Entertainment

Idiot’s Guide to the Oscars

This Sunday, Hollywood will once again celebrate the year in film, as ABC broadcasts the 90th edition of the Academy Awards. 90th edition! Can you imagine doing something that people are going to complain incessantly about on the internet even one time, let alone two times, let alone 90 times?

Yes, when it comes to the Oscars, especially the “top” award categories, people love to voice their so-called “expert” predictions. From Best Supporting Actor/Actress, to Best Director, to Best Actress/Actor, all the way up to Best Picture, they analyze who will win, pontificate over who should have won, and lament over who was never even nominated in the first place.

Those aforementioned awards though, those awards are easy to have opinions on. Any idiot with a movie ticket can tell you, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri was the best film of the year,” or “You know what, I actually preferred Laurie Metcalf’s performance in Ladybird to Allison Janney’s in I, Tonya.” It takes a special kind of idiot to make broad proclamations on categories they know nothing about… That being said, let’s break down five of those categories. Follow these words for a high-stakes Oscar pool, a brewing Twitter rant, an upcoming phone call with your mom, or hell, even an official Academy vote, and you’re guaranteed to look ridiculously smart by the time Sunday night rolls around. Shall we?

Best Cinematography

The Nominees Are:

  • Blade Runner 2049 (Roger A. Deakins)
  • Darkest Hour (Bruno Delbonnel)
  • Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema)
  • Mudbound (Rachel Morrison)
  • The Shape of Water (Dan Laustsen)

And The Oscar Goes To…

Blade Runner 2049

Without a shadow of a doubt, Blade Runner 2049 was the best movie I almost fell asleep during this year. Give me a break, it was a Friday night, and I’d just been at work for nine hours, after waking up earlier than usual that morning because my dog kept kicking me in his sleep. Plus, this movie is over two-and-a-half hours long, and takes its damn time. So credit Roger A. Deakins and his visually stunning work here, for single-handedly gluing my eyelids open. Deakins has never won an Academy Award, despite being a legend in his field who has been previously nominated a whopping 13 times. For the Herculean task of keeping this tired boy awake past 11 PM, he finally deserves the ultimate recognition for his craft.

Best Costume Design

The Nominees Are:

  • Beauty and the Beast (Jacqueline Durran)
  • Darkest Hour (also Jacqueline Durran)
  • Phantom Thread (Mark Bridges)
  • The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira)
  • Victoria & Abdul (Consolate Boyle)

And The Oscar Goes To…

Phantom Thread

Are you really going to sit there and tell me that a film whose protagonist makes custom clothes for a living, whose lead actor made a dress from scratch in order to prepare for his role, doesn’t deserve to win the Oscar for Best Costume Design? The key to winning a costume design category is to be a film “about” costume design, and Phantom Thread couldn’t be any more intertwined with costume design if it tried. Costume design.

Best Sound Editing

The Nominees Are:

  • Baby Driver (Julian Slater)
  • Blade Runner 2049 (Mark Mangini and Theo Green)
  • Dunkirk (Richard King and Alex Gibson)
  • The Shape of Water (Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce)

And The Oscar Goes To…

Baby Driver

THE ENTIRETY OF BABY DRIVER IS CHOREOGRAPHED TO MUSIC. EVERY SCENE, EVERY GUNSHOT, EVERY BRAKE SQUEAL, EV-ER-Y-THING. DO YOU REALIZE HOW INSANE THAT IS? WHY AREN’T YOU FREAKING OUT AS MUCH AS ME RIGHT NOW??? (While you come to terms with your feelings on the above, go ahead pencil Baby Driver in for Best Sound Mixing too 😉 )

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Nominees Are:

  • Darkest Hour (Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick)
  • Victoria & Abdul (Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard)
  • Wonder (Arjen Tuiten)

And The Oscar Goes To…

Darkest Hour

I mean, they made Gary Oldman look like Winston Churchill. Hey, is that an old photo of Winston Churchill up there? No dude, that’s Gary Oldman. Sure, Oldman has a knack for transformative performances. Anyone who visits r/movies every six months or so knows that. But, going from looking like yourself to a fictional character is one thing. To go from looking like one real person to a completely different looking other real person? That’s the power of makeup (and hairstyling,) baby. It’s also worth noting that this is the third Oscar nomination for Kazuhiro Tsuji, one of the artists nominated for Darkest Hour. Their previous nominations: The Adam Sandler not-classic Click, and the probably-cost-Eddie Murphy-an-Oscar-classic NorbitNorbit is an Academy Award nominated film. NORBIT! Who says you can’t learn anything fun online?

Best Animated Short Film

The Nominees Are:

  • Dear Basketball (Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant)
  • Garden Party (Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon)
  • Lou (Dave Mullins and Dana Murray)
  • Negative Space (Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata)
  • Revolting Rhymes (Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer)

And The Oscar Goes To…

Garden Party

This is a category that’s notoriously challenging to predict. Generally speaking, it’s safe to say that most people either 1) don’t see these short films, 2) have no idea what these short films are about, or 3) never hear of these short films in the first place, before the Oscars take place. Once again, that’s me, I am most people. But, basing things solely off of their titles and posters, the winner has to be Garden Party, right? It’s like a regular party, but all the guests are animals! What a novel idea! Shake with laughter as a bee accidentally pollinates a flower that’s been spiked with rum. Shed at least one tear when a toucan gets rebuffed by the love of his life. Nod knowingly as a frog asks an aardvark he hasn’t met before what she does for a living. Animals: they’re just like us. Sorry Kobe, looks like you won’t be the first NBA legend to deliver their Basketball Hall of Fame speech while holding an Oscar.

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