2   +   7   =  

Best Picture

1917

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite – WINNER

I was in disbelief when Jane Fonda actually said Parasite had won Best Picture. I had to pause for a second before bursting into excitement. Bong Joon-ho’s masterpiece was incredibly deserving and the film I was rooting for. Across the long duration of awards season, Marriage Story and The Irishman had shifted into favouritism before it became a battle between Parasite and 1917. I loved both films, but Parasite is so special. It’s a tense, exciting, thought-provoking and hilarious film which will undoubtedly stand the test of time. It’s also the first non-English language film to win the coveted award which makes this all the more amazing. It’s fair to say that The Academy atoned for their sin of choosing Green Book as last year’s Best Picture recipient. More of this form for the years to come, please!

Best Director

Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite – WINNER

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Sam Mendes, 1917

Todd Phillips, Joker

The Parasite train rolls on, and my raving about it isn’t over yet. Sam Mendes was almost locked in for 1917, but Bong Joon-ho took the upset. While I loved Mendes’s work in 1917 and the way he was able to construct the faux long take, Bong Joon-ho’s directorial work in Parasite was jaw-droppingly good. The way he’s able to harness tone is second to none, and his visual sensibility is that of a master at the top his game. Nominated alongside legends Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino (as well as Todd Phillips), Bong lovingly shouted out Scorsese in his Best Director speech prompting a standing ovation from the auditorium. It was one of the highlights of the night.

Best Actor

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker – WINNER

Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

I can’t say that I wasn’t expecting this. Joaquin Phoenix is a brilliant actor and Joker is his biggest performance to date. And by biggest, I don’t mean best. It’s got great elements for sure and dare I say it, some shoddy ones too (his usual subtlety is not his strong suit in Joker), but Phoenix has been snubbed so many times by The Academy that I’m willing to accept this as his career award. His truly masterful work in either Her, The Master, Walk the Line and You Were Never Really Here should’ve netted him an Oscar by this point. Personally, I thought Adam Driver should’ve won this award for his stunning work in Marriage Story, delivering a performance filled with so much nuance and personality.

 

Best Actress

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Renée Zellweger, Judy – WINNER

Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

I have to admit that I haven’t seen Judy and while I’ve heard very mixed things about the film, Zellweger’s work is apparently strong. Echoing the previous category, my choice would’ve been Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story; however, I also would’ve been very happy with Saoirse Ronan getting up for Little Women. Johansson gave one of the best—and most gut-wrenching—performances I’ve seen in years and Ronan was a pure beacon of light in Little Women. While I respect Zellweger for her career renaissance, I wish The Academy would not fixate on biopic performances every year. It was the safe choice.

 

Best Supporting Actor

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – WINNER

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood

It’s hard to believe that this is the first acting Oscar for Brad Pitt. It’s fitting that it’s for the role of Cliff Booth—the platonic ideal of a Brad Pitt role. He’s able to effortlessly combine his movie star persona and his ever-underappreciated acting chops in a role which is tender, heartfelt and hilarious. Al Pacino and Joe Pesci were also fantastic in The Irishmanand I would’ve been happy to see either of them take home the trophy, but Pitt was always my number one. He also shouted out stuntmen in his speech, another standout moment of the ceremony.

Best Supporting Actress

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell

Laura Dern, Marriage Story – WINNER

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Finally, Marriage Story gets some love in the form of Laura Dern. She’d won every award in the lead up to the Oscars and was maybe the biggest certainty going into the night. It’s also very well deserved. Dern is fierce in the film, stealing every single scene she’s in. If the rare upset occurred, I would’ve loved to have seen Florence Pugh take home the award for her superb work in Little Women. In a film loaded with stars, Pugh is the standout as Amy March. She’s a brilliant young actress who’ll without a doubt receive an Oscar sooner or later. Funnily enough, Pugh and Laura Dern are brilliant on screen together in Little Women so I’m sure the young actress was over the moon with her co-star’s win.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit – WINNER

Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, Joker

Greta Gerwig, Little Women

Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes

Greta Gerwig was my preferred winner having delivered what is being called the definitive adaptation of Little Women, but I can’t outright disagree with The Academy as Waititi also delivered a fantastic screenplay for Jojo Rabbit. Despite the subject matter being, well, Nazis, it’s loaded with heart, wit and real melancholy. It’s not my favourite Waititi screenplay (that honour goes to Hunt for the Wilderpeople), but it’s great to see him get recognition. Will he be back in the race next year for his film Next Goal Wins? We’ll have to wait and see.

 

Best Original Screenplay

Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns, 1917

Rian Johnson, Knives Out

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Bong Joon-ho & Han Jin-won, Parasite – WINNER

This win for Parasite was one of the bigger surprises of the night, mainly because it was expected that Quentin Tarantino would go home with the award for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. When this happened I was confident Parasite could go home with Best Director and Best Picture. This is not to discredit Tarantino because his screenplay was also fantastic.

Best Film Editing

Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland, Ford v Ferrari – WINNER

Thelma Schoonmaker, The Irishman

Tom Eagles, Jojo Rabbit

Jeff Groth, Joker

Yang Jin-mo, Parasite

Ford v Ferrari was never expected to win the big award for the night, but it was a huge chance for editing and it eventually got up. This was a very strong category which I never had one specific favourite for. I would’ve happily accepted Thelma Schoonmaker getting up for The Irishman or Yang Jin-mo for Parasite but Ford v Ferrari is a fantastically edited film so I can’t complain.

 

Best Cinematography

Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman

Lawrence Sher, Joker

Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse

Roger Deakins, 1917 – WINNER

Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Look, this was always going to be the winner, and rightfully so. Deakins is a legend within this industry and finally got his first Oscar two years ago for Blade Runner 2049. As soon as I saw 1917’s night-time scene, I knew Deakins was going home with the trophy. He was the star of the film.

 

Best Original Score

Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker – WINNER

Alexandre Desplat, Little Women

Randy Newman, Marriage Story

Thomas Newman, 1917

John Williams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The auditorium erupted at this victory as Guðnadóttir was crowned the first ever solo female composer to win this award. In a film I wasn’t a fan of, her score was my favourite part of it. This was an incredibly strong category. So strong that I’m willing to declare John Williams’ work on The Rise of Skywalker easily the worst amongst the nominees. Desplat, Thomas Newman and Randy Newman all did brilliant work on their respective films. I couldn’t choose a favourite.

 

Best International Feature

Corpus Christi

Honeyland

Les Misérables

Pain and Glory

Parasite – WINNER

Obviously. Shout out to Pain and Glory though, I’ve heard spectacular things. Support international cinema!

 

Best Animated Feature

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body

Klaus

Missing Link

Toy Story 4 – WINNER

Pixar always seem to shine through in this category and this year was no different. Toy Story 4 was the only film I’d seen in this category and it’s very good. Definitely not a patch on the first three but it’s still a good film. I’ve heard positive buzz surrounding Klaus and Missing Link who managed to get up at the Globes, but this was always going to be Toy Story 4’s award.

 

Best Sound Mixing

Ad Astra

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

1917 – WINNER

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

1917 is a beautiful sounding film so I can’t complain about this at all. The gunshots roar and the use of sound is brilliant throughout.

 

Best Sound Editing

Ford v Ferrari – WINNER

Joker

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

For clarification, sound editing is the sounds that are created for the film outside of principal photography. This is also known as foley work. As for this category, Ford v Ferrari was a very deserving winner.

 

Best Visual Effects

Avengers: Endgame

The Irishman

The Lion King

1917 – WINNER

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

1917 had superb visual effects, yet this result angered the Marvel fans coming out of the shadows complaining that their beloved Avengers: Endgame didn’t win an Oscar. Okay, that was mean but this award is Best Visual Effects not MostVisual Effects. Don’t get me wrong, Endgame had great VFX (and I really liked the film), but from what I’ve seen in 1917 VFX videos, superb work was done. And it’s all invisible on screen.

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Bombshell – WINNER

Joker

Judy

Maleficent: Mistress of Evil

1917

Bad film, good makeup.

 

Best Production Design

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – WINNER

Parasite

The work that was done to turn modern LA into 1969 LA was utterly superb and this was the film I was leaning towards for this category. Little Women would’ve also been a deserving winner.

 

Best Costume Design

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Joker

Little Women – WINNER

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Absolutely deserving and it meant that Little Women actually walked away with some love, as it should’ve!