©2019 by Sean Whitehurst

Oscar Picks 2019

Visual Effects: Ready Player One

“Avengers: Infinity War” - Marvel studios has had so long to do this, it wasn't new ground

“Christopher Robin” - I liked the interactions between the human and non-human characters. It felt Paddington esque but not as good. Paddington 2 was a perfect movie!

“First Man” - Tightening camera shots and shaking the rig isn’t really an effect. I think this will win though.

“Ready Player One” - I forgot this came out in 2018. This universe was wonderful to live through. This is my pick.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” - No real new ground for a Star Wars movie.


Costume Design: Black Panther

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Mary Zophres - It was all similar old western and captured the period, but it didn’t break new ground.

“Black Panther,” Ruth E. Carter - This was very original. It fused traditional African clothing with hyper modernism. It came out well. This will probably win.

“The Favourite,” Sandy Powell - Very good period piece when royal fashion was insane. The men's hair and wigs were the best!

“Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell - I haven't seen it

“Mary Queen of Scots,” Alexandra Byrne - I haven’t seen it, but I suspect it is the second best British royal themed movie in terms of costumes...


Makeup and Hair: write in The Favourite, Why are there only 3 nominees?

Sean write in: The Favourite


“Border” - Didn't see it, but I hope it wins

“Mary Queen of Scots” - This ROBBBBBBBBBED The Favourite. The men's hair in The Favourite was sooo good.

“Vice” - Ooo, look prosthetics to look like people that really exist. Not very impressive.


Original Song: Shallow

Sean write in: Slaughter Race from Ralph Breaks the Internet: Not a winner but should be here


“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA - A solid runner up.

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson - I didn;t notice this song during the movie

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman - Didn’t see or hear this one.

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice - This is your winner, get Gaga closer to the EGOT.

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch - This movie is a series of shorts. This song is one of the better ones, but it isn’t a through line to the full movie.


Original Score: If Beale Street Could Talk

“BlacKkKlansman,” Terence Blanchard - Meh, I didn’t particularly like the movie, but this is Blanchard's first nomination. I wonder what it would have been like had he done Beale Street.

“Black Panther,” Ludwig Goransson - A good runner up.

“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Nicholas Britell - The score was solid. Here are many parts of the movie where you are just listening to the music with no dialog. This is my winner.

“Isle of Dogs,” Alexandre Desplat - I don’t think the score in a Wes Anderson movie ever really helps much. I feel like his movies are all just dialog. If the score is so forgettable, it shouldn’t win.

“Mary Poppins Returns,” Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman - Didn’t see it


Production Design: Roma

“Black Panther,” Hannah Beachler - There had to have been tons of green screen. Nothing can really touch Roma.

“First Man,” Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas - Small totally controlled sets are less impressive.

“The Favourite,” Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton - As much as I loved this movie, it was only a few indoor sets. That seems easier to do than Roma.

“Mary Poppins Returns,” John Myhre, Gordon Sim - Didn’t see it

“Roma,” Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez - This is my pick. There are too many beautiful shots to not win. Every scene is like a painting coming to life.


Sound Mixing: First Man

“Black Panther” - Runner up, lots of sounds had to be created and layered in.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” - This is all for the last scene right? You could use original sound…

“First Man” - If this movie has to win, then this is where it should happen. Lots of sounds had to be added. I want it to win this, nothing else.

“Roma” - I think the edit on this was stronger than the mixing

“A Star Is Born” - Nothing out of the ordinary here


Sound Editing: A Quiet Place

“Black Panther,” Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker - Wasn't 90% of the sound mixed in later?

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Warhurst - Meh

“First Man,” Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan - Meh, lots of studio shots, how hard can this be.

“A Quiet Place,” Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl - I want this to win something. The editing of any extraneous sounds out was wonderful

“Roma,” Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay - Second place


Film Editing: The Favourite

“BlacKkKlansman,” Barry Alexander Brown - I guess this is my runner up

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Ottman - Meh

“Green Book,” Patrick J. Don Vito - meh

“The Favourite,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis - There are so many camera angles, this was a chore to edit and it was done so well.

“Vice,” Hank Corwin - meh


Best Foreign Language Film: Roma

“Capernaum” (Lebanon) - haven’t seen it

“Cold War” (Poland) - haven’t seen it, Why does it not come to Amazon until MARCH 22nd ?!?!?!?!

“Never Look Away” (Germany) - haven’t seen it

“Roma” (Mexico) - Winner, also the only one I have seen

“Shoplifters” (Japan) - STL screening was sold out, so I haven’t seen it.


Best Live Action Short Film: Haven’t seen any of these “Detainment,” Vincent Lambe

“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte

“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley

“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen

“Skin,” Guy Nattiv


Best Documentary Short Subject: Haven't seen any of these

“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins

“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman

“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald

“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry

“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi


Best Documentary Feature: Free Solo

Sean Write in: "Crime + Punishment" - worth tracking down a copy to watch this. It isn;t a liberal fluff piece, it is a real honest look at the NYPD


Sean write in: "Won't You Be My Neighbor" - THis should totaly supercede RBG. This movie made the entire audience tear up. There is so much of an untold story here. This could have given Free Solo a run for the win.


“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi - This movie gave me the most visceral reaction ever. It wins just for my sweaty palms.

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross - haven’t seen it

“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu - Second place, this doc was so good. You should go watch it on Hulu. It is such a close second.

“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki - Haven't seen it

“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen - I somewhat liked this movie, but it was somewhat a fluff piece on RBG. I didn’t learn a ton, and it celebrated her celebrity. Neighbor was sooooo much better.


Cinematography: The Favourite

“Cold War,” Lukasz Zal - Haven't seen it

“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan - Your winner. The way this is shot is amazing. I love the low angles and the fish eyes. How a scene is shot plays into the scene so well. This is wonderful.

“Never Look Away,” Caleb Deschanel - Haven't seen it

“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón - Second place. The production design win takes it out of the running here for me.

“A Star Is Born,” Matthew Libatique - I guess third place. It didn’t seem particularly remarkable to me.


Original Screenplay: The Favourite

“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara - This movie was so much fun. How the three sides are all shown was masterful.

“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader - This was a solid screenplay. It kept me guessing where it was going. The acting was solid.

“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly - Poop, this movie was poop.

“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón - I'll go second here just because it was a story on a singlular focus. I still think it was great.

“Vice,” Adam McKay - I didn’t like this movie. It was too easy of a target and it only showed what we all already new, no new ground. It just followed history.


Adapted Screenplay: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Joel Coen , Ethan Coen - These vignettes were good, but without a through line I don't think it should win.

“BlacKkKlansman,” Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee - This is based on a true story but leaves so much out. It also adds in things that didn't need to be added. Go read Boots Riley's critique.

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty - Please have Melissa McCarthy do more roles like this. This story was so interesting and made for a great movie.

“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Barry Jenkins - The movie didn’t really impact me a whole lot, so it doesn’t get my vote.

“A Star Is Born,” Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters - I haven't seen any of the other versions, but I wonder how much of a novel screenplay this was as opposed to a polish.


Animated Short: Bao (I will see all of these Saturday before the Oscars)

“Animal Behaviour,” Alison Snowden, David Fine

“Bao,” Domee Shi - Very sweet, the only one I have seen

“Late Afternoon,” Louise Bagnall

“One Small Step,” Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas

“Weekends,” Trevor Jimenez


Animated Feature: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird - Rehash of the original movie No new ground here, pass.

“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson - Fantastic Mr. Fox was better. I liked this movie, bt if it isn’t Anderson's best animated movie I don’t see it winning.

“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda - I didn’t see it

“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston - Good movie, but if we isolate the Disney princess scenes, then this could give Spider-Man a run for the money.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman - This has to win. It was too good. It crossed so many lines for audiences of all types.


Director: Cuarón

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman” - I got a bad taste from this movie, especially when I learned more of the story. If it wins it is for Spike Lee's full body of work and not this movie by itself.

Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War” - I didn’t see this.

Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite” - Second place. Again I loved this movie.

Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma” - Masterpiece, your winner. Also significantly better than Fish Sex the movie.

Adam McKay, “Vice” - Hey look you remade The Big Short, but this time on a topic we all know more about.


Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz Amy Adams, “Vice” - Meh

Marina de Tavira, “Roma” - Good, but not outstanding.

Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk” - There is a reason neither lead is nominated. She was the best part of this movie. Well maybe after the score.

Emma Stone, “The Favourite” - I think Weisz was a shade better. This is my runner up.

Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite” - Let's follow the globes (comedy). She needed Stone and Colman, but she was still so awesome. The three of them made this movie so great.


Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book” - You think it means anything when the black guy in a movie about racism is the supporting actor?

Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman” - Adam may have been the best part of this movie. The real issue is that he was acting inside the movie. Kind of like La La Land. I hate actors portraying actors.

Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born” - I really like Sam Elliott, but his characters never seem to have a big enough role. His role is too small in this movie to get the win.

Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” - He was so good in this. This was an awesome movie and he supported McCarthy so well.

Sam Rockwell, “Vice” - Hey look a full length SNL skit about how dumb W was.


Lead Actress: Yalitza Apaicio

Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma” - Yalitza Aparicio hadn’t acted much before this. She was phenomenal. She didn’t have a ton of dialog, but portrayed emotions on screen so well.

Glenn Close, “The Wife” - I haven’t seen this

Olivia Colman, “The Favourite” - I think Olivia Colman will win. She is my second place. I would have no issue with her winning.

Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born” - I didn’t think this was enough of a stretch for Gaga.

Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” - She was so good. I want more of this side of Melissa McCarthy.


Lead Actor: Does anyone care this year? Bradley Cooper

Christian Bale, “Vice” - Nope, you don’t get to win if you had thousands of hours of video of the person your were mimicking. This wasn’t acting it was an impersonation.

Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born” - This was good acting, but the rest of the field was bad.

Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate” - I didn’t see this.

Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody” - The teeth bugged the crap out of me. The movie bugged me.

Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book” - Nope, white Jesus can’t always win. Hey look, I'm a rough and tough, dumb Italian meat head. He also taught a black guy to eat fried chicken. It was the second best fried Chicken scene.


Best Picture: Roma

“Black Panther” - Fourth

“BlacKkKlansman” - Fifth

“Bohemian Rhapsody” - Sixth

“The Favourite” - Second Place

“Green Book” - Seventh

“Roma” - Winner

“A Star Is Born” - Third

“Vice” - Last

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