We’ve been saying for weeks that this looks like the most competitive Oscar race in years across all categories and as more and more film associations and critics’ boards announce their winners and nominations lists, so far, while there are certainly stronger contenders than others, there does not seem to be consensus, which of course makes it that much more unpredictable. And all of this heading into the Golden Globe nominations this morning (this intro was written ahead of time).
Last week the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle named Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman as the best film of 2019 while the Gothams went with Marriage Story. This weekend, the Toronto Film Critics Association and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association recognised Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite. Parasite won the Palme d’Or in Cannes back in May. For months now people have been wondering whether or not it could make a play at the Oscars. No film in a language other than English (or silent) has ever won Best Picture. Roma came close last year and it won Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron but ultimately the Academy couldn’t pull the trigger and some believe it was because…Netflix.
The Irishman, however, is Netflix. And it’s in English. Will Netflix finally break through? Will a language other than English break through? Or, hilariously, will the safest bet for the Academy end up being Quentin Tarantino who has never won Best Director or Best Picture?
If it were up to me, I’d go with Parasite. What Bong Joon Ho is doing in Parasite you’ll see everyone else start doing in three to five years, which is what he’s been doing throughout his career. It’s incredible storytelling and social commentary. The acting is unreal. If it’s playing near you, go check it out, at least so you can argue about it with all the film nerds.
It’s a close call in the acting categories too. LA and New York voted Antonio Banderas as Best Actor for his performance in Pain and Glory. NBR chose Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems. The Gothams went with Adam Driver in Marriage Story. Joaquin Phoenix, who looked like a frontrunner in October, especially considering Joker’s box office, hasn’t picked up any wins yet. Lupita Nyong’o is surging after she also won in LA and New York for Best Actress for her work in Us. Joe Pesci might be giving Brad Pitt a run for it for Best Supporting Actor. And Jennifer Lopez won her first of the season so far as the LA critics selected her over Laura Dern, considered to be the Best Supporting Actress favourite but, again, there’s still time. And it’s not like JLo isn’t going for it. I was hoping her episode of Saturday Night Live would be stronger but if the main takeaway is that at 50, JLo just had one of the biggest years of her career, if not the biggest year of her career – and the Super Bowl hasn’t even happened yet – then voters heard that message loud and clear.
More on the Globe nominations later today.
Yours in gossip,