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Kendall’s Oscar Picks

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Takes!

91st Oscars - Oscar Week: Animated Features Photo by Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

I know some would prefer I stick to sports and pasta. But trust me, I’ll make this relevant to Baylor.

My Oscar rankings. These are not the films I think will win.

Best Picture:

1) A Star is Born- This movie was nearly perfect.

2) Green Book- The problems around the movie and with the creator make it fine that it won’t win anything but best supporting actor.

3) Bohemian Rhapsody- It’s won too many awards and is now underrated.

4) Black Panther- I’m not a super hero movie dude. It’s still much better than the bottom three.

5) BlacKkKlansman- The story drags on for a while. It could have been cut about 20 minutes in the middle. The highs of that film are much higher than the highs of some above it.

6) Roma- Assuming it wins, it’s much better than Birdman, so it for sure will not be close to the worst winner of the decade.

7) The Favourite- Didn’t do it for me. Strange.

8) Vice- I don’t like Dick Cheney. I hate this movie even more. It was the worst thing I saw this year. It fails as a comedy. It fails as a drama. And it fails in everything but the acting. They ran back the worst version of The Big Short.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Texas Tech
Scott Drew possibly explaining that Vice was terrible
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Actor:

1) Christian Bale, Vice- Despite Vice being the worst movie, he played Dick Cheney perfectly—another reason that movie is pathetic.

2) Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody- He’ll be a worthy winner.

3) Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born- Would have deserved the award last year, but the top of this category was too good this year.

4) Viggo Mortensen, Green Book- Plays the role extremely well.

5) Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate- He was much better last year in The Florida Project. He’s solid in this movie, but he shouldn’t have been nominated. Ethan Hawke, John David Washington or Clint Eastwood would have been better picks.

Actress:

1) Lady Gaga, A Star is Born- This was the best performance of the year. She should easily win this. I’m not sure why she seems to have little shot at winning it.

2) Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me- She captures the role, depression and anger of the situation perfectly. Most years she would deserve this.

3) Yalitza Aparicio, Roma- At the film’s most tragic moments, she captures things well—from the emotionless shock to the tragic peaks. A great year for this category.

4) Glenn Close, The Wife- With flashbacks, she’s not in this movie as much as some of the other nominees. I don’t think it’s some injustice when she wins, but I think she had the second worst performance of the group.

5) Olivia Coleman, The Favourite- She had some nice scenes, but her role wasn’t too large either. I’d have nominated Elsie Fisher for Eighth Grade.

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King McClure and Mario Kegler enjoying a time before Oscar viewers had to watch Vice
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Actor in a Support Role:

1) Mahershala Ali, Green Book- Between this and True Detective, he had the best acting year.

2) Richard Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me- I feel bad that Ali was too good. His interactions with McCarthy formed the best duo of the year, outside of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

3) Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman- A good performance, but a clip behind the men higher

4) Sam Elliot, A Star is Born- He’s not in the movie enough to compete with the men in the top three. His scene with Lady Gaga near the end of the film was outstanding.

5) Sam Rockwell, Vice- He shouldn’t have been nominated. Cedric the Entertainer should have been nominated over him.

Actress in a Leading Role:

I did not get to see If Beale Street Could Talk because it’s not available online.

1) Marina de Tavira, Roma- Captures the screen during her time. Her character arc helped carry this movie.

2) Rachel Weisz, The Favourite- One of the ten best living actors/actresses. Another great performance.

3) Emma Stone, The Favourite- Along with Jennifer Lawrence, she’s the best young actress. Another big year for her.

4) Amy Adams, Vice- Good performance. Not an indictment of her. The acting categories were much better than the best picture options.

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Jake Lindsey has missed the season due to injury. Hopefully he missed Vice.
John Gutierrez-USA TODAY Sports

Directing:

I did not see Cold War because you can’t stream that film in America.

1) Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman- Without Bradley Cooper as a nominee, he should be the pick over the other three in a landslide.

2) Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite- I think he had no business being nominated over Bradley Cooper.

3) Alfonso Cuaron, Roma- So many of the film choices didn’t do it for me. I think filming in black and white was a mistake. The movie moves too slowly at the beginning. He has some nice shot choices during the big moments.

4) Adam McKay, Vice- He had incredible actors and worked with a universally reviled man as the subject matter. And he made what might be the worst movie of the decade. If he somehow wins this award, then the Oscars should end.

Adapted Screenplay:

I did not see The Ballad of Buster Scruggs or If Beale Street Could Talk.

1) A Star is Born- Might be overrating some of the dialogue because of the acting and singing. It still seemed great.

2) Can You Ever Forgive Me- Strong writing, especially when McCarthy interacts with her agent.

3) BlacKkKlansman- Not an indictment of the writing, but a reflection of the top two

Original Screenplay:

1) First Reformed- This movie should have been nominated for Best Picture.

2) Green Book- I love the script, but once again, given the problems with Nick Vallelonga, I have no problem with this getting nothing in the non-acting categories.

3) The Favourite- Much worse than First Reformed and Green Book, much better than the ones below it.

4) Roma- Takes too long to get going, and too many moments drag. The best scenes are strongly written.

5) Vice- Catastrophically bad.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Baylor
Jared Butler and Makai Mason celebrating one of their two wins over Iowa State. Or possibly celebrating the thought of Vice not winning any Oscars.
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Foreign Language Film:

Shoplifters is better than Roma. That movie had a good case for Best Picture. I did not see the other three nominees.

Best Documentary Feature:

Three Identical Strangers was my favorite documentary this year. But this category was loaded. It was a much better year for documentaries than feature films.

1) Of Fathers and Sons- Unbelievable access to a man beholden to evil beliefs.

2) Free Solo- Shot superbly. A well-moving look at a weirdo achieving his dream.

3) Minding the Gap- I’d be thrilled if this could win. Deals with heavy subjects, despite beginning with a look at the only thing easy about the filmmaker’s life.

4) RBG- Well done, with interviews from the people you’d want to interview for a documentary on her.

5) Hale County This Morning, This Evening- I could understand ranking it No. 1. I’d prefer more interviews with the people in the documentary, but it’s best moments, and so many other scenes, highlight life.

Documentary Short:

Another excellent category.

1) Period. End of Sentence- Funny, original and each second had a purpose.

2) Black Sheep- Every filming decision made sense.

3) End Game- Grapples with a heavy subject and brings you in with the families.

4) Lifeboat- Another quality look at one of the saddest moments of our time.

5) A Night at the Garden- Powerful, but much shorter and allowed to stand on its own. Some say it makes it easier to draw parallels to today, but I’d like a longer look to tie those things together.

NCAA Basketball: Oregon at Baylor
Baylor’s been without their best player, Tristan Clark, for most of Big 12 play. Hopefully as he recovers from injury he avoids strenuous activity or watching Vice.
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Animated Short Film:

1) Late Afternoon- Brilliant.

2) Weekends- Another strong selection.

3) One Small Step- Like the top two but slightly worse.

4) Bao- Not doing it for me.

5) Animal Behavior- I hated this.

Original Song:

1) Shallow, A Star is Born- The song of the year.

2) All the Stars, Black Panther- Still great.

3) I’ll Fight, RBG- Should have played before the credits.

4) The Place Where Lost Things Go, Mary Poppins Returns- Solid.

5) When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs- Not for me.

Live Action Short:

Fauve was excellent. Skin was fine. I didn’t see the other three.

Other Categories:

I don’t have strong takes on sound editing and the remaining categories. I hated “First Man.” I’m glad it wasn’t nominated for the major categories.

Final Thoughts:

It was a strong year for the movies. “Operation Finale” and “First Reformed” should have been nominated in the big categories. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” deserved a Best Picture nomination. “The Mule” was also better than the bottom of the Best Picture category.