awards works.
If you've been on social media a lot since yesterday, I'm sure you saw that the response has been overwhelmingly negative. As in, I have not seen even one person who's happy about these changes. At first, I didn't really care much about the Best Popular Film category, but after thinking about it more, and hearing other people's reactions, I do have some things to say.
I now want to introduce something that is new for both of us: a full complete list of what I believe is the best of the year. Now, I haven't seen everything this year, and that includes several of the films that the Oscars nominated, so based on all 53 releases this year I assessed and graded, here's what I genuinely believe deserves the honors.
But first, a few notes on some of these categories:
I considered the animated films for all the categories except for makeup and costume design, since there are technicians behind the editing, cinematography, and set design that deserve every bit as much recognition as those who work on live action films. So it's virtually free for all in everything.
I also consider all films that feature visual effects shots a chance in Best Visual Effects. I say that it should be the goal of any vfx artists to make the effects invisible, so that's what I've been judging this year.
I'm not following the same judgment as the Oscars, who like to judge based on technical achievement. While that's important to acknowledge to make sure the artistry of filmmaking continues to grow with its discoveries, my focus is on how the practical elements contribute to the film's unique needs, so you may find nominees in some of these categories you'd never expect to find in any other awards show lineup. I'm not saying I'm better than any of them, but rather this is my two cents on what's important in filmmaking.
So now without further ado, here's my nominees, starting with...