The 2020 Oscar Nominations and Our Thoughts

Posted on January 13, 2020

The 2020 Oscar nominations are out and we have opin–JUSTICE FOR J LO! JUSTICE FOR GRETA! JUSTICE FOR RUTH E. CARTER! JUSTICE FOR AWKWAFINA! JUSTICE FOR LUPITA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry. It just slipped out. Here are the very safe, traditional, white nominees. The Joe Biden Oscars, if you will:


Otherwise known as “Four blondes and Kathy Bates.” We would be very happy to see Florence Pugh take this one, but Scarlett did some of the most interesting work of her career in JoJo Rabbit. No to Margot. It just wasn’t that great a performance and the character was badly written. Laura’s probably the favorite here.



The very idea of Ruth E. Carter’s eyepopping work on Dolemite is My Name not being recognized here is absolutely ludicrous. Instead we get mid-Century mafia, Nazi Germany, superhero adjacent, 18th Century New England and Hippy Hollywood – all very safe and conventional choices for costume design



Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood’s sound editing was as much a performance and a character as Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio. It was brilliant.



No opinion.






Tom Hanks did a beautiful job of making Fred Rogers a living, breathing person instead of a saint or icon. One of the most finely tuned performances of the year. No to Pacino – but we’ve never liked his latter work. Joe Pesci also did an amazing job playing against type and keeping a lid on his essential Pesci-ness. Having said that, we think this is Pitt’s to lose.



OUATIH or 1917 would be our choices.



We only saw Hair Love and it was wonderful.









Parasite is rightly nominated for Best Picture and if we had our way, it would win that so that Pain and Glory could snag this one.



This one’s tough. Parasite‘s entire story was dependent on its memorable (and crystal clear, for storytelling purposes) production design. JoJo Rabbit‘s a contender here because it’s P.D. was so colorful, whimsical and oppressive at the same time – a child’s-eye view of wartime. 1917‘s P.D. was an impressive technical achievement, like the entire film itself. We’re not in full agreement as to whether that technical skill always reaches the level of artistry.

We’d give this to Parasite, we think.



Parasite again. That story was working on so many levels (metaphorically and literally) and the editing made everything clear, sharp, and at times, heart-racing or devastating. The sequence when the family comes home is an utter stunner.



The Lighthouse was like finding an old book of daguerrotypes in a used book store. That’s a huge compliment. Having said that, the artsiness of the film will probably sink its chances. Again: can’t deny that 1917 is an amazing technical achievement but we’re not sure it rises to the level of art.



We’re so nonplussed by the fact of The Irishman‘s shoddy de-aging getting a nomination that we think we’re just gonna pass on this one. Or just give it to The Avengers.

Maleficent, we guess.




If Disney hadn’t insisted on calling The Lion King a live-action remake, they might have snagged an Oscar here. As it is, we suppose Toy Story is the favorite, since it always is. We heard great things about Klaus but didn’t catch it.





Greta, hands down. She took a very-told and kind of old story and looked at it with new eyes – without sacrificing a thing. Having said that, we wouldn’t weep if Taika took this one. JoJo Rabbit had some flaws, but what it managed to pull of was damn near miraculous.




Parasite, but we wouldn’t mind if Knives Out won.




Antonio Banderas or Adam Driver, but it’s probably going to be Joaquin.




Otherwise known as “Four blondes and Cynthia Erivo.” ScarJo did more interesting work in JoJo Rabbit. Charlize pulled off an impressive impersonation. Saoirse was good, but not best-of-the-year. We haven’t seen Harriet yet, but Renée has always been our frontrunner, precisely because she didn’t just pull of the mimicry; she found a woman underneath all the iconography and played her instead.



Bong Joon Ho. Parasite really is that good, you guys.



In fact, Parasite is a masterpiece. We want it to get everything, but given how safe and traditional these nominations are, we don’t have a lot of hope for it.

Go ahead. Scream if you want to.




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