This article has been brought to you by Vice, The Favourite, and BlaKkKlansman. The 91st annual Academy Awards air Sunday, February 24, on ABC.
Part III: The Foundation
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Mary Poppins Returns
Kelly: The Favorite or Black Panther were incredible feats in this category, but I want to go with Black Panther on this due to how GIANT it was in incorporating the cultures in very innovative and respectful ways. BUT… I also really loved The Favorite. I have a feeling this will get a lot of the actor votes for the W. That doesn’t mean it’s not brilliant though. There was meaning in every small detail and every single frame of this movie- and it elevated the brilliant cinematography.
John: I’m going all in on Black Panther but can see The Favorite taking it. Black Panther is so unique and revolutionary in its design across the board, but The Favorite seems more the Academy’s speed with its historical aesthetic.
BEST FILM EDITING
Kelly: It would be a crime for anything but BlacKkKlansman or Vice to win this one. One of the top three things that makes each of those movies so distinct in tone and presentation is the editing. Personally- I’m riding for BlacKkKlansman to take this one.
John: BlacKkKlansman is such a visceral experience all thanks to the editing choices made. Certainly that makes it the most deserving of the 5. Potentially, I could see Vice or The Favorite win, but it should go to the Spike Lee joint. Bohemian Rhapsody should not be here.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Kelly: It took the Golden Globe, but I don’t know if the controversy around the screenwriters of Green Book will grant them the Oscar. To be honest, I’m not really sure why it’s here as it’s not anything spectacular. I think The Favorite excelled in other technical categories as well as the acting, so I’m going to go with Vice for this one- the Academy doesn’t like to hand over big awards to political pieces because they don’t like to be accused of leaning a certain way, but they’ll sometimes reward it here while claiming creativity.
John: I would like to see First Reformed take this one seeing as how it’s a bit of an underrated gem from last year. However, it’s more likely Vice will take this one. It’s the sort of witty and self-aware script that Hollywood loves. I can’t imagine Green Book is gonna win with all the controversy that has come out against the film, but controversy hasn’t stopped the Academy before so who knows.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star Is Born
Kelly: I think this one is going to BlacKkKlansman, much like how Quentin Tarantino won Best Original Screenplay for Inglourious Basterds a few years ago and even Jordan Peele’s Get Out last year- it’s one of Lee’s best and more solid works, but it’s just controversial enough to not win Best Picture- but they’ll reward an overdue filmmaker on something he cares very passionately about with a screenplay award.
John: BlacKkKlansman is my top pick for this prize. The dialogue is hilarious and at times incredibly scathing. Spike and company were able to adapt Ron Stallworth’s insane story into a contemporary reflection of today’s political climate.
Never Look Away
A Star Is Born
Kelly: Indeed, I’m handing this one to The Favourite. It’s a stunningly gorgeous use of shadows, candlelight, and the palette, although muted, is still incredibly sharp. I love how old, yet youthful, the movie feels and it’s all due to the look. Everything looks great in this movie and I would say a good 80% of that is due to the cinematography.
John: The first thought I had when the trailer for The Favorite came on was, “The shots in this movie are so damn gorgeous!” The movie looked like a traditional period drama but the composition is just so odd and a bit quirky in a sense. If we are giving this award out based on originality I would give it to this one.