With just a month and change to go, the crew here at the The BarnBurner plans to spend all of our waking time writing, talking, shouting, and signing (Hello A Quiet Place) our asses off about all things #Oscars2019. Until some loser spends hours on end fishing up our old and inappropriate tweets, we’re here to stay (which by the way, when that happens we want everyone to know we got hacked). In the meantime, what better way to kick off our “And the Oscar goes to” coverage than talking mad shit about the Academy’s nominations.
If you’re like us, you love movies and you spent your first day back to work after a three-day weekend (if you didn’t have a three day weekend, let’s face it: Your place of employment is RACIST) live-streaming the 2019 Oscars nominations announcement. If you’re also like us, you similarly spent half the time screaming “WHAT, NO!” as the nominations poured in, desperately yearning for the moment when Tracee Ellis Ross or Kumail Nanjiani pulled a Steve Harvey “Miss Universe” level mistake. If it can happen on Hollywood’s biggest night at literally the worst time (“‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture”), surely it can happen the day of the NOMS. Right? Right?? Alas, your worst fears came true. The Academy once again made enough mistakes as to warrant people completely forgetting that they ever let Anne Hathaway and James Franco co-host.
Seeing that everyone basically watches 3+ hours of bullshit for five awards, we choose to focus on the #Power5 (sorry UCF) and kindly explain to the Academy why their decision to omit [insert actor/actress/film/screenplay/director] was FLAT OUT WRONG.
@FarmerBarn: How the hell did the Academy leave out
Gotti Leave No Trace? I don’t give a shit if no one saw it; the movie literally earned a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. That has to count for something, right?? Back on the scene for the first time since her critically acclaimed movie, “Winter’s Bone, director Debra Granik’s film has it all: a monster performance by an actor at the top of his game (Ben Foster), a “who the hell is that” performance by a co-star (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), and a script that will knock your block off. So then what’s the deal? Well, the movie earned $6 million dollars at the box office. You probably think that’s a typo, but no — it’s not. It literally earned six (single digit) million. I don’t care, though. People need to see this movie, and the Academy made a mistake not giving this story its due.
@TheBarnChief: “Can ya float through the air when ya smell a delicious pie,” asks the animated Spider-Ham in the best movie of the year: Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. As I’ve mentioned, I am prepared to die on the hill — this vibrantly animated film about Marvel’s resident web-head has more humor, heart, and character than literally any other movie I saw this year. The movie tells the story of Miles Morales becoming Spider-Man after *spoiler* the Peter Parker in his dimension dies in the line of duty. Sound familiar? Of course, it’s a superhero origin story, but this film cleverly subverts the traditional story arcs in an original and hilarious fashion, but family (and the problems within) is the crux of this flick’s heart. Featuring a preposterously talented voice cast (Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, John Mulaney, AND NIC FUCKING CAGE), from a witty-ass script penned (and directed), in part, by Phil Lord (half of the Lord-Miller combo responsible for The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street), I feel personally affronted that this flick was cast aside to the ‘BEST ANIMATED FILM’ category like some sort of subpar art. This condescension to animated films, among many things, is one of the problems I have with the Oscars. Spider-Man got Spider-Banned. Be better, Academy. (Shouts to the Coens for Buster Scruggs, though)
@FarmerBarn: Someone please explain to me why the director of a movie that received 8 nominations didn’t get nominated for Best Director. I’ll wait . . . (*crickets*). . . Clearly no one at the Academy listened to Variety’s Playback Podcast, because if they did I sure as hell know Bradley Cooper would have gotten the nod for Best Director. Cooper would have been the first since Clint Eastwood (“Million Dollar Baby”) to receive nominations in both the Best Director and Best Actor category. Would that really have been such a bad thing? The guy took a movie that had already been made FOUR times and told it in a unique and heartbreaking way.
@TheBarnChief: Retweet. When A Star is Born hit the scene, many starry eyed movie critics thought it may sweep the Power 5. Alas, “NO SOUP FOR YOU!” I, however, will shoutout Black Panther‘s RYAN COOGLER, whose thoughtful direction separates this superhero movie from money-making CGI action trash to high art with some damn things to say. (Shouts to the Coens, though — sorry, broken record).
@FarmerBarn: This one I really have a problem with. Of all the movies that came out this year, Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade” featured more emotional depth than any other film. The former comedian and teller of sophomoric comedy literally wrote a movie about anxiety from the perspective of an eighth grade girl. Think about that for a second, and then listen to him thoughtfully explain to Bill Simmons how he came up with the idea for what I thought was one of the year’s best films.
@TheBarnChief: This terrifying tale will come up again later, but HEREDITARY boasts one of the tightest scripts I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Taking homage from the 60s-70s horror icons: Rosemary’s Baby, Carrie, The Omen, etc., Ari Aster’s screenplay weaves a tale of mental illness, family strife, death, and genetically inherited faults. Aster understands the age-old script technique: know something about the main characters that the audience doesn’t – and oooohhhh boy, does it deliver when it lets that cat (demon?) out of the bag.
@FarmerBarn: One of Hollywood’s true breakout stars of this past year was John David Washington. The son of a guy you may have heard of (DENZEEELLLLLLLLLLLLL) portrayed one of the most compelling characters seen in a movie in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” officer Ron Stallworth. Washington’s wry humor (and silky smooth voice that he clearly got from his Pops) balances out a film that deals with very serious subject matter. The nomination would have made him and Denzel only the second father-son duo to receive acting nominations (the first being Kirk and Michael Douglas).
@TheBarnChief: Get Viggo Mortenson the hell out of here (although shouts to my guy Aragorn). His impression of a fat Italian guy with food and spittle in the corners of his mouth for two hours was borderline racist. Anywho, c’mon down, Michael B. Jordan — his performance as villain Erik “Killmonger” Stephens in Black Panther escalated the film’s conflict to racial equality drama (I’m ignoring the fact he’s likely a Supporting Actor candidate). Roll the 30 seconds in the astral plane, where Erik confronts his father in the Compton apartment in which he was killed, and tell me this isn’t one of the best characters of the year. Where the rest of the cast zigs, Jordan zags, painting a character born and bred in the inner city with physical and emotional PTSD from literal and familial warfare. “When I tell you to do something, I mean that shit.” Heard that, MBJ.
@FarmerBarn: Dammnit does this one really get to me. All the Academy had to do was literally Google Toni Collette “Hereditary,” and they would have found themselves softly crying and shaking with unmistakable fear. Her performance in what can be described as one of the most horrifying movies ever made stayed with me long after the movie ended. When the Oscars took a major step forward by nominating Black Panther for Best Picture, the knock that they have confirmation bias against horror films remains true with this major oversight. And before you jump all over me about last year’s Get Out win for best original screenplay, Collette’s omission from the ballot is one mistake I refuse to justify.
@TheBarnChief: Claire Foy had long been seen, alongside composer Justin Hurwitz, as one of First Man‘s best opportunities to be represented at the 2019 Oscars, but the Academy decided Damien Chazelle’s space odyssey about Neil Armstrong (but really more centering on Armstrong’s family) wasn’t important. Foy’s performance as Mrs. Armstrong is the reason the film works and she is the emotional thread that ties the fabric together.