Final voting begins for the Oscars, lasting for the next five days. And yes, it’s another weird year for Hollywood.
The acting winners seem a foregone conclusion at this point. Barring some hiccup, Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt, and Laura Dern seem headed to the winners’ circle. They’ve won almost all the other awards leading up to this moment including bellwethers like SAG, Critics Choice, and Golden Globes.
The big question is what will win Best Picture and who will be considered Best Director. The Academy often splits those awards, which makes everyone crazy. Then we see lots of Tweets about “I guess the movie directed itself.” That bromide never gets old. But it’s a way to distribute the honors.
This year, “1917” looks like Best Picture, and Bong Joon-Ho seems like he’d be Best Director for “Parasite.” But you never know, it could be reversed. I liked “Parasite” but don’t understand the fervor for it. The publicity team that worked on it should get an award. Here’s a foreign language film, with violence, that has crossed over into the Hollywood mainstream. It’s extraordinary. If it wins Best Picture, “Parasite” would be the first foreign film to do so. And not that many people have seen it. “Parasite” has only made $31 million, compared to over $100 million for “1917,” “Joker,” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”
So the last two awards given out on February 9th will be nail biters. Sadly, one movie out of the race is Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” which I loved and put at the top of all my lists. But “The Irishman” will live on, and be talked about and watched for years to come.
One anomaly this year: neither of the leading candidates for Best Picture has an acting nomination. “1917” and “Parasite” didn’t earn one for its players. So the Best Picture will likely not be directed by the Best Director nor acted by the Best Actors. But if “1917” wins, which I think it will, it will have the Best Cinematographer in Roger Deakins. And that’s pretty good.