Sunday, March 10, 2024

The Oscar-nominated 2023 films in a nutshell

Here is a very brief guide - which won't really guide you at all - to all 53 nominated films. 

20 Days in Mariupol: Devastation, up close and personal, as Russia invades Ukraine. You will be haunted by some image forever; for me, it's the simple pet turtle. 

American Fiction: It seems like the type of people who stand up to applaud at the reading of We's Lives In Da Ghetto are in charge of a lot right now. 

American Symphony: Mostly forgettable documentary that tells two stories and doesn't quite strike the chord I think it wants to. Jon Batiste is fascinating but do I need to watch him lie around and have talk therapy sessions via phone? I think no. 

Anatomy of a Fall: Maybe she did, maybe she didn't, I'm straight trippin' about that dog, though! 

Barbie: Feminism for Absolute Beginners, but to make it palatable to the mens we'll let the interminable Kens sequence go on and on and on for 50 times longer than a snippet of Closer to Fine plays 

Bobi Wine: The People's President: If you weren't already thoroughly demoralized by politics in your country, try becoming thoroughly demoralized about Uganda's instead! 

El Conde: Manic pixie dream exorcist

Elemental:  The main character is named Ember which is what I call Emma the Cat, and that is not the only reason I rather liked this!

Flamin' Hot: I was definitely the first one on my Awards Season block to see this. I am, simply put, a changed woman when it comes to the Flamin' Hot Cheetos. 

Four Daughter: Another documentary, another devastating experience, this time in Tunisia. 

Godzilla Minus One:  **completist minus one -- this isn't showing anywhere and I can't watch it** 

Golda: I could watch Golda Meir and Henry Kissinger banter all day. This is likely not the correct takeaway from this film. 

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: I find the GotG films refreshing and funny and thoroughly entertaining and was NOT prepared for an animal experimentation torture plot. What the. Come on, Marvel. Escapism? Please? 

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny: Time travel has never ever ever made sense in movies so why should it start now? 

Invincible: (SHORT)  Powerful performances, although the title is technically a lie, spoiler alert. 

Io Capitano: More powerful performances, man's inhumanity to man, a series of terrible events, and my goodness I am so into international human rights tragedy films. Why are they my type. 

Island in Between: (SHORT) Probably more interesting for me for the nostalgia/hey-I-used-to-live-around-there factor than the doc itself. 

Killers of the Flower Moon: More humans? More terrible things done to other humans. This is one of the most meticulously researched, planned, and well-executed pieces of filmmaking ever, but the pros made it look too easy. 

Knight of Fortune: (SHORT)  The quirky tug-at-your-heartstrings short. 

Letter to a Pig (SHORT): The beyond-quirky avant-garde quietly bizarre and profound short.

Maestro: The scene with the family where the grown kids put on the record and dance nostalgically and joyously seems to represent so much. Your hard work was worth it, Bradley. 

May December: Off the charts fucked-up humans and so delicious to watch them all self-destruct. 

Mission:Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One: Adrenaline x 1,000,000

Nai Nai & Wo Po: (SHORT) For me it's a hard pass on the fetishizing of grandmas. 

Napoleon: Batshit crazy Napoleon! Really makes me want to re-read War and Peace soon. 

Nimona: Woe is me no one understands me alas but I can't explain anything or answer a question because then I'd have to maybe stop whining?  #1 pet peeve alert. 

Ninety-Five Senses: (SHORT)  What does it in fact mean to be alive? This will sneak up on you with that question. 

Nyad: Pitch perfect performances from Annette and Jodie as they depict Diana Nyad's quest to swim from Florida to Cuba. 

Oppenheimer: Manly male humans blowing up the world, 'cause they can

Our Uniform: (SHORT) LOL @ the disclaimer to avoid offending people who like being forced to wear a hijab. 

Pachyderme: (SHORT) There is always a creepy one in the bunch. Leave the elephants out of it, you wicked humans. 

Past Lives: Writer things, Korea things, what to do with my life things, all my favorite things. Bonus for Nobel AND Pulitzer prize discussion plot points. 

Perfect Days: Also my kind of movie. And it takes my life's work of not defining people's lives by their work to the next level.     

Poor Things: The less said about this monstrosity the better, but it's basically a bunch of men using a woman's body and with a baby's brain to take advantage of, to boot! Easily the one of the three P___ ____s nominees that needs to gtfo. 

Red White and Blue: (SHORT)  My favorite live action short, which is about abortion and pulls off what it sets out to do perfectly. 

Robot Dreams: Past Lives, but for dogs who befriend mail order robots. 

Rustin: This year's flying-under-the-radar performance that will stump trivia players in future years trying to remember who else got nominated for 2023.  (Except the Obamas; they'll remember.) 

Society of Snow:  I have always been and do remain #TeamEatTheHumans

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse: I still think multiple Spider-Man movies have the same titles but I found this one to be snazzily animated and engaging, if a bit heavy on the WOULD you just TELL him already plot drivers. 

The ABCs of Book Burning: (SHORT) Predictable, hot topic, but occasional bursts of awesome like the mullet kid who just likes to read and know about stuff. 

The After (SHORT): This year's oddly pointless little film with drama, violence, and a confusing ending. 

The Barber of Little Rock (SHORT): Non-profit community development is my jam! And also this guy's jam. He's good at it! 

The Boy and the Heron:  Definitely not short. As a Miyazaki heretic, I can only say: This finally ended. 

The Color Purple: Adaptation of an adaptation of an adaptation. Fantastic production and dancing. The songs themselves leave a bit to be desired. 

The Creator: In the great war with A.I., who is the real enemy?  The whole A.I.-getting-smarter/emotional thing, much like time travel, never ever ever makes sense, but we're probably never ever going to stop having people try to write these plots anyway. 

The Eternal Memory: The personal is political. With a bonus cat! Who shows up at least 3 times! 

The Holdovers: The Mormon church does not send parents of minor children on missions, so I couldn't get into this film until that plot hole flew away on a helicopter. After that: Misfit Friends Story for the win. 

The Last Repair Shop (SHORT): My favorite documentary short. A random slice of life, surprisingly touching human stories, art, making a difference, giving everyone a chance, L.A., all the good stuff is in this one.   

The Teachers' Lounge: I may still be decompressing from the teaching career I never wanted and too fragile to love this. 

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar: (SHORT)  Wes Anderson knows that he should really only have ever been making short films, right? 

The Zone of Interest: Bizarrely uninteresting film - because it's actually a conceptual art project - that manages to take a Martin Amis novel's premise of all things and make it even more male as it mansplains that well, ACTUALLY, what happened was, the Nazis were people who smugly carried on living their lives while being responsible for evil; you know, some people don't know that. 

To Kill A Tiger: No actual tigers appear in this film. It's a metaphor! 

War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko:  (SHORT)  And produced by the dollars of Sean and Yoko. But I liked it. War Is Over? As someone said about Life Is Beautiful back in 1998: "Would that it were."

Who Wore It Better? - Oscar flicks edition

One of the last films that I saw while working my way through the nominees involved our action hero's train meeting disaster at a bridge ... and then I thought, hmmm, that's interesting, I watched a different action hero's train meeting disaster at a bridge just the other week. This inspired me to do a little bit of Oscar Nominees - Who "Wore" It Better?  Fashion, shmashion - who needs red carpet dress face-offs when you've got weird similarities popping up in the nominated flicks to analyze! 

Who Wore It Better?

Action heroes on trains arriving at bridges, off which they plunge into European rivers
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny vs.
Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One

Who wore it better?  Tom Cruise & Company, by a long shot. My heartbeat truly increased watching this film sequence. How on earth will they top it for Dead Reckoning Part Two??!

Sandra HΓΌller 
Anatomy of a Fall vs The Zone of Interest

(Yes we all understand we are not wearing anybody and she is not "it")
It's not every year that a lead actress is in two Best Picture nominees! A lot of United Statesians are discovering her now for the first and second time because they aren't Oscar completists who saw her in Germany's Foreign nominee Toni Erdmann a few years ago. At any rate, out of these two...

Who wore it better?  The verdict is Anatomy of a Fall. 
She powers us through this film. A talky tour-de-force. 

Marie Antoinette's guillotine
El Conde vs. Napoleon

Listen, I want to be clear: I am NOT knocking Napoleon for historical inaccuracy. I rather enjoyed the freewheeling 3-hour extravaganza of Joaquin playing batsh*t crazy Napoleon. But how can you top Vampire Pinochet actually licking her blood from the blade after? 

Who wore it better?  El Conde.  
Or as I like to call it, the manic-pixie-dream-exorcist movie. 

A prosthetic nose and make-up that made some people very mad
 Golda vs Maestro

Haha, see, get it, they actually wore this one! Although some people were extremely upset about it. Not Maestro Leonard Bernstein's own children, though. One critic I read did point out that Bradley Cooper kept his own eye color, so that should be a demerit. But the fascinating amount of work that went into aging him decades? Pretty impressive. Golda on the other hand took place mostly over mere days, so not much in the aging, just the transforming of Helen Mirren into her in the first place. I thought she was incredible in this role. "But she's not Jewish!" some people whined. So much whining about both of these films! And because of that, I'm going to have to applaud them both even more. 

Who wore it better?  TIE.

This concludes our first annual Weirdly This Thing Is In Two Movies edition of Who Wore It Better?

Saturday, March 09, 2024

Completed Category: International Feature

 Well this is a bonus for sure! I did not think that I was going to complete Foreign International Feature before the big day but the fates conspired to make it so! 

The fates did not prevent me from being tired, and sick though. When's the last time I was sick with such an ugh virus for the actual ceremony?  Which I will be assuming I don't feel much better tomorrow. Hmm. Anyway, allons-y!

IO CAPITANO - ITALY: Spoiler alert that Italy is in this film even less than Florida is in Nyad. And there are about four words of Italian. And it's a co-production of Italy, France, and Belgium but takes place in Senegal, Mali, Niger, Libya, and international waters. Anyway I absolutely loved it but it would be kind of interesting if it won and joined the ranks of Italy winners like The Bicycle Thief, Cinema Paradiso, Life is Beautiful, The Great Beauty...  It won't win though because the winner of this category has already been anointed, but I would love for this to win. It was interesting, compelling, ferocious, and full of humans doing terrible things but also helping one another. I swear, I have two types of films that are My Kind of Movie, and this is one of them - international human rights tragedies I guess. I am trying not to spoiler but I really want to shout out one small part whose actor proved "There are no..." If you've seen it, remember the man who is the go-between when they build the fountain?  There is so much that crosses his face when the Rich Boss Guy comes out to look at it and we get this little twinge of sympathy as we realize his life is seriously on the line here too and he's kind of maybe doing his best?  Or certainly not the worst of the Libya men who do stuff, not by a long shot. There are a million incredible moments in this film and I loved it. 

PERFECT DAYS - JAPAN: This is my other My Kind of Movie. Thoughtful and wistful. I absolutely loved it. Wim Wenders directed it, but it's Japanese, so this continues our cross-cultural shenanigans, and it made me want to hie myself back to Japan (it's been too long). I cannot freaking stand how people talk about people's professions as if that is who they are and I have a million thoughts about that and what capitalism hath wrought and so forth but in this movie I definitely had some feelings about that. Fantastic performance from our lead and a bunch of wonderful profound moments. Ten out of ten! 

SOCIETY OF THE SNOW - SPAIN: About the Uruguayan team plane crash in the Andes. See? Cross-cultural shenanigans everywhere.  The survivors and family gave their approval and some of them even had cameos in the film. It's absolutely fantastic and is possibly the only one with a chance of beating the film that will win this category, although not much of one. It did get an additional nomination, make-up and hairstyling, which was in fact impressive especially at the end as their bodies became gaunt and dirty and ravaged by the time stranded. If you are wondering "Did we need another retelling of this story?" the answer is Yes. We needed this one.  Also, for the record, ever since I heard about this story decades ago I have always been 100% decidedly on #TeamEatTheHumans. No reason not to at all! 

THE TEACHERS' LOUNGE - GERMANY: Very German! Very modern/Gen Alpha kids. This film has a way of ratcheting up the tension as you move around the various school locations and through the days and revelations of new facts as things get stirred up about who is stealing money in the school. There are so many moments when you're so frustrated with these characters - or is that just me?  I did not really love the ending, but at any rate this was interesting for the most part. 

THE ZONE OF INTEREST - UNITED KINGDOM: Because that's what we need, isn't it - the U.K. winning for Best Foreign International Film?!  Hahaha ... it's so going to, though. As I have mentioned a few other places, I did not love this film, which was not a film i.e. a cinematic narrative so much as it was an art project. It took Martin Amis' book title and premise/setting and nothing else, including that it did not take the plot, and it also forgot to replace it with a plot of its own. It shocks us with the revelation - ?? who didn't know this? -- that the evil Nazis went about their lives while committing unspeakable atrocities. I know this film worked for a lot of people but I am not one of them. I was glad when it ended, not that I understand what he's trying to say with the ending -- we shouldn't have janitors? What? Whatever. Mark your Oscar pool ballots for this winner. 

Order I want them to win:
Io Capitano
<tie>Perfect Days and Society of the Snow
The Teachers' Lounge
The Zone of Interest 

Order I think they will win: 
The Zone of Interest
Society of the Snow
Io Capitano
Perfect Days
The Teachers' Lounge

Ahhhhhh I am so glad I got to see all of these flicks! My favorite Category!
I'm still not offended by calling it Foreign. 

Thursday, March 07, 2024

Completed Category: Animated Feature

 This is a bonus post! I didn't think I was going to be able to complete Animated Feature, but I was able to travel to a single solitary Wednesday evening showing of Robot Dreams. 

I have been trying to be lenient in my judgments of the Animateds because everybody knows they are Not For Me but what I've got this year is a clear divide between a top three that are like Awww, that's nice and a bottom two that are like Blarrrgh is this thing over yet!?

Also I am starting to feel like in a whole lot of Animated film more than even other styles one of my least favorite tropes occurs frequently, which is If This Character Would Just Tell That Character...  I am aware that this trope has also been heavily relied on in "great" comedies for years and sure it can be found in many genres, but I'm about to create a Bechdel-like test for Animated flickcs only it will be like, "Is a character keeping something secret that s/he doesn't have to?  If s/he would just spill it, could this entire movie end now because there's no actual other plot going on?:" 

THE BOY AND THE HERON: Exhibit A of the Is this thing over yet? My goodness this was interminable. Every character was a psychopath. Now we all know that I have been a Miyazaki heretic as long as there have been Miyazaki devotees - if heretics can be bored out of their minds, I mean. Let's apply my test:  Yes, there are MULTIPLE characters keeping things secret. No the boy's quest to figure it all out is not interesting, by the way. 

ELEMENTAL: Awwww I like this one. Not just because the main character is named Ember which is one of my nicknames for my cat! Interestingly, there were parts of this movie where she and her Waterboy did the OPPOSITE of my test, meaning, they just came out and said things instead of a bunch of hand-wringing as plot device, which may have contributed to me liking this so much. On the other hand, she was definitely keeping a secret or two from her dad, but not in the "If only I said this one thing all of this would go away" way. More complex things happened as people found things out, and this includes her finding out about herself. I like this one! 

NIMONA: I don't like this one. Not much, anyway. It was so frenetic. It was also built upon a foundation of "You don't understand my pain!"  OK, tell me about it. "Stop asking me questions!"  On and on and on like that for 2 hours. Or it felt like at least that long. .Lord godz though this girl shows up and is like "WOE is ME because no one knows who I AM or what HAPpened to me" but then she won't answer a goddamn thing she is asked, so honestly gal shut up please. 

ROBOT DREAMS:  Since I saw this last night it is very fresh in my head. It does not suffer exactly from my test criteria but it sure did infuriate me that the beach guard person couldn't let him back on the sand. Honestly, I can't believe how sad this movie actually made me because it kinda had weird vibes at first. It really managed to pull you in though.  Could have been a wee bit shorter. 

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE: I enjoyed this one for the most part, although my decidedly amateur opinion about superheroes probably makes no sense, but I thought there was fantastic animation. However, we are absolutely in Would-you-just-freaking-tell-him territory.  

And so...the order I want them to win: 
Spider-Man:Across the Spider-Verse
Robot Dreams
<Enormous Gap>
The Boy and the Heron
(those last two switch back and forth depending on the day as to which one annoys me more) 

Order I think they will win: 
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
The Boy and the Heron
Robot Dreams

I really have no idea, though. 

So tell me, Animated experts and fans!  Which one did you love? 

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Completed Category: Original Score

 This will probably be my last Category post besides Best Pic. 

And to be honest, I did what I did lots of years, which is really only love and pay attention to the score in one or two movies. I am known for forgetting to think about the Score until later except on rare occasions. And on those rare occasions, no one ever seems to love the Score that grabs me as much as I do. we go. 

AMERICAN FICTION: I forgot to pay attention to the score very much in American Fiction. However, it was jazzy (duh, character named Thelonius Monk) without being annoyingly jazzy (I said what I said). And I will add one big plus: this movie has some wild tonal swings, but it pulls them off and you don't feel all over the place while careening from mockery to family tragedy to lampooning to frustration to family melodrama, and I think the score helped pull it all together! 

INDIANA JONES AND THE DIAL OF DESTINY: Watched this a few days ago to complete this category. I knew I was completing this category and tried to pay a little attention to the score, but mostly I kept thinking about when the old familiar Indy theme kicked in and was obviously less struck by whatever original score stuff John Williams came up with for this. Side note, he's old! Will they give him another Oscar so he can be the oldest winner ever? Probably not, actually. 

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: Hey! I paid a little attention to the score in this one! In fact, I think it was so well done; I was absolutely entranced for the first hour or so as all the pieces are being laid out and there was this thrumming pulsing music underlying it all and drawing me in (making the time cruise by, I might add). Then there were also other emotions and time-period-evoking elements to the score as well. I would honestly think this has a chance and should have a chance. 

OPPENHEIMER: Oh but then there's this again! Recurring theme on the blog this year, eh?  Such-and-such is great, but Oppenheimer.  Well, it was fine work that I - surprise - didn't focus on as there was so much else going on in this flick. At any rate, there was certainly a lot to score! Well done, Gory. (Ludwig Goransson, can I call you Gory? What, no?) And I mean, including scoring scenes of actual atomic bombs and whatnot. This was a monumental task that not just anyone could accomplish. 

POOR THINGS: Didn't hate the Original Score, but sure did hate the movie! Let's just no thanks this. 

And so, order I want them to win: 
Killers of the Flower Moon
American Fiction
 or Oppenheimer
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
<big gap>
Poor Things

Order I think they will win: 
Poor Things
American Fiction
Killers of the Flower Moon
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

I don't have a lot to say on this one, partly because I'm tired today/this week, so feel free to weigh in here with your Score thoughts if you have more words than I do.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Completed Category: Documentary Feature

This is one of my favorite categories! I love good documentaries. It's pretty rare for a terrible one to get nominated in Documentary Feature. (It has happened, but rarely.) 

Part of what I love about Documentary Feature watching is learning about things around the world. It's my favorite when the five noms give us five different countries and preferably some history from each one. 

BOBI WINE: THE PEOPLE'S PRESIDENT: First up, Uganda. Bobi Wine is a famous pop star who speaks to and for the people, which of course means he and his movement are widely quashed, with some people even being killed, by the president-dictator-for-life in power who insists that everyone is still voting for him. This is such an interesting (though sad and frustrating as well) look at Uganda. Bonus points because we also get a campaign road trip with a map route. 

THE ETERNAL MEMORY: At first glance, this is more about an interpersonal relationship and the debilitating devastation of Alzheimer's but as it goes along you realize you're also going to get glimpses of Chilean history and the film weaves in the theme of how this journalist acted as a recorder of Chile memory - think about the verb recordar in Spanish! - even as we watch him lose his own. Bonus points for the CAT! Who hangs out in multiple scenes!

FOUR DAUGHTERS: Of all the places I almost went to but didn't, Tunisia sticks in my craw the most sometimes. I gotta get there. Anyway, this doc is sad and engaging, almost transfixing, as you plunge into the relationships of this mother and her daughters, two of whom are now eaten by the radicalization wolf, as she puts it. The way they choose to depict this family's story is unique and effective, and that makes me think it has a serious chance of winning here. 

TO KILL A TIGER: First of all - not an actual tiger! It's a metaphor. There are no tigers in this film. India frustrates the hell out of me whenever I watch a documentary or read a book about something happening there. It's always someone trying to fight some enormous injustice, and you get some little bit of hope, and then there are 1 billion more injustices to fight the next day. That said, this documentary did a lot of work and frankly could have edited it down a tad more because it kind of starts to drag after a while, but then in the end it pulls you back in. This is the kind of documentary that makes me think humans are so frequently so terrible to one another, but, as long as we are all here thank godz there are people trying to shine at least one light in the darkness. 

20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL: More lights shining in dark days in Ukraine. This is a constant barrage of sadness and misery, and sometimes I still think about the pet turtle even two months after I watched this. The journalist filmmakers did fantastic work, and it's Ukraine, so this has a really really really good chance. 

Order I want them to win: 
This is probably my hardest category to rank! 
Maybe 20 Days in Mariupol
The Eternal Memory
Four Daughters
Bobi Wine The People's President
To Kill A Tiger

But they are so close in that ranking it might as well be a 5-way tie for me. 

Order I think they will win: 
20 Days In Mariupol
Four Daughters
To Kill A Tiger
The Eternal Memory
Bobi Wine: The People's President* 
*unless Academy voters see shades of trumptydumpty and fear him becoming prez for life and that ratchets up the relatability factor here giving this more votes

I love Documentary Feature watching! 
Which one was most impressive to you? 

Friday, March 01, 2024

Completed Category: Directing

 Directing! This is a "big" category that everyone cares about. 

Let's get something straight. We'll be having absolutely none of this "Ohmgrdz do you think the movie directs itself?  How can it be nominated for Picture and not give the Director a nomination?" That is a terrible, terrible take, for two reasons: 

1. There are ten Best Picture nominees and five Director nomineees. Ten and five do not equal each other, no matter how bad you are at math. 

2.  The Oscars have made it a different award for a reason, just like with Screenplay, Cinematography, and everything else that goes into a motion picture. That means they are awarding two different things; otherwise it would be one award. 

All right? Good. Now that we've got that straight, let's check out the five nominees who did not steal anyone's nomination

JUSTINE TRIET, Anatomy of a Fall: This is probably the one that surprised the most people and sent them into paroxysms of "but Greta created a whole  Barbie world!" whereas I was like "Oh darn, no Celine Song for Past Lives."  But it's pretty sad that we all accept four nominated men and then argue about which woman the fifth spot should have gone to.  "When there are five!", amiright RBG?  Anyway, I still keep forgetting about Anatomy of a Fall until I have to write another category about it. There's no way she's going to win, but I did like how it was crafted and paced and how the actors played into different moments and you got little glimpses of their perspective while keeping everything so mysterious. Side note that she is three years younger than me, what the...!

MARTIN SCORSESE, Killers of the Flower Moon: I swear I am going to spell his last name wrong until the day he dies. I always want there to be two Cs in it. Anyway, sorry Marty, but I'm not sure your masterpiece is going to get you this award. You picked quite a year! I wish you and Leo had done this in time for last year and maybe you could have saved us from the sh!tshow of EEAAO. And this being your swan song possibly and everything. I am saddened that I don't think it is to be. 

CHRISTOPHER NOLAN, Oppenheimer: Because Oppenheimer. Everyone is so ready to crown Christopher Nolan, finally -- you remember what that was like for you, eh, Marty? - and it is to be. 

YORGOS LANTHIMOS, Poor Things:  Which thank godz that means this psychopath won't win, good heavens. The scary thing is he probably has a small chance. Shudder. 

JONATHAN GLAZER, The Zone of Interest: And there will undoubtedly be a few folks who vote for this conceptual art project. Honestly it's hard to say which I think ruined this movie more, the Screenplay or the Directing. The premise was so potentially interesting (and so Martin Amis's) and I absolutely did not care for what he did with it in making this film. 

And so. Order I want them to win: 
Scorsese - Killers of the Flower Moon
Nolan - Oppenheiemer
Triet - Anatomy of a Fall
not those other two clowns

Order I think they will win: 
Nolan - Oppenheiemer
I can't even bear to think about the rest because it makes me think about how people are voting for...
Lanthimos - Poor Things
Glazer - The Zone of Interest
instead of Scorsese - Killers of the Flower Moon
hey, Triet! - Anatomy of a Fall, it's an honor to be nominated, eh? 

Only one more week!
Where does the Oscar time go? 

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Completed Category: Sound

 Another category I completed by watching The Zone of Interest was Sound, the category it has an excellent chance to win! 


We have definitely reached the point in Oscar season where I am tired, and having a busy work week. So let's get on through this, shall we? 

THE CREATOR:  On Nominations Day, I was one of the ones who said, "What's that?"  That's me, just over here being ignorant of sci-fi, fantasy, action, and other spectacles at the movies! Ha. I didn't not like this movie, but I also didn't really ever get super-into the whole "We are A.I. and we were wronged!" thing. It was all kinds of creepy. A.I. is like time travel -- people never quite know what to do with it in movies, because there is always some gaping logic hole if you think too much about what's going on. Anyway, Allison Janney showed up, which I was into. But we're here to talk about Sound. There was a lot of it! 
This probably won't win. 

MAESTRO: This has a lot of nominations. In addition to the so-called big ones, here we are in Sound. While there was of course music in this flick, there surprisingly wasn't that much. Honestly this was so much more about an interpersonal relationship than anything else.  This probably won't win. 

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - DEAD RECKONING PART ONE: One of my hobbies during Oscar season has been typing out and/or speaking the full title of this movie, every time I mention it, just 'cause. There's so much of it! There was also so much Sound. But, there were even more visual shenanigans. Still, there was a lot going on, and so supremely executed, and you know, let's dream big for Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One, shall we? This has a small chance to win. 

OPPENHEIMER: What does it sound like to detonate murderous nuclear bomb tests in the desert, terrifying, torturing, and killing thousands and thousands of animals?  Goddamn humans. This movie has a chance to win, because there is a chance for Oppenheimer  to sweep everything, kinda like a bomb blasts away everything in its path, except the latter is much more painful for the living things on the ground than an Oscar ceremony. Humans are legitimately the worst and I hope every Oppenheimer acceptance speech mentions that. 

THE ZONE OF INTEREST: But see, to win this category a film would have to beat this. And this was a uniquely powerful use of Sound. As you have probably heard by now, this film conceptual art project depicts a shiny happy evil Nazi family living their best life in a house next to Auschwitz, which you hear but never see.  It's really well done and certainly remarkable. I didn't care for this movie, which I thought failed on lots of levels, but not on this Sound level!  This has an excellent chance to win. 

And so. Remember the good ol' days when Sound Mixing and Sound Editing were two separate awards?  If that were still true the Academy could give Sound Mixing to The Zone of Interest and Sound Editing to Oppenheimer. Alas, they'll have to make a choice. 

Order I want them to win: 
I'm fine with The Zone of Interest here
Mission:Impossible -Dead Reckoning Part One
Maestro (I feel bad for Bradley and I do want his movie to win some stuff) 
The Creator (Don't forget it's an honor to be nominated.) 

Order I think they will win: 
The Zone of Interest
Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One
The Creator

How does that Sound to you?