Roundtable: Oscar Party!

In place of our usual end of month roundup, I thought we owed it to ourselves to pontificate on Hollywood’s biggest night. The Oscars are this weekend and we have opinions! Let’s each split our ballots … which film would get your vote if you were lucky enough to be among the 849 invited to join The Academy in the latest class as well as which film you think will actually win on Sunday night.

Best Picture

And the nominees are …  

  • 1917

Should win:ParasiteParasiteParasiteParasite
Will win:19171917The Irishman1917

Josh: First of all, it’s actually a pretty good year for the nominees. Several of them were among my favorites of 2019, a couple just missed the cut, and I guess Joker and Jojo just weren’t for me.

In terms of Oscar’s pick, this really feels like the only major category with a sliver of suspense. All signs point to 1917, which has cleaned up at the major guilds and precursor awards after a very late winter release (it’s taken top prize from the directors and producers as well as at the BAFTAs and Golden Globes). But a sliver of hope remains for Parasite, which claimed prizes at the writers, editors, and screen actors guilds. It’s thoroughly beloved, would be a history-making win (until this year, South Korea never even had a nomination!); so maybe the widespread goodwill and the magic of ranked choice balloting could give us a happy little surprise at the end of a long night?

Chris: I agree with you, Josh. I liked 1917 quite a bit, but it feels like a “safe” choice that does everything pretty well (and the cinematography exceptionally well), but I’m also holding out hope that we could be surprised. 

Tony: Things That Make Oscar Voters Salivate, part 1: Historic Epics. So yes, 1917 looks pretty close to shoo-in status. Funnily enough, though Marriage Story really connected with me, I think I’d most like to see Parasite take home the prize here. It’s a truly subversive and original piece of art that deserves every kernel of praise it’s reaped over the last twelve months.

Morgen: I’ll make a slight departure from my friends here and say that The Irishman will be the winner because I have no faith in the voters. A crap-ton of famous old white male actors, a highly decorated director and it was available to a wide audience via Netflix. It was honestly my least favorite of all the options (I really love 1917 and I’m not a war movie kind of gal). It’s just a hunch on this one but like the other folks, I hold out a small amount of hope that the actual  best film will win for its unique, dark, and beautiful storyline chock full of metaphors. 

Josh: I’m just going to put this out there as an extreme hedge, but the only bigger shocker than the ending of Quentin Tarantino’s actual movie would be Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood being called as the winner. Now that’s what I’d call an ending.

Best Director

The nominees: 

  • THE IRISHMAN –  Martin Scorsese
  • JOKER – Todd Phillips
  • 1917 – Sam Mendes
  • ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD – Quentin Tarantino
  • PARASITE – Bong Joon Ho

Should win:Bong Joon HoBong Joon HoBong Joon HoBong Joon Ho
Will win:Sam MendesBong Joon HoBong Joon HoSam Mendes

Josh: I’d actually love to see Quentin Tarantino finally win this award. He’s overdue and Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood is a terrific showcase of all of his best interests and instincts. But I’m casting my vote for Parasite and guarding my heart with a prediction that Mendes takes it for the bigger, flashier, 1917. Deakins gets plenty of credit for his cinematography, but on second-viewing, I really appreciated the directorial flourishes that Mendes brought to the propulsive war story, giving it breathing room and resonance that soared beyond the technical wizardry.

Chris: Honestly, I liked all of these movies so I don’t think anything would disappoint me, and Tarantino or Scorsese winning would delight me, but I see Parasite winning Best Director and Foreign Language film as consolation prizes for being runner up for Best Picture. 

Tony: Things That Make Oscar Voters Salivate, part 2 (Electric Boogaloo): Directors of Epics. Since directors nominate directors here, there’s likely a lot of support for Mendes, simply for holding together the whole logistic nightmare that is staging a World War onscreen. I’d also be happy to see Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood net a trophy for Tarantino. I don’t think it’s his best (though a second viewing has gone a ways towards thawing the cold initial assessment), but it’s hard not to admire the breadth of ambition he brought to the table. With all that, I’m all in for Bong taking home the directorial gold. His work’s masterful. 

Morgen: I highly enjoyed Joker, I think it was dark and creepy and spoke more about society than the classic character we’ve all come to know intimately over the last twenty years. Todd Phillips put me in his world, in a space where those who don’t have are angry and hopeless and surrounded by the power of those who do have. But you know who did this concept even better? That’s right, Bong Joon Ho in Parasite. So… I’m not even going to entertain the idea that another director will win. There it is.

Lead Actor


  • Antonio Banderas in PAIN AND GLORY
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD
  • Adam Driver in MARRIAGE STORY
  • Joaquin Phoenix in JOKER
  • Jonathan Pryce in THE TWO POPES

Should win:Adam DriverAntonio BanderasAdam DriverAdam Driver
Will win:Joaquin PhoenixJoaquin PhoenixJoaquin PhoenixJoaquin Phoenix

Josh: It would be utterly shocking for anyone but Joaquin to win this award. He does all the things that the Academy loves to see from male winners — dramatic weight loss, prolonged suffering, unquestionably huge emoting. Plus creepy fake laughing and meme-able dancing. To me, it was showing way too much work, but I’m not a voter. I’d give the award to Adam Driver who also has big feels in Marriage Story. There’s the huge acting workshop fight scene, but so much of it is more subtle, funnier, and heartbreaking. Plus, he sings!

Chris: I would love to see Antonio Banderas win because his performance was a big reason Pain and Glory was my favorite movie of the year, but I just see him (and everyone else) being sent through a Joaquin Phoenix-shaped buzzsaw.

Tony: Things That Make Oscar Voters Salivate, part 3: What Josh Said. Phoenix is impressive as Hell. Too bad I was so nonplussed by the movie as a whole. I’m going slightly myopic in this category (haven’t seen Pain and Glory yet), but I was quite wowed by Adam Driver’s work. It’s the showier of the two lead portrayals (more on that later), but it’s also incredibly raw and volcanic. 

Morgen: I admit, I’m sort of cheating in this category. I haven’t seen The Two Popes or Pain and Glory (though I absolutely want to see the latter, especially after Chris’ vehement endorsement of the film in his favorites list). That being said, between Phoenix and Driver I just think Driver is a better actor right now. Phoenix has made a career of weird, dangerous, unhinged characters and I love a lot of them… but I’m not seeing a ton of growth and Driver has moved me in so many ways over the last five years or so that I have to give it to him. Though, I agree that he probably won’t win and in general Marriage Story will be largely overlooked at the Oscars.

Lead Actress


  • Cynthia Erivo in HARRIET
  • Scarlett Johansson in MARRIAGE STORY
  • Saoirse Ronan in LITTLE WOMEN
  • Charlize Theron in BOMBSHELL
  • Renée Zellweger in JUDY

Should win:Scarlett JohanssonScarlett JohanssonCynthia ErivoScarlett Johannson
Will win:Renée ZellwegerRenee ZellwegerRenee ZellwegerRenee Zellweger

Josh: Ever since Jonathan Van Beter’s long-form profile of Renee Zellweger coinciding with the premiere of Judy at Telluride, this one has felt like a done deal. The narrative around her exit (or exile) from Hollywood and the unfairness of the dialog around her changing appearance so perfectly paralleled the actress she was portraying in the Garland biopic. On top of that she seems like a really quirky nice lady, the movie is fine, and she sings, dances, and wears a ton of makeup to portrays a beloved real life figure whose journey weirdly parallels her own story. It feels a bit weird to give her a second Oscar, especially when Scarlett Johansson and Saoirse Ronan are right there in the same category with richer, deeper performances, and haven’t even won a single statue.

Tony: Things That Make Oscar Voters Salivate, part 4: A Star Play-Acting Like a Real-Life Figure. I can’t speak to Judy as a movie (haven’t seen it), but Josh, you echo the sentiments of a LOT of critics when it comes to the movie’s actual merits. From my cramped (though not too cramped judging from Chris’s and Josh’s responses here) perspective, I really see Johansson’s nuanced and kinda fearless work as Marriage Story’s secret–and very Oscar-worthy– weapon. Adam Driver’s got the most flashy part, but Johansson’s work really got under my skin.

Morgen: Again, I’m lacking in this category since I haven’t seen Bombshell or Judy (but plan on seeing the latter, yet again). I want Erivo to win because it seems like an almost insurmountable task to represent an incredibly powerful and well-known historical figure like Harriet Tubman and do that person justice… but Erivo did just that. She gave the story soul and strength and while this film didn’t make very many top 10 lists (including mine) it should be far more recognized than it is. Also, it would be incredibly wonderful to have a woman of color win one of the major awards this year… but alas, I have no faith in the voters. Oh, did I say that already? 

Josh: Especially in a year with Awkwafina in The Farewell, Alfre Woodard in Clemency, Jang Hye-jin from Parasite, among others, it’s a real shame that the one acting nominee of color is someone playing a slave. To me Harriet felt like a made for television movie from the nineties, but damn if Erivo didn’t make the most of it.

Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Supporting Actor


  • Anthony Hopkins in THE TWO POPES
  • Al Pacino in THE IRISHMAN
  • Joe Pesci in THE IRISHMAN

Should win:Brad PittAl PacinoTom HanksJoe Pesci
Will win:Brad PittBrad PittAl Pacino or Joe PesciBrad Pitt

Josh: I agree with you guys about the Supporting Irishmen. Pesci is a sliver away from being my pick for his elegiac portrayal of a mob boss descending from the peak of his powers, but this award is deserved by and will be won by Brad Pitt for taking off his shirt on a rooftop in Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood. Anything less would be an acid trip.

Tony: Things That Make Oscar Voters Salivate, part 5: A Matinee Idol Easing Comfortably into Character Roles. I really can’t complain about Pitt getting this one (as I suspect he will): His utterly natural, zen cool in Once Upon a Time… belongs on the same movie-star charisma continuum as Steve McQueen and Robert Redford, and it’s poetry watching Cliff Booth navigate this fairyland take on Hollywood. But damn, is Pesci’s minimalist turn in The Irishman riveting. 

Morgen: I’m just gonna say that I think the old white dudes will win this one again… see my reasoning for the best picture. Tom Hanks, while playing a much more minor role than I’m sure he’s comfortable with, made me bawl out loud. Part of that has to do with nostalgia and the love I have for Mr. Rogers, but he did justice to a man that has put an indelible mark on the minds of generations and that’s something that shouldn’t be underappreciated. 


Supporting Actress


  • Kathy Bates in RICHARD JEWELL
  • Laura Dern in MARRIAGE STORY
  • Scarlett Johansson in JOJO RABBIT
  • Florence Pugh in LITTLE WOMEN
  • Margot Robbie in BOMBSHELL

Should win:Florence PughKathy BatesScarlett Johanson(abstain)
Will win:Laura DernLaura DernNot SureLaura Dern

Josh: I’d give it to Florence Pugh who did everything she could to rehab the often loathsome Amy into a more sympathetic character, balancing longing and practicality and a role that foregrounds the economic relationship between art and matrimony. Plus, she killed it (literally) in Midsommar. But I have nothing but love for Laura Dern and will be thrilled when she collects her prize, both a career achievement award, a celebration of her sneakily great turn as an extremely Californian divorce attorney, and perhaps the lone recognition for my beloved Marriage Story.

Tony: Ima abdicate from a personal judgment on this category, as I’ve only seen Dern’s work here. But she’s undeniably solid in Marriage Story and has the momentum of a sustained quality career and much industry love in her favor.

Morgen: Jojo Rabbit was a mixed bag for me. The adorableness of the first half to three-quarters of the film put me off because of the seriousness of the subject-matter (and it hits a bit closer to home for me), but then the abrupt change made it even more striking. While Johanson’s role was actually pretty small, she played the subtlety of the lines very well. I’m not a huge fan of hers generally but for some reason her character resonated. As for my non-pick to actually win… I enjoyed Laura Dern in Marriage Story but the film as a whole wasn’t a big win, I think Pugh or Robbie have just as much chance of winning when it comes to the voters.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Columbia Pictures)

Original Screenplay


  • KNIVES OUT – Written by Rian Johnson
  • MARRIAGE STORY – Written by Noah Baumbach
  • 1917 – Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
  • ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD – Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • PARASITE – Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won; Story by Bong Joon Ho

Should win:Marriage StoryParasiteParasiteMarriage Story
Will win:ParasiteOnce Upon a Time … In Hollywood1917Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood

Josh: This is a category where I’d be happy with any winner — it’s great seeing a nod to Rian Johnson whose  Star Wars murder-mystery escape pod paid all the way off this season. Nevertheless, my admittedly sentimental pick in the writing category would be for both Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig to both go home with screenplay awards.  But as cute as that would be and as much as I loved both of those movies, I don’t really think that’s going to happen.  It’s likely to be a bellwether for the eventual Best Picture winner (last year, this is when we should’ve known that Green Book was going to win), so pay close attention as the ceremony drags on. This is the perennial place where the Academy’s Cool Kids give Quentin Tarantino a trophy, but he’s unlikely to appreciate a third consolation prize. As such, I’m putting my chips on Parasite to have a history-making great night on Sunday.

Tony: Yes, it’s a strong batch of scripts here, but the Academy loves throwing Screenplay trophies at Tarantino. This year (I think) will be no exception. But I really have to agree with Josh. A family drama like Marriage Story stands or falls on its script, and Baumbach’s work taps into some epic truth without descending into maudlin treacly slop.

Morgen: 1917, while based on a true story, seems like it would really appeal to those in charge of this shindig for best screenplay. I think Once Upon A Time also has a big chance to nab this prize but a gut feeling tells me 1917 will be a big winner in general. I hate to be a broken record, but Parasite has, by far, the most unique storyline and surprising turns. If it didn’t exist, I’d want Knives Out to get this one. Daniel Craig put out a surprisingly charming performance (I wasn’t sure how well the southern accent would play) and Ana de Armas had me by the heartstrings till the end.

BTS: Director/Writer Greta Gerwig Amy March (Florence Pugh) Meg March (Emma Watson) Jo March (Saoirse Ronan) on the set of Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN.

Adapted Screenplay


  • THE IRISHMAN – Screenplay by Steven Zaillian
  • JOJO RABBIT – Screenplay by Taika Waititi
  • JOKER – Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
  • LITTLE WOMEN – Written for the screen by Greta Gerwig
  • THE TWO POPES – Written by Anthony McCarten

Should win:Little WomenThe Irishman
Little Women
Will win:Jojo RabbitLittle WomenLittle WomenLittle Women

Josh: Jojo Rabbit picked up a couple of precursor awards this weekend. I thought it was a tonal mess and deeply creepy, but in making this prediction I realize I’m in the minority. Everyone loves Taika Waititi in general (so do I!) and might not want his film to go home empty-handed. Conversely, despite its box office success, maybe not enough people actually watched Little Women to appreciate the innovation that Gerwig brought to an adaptation that wove autobiography and sliced and diced the novel’s chronologies for maximum impact. I’m hoping I’m wrong, but sometimes winning your Oscar pool means killing your darlings.

Tony: Things That Make Oscar Voters Salivate, part 6: Giving a Woman a Prestigious Oscar that’s Not Quite One of the Big Ones. I realize I’m part of the problem, not having seen Little Women yet, but good on Gerwig for being in the running.

Morgen: Josh put it more succinctly than I could when it comes to Jojo Rabbit. I haven’t read the book so maybe it’s just as… creepy as the film? I really love Waititi’s work typically, but this one just missed the mark for me. I have seen and read Little Women enough that I thought I knew the story too well to really get lost in it. This wasn’t a fresh take, but it felt fresh and fun with a bit more feminist power that grabbed me.

On the set of 1917 (Universal)



  • THE IRISHMAN – Rodrigo Prieto
  • JOKER – Lawrence Sher
  • THE LIGHTHOUSE – Jarin Blaschke
  • 1917 – Roger Deakins
  • ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD – Robert Richardson

Should win:1917The Lighthouse1917The Lighthouse
Will win:1917191719171917

Josh: This race was probably over as soon as the trailer for 1917 dropped last summer, but when audiences saw how it delivered on that scene of George MacKay’s trenchside sprint it was in the bag. If the immersive viewing experience of following two boys through the war-torn hellscape wasn’t enough, Universal also released this featurette highlighting the enormous work that went into creating dazzling effective one-shot. Case closed; after a dozens of times being always a bridesmaid, Deakins is getting back-to-back statues.

Tony: I haven’t seen it yet, but 1917 looks dazzling visually (plus, it’s Roger frickin’ DEAKINS, who is one of the greatest Cinematographers in the history of cinema). Still, Jarin Blaschke’s work in The Lighthouse is absolutely crucial to the immersive, antiquated, nightmarishly beautiful universe that Robert Eggers crafted.

Morgen: I admit I haven’t seen Lighthouse and obviously the other fellows are entranced by it, so maybe I should abstain but that being said I’ll give my two cents anyway. I’ve mentioned this before, I am not typically a lover of war films for several reasons that I won’t go into, but 1917 was not your typical war film… it was more an insight into humanity. Into finding a reason to take part in something bigger than yourself for the sake of everyone involved. It was frightening and beautiful and heartbreaking.

Chairman Cao Dewang (right) touring Fuyao Glass America. From the film AMERICAN FACTORY

Documentary Feature



Should win:American FactoryHoneyland
Will win:American FactoryAmerican Factory

Josh: This is my most delinquent category: I’ve only seen Honeyland and American Factory (a SIFF highlight). Both were fantastic, but I’m guessing that this is Obama’s year to start his EGOT. I’m going to try to catch up, but The Cave and For Sama look way too depressing and the last week already has me feeling too familiar with life on the edge of democracy.

Tony: I am lameness, and have not seen any of these. Abstain.

Morgen: Same… womp womp.

Parasite (Neon)

International Feature


  • CORPUS CHRISTI (Poland) – Directed by Jan Komasa
  • HONEYLAND (North Macedonia) – Directed by Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevska
  • LES MISÉRABLES (France) – Directed by Ladj Ly
  • PAIN AND GLORY (Spain) – Directed by Pedro Almodóvar
  • PARASITE (South Korea) – Directed by Bong Joon Ho

Should win:Dolor y GloriaDolor y Gloria
Will win:GisaengchungGisaengchung


Chris: This was one category where I tried to see everything nominated, but came up short with Corpus Christi (which plays at SIFF two weeks after the Academy Awards). I’d be happy with any of the movies I’ve seen winning because I was enchanted with Honeyland and riveted by Les Miserables but Pain and Glory was the only movie I liked more than Parasite. 

Josh: I, too managed to see everything but Corpus Christi. And unlike the expected Academy split of giving Parasite Best International Feature and 1917 Best Picture, I, too am splitting my should/win ballot. Parasite should win the big show and, in doing so, I’d make room for some much-deserved recognition for Pedro Almodovar’s exceptional autobiographical Pain and Glory.

Tony: Again, I am lameness and have only seen Parasite on this list. That said, I love Almodovar’s canon, and I trust Chris’s assessment.  

Morgen: I’ve only seen Parasite of these, so I definitely don’t have the right to give an opinion. I’ll do better next time, promise.

To keep this from going on forever, we haven’t made individual predictions of the other technical categories, music, animated, and short films. Any other category that you’d like to stump for? 

Josh: Perhaps unsurprisingly we made it all the way through this rambling discussion without a mention of Editing. In the last forty years, only one movie has won best picture without at least a nomination in this category. Front-runner 1917 is notably absent among this year’s nominees (Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, and Parasite), so maybe, just maybe, that means there’s room for a Best Picture surprise? Then again, the film that bucked the editing nomination’s prognosticating power was Alejandro Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which, like 1917 is made to look like a long continuous take. So who knows! I’d give this to Parasite but, ill-informed jokes about running time aside, I’m predicting this will go to Martin Scorsese’s longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker for her impressive work stitching together all the flashbacks, action, and character work that made The Irishman so engrossing.

Tony: Things That Make Oscar Voters Salivate, part 7: Pixar Movies. It’s not quite a lock for Best Animated Feature, but I’d imagine that the continuation of one of Pixar’s most beloved franchises is close. My heart, however, goes out in a big way to Jeremy Clapin’s I Lost My Body, which somehow grafts a winning romance, a sci-fi-worthy high concept, and  a twist of dark fairy tale magic into something truly special.

Josh: I saw only one of these movies because I am a monster who doesn’t like animation. Toy Story 4 was pretty good and it made a lot of money so it seems like the most likely winner. 

Chris: I finally caught up with Bombshell last week, and I felt decidedly mixed about the movie overall (Rupert Murdoch’s sons being depicted as heroes is a step too far for me), but thought the team responsible for Hair and Makeup (Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker) should absolutely run this category. I am still surprised at how much Charlize Theron looked like Megyn Kelly and not Charlize Theron. The same could be said about some of the other Fox News personalities, particularly with Kevin Dorff as Bill O’Reilly.

Josh: Oh, I agree. The opening title card informing us that real life people were being portrayed by actors felt a little cheeky until it cut to that twenty-minute fourth-wall breaking tour led Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly. You may be surprised to learn that I am not a frequent viewer of Fox News, but I kept having to remind myself that it wasn’t really Kelly on screen. The makeup and prosthetics are part of it, but Theron brings so much to immerse herself within that not entirely sympathetic role. If anyone’s going to take away Renee’s statue, it’s Charlize.

Josh: The production design in Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood is flashier and certainly deserving, but I’d probably vote for Parasite’s masterful creation of real architectural spaces that informed so much of the film’s message. Sound effects and sound mixing? Who the eff knows: probably the war movie or the fast cars? People really loved the vrrooom vrrroooom as those Fords and Ferraris whipped around the track, so maybe this one takes the prizes that everyone always confuses (editing is for the creation of sounds and sound effects; mixing is how they all fit together into a sonic palette). Visual effects are similarly a muddle: I thought Young DeNiro was a horror show, but maybe enough people dream of being de-aged that The Irishman doesn’t go home empty-handed? I guess that my prediction and vote is that this is Thanos’s moment to shine and Avengers: Endgame gets a statue to put on top of its mountains of money.

In Life Beyond The Oscars, what’s the best thing you saw last month?

Morgen: I saw a few things that I loved a one that I just couldn’t stand. First off, one that I loved will probably remain on my top 10 list for 2020, I can almost guarantee it. A Hidden Life was so achingly beautiful and heartbreaking that I cried about 60% of the film (no shame here, I love how invested I get in films, especially this kind). What made it even more special is the empty theater apart from one older man. As he walked out of the theater he said “Thank you for sharing this with me”. It made me smile through fresh tears. 

Chris: I watched a lot of movies in January, and liked most of them. I think The Gentlemen and Les Miserables were my favorites. Les Miserables is France’s entry for Best Foreign Language film, and it’s such a great movie, but my third favorite in the very-deep category. It centers around three French police officers who patrol a neighborhood where they are (justifiably, IMO) seen as antagonists by the community they patrol. It was such a raw and potent movie that reminded me a lot of Do the Right Thing in how racial tensions in a neighborhood led to a powerful, and violent, climax. It was riveting.

Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen was a fun movie from beginning to end. Alas, I lost the rock-paper-scissor game to Tony for reviewing privileges. Matthew McConaughey is an American living in the UK who has a prosperous, but underground, pot growing empire. He wants to get out of the game and it sets off one double-cross after another. Hugh Grant and Colin Farrell are particularly great. It was like the British Uncut Gems and I loved it.

Morgen: Sorry Chris, but I was incredibly put off by The Gentlemen. Partly because I knew what kind of folks would show up to watch it (ie, the guys hanging outside the theater when I was leaving laughing about the line “spunk bubble”) and because it’s almost precisely the film you’d think the current version of Matthew McConaughey would be in considering his ridiculous Lincoln and whiskey commercials. I sort of enjoyed it, the concept was witty, but it was a bunch of sneaky bastards killing a bunch of other sneaky bastards. I’ve seen it, do something new.

Tony: In a move that will surprise no one, I finally caught The Color Out of Space, the new adaptation of fH.P. Lovecraft’s short story, and really enjoyed it. I’m a fan of director Richard Stanley’s two previous features, so this makes him three-for-three from this corner. Color is  slow-burn, creepy, unnerving, (often intentionally) funny, tense, pretty merciless, and boasts the most absolutely over-the-rails batshit nuts final reel I’m likely to see in a spell. Plus, you get industrial-strength Nicolas Cage outbursts, so there’s that. There’s a lot more to unpack, but I’ll save a lengthier assessment for another time.

The Full List

Josh: I spent much of the month catching up on Oscar nominees and revisiting favorites from the past year, so I don’t have much to add. Instead, for my fellow completists, here’s a checklist list of all of the features nominated for Oscars this year (not including short films or nominations for Original Song, which should not be an Oscar Category and exists only as an excuse to get famous people to come to the ceremony to perform). I regret to say that I’m coming up two short on narrative features (sorry, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and still-not-streamable Richard Jewell); one shy of foreign (Corpus Christi), and depressingly deficient on the docs and animation. Better luck to the rest of you!

— Narrative Features — 

  • 1917
  • A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
  • Ad Astra
  • Avengers Endgame
  • Bombshell
  • Ford v Ferrari
  • Harriet
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Joker
  • Judy
  • Knives Out
  • Little Women
  • Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
  • Marriage Story
  • Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  • Pain and Glory
  • Parasite
  • Richard Jewell
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  • The Irishman
  • The Lighthouse
  • The Lion King
  • The Two Popes

— Documentary Features — 

  • American Factory
  • The Cave
  • The Edge of Democracy
  • For Sama
  • Honeyland

— International Features (not nominated elsewhere) — 

  • Corpus Christi
  • Les Miserables

— Animated Features — 

  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
  • I Lost My Body
  • Klaus
  • Missing Link
  • Toy Story 4