Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, January 25, 2019

A mixed bag of popcorn celebration at this year's Oscars

Earlier this week, the nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced and,as usual, the reactions have ranged from very happy to not pleased at all.

As a longtime movie fan(and Oscar viewer), my feelings went from "Well, that was to be expected" to "Yeah,nice!" and a few "Oh, come on!" True, it was great to see Black Panther be up for Best Picture but disappointed that were no noms for either the cast(Michael B. Jordan was robbed yet again!) or director Ryan Coogler.

I was also happy to see Rami Malek up for Best Actor in Bohemian Rhapsody (his performance makes the film work), Melissa McCarthy as Best Actress in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, a Best Director nom for Spike Lee's Black KKKlansman and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg movie RBG in the Best Documentary category.

However, some of the snubs are hard to ignore-why wasn't the Mr. Rogers film Won't You Be My Neighbor also up for Best Documentary, given that it was one of the most talked about movies of the year? How is it that John David Washington, the lead actor in Black KKKlansman, is not nominated but his co-star Adam Driver is?

What truly annoys me is the complete shut-out of Crazy Rich Asians, a movie that ,like Black Panther, reached out to an audience that has been under served by Hollywood for decades and was a breakout hit with movie goers and critics alike.

The movie made major box office money and has been nominated at such prestigious award shows as SAG, The Producer's Guild and the Golden Globes. So why was it completely disregarded by the Oscars? Not even a technical nom for Costume Design, Production or Sound, let alone a Best Adapted Screenplay!

 At the very least, Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh should have been considered for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Yes, The Favourite is chock full of fabulous female performances but it's not the only place to find excellent actresses squaring off on screen:

A really nice surprise was the appearance of Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse in the Best Animated Feature category. This take on the many versions of Spider-Man from the Marvel comic book realm has gotten a ton of critical praise and fan love, plus a Golden Globe to boot.

While I haven't seen this movie yet, I do hope that it wins and the chances are pretty good that it will. Granted, Incredibles 2 was a well done sequel and the Wreck It Ralph follow-up did well enough at the box office. However, folks are a bit tired of the whole Disney/Pixar monopoly on this category and this cinematic introduction to Miles Morales could be just the thing to end that.

It would also be a nice little victory for Marvel, as they teamed up with Sony Pictures on this project and for an animated Spider-Man movie to get what their live action MCU films haven't been able to get from the Academy would be super sweet:

Trying to predict the winners in most Oscar categories can be a fool's game yet I feel quite confident in proclaiming that it's the year for Regina King to win Best Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk.

This adaptation of James Baldwin's acclaimed novel, which was written and directed by Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins, has a good number of Oscar nominations including Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

That helps greatly here but more importantly, King has a solid following with fans and her contemporaries in the field both for her big screen work and small screen appearances on shows such as Southland, American Crime Story(which won her two Emmys) and Seven Seconds(which gave her a Golden Globe recently).

Also, the category has two nominees from the same film(Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz from The Favourite) who will probably cancel each other out. This isn't a complete runaway as the actress from Roma might be a wild card contender and Amy Adams has been up for this award before but not yet gotten a win.

 However, the momentum appears to be for Regina King in this role as the mother of a young woman facing hard times in life and love, not to mention many will want to honor IBSCT and might feel that this award to her would be the best way to do that. She's a wonderful actress and it would be a great Oscar moment for her to receive the glory she deserves:

 Another win that I'm dead certain on for Oscar night is in the Best Original Song section. While "All The Stars" from Black Panther is a solid entry, the popular sentiment seems to be more with Lady Gaga's "Shallow" from A Star Is Born.

True, it's a bonus that ASIB has several other major noms, including Best Actor for Bradley Cooper(who was left out of the director category), Best Supporting Actor for Sam Elliot and Gaga herself for Best Actress. As she co-wrote the song, the award would go to her and in lieu of /along with Best Actress, that ought to be a grand highlight of her career.

I have yet to hear the nominated songs from Mary Poppins Returns and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs(which got quite a few noms) but they don't appear to be breakaway hits from their respective soundtracks. Neither is the song from RBG, so I do believe we will be treated with a most memorable song performance(wonder if Cooper will join her on stage for that) and a star worthy acceptance speech from Our Lady of Gaga indeed:

Well, one way or another, this year's Oscars should provide some food for thought and hopefully a good night of entertainment as well, regardless of the no host situation. Also hope that Melissa McCarthy is feeling fine about being up for a Razzie(as the lead in Happytime Murders) and an Oscar at the same time. It could be good luck as it certainly didn't Sandra Bullock when it happened to her.

In fact, I think she and Sandra should show up at the Razzies together for a good natured laugh and maybe hand out some DVDs for reconsideration(again, it worked for Sandra!):

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