An off-year for the Oscars and me

see The Queen Of Basketball and The Long Goodbye

Historically, 1) I would see lots of movies in the theater throughout the year, and 2) I’d try to see whatever movies I’d missed after the Oscars were announced. This year, though, is an off-year for the Oscars and me.

For one thing, I saw far fewer movies in an actual cinema, always my preferred venue. For another, I’d make dates with my wife to watch some films on a streaming service, but the plans would fall through. I DID see a few online by myself, but I just didn’t have the mojo for doing that too often.

What DID I see that were nominated? I linked to my reviews in the BEST PICTURE category, or elsewhere if not nominated there.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
JAVIER BARDEM in Being the Ricardos, which I watched a day ago and requires a full review
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
CIARÁN HINDS in Belfast
TROY KOTSUR in CODA. Based on all of the other awards, I’d think Kotsur is a near lock, which is fine by me.
J.K. SIMMONS in Being the Ricardos

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
PENÉLOPE CRUZ in Parallel Mothers
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
ARIANA DEBOSE in West Side Story                                                                            JUDI DENCH in Belfast. I was pulling for Caitríona Balfe, who played the mom in Belfast, but she wasn’t nominated

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
FLEE – Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie

CINEMATOGRAPHY
WEST SIDE STORY – Janusz Kaminski
COSTUME DESIGN
WEST SIDE STORY – Paul Tazewell

Auteur

DIRECTING
BELFAST – Kenneth Branagh
DRIVE MY CAR – Ryusuke Hamaguchi
LICORICE PIZZA -Paul Thomas Anderson
WEST SIDE STORY – Steven Spielberg
I saw all except Jane Campion for THE POWER OF THE DOG. Of the four, I’d pick Branagh.

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)
ATTICA – Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry. Just saw this. Very thorough but greatly unsettling.
FLEE – Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie. Has there been an animated film nominated as a doc feature? Powerful. More soon.
SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR, WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED) – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent, and David Dinerstein, which was splendid

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)
THE QUEEN OF BASKETBALL – Ben Proudfoot. You can watch it at this link. I didn’t write about this because I expected to see the others in this category. The IMDB description: “an electrifying portrait of Lucy Harris, who scored the first basket in women’s Olympic history and was the first and only woman officially drafted into the N.B.A. Harris has remained largely unknown – until now.” I found it quite informative and touching. Also sad, since Lucy recently died.

FILM EDITING – NONE

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
DRIVE MY CAR (Japan)
THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD (Norway) – just saw this; worthwhile. More in days to come.

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING – NONE

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
PARALLEL MOTHERS -Alberto Iglesias
MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
DOWN TO JOY from Belfast; Music and Lyric by Van Morrison.
I’m rooting for DOS ORUGUITAS from Encanto; Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

The big category

BEST PICTURE
BELFAST – Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers
CODA – Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi, and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
DRIVE MY CAR – Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer
LICORICE PIZZA – Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers
WEST SIDE STORY – Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers
Not having seen DON’T LOOK UP, DUNE, KING RICHARD, NIGHTMARE ALLEY, or THE POWER OF THE DOG, I’d pick CODA, though BELFAST would be a fine choice.

PRODUCTION DESIGN
WEST SIDE STORY – Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED) – NONE
SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)
THE LONG GOODBYE – Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed A powerful film that you can watch here or here

SOUND
BELFAST -Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather, and Niv Adiri
WEST SIDE STORY – Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson, and Shawn Murphy

VISUAL EFFECTS
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME – Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
CODA -Screenplay by Siân Heder
DRIVE MY CAR – Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
BELFAST -Written by Kenneth Branagh
LICORICE PIZZA – Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD – Written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier. My favorite of the three.

It’s likely that I’ll get a short-term subscription to Netflix and see tick, tick…BOOM!, THE POWER OF THE DOG, and THE LOST DAUGHTER. Maybe catch some other films somehow.

The Hollywood Reporter: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “An off-year for the Oscars and me”

  1. I’ve been updating my “Best Films of 2021” list in real time as I see new things, with my current Oscar Predictions at the bottom of the page, here:

    https://jericsmith.com/2021/12/15/best-films-of-2021/

    We watched “Flee” and “The Worst Person in the World” over the past couple of nights. Both outstanding.

    We watched “Licorice Pizza” earlier in the week. Not outstanding.

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