Hopes & Dreams for the Oscars

By: Hopster & Isaac P. Ale
March 27, 2022

the worst person in the world The Worst Person in the World [2021]

It's Oscars Week '22! Here is Part 7 of our preview.

Before we jump into our hopes and dreams for the Oscars, we want to revisit some of our wind up to today!

Starting Oscars week, we examined the "Weird" categories such as International Feature Film, which boasts a stacked group including Drive My Car, The Worst Person in the World and the beautiful three-category darling Flee.

The Technical categories also had some great nominees with some incredible Makeup and Hairstyling, Production Design, and Songwriting!

There are also some powerful screenplays in the running for the Writing and Directing categories, along with Jane Campion possibly becoming the first woman in Oscars history to win Best Director twice!

And who could forget the Acting categories, which could give us the first deaf man to win an Oscar in Troy Kotsur!

Lastly, the Best Picture nominees are all outstanding but will it come down to The Power of the Dog vs. CODA? Or will a third film jump in the mix??

coda-1 CODA [2021]

For your clicking convenience, here's a summary of our Final Oscar Predictions:

Category Hopster Isaac
Best International Feature Film The Worst Person in the World Drive My Car
Best Live Action Short Film The Long Goodbye The Long Goodbye
Best Documentary Short Subject The Queen of Basketball The Queen of Basketball
Best Documentary Feature Summer of Soul Flee
Best Animated Short Film The Windshield Wiper Robin Robin
Best Animated Feature Encanto The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Best Original Score The Power of the Dog - Johnny Greenwood Dune - Hans Zimmer
Best Original Song "Dos Oruguitas" "No Time to Die"
Best Sound West Side Story Dune
Best Costume Design Dune Dune
Best Makeup and Hairstyling The Eyes of Tammy Faye The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Best Production Design Dune Dune
Best Cinematography Dune The Power of the Dog
Best Film Editing King Richard Dune
Best Visual Effects Dune Dune
Best Adapted Screenplay The Power of the Dog Dune
Best Original Screenplay Licorice Pizza Belfast
Best Director The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion The Power of the Dog - Jane Campion
Best Supporting Actor CODA - Troy Kotsur CODA - Troy Kotsur
Best Supporting Actress West Side Story - Ariana DeBose West Side Story - Ariana DeBose
Best Actor King Richard - Will Smith King Richard - Will Smith
Best Actress The Eyes of Tammy Faye - Jessica Chastain Parallel Mothers - Penélope Cruz
Best Picture The Power of the Dog CODA

the green knight The Green Knight [2021]

The Biggest Snub(s) of the Year

Hopster: In the years since 2009, when the Best Picture category expanded from five-possible nominee slots to ten back, the Academy has opted to nominate less than ten films for reasons mostly unknown. Like last year, this practice was viewed as a deliberate snub, and I whined about how there were excellent films left on the sideline -- though again, this has happened in all but two ceremonies since the expansion (2010 and 2011). This year, it was guaranteed that the maximum number of ten nomination slots will be utilized for Best Picture2. So while I can't sit here and complain about how they actively skipped over certain films to compete for the top prize, I can absolutely complain about which films they nominated and which films they ignored. For 2021, here are ten films that come to mind that were wrongly ignored altogether at this year's Oscars:

  • The Card Counter
  • C'Mon C'Mon
  • The French Dispatch
  • The Green Knight
  • A Hero
  • Memoria
  • Passing
  • Pig
  • The Souvenir Part II
  • The Velvet Underground

There were also a lot of films that were recognized by the Academy but were egregiously snubbed out of certain categories -- here's a quick hit list:

  • Best Supporting Actress - Kathryn Hunter - The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Best Supporting Actor - Mike Faist - West Side Story
  • Best Actor - Hideotoshi Nishijima - Drive My Car
  • Best Actress - Renate Reinsve - The Worst Person in the World
  • Best Director - Denis Villeneuve - Dune
  • Best Picture - The Lost Daughter

And so the list inevitably goes on. I'm sure I missed a ton of stuff, but this hopefully I called out a few great things, too. There is no way to nominate everything we liked without taking a nomination away from someone else and expanding only waters down the prestige. Overall, this year avoided some of the most egregious atrocities, which is an improvement upon most years! Oh wait... let me take that back, I just reminded myself again that Villeneuve was snubbed for Best Director. Nevermind, the Oscars are dumb.

Isaac: I've got quite a few here to be honest. First of all the Villeneuve Director snub is about as egregious as it gets. But I've beaten that point pretty good up to now. So, I'll say I'm very disappointed in the exclusion of 3 movies primarily, and by that I mean they didn't get a damn thing. Pig is one of my favorite movies of the year and boasts an outstanding Nicolas Cage in it. The film is equally touching, heartbreaking, and introspective all in one. Its phenomenal to watch and Cage is on the top of his game, he should of been in the mix for Best Actor this year. Second is the pure disdain the Academy has for Titane. The Palme d'Or winner was completely blanked on everything and to not even include Julia Ducournau in Best Director or even the movie in Best International Feature Film is bizarre. Sure the movie might not be the Academy's speed but in terms of sheer craftsmenship and filmmaking, its hard to ignore what Titane has accomplished. On that note I think Vincent Lindon deserved to be in the Best Supporting Actor category as well, and throw in a Best Original Screenplay for Ducournau because I know you've never seen a movie about someone getting pregnant from a car. Lastly, another one of my favorite movies of the year was The Green Knight by the incredible David Lowery. The Cinematography was nothing short of exquisite and Andrew Droz Palermo absolutely should be lauded for his work. Not to mention adapting an anonymously written 14th century epic poem into a full blown film that is actually amazing has to be on the same level as what Villeneuve did with Dune. But Dune is in Best Adapted Screenplay and The Green Knight isn't. Make it make sense please.

flee Flee [2021]

We Haven't Talked Enough About...

Isaac: LOL I'm looking at what I wrote for last year's Oscars and I'm just going to copy and paste it and tweak it a bit, you'll see what I'm getting at. Ok here it is:

The David and Goliath matchup of Wolfwalkers The Mitchells vs. The Machines and Flee vs. basically Pixar. Pixar is a dominant presence to be amongst in the Best Animated Film category for one film. But now Pixar has TWO one nominated film that could win on Sunday in Onward and Soul Luca. Soul, the front runner of the night Luca, would bring Pixar its 11th 12th Best Animated Film Oscar since its conception in 2002:

Title Year
Finding Nemo 2003
The Incredibles 2004
Ratatouille 2007
WALL-E 2008
Up 2009
Toy Story 3 2010
Brave 2012
Inside Out 2015
Coco 2017
Toy Story 4 2019
Soul 2021

Ok that's what I had last year for Pixar, but now throw in the mix Disney having 3 films up for the award, Raya and the Last Dragon, Luca and Encanto and we have ourselves a homogeneous category. The reason I say that is every time Pixar or Disney gets in the fight, they win. Almost every time, I think last year I mentioned Pixar wins 76% of the time they have a nominated film, but now think about when Pixar loses if Disney as a solo production wins. I understand Pixar and Disney make fantastic films, however we have 2 brand spankin new films that took chances and did something new. Hell Flee is nominated for 3 different Feature Film awards and might lose all three??? That's just ridiculous. The Academy needs to start awarding these groundbreaking films and stop picking the same old Pixar/Disney films.

On that note, I can't wait to copy and paste this again next year when Pixar probably wins for Turning Red (which I actually enjoyed immensely so idk what I'm talking about).

Hopster: Have we talked enough about how ABC strongarmed the Academy into cutting several of the craft categories from this year's telecast. The awards will still be given prior to the ceremony, but the goal in offlauding these categories is to trim the show in the hopes of holding viewership and using that time to instead to other things -- like musical performances, comedy bits, and montages. As a refresher, here are the categories that won't be televised:

  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Sound
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Documentary Short Subject
  • Best Animated Short Film
  • Best Live Action Short Film

WTF these are some of the best categories. Those 10 million or so Oscar-stans live for these craft categories. Instead of finding a way to make these categories more interesting or more engaging for the middle-of-the-road viewer, they opted to cut them altogether. What a lazy, cowardice decision. I can understand tweaking the broadcast because of financial considerations, but this is lackadaisical bullshit.

passing Passing [2021]

Something We Are All Overlooking

Hopster: We've beaten this point into the ground over the course of our preview these past few weeks (so maybe we aren't overlooking this topic at all), but I want to circle back to it once more: Netflix could win Best Picture. This is something they've been in pursuit of since 2015:

  • Beasts of No Nation (2015)
  • Okja (2017)
  • The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)
  • Roma (2018)
  • The Irishman (2019)
  • Marriage Story (2019)
  • Da 5 Bloods (2020)
  • The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)
  • Hillbilly Elegy (2020)
  • Mank (2020)
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2020)
  • Pieces of a Woman (2021)
  • The Harder They Fall (2021)
  • Passing (2021)
  • Tick, Tick... Boom! (2021)
  • The Power of the Dog (2021)
  • Don't Look Up (2021)

This list is a mixed bag but all in all, it's pretty eclectic and certainly Oscar-y, don't you think? At least five of these films might've won Best Picture if things broke differently. They've made a concerted effort to partner with some of the best filmmakers working in the industry, and they've invested in projects that don't necessarily reflect mainstream, populist cinema. What is fascinating is that despite this incessant chase for critical acclaim in these projects, Netflix could lose to Apple tonight if CODA is triumphant. Somewhere in some boujie 5-star hotel room, Ted Sarandos is sipping his coffee, calling his producers and plotting his next stab at Best Picture should The Power of the Dog fall short tonight. That pursuit may very well end tonight, but I have a feeling he and his media conglomerate are in this for the long haul now.

Isaac: Jane Campion is the first woman to be nominated twice for the Best Director Oscar. First nominated in 1993 for The Piano, but losing to Steven Spielberg, isn't it insane how low the bar is for groundbreaking achievements for the Academy? Its nice that they're working to address these issues but we can't really be that impressed when the record for most Best Director Oscars won is held by John Ford (1935, 1940, 1941, 1952). Not to mention there are countless men that have more than one Best Director win (and thus nomination duh):

  • (2) Lewis Milestone (1928, 1930)
  • (2) Frank Borzag (1928, 1932)
  • (2) Frank Lloyd (1929, 1933)
  • (2) Leo McCarey (1937, 1944)
  • (2) Billy Wilder (1945, 1960)
  • (2) Elia Kazan (1947, 1954)
  • (2) Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1949, 1950)
  • (2) George Stevens (1951, 1956)
  • (2) Fred Zinnemann (1953, 1966)
  • (2) David Lean (1957, 1962)
  • (2) Robert Wise (1961, 1965)
  • (2) Milos Forman (1975, 1984)
  • (2) Oliver Stone (1986, 1989)
  • (2) Clint Eastwood (1992, 2004)
  • (2) Steven Spielberg (1993, 1998)
  • (2) Ang Lee (2005, 2012)
  • (2) Alejandro González Iñárritu (2014, 2015)
  • (3) Frank Capra (1934, 1936, 1938)
  • (3) William Wyler (1942, 1946, 1959)

Last year was the first year in Oscars history that two women were even nominated in Best Director in the same year. And this year should've been the second straight year but they snubbed Julia Ducournau, which is upsetting me still.

licorice pizza 1 Licorice Pizza [2021]

An Obvious Frontrunner We're Cheering For

Hopster: On Wednesday, I called back to my angst from last year about how David Fincher directed the movie with the most nominations (my beloved Mank) but walked away Oscar-less yet again. This year, Licorice Pizza, which was written and directed by the great Paul Thomas Anderson, is in the same zone that Mank was last year -- it is more than likely that the film will be shut out and PTA will remain Oscar-less, much like Fincher. With only three Oscar nominations to its name, the odds of it winning are slim (especially because it's competing for some of the top prizes, including Best Director and Best Picture). However, Anderson is still the betting favorite to win Best Original Screenplay as of Saturday, and while I wouldn't exactly cast him as "an obvious frontrunner," I will be rooting for him on Sunday night. Elsewhere, a win for Troy Kotsur could be one of the most emotional wins of the evening -- not to mention what could be an all-time great moment that simply needs to happen -- the coronation of Will Smith. Let's not miss on this, please.

Isaac: Troy Kotsur!!!!!!! Ever since I watched CODA, I have been enamored with Kotsur. Heder and co-star Marlee Matlin are always sending out videos of Kotsur just being an affable and genuine human, and I can't think of a better person to become the first deaf person to win an Oscar. Its these groundbreaking moments that you wait for in the film world.

drive my car Drive My Car [2021]

A Pleasant Surprise Would Be...

Hopster: Drive My Car is a lock for winning Best International Feature Film, and yet, the idea of it not winning elsewhere might feel like a letdown. Like Licorice Pizza, the few other nominations it picked up are in categories with some of this ceremony's odds-on juggernauts: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture are most likely going to either CODA or the The Power of the Dog. But wouldn't it be fun if Drive My Car crashed this party and pulled out an unexpected win? It's not impossible, and I'd love to see Hamaguchi get on stage on more time.

Isaac: Flee to win literally anything. A movie as incredible as Flee and also the achievement of being literally the definition of genre-bending with nominations in Best International, Best Documentary, and Best Animated Feature Film deserves to take home some hardware. The problem is that its the underdog in every single one of these categories. Flee has become the underdog darling of the Oscars this year due to its critical acclaim yet underdog status in every category its nominated in. I would absolutely adore it winning something, literally anything.

parellelmothers Parallel Mothers [2021]

The Out-of-Nowhere Upset(s) We're Monitoring

Hopster: Best Actress is a complete shit show, as we know and have discussed. None of these nominees were recognized at the BAFTAs, and none of these performances came from a film nomianted or Best Picture. In many ways, this is probably one of the most unpredictable acting categories we've ever seen at the Acadmey Awards Current frontrunner, Jessica Chastain, has only a 58% chance of winning according to current oddsmakers, which in Oscars-terms means the category is in the 'anything can happen' zone. For the sake of chaos, I'm ready to embrace @Isaac's defense for why Penélope Cruz could (and maybe should) win here. Pedro Almodóvar's Parallel Mothers captures Cruz at her best -- she pulls off a nuanced performance and carries the movie from start to finish. There's steady buzz that her late season surge is absolutely real and her winning would prove to be the ultimate sleeper pick of the night.

Isaac: I'm grinding my teeth writing this but... Don't Look Up winning not only Best Original Screnplay but also Best Picture. Literally every other movie in Best Screenplay is more deserving, but if there's a time for the Academy to care about a climate change allegory movie, it'll be some Adam McKay shit. The same applies to Best Picture. The Academy hears the whispers about picking CODA or The Power of the Dog, and they find some sort of morality where they care about climate change so much that they vote for this McKay crap. I really wouldn't put it past them to love Leo so much even though it's one of his worst movies they vote for it. I'm upset -- I'm this angry just thinking about it.

the tragedy of macbeth The Tragedy of Macbeth [2021]

The Technical Achievement of the Year Is...

Isaac: Thinking of a couple things right now. First is the makeup and hairstyling of The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Making Jessica Chastain look the way she looked while emulating a real life figure is astounding. Not to mention the makeup on Andrew Garfield was pretty incredible as well! All of the Best Cinematography nominees are fantastic, and the camera continues to push the bounds of human imagination, especially in auteur style films like The Tragedy of Macbeth. Lastly, even though it wasn't nominated for anything (ridiculous I know), the visual effects of The Matrix: Resurrections are sheer brilliance. It's a tightly crafted film that looks and sounds like the original on steroids. In my mind it was worthy of a nomination over some of these other films (cough Spider-Man: No Way Home cough).

Hopster: Let me just say, I'm utterlfy flabbergasted that of all times for @Isaac to just not talk about his adopted film-child, Dune, it's here!!! What in the shit is happening?!! For days that's all he's talked about. Dune this, Dune that, Dune is the best, Dune Dune Dune. And now, when we're talking about technical achievements, he has nothing to say?! An outlandish choice to say the least. Here's the thing though: he's been right the whole time (except for now, of course). The argument for Dune winning Best Picture is inextricably tied to its excellence in craft, and the coalescence of all its below the line execution makes it the technical achievement of the year bar none.

Isaac: I like to sprinkle the love around sometimes Hop OK?

Buckley The Lost Daughter [2021]

Our Favorite Performance(s) of the Year

Isaac: I've been a big proponent of Pig since I witnessed Nicolas Cage's stellar performance in it, and it has to be one of my favorite performances of the year. On top of that, I was also amazed by Alicia Vikander's dual performance in The Green Knight. Definitely in my books as a snub (two snubs?) Vikander delivered some of the best moments of the film, especially in her ardor speech to Gawain (Dev Patel). Additionally, Kathryn Hunter who played the witches in The Tragedy of Macbeth put on a fantastic triple performance! She not only manipulated her voice in a slew of ways but also put on a physical performance of acrobatic proportions that cemented the slow burning anxiety of Macbeth dealing with the witches in the first place.

Hopster: I probably say this every year, but wow this was an exceptional year of acting at the movies. In fact, rather than limit myself to listing out just a few, check back in the next week or two for a recap that will be an extensive list of our favorite performances from the year...

In the meantime, let me just sing the praise for Hideotoshi Nishijima and his extraordinary work in Drive My Car -- it's a towering performance that confidently carries the load of a three-hour road drama that hinges on the slow-burning reveal of characters and their cryptic conversations. And one more dual shout-out to Olivia Colman and Jessie Buckley for their lock-and-key co-personification of a single character in The Lost Daughter, which is a dream casting paired with two dynamic performers.

dune Dune [2021]

I'd Pick This Best Picture Nominee...

Hopster: My pick would be Drive My Car.

Isaac: I'm picking Dune, and I think at this point you're tired of me saying it.

Hopster: Yo, Dune was sick tho.

Isaac: ur sick <3

drive my car 4 Drive My Car [2021]

One Last Shout-Out

Hopster: Sending good vibes to Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, and Amy Schumer for tonight! Their ability to draw in viewers and hold the audience is a key to the success of the show and could set precendence for how hosts manage the show going forward. The Oscars have been host-less for a few years now, and I think the ratings reflect that. If this trio delivers an entertaining show, it could go a loooong way for improving the cultural relevancy of the Academy going forward. Cheers to their success!

Isaac: Massive shout out to Samuel L. Jackson who received his honorary Oscar this weekend and had it presented to him by the one and only Denzel Washington! The moment was nothing short of beautiful and Jackson had a wonderful speech. He then proceeded to geek out with his friend Denzel who shared in his joy. It was a tremendous moment for one of the most well known actors for the past I don't even know, 40 years or something, and I would've loved to have seen it in the actual Oscars broadcast.

More Articles to Satiate the Soul:

Our Oscars Preview - Best Picture

Our Oscars Preview - Best Picture

Our Oscars Preview - The Acting Categories

Our Oscars Preview - The Acting Categories

Our Oscars Preview - The Acting Categories

Our Oscars Preview - Writing and Directing

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