It’s almost Oscar season again…

The Oscars are once again almost upon us! Are there any particular things you guys are excited about? Personally, I’m excited about Jerskin Fendrix’s nomination for the score of Poor Things. For those of you who don’t know much about him, he’s a very talented and weird British musician. In addition to his score, he also has a completely unhinged hyperpop album which has to be one of the most interesting things I have ever heard.

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I was quite surprised to see Nimona nominated as a Best Animated Film. I would love it to win (because: trololololo Disney). (Though of course Disney did get two animated film nominations out of the five given.)

And while watching Oppenheimer I had to laugh: It seemed obvious the director was all but handing Robert Downey, Jr. a best supporting actor Oscar nomination on-screen. (I would be surprised if he didn’t have heroic walk-on music played every time RDJ arrived on set. :wink: ) But that film was such a sausage fest, it didn’t even have a lead actress. (Emily Blunt got a best supporting actress nom. She (apparently) got less than 17 minutes of screen time, less than 10% of the film’s run time.)

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Pop quiz, hot shot. Many Oscar winners have an MST3K film or five in their IMDB profile. It can be from the start of the career, a career in decline, or a side hustle. So answer me these questions three:

  1. What year did MST3K people rake in the most Little Gold Statues?

  2. Which MST3K person has won the most Little Gold Statues?

  3. Even Best Picture isn’t beyond the grasp of MST3K, with a total of seven. Name them (Hint: one is from the Sixties, two from the Seventies, one from the Nineties, two from the Oughties, and one from less than ten years ago)

Bonus Question: One of the co-accepters of these Best Picture awards, though not having worked on an MST3K film, had been involved in a movie that helped inspire the show’s premise. Who was it?

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From Entertainment Weekly:

" The Oscars’ seven decades-long snubbing of a certain giant lizard is over! …the Godzilla franchise received its first-ever Academy Award nomination with the surprise hit Godzilla Minus One being recognized in the category of Best Visual Effects…"

Yay!

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I know a lot of people pitched a hissy fit when Greta Gerwig didn’t get nominated for Barbie, but I think she and her husband have a good shot at winning for Adapted Screenplay.

Over the years, I often find the screenplay category wins to be more exciting than Best Picture. I still like how Jordan Peel won for Get Out, and besides, even though Pulp Fiction seemed to have been shunned, what was the one Oscar it did win?

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I don’t understand the upset over Gerwig, I like her work, but does no one stop to think about the ones who did get nominated? For her to get in, someone has to be dropped, kind of selfish and rude to say, one of you isn’t worthy of the honor.

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I think it was more the grand irony that of all the actors from a girl power film* who could be nominated, the only one who was, was the guy.

*Note: I have not seen Barbie, but that’s what’s I’m getting from said hissy fitting going on.

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They gave a supporting actress nod to America Ferrera. But yeah, I get why, and who (they’re primairly upset about the lead and the director), but I believe you nominate (supposedly) the “best”, no matter the subject or sex of the director. (and there was a woman who was nominated, and for a stellar movie).

Now, I think it’s great, and important, to put a spotlight on those who don’t get the spotlight, I love searching for movies directed by women over the decades, I love the discovering great talents who sadly, didn’t get their due. There have been many who deserved the honor, Larissa Shepitko, Agnes Varda, Elaine May…

But as far as Gerwig, I don’t think she was one of the top 5 this year, so I can’t get outraged by that, no matter the subject of her film. Where I was most upset with her being left out was with Little Women, I think how she adapted that - gave an old standard a fresh coat of paint, was impressive (she did receive a screenwriting nomination for it, at least, but lost). But who would I have personally dropped that year, oh easy, Todd Phillips for Joker, I think Phillips is a minor “minor” talent at best, a hack at worst, but Joker was all the rage at the time, so there you go. (Greta did earn a nom for Ladybird, so they haven’t ignored her completely).

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I did finally see Barbie last month. It has poignant messages and moments, but IMO it was purposely crafted more as a typical “popcorn” movie, something the Oscars typically don’t reward highly.

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Superbowl Sunday is the perfect time to see a movie, almost empty streets to drive on, almost empty theater to sit in (and no one in my row).

I saw The Zone of Interest - and for one, if it doesn’t win for sound, then Oscar voters are boneheads. The mixing and sound design is so vital to this film, as you never enter Auschwitz, but you hear it, and it’s horrifying.

The picture is about the banality of evil, this family looks like any regular family, they could be your neighbor’s. The people are pasty white and soft looking (nothing ‘master race’ about them). Dad goes off to work, like any other dad, only what this one does is depictable. Mom receives a new fur coat, but where she got it from is unspeakable.

If it’s not the Best International Picture winner, I’ll be shocked. Though I would have liked to have seen it pitted against Anatomy of a Fall just to see where voters would have gone with that, and it’s an interesting quandary, one I’ll have to answer when I come to select my own Best Picture – that, in reductionist terms, comes down to art vs entertainment. Now, Anatomy is art, no doubt about that. But of the two it was the more entertaining, Zone is banal, aside from the undercurrent of evil, it’s just a mundane look at people going about their lives, but it is the more significant picture of the two, it says something important.

I haven’t caught everything, I still have some leading contenders to get to, but of my top 3, they each showcase the best that cinema can be - Blue Caftan gives us humanity at its best, Zone shows us at our worst, and Anatomy is pure craft and intrigue.

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