Don’t Look Up, CODA

General thoughts

The Academy has been serving ABC since Tom Sherak expanded the best picture category after the so-called “rejection” of dark Knight and created the Governor’s Award after Jerry Lewis rambled while accepting his honorary Oscar. Then in the “Oscars So White” chapter, the Academy threw its members under the bus and since then have added new ones – many who haven’t really accomplished anything and in in some cases, not even working in the field of cinema. And now, because the Academy has an expensive museum to worry about, and because the entire institution has become so redundant and overpaid – there are actually many openings and security personnel at Academy screenings rather than members – it’s scary to stand up for yourself. When ABC asked the Academy to remove a bunch of live show categories “or otherwise,” the Academy stooped and disseminated them. They should have told ABC to go out on its own and sell the show to someone else. It is an insult to the nominees in that category that their awards will be presented while the red carpet is still going on and people are going in and out of the room. And for what? For more time to stream clips from superhero movies and hand out awards on Twitter? On top of that, members can’t even go to the show anymore – they won’t be in a draw this year – but the Academy valet still gets their seats every year. Many members expressed their displeasure and are investigating the possibility of a class action lawsuit. This is not what we signed up for.

Best photo

On my nomination ballot, I put Clap, clack… Boom! at number 1 – a lot of good things went for it! I think so, too Unforgivable underrated – it’s the most powerful self-sacrifice movie I’ve ever seen, with Sandra Bullock’s superb performance. For the 10 people who received nominations? Drive my car not a bad movie but in the international feature film genre, not here, like Parasites do. Sand dunes worthy in many categories, but not this one. I was looking forward to the new one West story, but apart from the opening sequence, it is almost a carbon copy of the original; I know they’re insisting that they cast Latino and Latina actors this time, but the actress who plays Maria is named Rachel Zeglerso I think that’s a bit of an overstatement. Don’t look up is a movie a joke. King Richard not bad, but it’s not particularly good. Licorice Pizza It’s great in some ways, but I don’t know how much it really has to say. The remaining four – Belfast, CODA, Nightmare Alley and The power of the dog – they all deserve it. The power of the dog beautifully acted, photographed and directed in many ways, but it’s too long, with some really dull moments. Belfast is moving, with great performances, and shows how the Troubles have affected ordinary people, which I have never seen before; I don’t know why they called the kid “Buddy” instead of “Kenneth”, but that’s another matter. Nightmare Alley far superior to another Guillermo del Toro film that has won this award [The Shape of Water]; it’s visually stunning and a study of greed that so many people could benefit from seeing. But CODA shows a part of life that certain people live but most people don’t get exposed to and it excels in every way a best photograph should be – it has storytelling, acting and direction It’s a great guide, but it also conveys an important message about society. It deserves to be acknowledged.

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VOTE: (first) CODA(2) Nightmare Alley(3) Belfast(4) The power of the dog(5) Licorice Pizza(6) King Richard(7) Don’t look up(8) West story(9) Sand dunes(ten) Drive my car

Best Director

I’m shocked by that [CODA’s] Sian Heder was not nominated in this category and that [Drive My Car’s Ryusuke] Hamaguchi already. [West Side Story’s] Steven Spielberg shouldn’t have been nominated – that movie was primarily made by the art department and the choreography department. [Licorice Pizza’s] Paul Thomas Anderson’s writing is more impressive than his directing. [Belfast’s] Kenneth Branagh and [Dog’s] Jane Campion are both very strong contenders; Kenneth just told her story in a more frugal way.

VOTE: Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Slow loading images

Illustrated by Audrey Malo

Best Actor

[Being the Ricardos’ Javier] Bardem didn’t do much for me; he doesn’t look like Desi Arnaz, and the movie isn’t that good. I’ve never been a big fan of [King Richard’s] Will Smith. Denzel [Washington of The Tragedy of Macbeth] always brilliant. [Dog’s Benedict] Cumberbatch for a powerful, refined performance. But my choice, above all, is [Tick, Tick … Boom!’s] Andrew Garfield. You can see that he put his heart and soul into that movie, doing things he’s never done before, and with an American accent, I might add. I love that movie.

VOTE: Andrew Garfield, Clap, clack… Boom!

Best Actress

I have a feeling that she might win, but I don’t like Olivia Colman’s interpretation of that character [in The Lost Daughter] – she’s just a bitter woman on a whim, and I think the actress plays a younger version of her character [Jessie Buckley] was much better. [Ricardos’] Nicole Kidman is nothing special except when she recreates scenes from I love Lucy. Both [The Eyes of Tammy Faye’s] Jessica Chastain and [Parallel Mothers’] Penelope Cruz is always good. But [Spencer’s] Kristen Stewart deserves this – if her interpretation of Diana isn’t perfect, the whole movie will sink. She not only embodies Diana, but captures her whole essence. I don’t like many of her other films, but in this one, her talent is undeniable.

VOTE: Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Best Supporting Actor

I’m not sure how [Dog’s] Jesse Plemons or [Ricardos’] JK Simmons nominated. I love [Dog’s] Kodi Smit-McPhee, but I wanted to see much of his work before we honored him with an Oscar. [Belfast’s] Ciaran Hinds was amazing. But to me, it’s [CODA’s] Troy Kotsur, put your hands down – he was able to bring a non-deaf audience to tears, he was brilliant.

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VOTE: Troy Kotsur, CODA

Best Supporting Actress

I’m not big King Richard fan [the film for which Aunjanue Ellis is nominated]. I do not think [Dog’s] Kirsten Dunst is special. [The Lost Daughter’s] Jessie Buckley is really good.[Belfast’s] Judi Dench is always great. But I’m voting for Ariana DeBose, the best thing about West story.

VOTE: Ariana DeBose, West story

Best AScenario dapted

I really don’t like it Daughter is gone. I do not think Sand dunes belong here because it’s not even a full movie yet [part two of the adaptation is still to come] – but, to be fair, the book was explained much better than the previous adaptation! Drive my car is interesting. For me, it’s really close to the middle The power of the dog and CODA. I just found out CODA stronger and that’s no small feat for a listener [Heder] to capture the nuances of life for the deaf.


Best Original Screenplay

World’s ugliest person very interesting and I appreciate the humor and sarcasm of Don’t look up. But Belfast deserve this.

VOTE: Belfast

Best animation feature

Encanto is charming, but Escape It deserves recognition in this category, as much as any of the three categories it’s nominated for, because it uses animation in a unique way to tell its story.

VOTE: Escape

Best Documentary

Rescue should have been nominated and win. Escape is ostentatious. Write with fire is strong. But I wasn’t blown away by any of these five.

VOTE: [Abstain]

Best international feature

[Austria’s Oscar entry] Great freedom would have been nominated, and I might even have voted for it if it had been. Out of those five, I like all of them, but the best one is obviously [Italy’s] The hand of GodIt’s the closest thing to Fellini I’ve ever seen.

VOTE: The hand of God

Best Cinematography

Macbeth and Nightmare Alley was well photographed. But the disgust of the look of The power of the dog makes you feel right at that time and place.

VOTE: The power of the dog

The best costume design

I don’t think the dress in Sand dunes is anything unusual. Cruella’s very Disney. Nightmare Alley’sand West story’s is definitely colorful. But Cyrano’s is the most creative.

VOTE: Cyrano

Best Film Editing

Editing in Clap, clack… Boom! just extraordinary. It radiates the rhythm and energy of the character and his music, in the sense that it’s frenetic and omnipresent in a way that’s both effective.

VOTE: Clap, clack… Boom!

The best makeup and hairstyling

To 2 Americas It’s a horrible movie. Cruella are Disney – exaggerated characters. Sand dunes not particularly noticeable for its hair and makeup. Those leaves Tammy Faye’s Eyes and [House of] Gucci. I’ll give it to you Tammy Faye because they had completely transformed Jessica; It’s the least I can do to acknowledge her suffering!

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VOTE: Tammy Faye’s Eyes

Best original price

I like the score of Sand dunesbut The power of the dog’Score s matches that movie with T.

VOTE: The power of the dog

Best original song

I’m a bit biased because of Diane Warren [the 13-time nominee who is up this year for “Somehow You Do” from Four Good Days] to be a friends. I doubt she’ll pass it up, but since I’m not particularly enamored with the other nominees, I’ll throw her a vote. “There is no time to die” [from No Time to Die] not bad, but I think “Skyfall” [from Skyfall] is a better song.

VOTE: “Somehow you do,” Four good days

Best production design

I like the production design of West storybut Nightmare Alley’s moved its story forward and enhanced the experience greatly.

VOTE: Nightmare Alley

The best sound

I look for sound design that realistically and enhances the story. Sand dunes, There’s no time to die and West story loud and noisy; Belfast and The power of the dog is subtle. I was impressed by Belfast’things on the street and the use of music.

VOTE: Belfast

Best visual effects

Here we have all famous movies and their effects to be pretty good. Spiderman [No Way Home]’s above others’.

VOTE: Spider-Man: There is no way home

Best short animation

VOTE: [Abstain.]

Best Short Documentary

VOTE: [Abstain.]

Best Short Live-Action

VOTE: [Abstain.]

A version of this story first appeared in the March 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter. Click here to subscribe.

Read more THR’s Brutal Honesty Oscar Votes:

Oscar Ballot #2 is brutally honest: ‘World’s ugliest person’ “Amazing”, “Licorice Pizza” Publicly “Racist”

Brutal Honesty Oscar Ballot #3: “Impossible” “Drive My Car,” West Side Story “by Spielberg is better than the original

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