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The term “Oscar Bait” exists for a reason: 2019 Oscar Nominees Announced

The term “Oscar Bait” exists for a reason: 2019 Oscar Nominees Announced

The Academy loves vaguely liberal, vaguely socially conscious and highly self-aggrandizing movies about the power of cinema to make the world better.

Maybe the best entertainment drama of the year thus far has been watching the Oscars squirm their way through bouts of relevancy.

Over the summer, it was announced by the Academy of Motion Pictures that the next awards season would introduce the decried “achievement in popular film” category that many film fans lambasted as the end of cinema as an art form. It was a stupid, cynical call to try and help the Oscars maintain relevancy as ratings drop with every yearly broadcast. Then, of course, Kevin Harte was forced to step down as the host of the Oscars when homophobic jokes he made years ago surfaced. The academy demanded an apology. In turn, Harte stood on principle and declined the offer to host.

The resulting void has lead to a lot of speculation as to who will actually be hosting the awards next month. I’ve seen progressive film fans suggest anyone from Hannah Gatsby to a CGI Paddington Bear being suggested to host the Oscars. At this point, it’s anyone’s guess. The Vegas odds are on someone progressive and safe, given that the two last years hosted by Jimmy Kimmel has skewed far left.

In most regards, the Academy Awards is an aging, self-serious ceremony that mostly exists for Hollywood to reward itself. The voting base responsible for selecting Oscar nominees and winners is a distant hivemind of elderly filmmakers whose filmgoing preferences don’t reflect hardly any semblance of the population at large. Casual moviegoing fans who enjoy blockbusters, conservatives who miss Golden age Hollywood mythmaking and progressives seeking far left diverse protest films all tend to dislike the Academy Awards’ selection tendencies.

The term “Oscar Bait” exists for a reason. The Academy loves vaguely liberal, vaguely socially conscious and highly self-aggrandizing movies about the power of cinema to make the world better. As YouTuber MatPat once put it, the most Oscar-ish film ever conceived would be a movie about how Hollywood helped stop the Holocaust.

In any case, Tuesday morning brought the announcement of this year’s nominees for the Academy Awards. As I look at this year’s list I’m primarily going to focus on the major awards. As someone who has worked behind the scenes in the film industry, I can attest that technical awards are largely a formality. Most any sound editor or costume designer will tell you that the best examples of their craft are the quietest and seamless films where you don’t notice the work put into them. Counterintuitively, technical awards tend to go to films where the technical aspects of the filmmaking are most evident or they get shoveled off on studio blockbusters that most people in the academy don’t bother to watch. This year the awards ceremony is supposed to be presenting more of these awards during commercial breaks to shorten the broadcast. If the Academy doesn’t take them seriously I won’t either.

The biggest sweeps thus far in nominations are Roma, Blackkklansman, The Favourite, A Star is Born, and Green Book. None of these are surprising. The latter two films seem pretty appropriately suited to Oscar sensibilities. The former two are natural picks given their progressive themes (black identity and LGBTQ themes, respectively). The only real upset is Roma which was speculated would wind up being relegated in the foreign language film category. Given that it’s widely regarded by the film press as one of the best films of the year it’s not surprising it got a proper Best Picture nomination.

Black Panther is, of course, a best picture nominee, because of course it is. The last several years of Academy Awards have been inundated by the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. If the Academy hadn’t given the movie a best picture nomination, progressive film buffs would never let them hear the end of it. That isn’t to say that the film is bad. As far as I’m concerned it’s the best solo Marvel film since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It is a somewhat cynical nomination regardless.

There are some notable absences. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, First Reformed, The Other Side of the Wind, Eighth Grade and Annihilation were all missing off of the Best Picture/Best Director categories (the first two did receive Screenplay nominations). Won’t You Be My Neighbor noticeably didn’t get much love in the Documentaries category. They Shall Not Grow Old, unfortunately, wasn’t valid for awards this season because it released too late in the year for too short a time. Naturally, though the documentary on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg made the cut.

I’m eagerly awaiting the imminent controversies that are going to consume this Award season build up. The last several years of broadcasts have hemorrhaged viewership in proportion to the awards willingness to delve into overt politicization. We’re still waiting on who will end up hosting the ceremony this year and it’s likely that the more overtly progressive films will end up getting snubbed arbitrarily. If Green Room won Best Picture over Blackkklansman or Roma the sheer number of far left heads that would explode would be a sight to see. In any case, the drama will certainly be far more entertaining than the actual ceremony!

Full Nominees List:

Best Picture: Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favorite, Green Book, Roma, A Star is Born, Vice

Best Director: Spike Lee Blackkklansman, Pawel Pawlikowski Cold War, Yorgos Lanthimos The Favourite, Alfonso Cuarón Roma, Adam McKay Vice


Best Adapted Screenplay: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, BlacKkKlansman, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Star Is Born

Best Original Screenplay: First Reformed, Green Book, Roma, The Favourite, Vice

Best Foreign Language Film: Capernaum, Cold War, Never Look Away, Roma, Shoplifters

Best Animated Feature Film: Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Documentary Feature: Free Solo, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, Minding the Gap, Of Fathers and Sons, RBG

Best Documentary Short: Black Sheep, End Game, Lifeboat, A Night at the Garden, Period. End of Sentence.

Best Animated Short Film: Animal Behaviour, Bao, Late Afternoon, One Small Step, Weekends

Best Live Action Short Film: Detainment, Fauve, Marguerite, Mother, Skin


Best Actor in a Leading Role: Christian Bale Vice, Bradley Cooper A Star Is Born, Willem Dafoe At Eternity’s Gate, Rami Malek Bohemian Rhapsody, Viggo Mortensen Green Book

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Yalitza Aparicio Roma, Glenn Close The Wife, Lady Gaga A Star Is Born, Olivia Colman The Favourite, Melissa McCarthy Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams Vice, Marina de Tavira Roma, Regina King If Beale Street Could Talk, Emma Stone The Favourite, Rachel Weisz The Favourite

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali Green Book, Adam Driver BlackKKlansman, Sam Elliott A Star Is Born, Richard E. Grant Can You Ever Forgive Me, Sam Rockwell Vice


Best Production Design: Black Panther, The Favourite, First Man, Mary Poppins Returns, Roma

Best Cinematography: Cold War, The Favourite, Never Look Away, Roma, A Star Is Born

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Border, Mary Queen of Scots, Vice

Best Costume Design: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Black Panther, The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns, Mary Queen of Scots

Best Film Editing: Blackkklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, The Favourite, Vice

Best Sound Editing: A Quiet Place, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, Roma

Best Sound Mixing: Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, Roma, A Star Is Born

Best Visual Effects: Avengers: Infinity War, Christopher Robin, First Man, Ready Player One, Solo: A Star Wars Story

Best Original Score: Black Panther, Blackkklansman, If Beale Street Could Talk, Isle of Dogs, Mary Poppins Returns

Best Original Song: “All The Stars” – Black Panther, “I’ll Fight” – RBG, “Shallow” – A Star Is Born, “The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns, “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs


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Colonel Travis | January 22, 2019 at 9:20 pm

As I type this, I’m watching I Was A Teenage Werewolf – MST3K version.
Modern Hollywood can go to hell.

Green Book for the win.

Gee, eight nominations for Vice, a clueless Leftist story that flacks how evil Cheney is. How could I have guessed?

And Best Picture? You know, a rule that says a picture has to gross at least as much as it cost would eliminate most of these turkeys.

DouglasJBender | January 22, 2019 at 9:42 pm

“Best Picture: Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favorite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born, Vice.”

There seem to be some mistakes. I believe the correct list was supposed to be: “Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Black Book, Black Roma, A Black Star Is Born, Black Vice.”

DouglasJBender | January 22, 2019 at 9:44 pm

“Best Picture: Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favorite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born, Vice.”

There seem to be some mistakes. I believe the correct list was supposed to be: “Black Panther, Blackkklansman, Blackhemian Rhapsody, The Favorite Black, Black Book, Black Roma, A Black Star Is Born, Black Vice.”

So…. out of the list, I’ve seen Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Black Panther was a good Marvel flick but it wouldn’t have made the cut if it weren’t for the activists. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a personal favorite. I wasn’t sure what to expect and it surprised the heck out of me. Now BoRap deserves some credit for that awesome recreation of the Live Aid set..and they did a fantastic job casting it. I’ve been a Queen fan since the late 70’s so I’m naturally prejudiced in favor of anything that has a Queen soundtrack but I thought Rami Malek killed it. As for the rest, I’m sure I’ll get around to seeing them in the next few years.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Sanddog. | January 22, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Definitely wanna see BoRap.

    I agree that Black Panther is the most overhyped Marvel movie in history. Hype to delivery was terrible because of all of the SJW activism. I saw this movie and saw a mediocre Marvel origin story. Spiderman with Tobey Maguire was as good (and that’s not saying a lot).


Black Black Black

Why not make the Academy awards officially the Black and other non White awards

And here I thought we had BET
It will be great for the Black

Since the entertainment business is global now and doesn’t give a sh!t about White Americans, maybe someone else will get be a sh!t and watch, cause like the NFL, we don’t give a sh!t anymore…

I saw Bohemian Rapsodey and I too think it should win actually the REAL oscar for best movie, best actor, it won’t, too many white people in it and no one protesting anything.
Doesn’t matter the lead singer was “Packy” and rose above and became one of the greatest singers ever in one of the greatest bands ever…

Not black enough, not obsessed enough not being white and they are upset he didn’t play more to his homosexuality…

    Sanddog in reply to gonzotx. | January 23, 2019 at 1:30 am

    I loved the fact that the critics hated the movie. The critics weren’t that fond of Queen before Freddie died either. Just shows how out of touch with normal people they are.

They should give the award to Trump for his role as the greatest American President of all time.

You liked Winter Soldier? I didn’t, though it was better than “Civil War.” BP was intensely mediocre, which is a step up from the source material.

Will it win the Oscar? I can’t imagine caring.

Watched a youtube clip the other day of Conan, Kevin Harte, and Ice Cube renting an Lyft when they were really new. Eight minutes of the best unscripted comedy in a long time.

FWIW, I saw in the TV listings today that Occasioally Conscious was Colberts guest last night. The blind leading the blind. Those guys were funny until Obummer got elected, and then they just got stupid and lazy and i doubt that they ill ever be back, regardless of how high they rise in the industry. It is a system keeping them in place, not their use of their talent.

Kevin Hart*


    MajorWood in reply to healthguyfsu. | January 23, 2019 at 12:18 am

    I spelled it the way it was spelled by the OP. Blame them. 😉 Oh, and South Park dedicatd nearly an entire episode of Cartman ripping on Black Panther. That should have been a kiss of death for even a nomination.

Sorry, I’ll be washing my hair.

Subotai Bahadur | January 23, 2019 at 12:41 am

Saw Bohemian Rhapsody and thought it was great. Saw Incredibles 2 and liked it. Did not see any of the other nominated movies in any category and was grateful and did not miss them at all. Do not give an obese rodent’s gluts about Academy Awards. Hope they get the same ratings as CSPAN.

Subotai Bahadur

DouglasJBender | January 23, 2019 at 2:53 am

Why is “Avengers: Infinity War” not nominated for Best Picture? At least create a category for “Best Superhero Outfits” (although I would have to vote for Wonder Woman’s, myself).

    Rumor has it Disney pushed for a best picture nomination. The Academy is famously anti-genre films. They only barely gave Return of the King an Oscar after snubbing the two previous films, snubbed The Dark Knight and snubbed Mad Max: Fury Road in favor of Spotlight…

i can proudly say that i haven’t seen a single one of the films nominated.

Hollyweird hates me and i despise them, so why would i bother to go to the movies & give them my money?

    hrhdhd in reply to redc1c4. | January 23, 2019 at 10:14 am

    Yeah, it’s been years since I’ve been to a theater. Besides not wanting to see any of Hollywood’s dreck, I can’t stand the people who go to the movies and won’t shut up or turn off their phones. I can find better uses for $15.

No question, Oscar nominees reflect the Hollywood worldview. But films that contradict that worldview don’t get made in Hollywood, so fewer of those are available to nominate.

could not care less about who wins an award for oscars, emmys, tony’s or anyother award show, they don’t reward excellence they are just popularity contests

    And that “popularity” exists within a very small circle – the Academy itself. It has absolutely nothing to do with the real world.

    Full disclosure: I quit watching new movies something like twenty years ago.

Vice – a movie that got terrible reviews but it’s about a favorite Republican villain so OSCAR NOMS ALL AROUND!!!

I lived for a while near the Roma neighborhood. (in colonia Anzures) so I was curious about the movie. I could watch it so far because the first ten nimutes where so excrutiatingly boring. It starts out with nearly four minutes of opening credits, which reminded me of the major Mexican newspapers whose news articles would spend 10,000 words listing the long long names and the official titles of everyone invovled, and then maybe have half a paragraph at the end of the front page article saying what happened. One thing I loved about Mexico City was all the colors. The poor and lower middle class neighborhoods were especially colorful. Roma, the movie, however is black and white. How sad. So I exited via the super fast forward key on the remote. Sad. So sad. Grey.

But the house in the opening scene was very similar the the one I lived in there. Except mine was a lot less full of stuff. Mine was late 1960’s modern style, but it had the same doors and inner courtyard.

Proud to say the only movie on the list I’ve seen is Black Panther, and quite frankly it was a big production, but unfortunately the movie wasn’t very good, and definitely not believable.

“Casual moviegoing fans who enjoy blockbusters, conservatives who miss Golden age Hollywood mythmaking and progressives seeking far left diverse protest films ”

I think I might settle for something with some sort of comprehensible plot, maybe something with a recognizable beginning, middle, and end? And a reason why things happen, instead of just “this happened and then that happened and then, well, and then the movie was over. And, umm, could we please have some interesting characters, some people who actually grow or change in some way during the course of the movie? Because if I don’t care what happens to the characters then why would I want to watch the rest of the movie?

Hollywood used to know how to tell stories, but now it seems to be mostly either preaching social justice at the audience, or some visual extravaganza that, spectacular though it may be, is all too often lacking basic elements of narrative and character development.

Video games has become a bigger industry than movies, yet Hollywood seems clueless as to why. People have plenty of entertainment options; it’s not as though there’s nothing to do but go to the Bijou every week. And after I’ve seen half a dozen sequels based on that comic-book character or adventure franchise, why would I want to go see yet another one?

I’m curious what specific movies you mean when you talk about Golden Age Hollywood mythmaking and what you’d like to see more of in today’s movies. Thanks!

    To answer your questions:

    I’ve noticed with conservative film viewers there is an overall preference for older films over newer films because older films were more willing to explore more overtly American/religious themes in more honest ways than contemporary films. That’s not always the case of course but you wouldn’t find a director like John Ford or Frank Capra today. Andrew Klavan talks about this a lot.

    Examples: The Searchers, Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Casablanca, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Meet John Doe, etc.

    When it comes to modern movies what I’d like to seem primarily is good movies. Regardless of the ideology of the people in charge, Hollywood’s blockbuster output of late has been pretty bad. Most years only have a handful of decent films. To me the best films come when studios with money trust their artists and give them what they need to succeed.

      Probably half of the movies on my DRV are pre-1960.

      Just finished the 6 “Thin Man” movies while housebound due to weather

      Probably start on my several 30’s-40’s era horror movies next

      got several Bogart and Edward G. movies in the line-up too.

    MajorWood in reply to dramaroom. | January 23, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Today’s movies are the 6-10 ep long miniseries. They can do a much better job of story telling. Take “State of Play” for example, which was a superb 6hr miniseries on BBC, a somewhat neutered 4-1/2 hr show on BBC America (cut for commercials) and an abysmal 2hr movie that had entire essential storylines cut for time purposes. If you want something that is absolutely brilliant, seek out “Patriot” which has just finished the second season. Absolutely superb black comedy story-telling and commentary on the current political world. And if I ever figure out “Counterpart,” I’ll likely recommend that too. 😉

“Black Panther’ was a good movie but surely there are better pictures out there.

Frankly, after seeing it, I thought …
When was the last time I saw a bunch of different black ‘gangs’ fighting each other ?

Yeah. ‘Black Panther’ is more slick, but that’s what it is (with Martin Freedman as the token white).

I hated Black Panther because it perpetuated the KKK and Dem party’s racism. Everything is about race with the blacks in the movie talking about their black brothers and how whites oppress them. They ignore the fact that slavery was and still is endemic to Africa and that is the reason blacks were slaves in the West.

regards the golden age of film–we own most of the afi top 100 and probably have about 2500 films in our permanent library with a broad selection across all genres

when considering filmaking over the last two or three decades would say that the advent of cgi changed the business(for the most part)from creating art to making eyecandy–there are some exceptions, of course, films that would not have been possible WITHOUT cgi–combinine cgi with all the sjw/pc bullspit that now seems de rigeur in hollywood(particularly over the last ten years or so) and you’ve changed the entire enterprise from an artistic experience(in every respect)to commercialized/propagandized messaging and distraction

film is no longer about art, about telling a compelling well-written story, about creating something visually and aurally stunning, about transporting you to another time and place but rather something commercially palatable and tailored to a preconceived ” socially condoned ” message or distraction

    The Chinese and Koreans are making some films and series I have watched and like. The Qin Empire, Eternal Love, Mr. Sunshine (all Netflix) — now I loved the classic era Hong Kong kung fu films so maybe that’s just my own inclination. But they both seem to have a much better mastery of intergrating lush photography, amazing CGI and have great story lines and characterizations than does Hollywood. And in the US outside of So Cal, there are some very good young crews of movie makers who focus on storyline. They’ll likely develop well if Trump wins the day.