Upcoming TFO Awards Editions

Hello, TFO readers!

As you can notice, my blog only comes to life during Oscar season. As of the ongoing features of this blog, well, they’re not really that ongoing.

The last post for Beyond the Ballot was way back in July of last year. I loved that semi-project of mine, but there’s a lot that happened (and did not happen) to me last year that I lost any drive continuing. Not the project, but writing as well as in my other endeavors.

The last edition of the TFO Awards, honoring excellence in film for the year 2015, was finished June of last year. That was a thrilling, if exhausting ordeal to go through 234 films to look for the best of 2015. I don’t think I could do that herculean task again, given that I’m also fighting with time. Who would care about 2016 in film if I do it in 2019?

But I do that for self-closure. I also need to accept the fact that films are not my top priority anymore, and if I want to continue loving it, I need to not turn my film watching experience into a chore. That’s a passion killer.

I also cannot commit anymore to complicated video presentations like what I did during the 6th TFO Awards; it takes A LOT of time and effort.

With that, I’ve set up a long-term viewing plan that would help me close the gap between the year in film celebrated in the TFO Awards and the actual year. It is going to involve non-hectic but careful strategy so that I could finish 2016 soon and then move on with the other years in film.

Here’s what’s going to be the plan:

  • 8th TFO Awards (2016): around December 2019
  • 9th TFO Awards (2017): around June 2020
  • 10th TFO Awards (2018): around December 2020
  • 11th TFO Awards (2019): around June 2021
  • 12th TFO Awards (2020): around December 2021
  • 13th TFO Awards (2021): around August 2022

So basically, I have four years to wrap up six years in film without the unhealthy cramming of films to watch. The estimated number of films to be watched are kept at a relatively logical level so as not to interrupt the more important things in life (work, figure skating, mental health, etc.).

This 2019, the plan will involve watching mostly 2016 films but also giving time to films of 2017 and 2018 for an easier transition. The plan will also allow any interruptions in the viewing plan due to films from other years, urgent matters, among others.

If you’re still reading, I’m so sorry that this drought in my blog happened. Sucks that this blog will be celebrating its tenth anniversary to sparse and usually unattended blog posts.

I have apologized to you a lot of times now and will continue to do so.

This blog has become an integral part of my growth as an avid filmgoer to becoming a film student to actually graduating.

I hope this is not the final post of The Final Oscar.

Are you still there? Anyone?

.


Juan Carlos Ojano
The Final Oscar

Advertisements

91st Academy Awards – FINAL PREDICTIONS

These are my final predictions for this year’s Academy Awards. With a crazy year like this (and I mean it, crazy), instead of just picking a winner and a spoiler, I will rank all the nominees per category.

Anything could happen, anyone could win (well, maybe except Original Song, but more on that later). I’ll work my way from the shorts, tech categories, and then to the major categories.

.

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Four films about children in terrible situations. Would that benefit Marguerite, being the sole nominee about the elderly, or will Skin prevail given its timely subject?

WINNER: Skin
SPOILER: Marguerite
3. Detainment
4. Fauve
5. Mother

.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Like in the case of Live Action Short Film category, four of these films are harrowing films, from disturbing (A Night in the Garden, Black Sheep) to downright heartbreaking (Lifeboat, End Game). With that, I think Period. End of Sentence. will stick out.

WINNER: Period. End of Sentence.
SPOILER: Lifeboat
3. End Game
4. Black Sheep
5. A Night in the Garden

.

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
What else to say? Bao seems to have the most exposure from these nominees. Being a Pixar film helps in this category.

WINNER: Bao
SPOILER: Late Afternoon
3. Weekends
4. One Small Step
5. Animal Behavior

.

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
This might be Vice’s only solid chance for a win.

WINNER: Vice
SPOILER: Mary Queen of Scots
3. Border

.

VISUAL EFFECTS
Assumed frontrunner Black Panther wasn’t even nominated here. Would the love transfer to Avengers: Infinity War or would First Man prevail in a trend that hinges towards Best Picture nominees as well as contenders that didn’t make it to a nomination?

WINNER: First Man
SPOILER: Avengers: Infinity War
3. Ready Player One
4. Solo: A Star Wars Story
5. Christopher Robin

.

COSTUME DESIGN
I believe Ruth Carter is bound to make history as the first African-American winner in this category for Black Panther. Otherwise, perennial favorite Sandy Powell might just take another Oscar for The Favourite.

WINNER: Black Panther
SPOILER: The Favourite
3. Mary Queen of Scots
4. Mary Poppins Returns
5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

.

PRODUCTION DESIGN
I’m changing my predictions at the last minute and say that The Favourite trumps over Black Panther.

WINNER: The Favourite
SPOILER: Black Panther
3. First Man
4. Mary Poppins Returns
5. Roma

.

ORIGINAL SONG
I think this is the only chance where they could reward A Star Born, and the Academy does not have much reason to miss it. Finally, Lady Gaga would be an Oscar winner already.

WINNER: “Shallow” – A Star is Born
SPOILER: “I’ll Fight” – RBG
3. “All the Stars” – Black Panther
4. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns
5. “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

.

ORIGINAL SCORE
Total tossup. When the clear frontrunner and favorite to win is not even nominated (that snub for First Man still hurts; Justin Hurwitz is a genius), and the selected films all have things going for and against them, this is where surprise usually happens. Only once has the winner come from a non-Best Picture nominee since the preferential ballot (and that was the music legend Ennio Morricone). With that, who to pick? I’ll go with the score that has passionate supporters, but I’m still not sure.

WINNER: If Beale Street Could Talk
SPOILER: BlacKkKlansman
3. Black Panther
4. Mary Poppins Returns
5. Isle of Dogs

.

SOUND EDITING
Another place to honor Black Panther. Otherwise, it’s A Quiet Place or First Man. Not Bohemian Rhapsody, I hope.

WINNER: Black Panther
SPOILER: A Quiet Place
3. First Man
4. Bohemian Rhapsody – if this wins (sigh) it could win Best Picture too.
5. Roma

.

SOUND MIXING
Oh, gosh. Win # 1 for Bohemian Rhapsody. Or maybe Black Panther.

WINNER: Bohemian Rhapsody
SPOILER: Black Panther
3. A Star is Born
4. First Man
5. Roma – if this wins, it also wins Best Picture.

.

FILM EDITING
Win # 2 for Bohemian Rhapsody. It pains me. Vice has a chance given this category tends to go with Most Editing, but yeah, let’s call it a win for Bo Rhap.

WINNER: Bohemian Rhapsody
SPOILER: Vice
3. The Favourite
4. BlacKkKlansman
5. Green Book – if this wins, it also wins Best Picture.

.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
ASC aside, this is Roma’s to lose.

WINNER: Roma
SPOILER: Cold War – if this wins, Roma won’t win Best Picture.
3. The Favourite
4. A Star is Born
5. Never Look Away

.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Roma should win this in a heartbeat, given the over-all support and exposure it has within Academy members, as proven by its ten nominations. But yeah, Cold War is a legitimate threat.

WINNER: Mexico – Roma
SPOILER: Poland – Cold War – if this wins, Roma’s chances for Best Picture win is narrow.
3. Japan – Shoplifters – remember when Japan surprised a win in 2008?
4. Lebanon – Capernaum
5. Germany – Never Look Away

.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
It’s a battle between the big-screen experience (Free Solo) versus the timely subject (RBG).

WINNER: Free Solo
SPOILER: RBG
3. Minding the Gap
4. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
5. Of Fathers and Sons

.

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
It’s good that Pixar is getting Animated Short because Spider-Verse is taking this one. The nomination was the hurdle; it would be a true shocker if it doesn’t win.

WINNER: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
SPOILER: Incredibles 2
3. Isle of Dogs
4. Mirai
5. Ralph Breaks the Internet

.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Congratulations to Spike Lee for his first ever competitive Oscar.

WINNER: BlacKkKlansman – if this doesn’t win, then the film stands no chance winning Best Picture.
SPOILER: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
3. If Beale Street Could Talk
4. A Star is Born
5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Common sense would most probably dictate that Green Book’s well-beloved status will push it for a Screenplay win, but with a screenplay so showy and undeniable as The Favourite, I don’t know. Aside from the questionable Argo win (in Adapted, nonetheless), Screenplay categories don’t usually default with the assumed frontrunners unless those are also writing heavyweights.

WINNER: The Favourite
SPOILER: Green Book – if this wins, then it’s on its way for a Best Picture win.
3. Vice
4. Roma – if this happens, then it also takes Best Picture.
5. First Reformed

.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The only acting category that was swept by the frontrunner.

WINNER: Mahershala Ali – Green Book
SPOILER: Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
LONGSHOT POSSIBILITY: Sam Elliott – A Star is Born
4. Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
5. Sam Rockwell – Vice

.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
If Supporting Actor is crystal clear, this one is still up for grabs. Two lead performances, two de facto frontrunners and two potential surprise winners.

WINNER: Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
SPOILER: Rachel Weisz – The Favourite
LONGSHOT POSSIBILITY: Marina de Tavira – Roma
SHE STILL CAN, BUT LONGSHOT: Amy Adams – Vice
5. Emma Stone – The Favourite

.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Oh, dear. Win # 3 (or 4) for Bohemian Rhapsody.

WINNER: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
SPOILER # 1: Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
SPOILER # 2: Christian Bale – Vice
4. Viggo Mortensen – Green Book
5. Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate

.

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
After seven losses, Glenn Close finally wins an Oscar and she deserves it based on the performance alone. Piss off, haters.

WINNER: Glenn Close – The Wife
SPOILER: Olivia Colman – The Favourite
LONGSHOT POSSIBILITY: Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
I MEAN…. IT COULD HAPPEN: Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
5. Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

.

DIRECTING
If anyone aside from Cuaron wins this, Roma’s not winning Best Picture.

WINNER: Alfonso Cuaron – Roma
SPOILER: Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
3. Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
4. Adam McKay – Vice
5. Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War

.

PICTURE
You can make a case for the top seven nominees (sadly). All of them benefit from the preferential ballot. Therefore, the rankings in every Oscar ballot matter. We’re here now, so let’s take a dive.

WINNER: Roma
2. Green Book
3. BlacKkKlansman
4. Black Panther
5. Bohemian Rhapsody
6. A Star is Born
7. The Favourite
8. Vice

You know what? I also question that ranking. Who knows who will win?

Bohemian Rhapsody / The Favourite / Green Book / Vice (2018)

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY [2018, D+] – Horrendously shot. Haphazardly edited. Despicably written. Absent of any attempt of a coherently told narrative and not just band worship. Goes through Freddie’s life with lack of insight. Malek tries. Live Aid works. Of course, the music’s great.

.

THE FAVOURITE [2018, A-/B+] – Lanthimos’ sharp, eclectic eye relishes wonderfully mapped triangular farce. Leads go all in with performances; digs deep, goes all out. Paces itself with measured brilliance. Slowly builds tragicomedy with masterful precision. Earns that finale.

.

GREEN BOOK [2018, B] – Guilty of occasionally simplifying its themes for the sake of maintaining feel-good feel. Realizes strength in its terrific leads, adding much-needed nuance. I bought the characters’ symbiotic growth. There are shortcomings, but why the overhate?

.

VICE [2018, B/B+] – Admittedly unhinged at times, but full of conviction. Shouts with a single-minded voice. Unsubtle, but storytelling embraces that spirit. Cast delivers terrific work. Props for focusing on a character that the film itself disdains. An angry film that enrages.

.

So far, here are my Best Picture nominees ranking:

  1. The Favourite
  2. A Star is Born
  3. Vice
  4. Green Book
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody

Left to watch: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Roma

FINAL PREDICTIONS: 91st Academy Awards – ALL 24 CATEGORIES

BEST PICTURE

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • A Star is Born
    if 6, add: The Favourite
    if 7, add: Vice
    if 8, add: Bohemian Rhapsody
    if 9, add: If Beale Street Could Talk
    —– I’m predicting 9 —–
    if 10, add: First Man

Alt: Mary Poppins Returns, Crazy Rich Asians, A Quiet Place, Leave No Trace, Eighth Grade, First Reformed, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Cold War

I just need to admit that Bohemian Rhapsody is happening. First Man is hanging in there because of the technical support for the film. Beale Street is in danger.

BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING

  • Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
  • Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
  • Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born

alt: Ryan Coogler – Black Panther, Peter Farrelly – Green Book, Adam McKay – Vice, Damien Chazelle – First Man, Debra Granik – Leave No Trace, Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
  • Glenn Close – The Wife
  • Olivia Colman – The Favourite
  • Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
  • Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alt: Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Viola Davis (Widows), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Rosamund Pike (A Private War), Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), Regina Hall (Support the Girls), Julia Roberts (Ben is Back), Saoirse Ronan (Mary Queen of Scots), Charlize Theron (Tully), Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians), Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Kindergarten Teacher), Kathryn Hahn (Private Life), Felicity Jones (On the Basis of Sex), Keira Knightley (Colette), Joanna Kulig (Cold War), Kiki Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), Carey Mulligan (Wildlife), Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give)

Definitely the most stacked of all the acting categories. Aparicio’s my wildcard pick for a surprise. McCarthy would’ve been my wildcard snub pick, but who to put in? Anything could happen, and I love it. Yes to more female lead roles in films!

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Christian Bale – Vice
  • Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
  • Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Viggo Mortensen – Green Book
  • John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman

alt: Ethan Hawke – First Reformed, Ryan Gosling – First Man, Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate, Lucas Hedges – Boy Erased

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Amy Adams – Vice
  • Claire Foy – First Man
  • Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Emma Stone – The Favourite
  • Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

alt: Marina de Tavira – Roma, Emily Blunt – A Quiet Place, Michelle Yeoh – Crazy Rich Asians, Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots, Thomasin McKenzie – Leave No Trace, Linda Cardellini – Green Book

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Mahershala Ali – Green Book
  • Timothée Chalamet – Beautiful Boy
  • Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
  • Sam Elliott – A Star is Born
  • Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

alt: Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther, Sam Rockwell – Vice, Nicholas Hoult – The Favourite

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • The Favourite
  • First Reformed
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • Vice

alt: Eighth Grade, Sorry to Bother You, A Quiet Place, Private Life

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • The Death of Stalin
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • A Star is Born

alt: Black Panther, First Man, Crazy Rich Asians, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Leave No Trace, The Hate U Give

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mirai
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse

alt: Early Man, Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, The Grinch, Ruben Brandt Collector

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • Free Solo
  • RBG
  • Shirkers
  • Three Identical Strangers
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

alt: Minding the Gap, Crime + Punishment, Hale County This Morning This Evening, The Silence of Others, On Her Shoulders, The Distant Barking of Dogs, Of Fathers and Sons, Charm City, Communion, Dark Money

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • South Korea – Burning
  • Lebanon – Capernaum
  • Poland – Cold War
  • Mexico – Roma
  • Shoplifters – Japan

alt: Denmark – The Guilty, Germany – Never Look Away, Colombia – Birds of Passage, Kazakhsatan – Ayka

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Cold War
  • The Favourite
  • First Man
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Roma

alt: A Star is Born, Black Panther, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Annihilation, Mary Poppins Returns

BEST FILM EDITING

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • First Man
  • Roma
  • A Star is Born

alt: The Favourite, Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, Vice, BlackKkKlansman, Widows, Mission: Impossible – Fallout

BEST SOUND MIXING

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • First Man
  • A Quiet Place
  • Roma

alt: A Star is Born, Mary Poppins Returns, Annihilation, Ready Player One

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • Black Panther
  • First Man
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout
  • A Quiet Place
  • Roma

alt: Annihilation, Bohemian Rhapsody, Ready Player One, Avengers: Infinity War

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Black Panther
  • First Man
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mary Poppins Returns

alt: BlacKkKlansman, A Quiet Place, Annihilation, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Ready Player One, The Death of Stalin

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • “All the Stars” – Black Panther
  • “I’ll Fight” – RBG
  • “Revelation” – Boy Erased
  • “Shallow” – A Star is Born
  • “Trip A Little Light Fantastic” – Mary Poppins Returns

alt: “The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns, “Girl at the Movies”- Dumplin’, “We Won’t Move” – The Hate U Give, “Keep Reachin’” – Quincy, “Suspirium” – Suspiria

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Black Panther
  • The Favourite
  • First Man
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Roma

alt: If Beale Street Could Talk, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, A Quiet Place, Crazy Rich Asians

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Mary Queen of Scots

alt: Crazy Rich Asians, A Star is Born, If Beale Street Could Talk, BlacKkKlansman

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Black Panther
  • First Man
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Ready Player One

alt: Welcome to Marwen, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Christopher Robin

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Border

alt: Vice, Suspiria, Stan & Ollie, Mary Queen of Scots

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • Age of Sail
  • Bao
  • Bilby
  • Late Afternoon
  • Weekends

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

  • Black Sheep
  • My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes
  • A Night at the Garden
  • Period. End of Sentence.
  • Zion

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

  • Caroline
  • Detainment
  • Marguerite
  • Skin
  • Wale

2018 in Film Watching

2018 was not the best year I’ve had, and same goes with my film watching.

This year, I have watched 167 films.

Here are the number of films I have watched throughout the years:

2018: 167
2017: 195
2016: 149
2015: 171
2014: 255

Here are the best and worst films I have watched during the past year:

BEST: Call Me by Your Name (2017) [A] – watched on January 22

“Relaxed yet thrilling. Organic yet incisive. Meandering yet controlled. Felt every emotional beat. Hammer mystifying, Stuhlbarg touching, Chalamet heart-shattering. Sensual, tangible, complete. Ending cornered me, and then broke me. Feels perfect.”

 

WORST: Spectre (2015) [C-] – watched on January 1

“How to make James Bond boring? Drab visuals, insipid characters, distant narrative. Had a brilliant opening, but I reached a point where I just stopped caring. There’s seriously a problem when Sam Smith’s less-than-thrilling theme is not the worst part of it.”

 

What are your favorite film viewing experiences this past years? Share your thoughts below. Have a wonderful new year of more film watching!