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And the Oscar goes to…

And the Oscar goes to…

            And here we go again! Another award season comes to an end. What a time it was… Globes and Emmys, SAGs and BAFTAs – one would say surprising, the other will say “As predicted”. The 2022 movie season was good, there is no denying. So, I am back again with fan’s favorite Oscar-nominated run-down to give you a brief overview of the films and who are my candidates for the “most important” awards. 

Full list of nominees will be down below, the gala takes place TONIGHT! 

No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.

            Every year I do this and every year it brings me so much joy! It’s like a controlled movie-marathon. Controlled, because I can do it on my own terms and well, I get to sleep my night through. However, you know how I feel about this award… The beloved, most wanted Oscar. Golden knight of cinema.

I watched all the films nominated for Academy Awards from the following categories: “Best picture”, “Best Director”, “Best actress/actor”, “Best supporting actress/actor”, “Best original screenplay” and “Best adapted screenplay”. Take a look at the alphabetical list below and see my very short, very subjetive review of all of them. 

At the end of the post, you will find a full list of all nominees for this year’s Academy Awards. Who will get the Oscar?! 🙂 Who deserves one? What are your types?

Whatever you end up doing, love it. The way you loved the projection booth when you were a little squirt.

  • Aftersun, dir. Charlotte Wells – an unextended but a breath-taking breakthrough for Wells. searingly emotional, soft like the “aftersun” feeling, will make your eyes water. Brilliant Paul Mescal landed his first Oscar nomination for this role, and wow. It was one of the most pleasing screenings. Sadly, I do not think it will get the Oscar it deserves. 
  • All Quiet on the Western Front, dir.  – remake of the classic, revolutionary picture from 1930, which I had the pleasure of watching last year. Well, okay “pleasure” is a big word. It shook me, that original one. And the remake is simply fantastic, packed with emotional damage. And the special effects? Beyond amazing! 
  • Avatar: The Way of Water, dir. James Cameron – Now, I am not a big fan of Cameron and his comments and ways, but I finally watched Avatar and as objectively as I can say that… I was not impressed. It was way too long and therefore simply stretched. If you ask me about the actual plot? I don’t even remember it anymore. Visual effects? Kudos to the CGI team for creating them on their computer screens. 
  • The Banshees of Inisherin, dir. Martin McDonagh – Best movie of the season for me. Touches about an excellent existential matter: would you rather be remembered or be liked? A friendship that ended abruptly and with “no reason”; a friendship so unlikely to survive even on the paper… Fantastic performances by Gleeson and Farell with extremely strong support from Condon and Keoghan. My personal winner of Best picture and Supporting Actors. 
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, dir. Ryan Coogler – there’s no point in hiding my recent withdrawal from Marvel and everything they are releasing. Wakanda Forever is a rare exception of a movie that I enjoyed, but not in terms of plot or acting. It was a beautiful, touching tribute to Chadwick. And that would be it. In all of the MCU films these days there is a severe lack of a charismatic lead. The finale was just embarrassing… Namor had such great potential and that final fight was just pathetic. Angela Bassett performed well, but did she really earnt that nomination? 
  • Blonde, dir. Andrew Dominik – I wish I could say it was a “fantastic” waste of time, but it was just a waste of my time. Ana de Armas was really good, but… But I just didn’t feel it. For sure I appreciate her efforts in this role, considering that if it wasn’t for her, Blonde would be a total disaster. Beautiful aesthetic, but you cannot stage your entire film on looks. 
Photo by Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/Jonathan Hession – © 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved, via IMDb
  • Causeway, dir. Lila Neugebauer – I loved it, it was something different; a portrait of a soldier who struggles. She struggles with adjusting to the old normal, the life after coming back from duty. A fantastic comeback for Jennifer Lawrence. She and Brian Tyree Henry carried the heavy script on their shoulders like true champions. 
  • Elvis, dir. Baz Luhrmann – I just… Damn, I don’t understand the phenomenon. Austin Butler was good, but looking at the entire season and all performances, he wasn’t shining the brightest. The movie itself was painful to watch for me. Perhaps I am a little fed up with musical biopics? I also feel like the fast, almost negligent montage (probably stylized as such) overpowered the character of Elvis. Shame. 
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once, dir. Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert – an absolute winner. What a brilliant, smart and beautiful film! I was waiting years for such well-thought science-fiction to arrive. Challenging, proactive, thought-provoking. Weird, in the best possible way. 
  • The Fabelmans, dir. Steven Spielberg – it was a good watch, nice to see Michelle Williams in a role that allowed her to shine. It was partially a memoir of Spielberg’s life and partially an ode to the power of cinema. Also, a good reminder that Steven has not lost the magic. 
  • Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, dir. Rian Johnson – no doubts the first part was more compelling and simply better. The sequel was alright, but only thanks to fantastic Daniel Craig and Janelle Monáe. Their chemistry on-screen was sparkling! I also enjoyed the mystery itself, even though the movie was spoiled to me. Is it worth an Oscar, though?
Photo by Allyson Riggs, via IMDb
  • To Leslie, dir. Michael Morris – a story of a single mother struggling to provide for her son almost always feels like good movie material. This story comes with a twist: she wins the lottery and life turns around. And Leslie does too, on people in her life. But money eventually runs out, right? Personally I did not like it; felt very dragged and the performance was far from remarkable. 
  • Living, dir. Oliver Hermanus – at first glance it is a story of an ordinary man, lessened by years of soul-sucking office routine to a mere “existence”. Felt a bit cold at first, but once you dive in, there is no holding back tears. Wonderful performance by Bill Nighy. 
  • Tár, dir. Todd Field – I am probably the only person on the planet that didn’t like this film. Cate Balnchet got her nomination but I wasn’t convinced by the performance, as if something was off. I understand the coldness, but it made the entire movie feel this way. Plus, the entire perspective on the issue was just… Suspicious. 
  • The Whale, dir. Darren Aronofsky – if Brendan Fraser does not win an Oscar for his performance then we will have a final nail to the Academy’s coffin. I used an entire pack of tissues while watching it, and God I am so happy I watched it at home. Paradoxically, the movie itself is not amazing. Like, it’s good, but it’s all about the performance, which makes it a fantastic film. A good directorial comeback for Aronofsky. 
  • Top Gun: Maverick, dir. Joseph Kosinski – I feel like I’ve said it all in my review, but fine – I will say it again: great movie! Really engaging and emotional, perfectly balanced nostalgia and modernity. TG will not win, but it’s nice to see this movie get the nominations. 
  • Triangle of Sadness, dir. Ruben Östlund – one of the most interesting movies I’ve watched this award season, with my favorite Woody Harelsson. Thoroughly entertaining and yet delightfully wicked. I mean, what is not to like about a luxury cruise going wrong, with a ton of drastically different personalities on board?
  • Women Talking, dir. Sarah Polley – for some reason, I felt very anxious when and after watching this film. For sure it was something special, to see how Polley captured even the slightest details, nuances on her cast faces. The pain, the anger and the powerful metaphor in the #MeToo era. 
Photo by Niko Tavernise/A24 Films/Niko Tavernise/A24 Films – © Palouse Rights, LLC, via IMDb

Out of the fire of love come ashes. Even the greatest love eventually fizzles out.

            A lot of experts in the industry are pointing to the “sure wins”, but since I am no expert, I won’t do that. However, there are numbers that speak for themselves: 154 awards so far for Everything Everywhere All at Once, 74 (so kind of like a half) for The Banshees of Inisherin, 40 (shockingly) for Tár, 37 for Elvis, 34 for Top Gun: Maverick (which I find as a absolutely fantastic outcome!), 33 for Aftersun (see how close they all are?).

To showcase the contrast, look at the score for the “acclaimed and praised” Avatar: The Way of Water: only 20. So sad! 😉 No, I am playing, considering the late appearance of Avatar… Okay, no, I can’t. 

This year’s season was for sure a good one, with lots of great films. My personal favorite this year was The Banshees of Inisherin. I am not sure I’ve ever felt something so grand after watching a movie. 

See the Oscar nominations below: 

Best Picture

“All Quiet on the Western Front”, Malte Grunert, Producer
“Avatar: The Way of Water”,  James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
“The Banshees of Inisherin”, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers
“Elvis”, Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss, Producers
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang, Producers
“The Fabelmans,” Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, Producers
“Tár,” Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert, Producers
“Top Gun: Maverick,” Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer, Producers
“Triangle of Sadness,” Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, Producers
“Women Talking,” Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Frances McDormand, Producers

Best Director 

Martin McDonagh (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) 
Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”) 
Todd Field (“Tár”) 
Ruben Östlund (“Triangle of Sadness”)

Martin McDonagh, Photo by Photo Credit: Aidan Monaghan/Aidan Monaghan – © 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved, via IMDb

Best Lead Actor

Austin Butler (“Elvis”) 
Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”) 
Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) 
Bill Nighy (“Living”) 

Best Lead Actress

Cate Blanchett (“Tár”) 
Ana de Armas (“Blonde”) 
Andrea Riseborough (“To Leslie”)
Michelle Williams (“The Fabelmans”) 
Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 
Brian Tyree Henry (“Causeway”) 
Judd Hirsch (“The Fabelmans”)
Barry Keoghan (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 
Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) 

Best Supporting Actress

Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) 
Hong Chau (“The Whale”) 
Kerry Condon (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) 
Jamie Lee Curtis (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) 
Stephanie Hsu (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)

Photo by Photo Credit: Jonathan Hession/Jonathan Hession – © 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved, via IMDb

Best Adapted Screenplay

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Screenplay by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell
“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” Written by Rian Johnson
“Living,” Written by Kazuo Ishiguro
“Top Gun: Maverick,” Screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks
“Women Talking,” Screenplay by Sarah Polley

Best Original Screenplay

“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Written by Martin McDonagh
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
“The Fabelmans,” Written by Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner
“Tár,” Written by Todd Field
“Triangle of Sadness,” Written by Ruben Östlund

Best Cinematography 

“All Quiet on the Western Front”, James Friend
“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” Darius Khondji
“Elvis,” Mandy Walker
“Empire of Light,” Roger Deakins
“Tár,” Florian Hoffmeister

Netflix, all rights reserved, via IMDb

Best Documentary Feature Film 

“All That Breathes,” Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin and Yoni Golijov
“Fire of Love,” Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman
“A House Made of Splinters,” Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström
“Navalny,” Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris

Best Documentary Short Film 

“The Elephant Whisperers,” Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga
“Haulout,” Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev
“How Do You Measure a Year?” Jay Rosenblatt
“The Martha Mitchell Effect,” Anne Alvergue and Beth Levison
“Stranger at the Gate,” Joshua Seftel and Conall Jones

Best Film Editing

“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
“Elvis,” Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Paul Rogers
“Tár,” Monika Willi
“Top Gun: Maverick,” Eddie Hamilton

Best International Feature Film 

“All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany) 
“Argentina, 1985” (Argentina) 
“Close” (Belgium)
“EO” (Poland) 
“The Quiet Girl” (Ireland) 

© Atelier Aneta&Filip Gebscy, via IMDb

Best Original Song 

Applause” from “Tell It Like a Woman,” Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and BloodPop
Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson; Lyric by Tems and Ryan Coogler
Naatu Naatu” from “RRR,” Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose  
This Is a Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski; Lyric by Ryan Lott and David Byrne 

Best Production Design 

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Production Design: Christian M. Goldbeck; Set Decoration: Ernestine Hipper
“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Production Design: Dylan Cole and Ben Procter; Set Decoration: Vanessa Cole
“Babylon,” Production Design: Florencia Martin; Set Decoration: Anthony Carlino
“Elvis,” Production Design: Catherine Martin and Karen Murphy; Set Decoration: Bev Dunn
“The Fabelmans,” Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara

Best Visual Effects

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank and Kamil Jafar
“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett
“The Batman,” Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands and Dominic Tuohy
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White and Dan Sudick
“Top Gun: Maverick,” Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson and Scott R. Fisher

Best Animated Feature Film 

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley
“Marcel the Shell With Shoes On,” Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan and Paul Mezey
“Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” Joel Crawford and Mark Swift
“The Sea Beast,” Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger
“Turning Red,” Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins

Best Animated Short Film

“The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse,” Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud
“The Flying Sailor,” Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
“Ice Merchants,” João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano
“My Year of Dicks,” Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon
“An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It,” Lachlan Pendragon

Best Costume Design 

“Babylon,” Mary Zophres
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Ruth Carter
“Elvis,” Catherine Martin
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Shirley Kurata
“Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris,” Jenny Beavan

Photo by Eli Adé/Eli Adé – © 2022 MARVEL, via IMDb

Best Live Action Short

“An Irish Goodbye,” Tom Berkeley and Ross White
“Ivalu,” Anders Walter and Rebecca Pruzan
“Le Pupille,” Alice Rohrwacher and Alfonso Cuarón
“Night Ride,” Eirik Tveiten and Gaute Lid Larssen
“The Red Suitcase,” Cyrus Neshvad

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová
“The Batman,” Naomi Donne, Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine
“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Camille Friend and Joel Harlow
“Elvis,” Mark Coulier, Jason Baird and Aldo Signoretti
“The Whale,” Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Anne Marie Bradley

Best Original Score 

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Volker Bertelmann
“Babylon,” Justin Hurwitz
“The Banshees of Inisherin,” Carter Burwell
“Everything Everywhere All at Once,” Son Lux
“The Fabelmans,” John Williams

Best Sound

“All Quiet on the Western Front,” Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel and Stefan Korte
“Avatar: The Way of Water,” Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers and Michael Hedges
“The Batman,” Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray and Andy Nelson
“Elvis,” David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson and Michael Keller
“Top Gun: Maverick,” Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor

Photo by Photo Credit: Scott Garfield/Scott Garfield – © 2022 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved, via IMDb

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