Obvious: Lowest Turnout Ever for Oscars 2021

The 2019 Oscars was much more exciting, it seems …

Didn’t mention Oscars 2021 here on Sunday. Didn’t watch it. Didn’t care. Apparently we weren’t the only ones, as it turned out the smallest viewership ever.

Only 9.85 million viewers tuned into Sunday’s ceremony where Searchlight’s “Nomadland” took the top prize and Netflix walked away with the most wins. That’s a nearly 59% drop from the 23.6 million viewers that turned on their TVs for the program last year, according early fast national numbers released by Nielsen.

Academy Awards ratings plummet to all-time low as viewership drops below 10 million

We suggested several times last year that they should just lump 2020 and 2021 into one large celebration and awards show. There just weren’t enough movie theater releases and all the major titles, with some exceptions were pushed off to 2021 and beyond. The Academy couldn’t see skipping an annual tradition and pushed on.

What the result was a playing field that favored lesser known, smaller budget films. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but Nomadland was the best movie in 2020, really? I don’t know. Anthony Hopkins acting in The Father was great, but was he the best actor of every movie in 2020? Maybe.

Bottom line: it’s done, over and now we can look at 2021. It’s already off to a stronger start than 2020. There should be more interest in the Oscars in 2022, maybe.

OBVIOUS: Oscars Best Picture New Diversity Requirements Continue Receiving Criticism

Certainly by now most of you’ve heard of the new rules to be adopted by the Academy for Best Picture to take effect for movies in 2024. Best film nominees will be required to represent diversity both in front of the camera and the crew behind or they cannot be nominated and, subsequently, have any chance of winning an Oscar.

Of course my initial reaction — and the one I still have — is this is an absurd, unnecessary quota on creativity.

In the eyes of winning an Oscar for best picture, a creative artist being, well, creative are under assault. New rules will attach importance over diversity both behind the camera and in front. This, essentially now will require looking at the cast and crew and abiding by a diversity checklist.

Bill Maher isn’t impressed and blasts the Academy.

He also said, “We are talking about a world where if you want to make the next ‘Schindler’s List,’ the first thing you’ll need to do is give a racial breakdown of all your employees. Does anyone see the irony in that?… Some of the best movies ever made were by refugees from communist and fascist countries who got out because they didn’t like being told what art was acceptable.”

Bill Maher Blasts Academy’s New Diversity Rules: They Should Call Best Picture ‘Most Worthy’

I do agree with more diversity being represented behind the camera, but then that’s what’s called equal opportunity employment. We’re supposed to already have that in America, yes/no? I realize Hollywood might be late getting to the party, but we’ve seen a ton of new movies representing social justice causes and many of have been weak. Especially the ones as remakes and sequels like, cough, the most unnecessary Terminator: Dark Fate and Charlie’s Angels.

There can be some really great stories told about characters we don’t normally see on the big screen. Stories with main characters that are disabled, LGBTQ+ and minorities. I’d like to see these movies.

At the same time, I don’t want to see these characters inserted into stories that make no sense just to satisfy and Academy quota. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s likely to happen for films that want to earn Best Picture in 2024.

The reason the word “OBVIOUS” is capitalized in the title is that none of the people who made this new diversity rule seem to live on our planet. The planet where the majority of people are understanding, reasonable, fair, tolerant and loving to fellow human beings. People that believe it’s possible for a creative work to be good without having to be advancing some blatant cause, message or agenda.

Just entertain us by telling a good story. If your story contains characters — logically — that fit these diversity requirements, great. If not, don’t shoehorn them in to make some group “accept” you. It’s not worth whoring your work out that way.

Is Adam Sandler Shopping for an Oscar-worthy Dramatic Role?

Uncut Gems ⭐️⭐️⭐️½

According to our intel – which comes from the same sources that told us Netflix were working on an Extraction sequel and a spinoff for The Witcher before either was officially confirmed – Sandler is reportedly buoyed by the reception to his work in Uncut Gems, and is now actively seeking to headline a prestige drama for the streaming site that could potentially put him into awards season contention.

Adam Sandler Reportedly Eyeing An Oscar With New Netflix Movie

Think it’s safe to say Sandler won’t win an Oscar for Hubie Halloween (FIRST LOOK), but it’s certainly a plausible rumor that he’s shopping for a drama script for one of his two remaining Netflix movies on his four picture extension (the other film is the sequel to Murder Mystery).

Speaking of the Oscars, something I didn’t weigh in on was the new imposed diversity requirements for Best Picture category. I don’t like the idea of quotas for creative projects — art is unnecessarily compromised by forcing characters casted to be different races, sexual orientation, disabled, etc when the character role doesn’t fit. If the character role fit the story, then of course I’m all for casting that way, but the next James Bond should not be a paraplegic lesbian African American woman, simply to make it eligible for the Best Picture in 2025. As for forcing more diversity behind the camera? Heck, that should have already been happening, it’s called Equal Opportunity Employment. If Hollywood isn’t playing ball (and it sounds like they haven’t been), then maybe these new eligibility rules will force a more diverse crew and creative teams.

Sandler tends to hire the same group of friends for Happy Madison films, which is good for his loyalty, but he’ll need to consult the diversity checklist to make sure he’s not screwed over by that.

Should he have gotten a nomination for Best Actor for Uncut Gems? Many say yes, what do you think?

Olivia de Havilland Last Living Actor from 1939 Gone With The Wind Passes Away

Gone With The Wind ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Somebody pinch me if I stay on earth that long. No worries, won’t feel a thing, I’ll be dead.

Olivia de Havilland, Hollywood royalty, passed away in her sleep at age 104.

Hollywood legend Olivia de Havilland was the last living actor from 1939’s Gone With The Wind. Upon her death at age 104 on July 26, 2020, she left a legacy that far exceeded the film for which she is best known.

Olivia de Havilland’s Net Worth at the Time of Her Death and the Incredible Record the Late Actress Still Holds

Quite the movie career for this storied Oscar winner. Her sister also won an Oscar, a record that no other sisters share in the 90+ years the Oscars have existed.

VOD / Streaming Movies Intended to be in Theaters in 2020 Will Be Eligible for Oscars

2020 Oscars nominees for Actresses in a Supporting Role — won by Laura Dern for Marriage Story

Not quite a Hallelujah moment, but a start.

Somehow I missed this one-time change by the Motion Picture Academy to allow VOD/PVOD/streaming movies that were intended to be shown in theaters and released on streaming to be eligible for Oscars in 2020.

This isn’t a large number of increased movies, if you look at the numbers, so don’t count on Amazon Originals or Netflix Originals being included, unless they truly were slated to be theater releases. Very few of them are.

Extraction ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (see: 30+ Extraction Reviews – Solid Action, Thin Character Depth and Story), for example, which could become the most watched new movie on Netflix ever with 90+ million views, would not be eligible. See, how jacked up these rules are?

For calendar year 2020, movies shown exclusively on streaming services or video-on-demand will be eligible for Oscar consideration. It only applies to movies that were always set for a theatrical release.  Academy regulations have long stipulated that movies need to run for at least one week in a commercial theater in Los Angeles before Dec. 31 to be up for awards consideration.  Even with the new temporary rule, each film will still need to be made available to potential voters on the member-only Academy Screening Room streaming site within 60 days of its streaming or VOD release. 

Will pandemic change movie watching forever?

What movies would be Oscars eligible under this new rule (this isn’t a complete list)?

  1. Trolls World Tour
  2. Scoob!
  3. The Lovebirds
  4. My Spy
  5. Artemis Fowl
  6. King Of Staten Island
  7. The High Note

Not sure any of these movies will have much in the way of Oscars chances, but hey, at least they can be considered. Personally, pandemic or not, this is 2020 and all new movies released to streaming/VOD or the movie theaters or wherever they can be screened should be eligible.

Seriously, a movie is a movie. If you create it with a cast, characters, story and shoot it on film or digitally, edit it, and then release it to an audience, why can’t that film have the same opportunity to win an Oscar as something done mostly by giant studios?

One reason is sheer numbers. There would be too many movies for the Oscar voting group to consider. I guess that’s where the numbers get whittled down and voted upon and then a pool of main candidates is put before the voting audience. Perhaps the vetting of “all new movies” is done by moviegoers. From that list becomes the smaller, more manageable list that the Academy reviews for final balloting and voting.

There are no perfect systems, but the old way of approving movies that only show in theaters is becoming increasingly pointless. The pandemic makes this new temporary change for 2020 (presumably reverting back to the old rule in 2021 if theaters are reopened) shouldn’t be the only reason the rules need revision.

We all know the next few months have very few theatrical releases scheduled (see: Delayed Screenings – Only 9 of 39 (23%) Wide Release Movies Coming to Movie Theaters (if they reopen) Through August 1, 2020 — this number has reduced even further since it was published)

June 2020 now has no new movies scheduled for theatrical release

With King of Staten Island now going to VOD and Fatale being pushed back to October 30, 2020 there are now zero new wide release movies scheduled for theaters in June 2020. There is only one for May 2020 as of this writing (Irresistible on May 29). The High Note previously scheduled for May 8 is now going to VOD/streaming on May 29 (source).

Will Irresistible hold out for its release, be pushed back or go to VOD/streaming also? Smart money says yes. If that happens, this means that no new movies will be opening in theaters in April, May or June 2020, when normally there would be 2-3 new wide release movies every week at this time.

What new movies on VOD/streaming do you think should be eligible for Oscar consideration?

CONGRATS to Bong Joon Ho First To Win 4 Oscars Since Walt Disney in 1954

The wonderful, amazing true story of Bong Joon Ho winning 4 Oscars for Parasite

Parasite ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Last night something magical happened at the Oscars 92nd Annual Awards ceremony. It was edge of your seat TV watching the night progress for Bong Joon Ho. The writer and director just kept winning and winning. He won the first award, which he wasn’t expecting to win, for the best screenplay and gave a heartfelt speech, some in English most through an interpreter.

Then he won the one that everybody expected he’d win: Best International Film. That was the one he probably prepared a speech for. He graciously accepted that award.

But then he won another shocking award against the likes of Martin Scorsese and Sam Mendes for Best Director. Now, he gave a truly inspiring speech from the heart.

The last award of the night for Best Picture came and I had a suspicion that the way the night was going it might fall Bong’s way — and it did.


In the Academy’s 92nd year, it finally gave its greatest prize of Best Picture to a non-English-language film. Parasite ultimately took four trophies—the most of the night—earning whoops, cheers, and a standing ovation from the crowd at the Dolby Theater. Parasite’s first Oscar was the first trophy to ever go to a Korean film; the movie went on to shatter many more records. Bong has tied Walt Disney as the only person to win four awards on a given night (Disney did it in 1954, and three were for short films). “Thank you. I will drink until next morning, thank you,” Bong said after taking Best Director.

‘Parasite’ and Bong Joon Ho Showed the Oscars Can Still Be Magic – The Atlantic

Now, those who’ve read my Parasite review and more detailed critique know that I didn’t love the film, but it’s impossible not to like Bong Joon Ho and to be excited for what he accomplished. None of it will change my opinion on the film nor the fact that I wanted 1917 to win the Best Film and I thought Parasite was a long shot, but I’m very happy for Bong Joon Ho, the cast, crew and everybody involved in Parasite.

I also think it’s very cool in a day and age where everybody is crying about fairness that we saw a film that wasn’t even in English win four Oscars including Best Picture. That is cool as hell. It shows that quality matters and enough people loved this film to make this night special for the team behind Parasite.


How To Watch 92nd Oscar Coverage Without Cable TV – LIVE BLOG UPDATES HERE

Last updated: 8:30pm PST (GMT-8) — LIVE BLOG UPDATES DURING #OSCARS2020

The cast and crew of Parasite accept award for Best Film

8:22pm PST: I have to wonder a bit about 1917 winning Best Picture now that Parasite has been dominating the night. Even Bong Joon Ho has been shocked. Some definite surprises. Will there be one more?

Jane Fonda announces the Best Picture nominees: Ford v Ferrari, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Parasite

Best Picture WINNER — Parasite

Bong Joon Ho first film ever to win Best Picture that’s not in the English language. Wow!

8:20pm PST: Next up the best picture …. Commercial #13 … this is sponsored by Google, who would have known? It’s been awhile since I’ve watched the Oscars and this is the first time I’ve watched it all the way through.

8:09pm PST: Rami Malek to announce Best Actress nominees: Renee Zellweger, Cindy Erivo, Charlize Theron, Saorise Ronan, Scarlett Johansson

Best Actress WINNER – Renee Zellweger

8:04pm PST: Olivia Coleman up next to announce Best Actor nominees: Joaquin Phoenix, Leonardi DiCaprio, Adam Driver, Jonathon Price, Antonio Banderas

Best Actor WINNER – Joaquin Phoenix

Phoenix goes off on a long social rant involving abusing others. This will make news!

8:01pm PST: Commercial Break #12.

7:56pm PST: Steven Spielberg out next. He reminds us to remember those who we lost in the last year. Memorial song – Beatles “Yesterday”

7:52pm PST: Spike Lee out in purple suit announces Best Director nominees.

Best Director WINNER – Bong Joon Ho (third Oscar of the night!)

“Thank you, I will drink until next morning.” — Bong Joon Ho

7:50pm PST: A short feature on making movies.

7:46pm PST: Best Song in a movie (#21)

Best Song in a Movie WINNER – Elton John and Bernie Taupon

7:42pm PST: Taikia Waititi next up to mention last year’s academy governor’s awards. Gal Gadot (in a very strange dress — original, I’ll say that), Sigourney Weaver and Bree announce a female conductor for the first time in 92 years at the academy. Best Original Score (#20) nominees musically announced.

Best Original Score WINNER – Joker Hildur Gudanor

7:33pm PST: Commercial Break #11.

7:31pm PST: Music number with the legend Elton John.

7:26pm PST: Best International Film (#19)

Best International Film WINNER – Parasite by Boon Joon Ho

Bong Joon Ho, “I’m ready to drink tonight.” — lol

Bong Joon Ho wins and accepts second award, getting great Oscar love in 2020

7:21pm PST: Commercial Break #10. I think only (?) the big three remain: Best Film (1917), Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix) and Best Actress (Renee Zellweger). My picks anyway, maybe there will be a curveball. We’ll soon know.

7:17pm PST: Ray Romano and Sandra Oh up next for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (#18) nominees: Bombshell, Joker, Judy, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, 1917

Best Makeup and Hairstyling WINNER – Bombshell Kizu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker

7:11pm PST: Rebel Wilson and James Gordan — NOooo in Cats outfits — announcing Best Visual Effects (#17): Avengers: Endgame, The Irishman, The lion King, 1917, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Visual Effects WINNER – 1917

7:09pm PST: Commercial Break #9. We’re going down the home stretch for the biggest awards soon (Best Actor, Actress, Best Film).

7:06pm PST: Cynthia Erevio performs “Stand Up” from Harriet.

7:01pm PST: Commercial Break #8. The commercial breaks have been not too intrusive actually but can’t say I remember many of the commercials.

6:59pm PST: David Ruben up next from the academy for a little behind the scenes announcement. Tom Hanks is introduced to announce that Dec 14, 2020 Academy museum will open. Academymuseum.org

6:55pm PST: Next category by same team, Best Film Editing (#16) nominees: Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Parasite

Best Film Editing WINNER – Ford v Ferrari

6:49pm PST: Curious little music rap recap so far. Will Ferrell and Julia Louise-Dreyfas for Best Cinematography nominees (#15): The Irishman, Joker, The Lighthouse, 1917, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Cinematography WINNER – Roger Deakins

6:46pm PST: Commercial Break #7 — Will Ferrell up next … So, they are spreading the awards around so far pretty good to different films.

6:44pm PST: Randy Neuman at the piano for the song from Toy Story 4. He still has the vocal chops. Good to see him working it.

6:43pm PST: Just realizing that 1917 had 10 nominations and it’s been skunked so far. Best Sound Mixing (#13 award): Ad Astra, Ford v Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Best Sound Mixing WINNER – 1917 by Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson

6:38pm PST: Salma Hayek and Oscar (?) announcing Best Sound Editing nominees: Ford v Ferrari, Joker, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Best Sound Editing WINNER – Ford v Ferrari by Donald Sylvester

6:34pm PST: Commercial Break #6. Time to total up the awards given so far: *11* .. we’re better than half way to the end.

6:26pm PST – Anthony Ramos welcomes us back Lynn Manwell Manella(?) Ok, I’m botching his name, sorry. He’s going into song, so this must be the award for best song in a movie. Nice “Eye of the Tiger” Survivor Rocky III reference and Purple Rain (Prince!) and Titanic My Heart Goes On, I Will Always Love You … and Waynes’s World!

(just too many great movie songs — it’s a geek moment)

Another live performance. A white rapper? I didn’t dig the vocals but like the music and the fact that the set literally rose out of the floor. The bassist and drummer were putting down a sick groove.

6:22pm PST: Commercial Break #5 …. Laura Dern had the best acceptance speech so far. Composed, yet shaken and thanking people heartfully. I kind of liked Bong Joon Ho as well through the interpreter mostly. Those are my top 2 acceptance speeches so far. Taika Waititi earns the shock and awe acceptance award so far.

6:21pm PST: Next up Best Supporting Actress: Laura Dern for Marriage Story, Scarlett Johannson for Jojo Rabbit, Kathy Bates for Richard Jewell, Florence Pugh for Little Women, Margot Robbie for Bombshell

Best Supporting Actress WINNER – Laura Dern

6:14pm PST: Mark is back for Best Documentary Short Subject: In The Absence, Learning to Skateboard, Life Overtakes Me, St. Louis Superman, Walk Run Cha-Cha

Best Documentary Short Subject WINNER – Learning To Skateboard in A War Zone

6:12pm PST: Mark Ruffalo announces Best Documentary Feature Film nominees: American Factory, The Cave, The Edge of Democracy, For Sama, Honeyland

Best Documentary Feature Film WINNER – American Factory

I saw none of these, but enjoy a good documentary.

6:05pm PST: Commercial Break #4 – Mark Ruffalo will be up next for Best Supporting Actress. Nice to see Little Women get some love in the last award. Greta Gerwig was beaming. Some thrills, chills and they teased a music performance from the great Elton John live ?!?! Is that what I heard. First hour was good.

6:02pm PST: Time for third music performance. Definitely cool backgrounds for the music numbers.

6:00pm PST: Same team Maya Rudolph & Wiig singing comedy skit and then nominees for Best Costume Design: The Irishman by Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson, Jojo Rabbit, Joker by Mark Bridges, Little Women by Jacqueline Durran, Once Upon A Time

Best Costume Design WINNER – Little Women by Jacqueline Durran

5:54pm PST: Maya Rudolph & Kristen Wiig to announce Production Design nominees: The Irishman by Bob Shaw, Jojo Rabbit by Ra Vincent, 1917 by Dennis Gassner, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Barbara Ling, Parasite by Lee Ha Jun

Production Design WINNER – Once Upon A Time .. In Hollywood by Barbara Ling

5:52pm PST: Commercial Break #3 … wow, let me say did not see Jojo Rabbit winning anything, so good for Taika Waititi. That one is a surprise. He even seemed shocked and couldn’t remember who to thank! lol. You will see this video I’m sure and realize that he didn’t have any kind of prepared acceptance speech. He didn’t think he would win, which makes his win all the sweeter.

5:50pm PST: Shia Lebeauf and the guy (Zak Gottasgen) from Peanut Butter Falcon for Best Short Film

Best Short Film WINNER – The Neighbor’s Widow

5:43pm PST: Natalie Ricks announces Best Adapted Screenplay: The Irishman by Steven Zaillian, Little Women by Greta Gerwig, Joker by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, Jojo Rabbit by Taika Waititi, The Two Popes by Anthony McCarten

Best Adapted Screenplay WINNER – Takia Waititi for Jojo Rabbit

5:38pm PST: Back with Kelly Marie Tran. Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves to announce next award. Diane Keaton’s belt looks super tight.

Best Original Screenplay nominees: Knives Out by Rian Johnson, Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach, 1917 by Sam Mendes and Krity Wilson-Cairns, Once Upon A Time … in Hollywood by Quentin Taraninto, Parasite by Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won

Best Original Screenplay WINNER — Parasite by Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won

5:36pm PST: Commercial Break #2 — so *3* awards are down, two live singing performances. That last one featured singing (women only, BTW), from multiple countries and languages. Beautiful voices.

“Into The Unknown” performed live

5:31pm PST: Josh Gadd onto the stage next. He cracks a few Frozen jokes (he is Olaf!). My grandchildren would dig his voice. Next, a live performance of “Into The Unknown”

5:27pm PST: Quickly, Kaling announced: Best Animated Short Film — WINNER: Hair Love

During the speech, award was dedicated to Kobe Bryant.

Mindy Kaling announces the winner for Best Animated Featured Film: How To Train Your Dragon, I Lost My Body, Klaus, Missing Link, Toy Story 4

Best Animated Feature Film — WINNER : Toy Story 4

5:22pm PST: #1 commercial break. Hey, 1 down like 20 more awards to go. They started with a fairly predictable one. I don’t think Pitt was the best choice, but he’s the people’s choice. Joe Pesci was amazing in The Irishman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. He comes out of retirement and gets at least a nomination, which is cool.

5:19pm PST: Regina Kim announces first winner for Best Supporting Actor: Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Brad Pitt

Best Supporting Actor WINNER! — BRAD PITT —

Brad Pitt chokes up a bit during his acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actor

My choice was Joe Pesci. I believed that Brad Pitt was the most likely.

5:12pm PST: Steve Martin and Chris Rock for an opening monologue. Couldn’t help wondering if they might break out into a comedic version of Ebony & Ivory.

“There’s something missing this year …” — Rock replies, “Vaginas!”

Their jokes were there. Jeff Bezos from Amazon gets some roasting. Rock: “Bezos gets divorced and is still the richest man in the world.”

5:06pm PST: Kicks off with a live singing performance from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Tom Hanks look is pretty priceless at the end of the number when the black hat is put on … not quite like putting on Mr. Rogers shoes LOL.

Tom Hanks looks a bit liek the Monopoly man lol

I’ll take Boardwalk or Park Place, Mr. Hanks, please!

LIVE Sunday 2/9/2020 @ 5pm PST (GMT-8) / 8PM EST — 92nd Annual Oscars

It’s on, the Superbowl of movie awards: the Oscars 92nd Annual extravaganza where rich actors and actresses win gold statues. If you want to see my Oscar predictions, see: 92nd Oscar Nomination Predictions. I made those predictions within a few hours of the nominations being announced last month and haven’t changed any of them, regardless of all the experts prognosticators weighing in. I’ll consider a “win” anything that I chose or said would win based on popularity. Am sure I’ll be wrong on some of them, and that’s OK.

Thought I’d have to skip watching this live because we do not have a streaming TV subscription. Luckily, I learned about Locast.org and we live close enough to one of the 17 cities to be able to access through there FREE of charge.

Locast.org is on ROKU (YAY!) and streams local TV channels in 17 cities — for FREE

Got it downloaded, went to the website and registered (free, again) and there it is on the channel lineup.

A little more than an hour before the Oscars #92, Locast.org channel menu

And the first thing I saw streaming was none other than Parasite director: Bong Joon Ho:

Bong is going all man in black on the red carpet, an hour away from the Oscars

Starting at 5pm tonight, with this post I’ll be LIVE BLOGGING the event. I’ll continue to update with award results as they are announced from top to bottom, pushing everything else in this post down, so if you don’t have access to the post, you can hang out here and refresh ever 15 minutes or so for the LIVE breakdown of what’s happening from me.

LIVE BLOGGING STARTS 2/9/2020 at 5pm PST (GMT-8) … refresh this post every 15 minutes for updates until the 92nd Annual Oscars event ends.

Yikes, even Stephen King gets flamed on Twitter over Oscar diversity issues

Disclaimer: Stephen King is my favorite author. Has been for years. I am not a sycophant, not someone who likes everything he says and does — especially all the politics he too often gets wrapped up in — and I haven’t enjoyed every story he’s ever written, but the majority of his work is at least entertaining and, some of it, amazing.

Love him or hate him, the man is one of the most prolific and greatest living writers on the planet.

Doctor Sleep ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

My second favorite movie of 2019 was a King adaptation by talented director Michael Flanagan which somehow threaded the needle with Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining masterpiece and a sequel. It blew me away.

Even as great as King is, though, and again I’m merely one of his many Constant Readers, he can still be flamed on Twitter over stepping into thorny issues.

Case in point: diversity in the Oscars.

the “Carrie” author posted. “For me, the diversity issue — as it applies to individual actors and directors, anyway — did not come up. That said … I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong.”

Stephen King weighs in on Oscars’ diversity issues – New York Daily News

The diversity issue in part is that no women were nominated for Best Director. Greta Gerwig was a glaring omission. Have seen others like Sarah at LittleMovieReviews rightfully mention the same issue here: 2020 OSCAR NOMINATIONS: SNUBS, SURPRISES, AND DISAPPOINTMENTS.

What King says in the quote above is logical. The problem is when we talk about quality from filtered, biased sources quality is already being impacted. King realized this mistake and backpedaled with another tweet a few hours later:

He wrote, “The most important thing we can do as artists and creative people is make sure everyone has the same fair shot, regardless of sex, color, or orientation. Right now such people are badly under-represented, and not only in the arts.

Kudos, well said.

I never checked who was behind the Oscars nominations until this year. Just assumed it was some body of secret voters. Encyclopedia Britannica provides the answer:

The rest of the academy members are not listed, but we can guess who a few are by looking at some of the requirements to join the institution. To qualify, an individual must work in the film industry. This means that neither individuals who work exclusively in television nor members of the press may join. Oscar nominees are often considered for membership automatically, while other candidates must be sponsored by two active members of the branch they wish to join. Each branch also has its own specific requirements. Directors, for example, must have a minimum of two directing credits, at least one of them within the past 10 years.

Who Votes for the Academy Awards?

If the milk comes out sour, inspect the cow.

In this case, we know the source of nominations comes from the members themselves, including Stephen King it sounds like — although he admits only being able to nominate in writer-related categories. I can vouch for King’s diversity in book recommendations. I’ve seen him recommend all kinds of varieties of authors and I believe Mrs. Harry Potter J.K. Rowling is one of his favorite writers.

So, the answer to the problem of diversity in Oscar nominations starts with the people who are doing the nomination. If it’s the same group of mostly Hollywood actors and actresses they have their own elite club that needs more women, minorities in there.

It isn’t going to matter if more movies are made by women, minorities and LGBTQ, it means more of these people need to become members of the academy.

Until the academy voting collective itself becomes more diverse, the overall diversity in Oscar nominations will continue to be suspect.

92nd Oscar Nomination Predictions

Continuing a tradition since May 16, 1929, the 92nd Oscars will air Sunday February 9, 2020 at 8e, 5p (GMT-8).

I’m going to tackle predictions for the majority of categories, 14 in total, and almost every major category. The ones being skipped are where I haven’t seen every movie nominated in the category. For example, International Feature Film, where I’ve only seen one of the nominees (Parasite). I do not think it is fair having an opinion on movies not watched, rated and reviewed.

Let’s dig in…


The film to beat, the way I see it

Of the 9 choices pictured above, here’s how I see it:

My pick: 1917

Likely Picks (if not mine):
Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood – this one won the Golden Globe and cannot be counted out
Ford v Ferrari
Little Women

Unlikely Picks
Joker, The Irishman, Marriage Story

Long shots
Parasite, Jojo Rabbit

Of all films nominated, 1917 is the most immersive viewing experience. It’s also a technical marvel considering the camera work, the whole “one continuous shot” which if it wasn’t shot that way doesn’t give the same effect. The acting by the two soldiers is also spot on, given they don’t have a lot of dialogue or complicated story. It’s mostly like a videogame: run to the end goal, avoid the obstacles.

Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood is a strong, strong likely pick because of the Golden Globes win. Personally, I wouldn’t put that film ahead of Ford v Ferrari or Little Women, but something tells me this could be the voter’s choice.

Joker and Marriage Story have a small chance, but are real long shots. The Irishman almost certainly has no chance, but anything with Scorsese, DeNiro, Pacino and Pesci can never be completely discarded.

Forget about Parasite and Jojo Rabbit. Parasite deserves to be nominated, but that’s not the case for Jojo Rabbit. If Jojo Rabbit beats out the other eight movies nominated, it will be total travesty. Parasite at least has the critical acclaim to be considered but it should not win.


My Pick: Sam Mendes – 1917

Likely Picks (if not mine):
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman

Long Shots:
Todd Phillips – Joker
Bong Joon Ho – Parasite

Would like to see Sam Mendes win this, I think he’s the best choice, but something tells me that the critics want to favor the genius of Quentin Tarantino. Let’s be honest, of his 9 films, this one isn’t even in the top 3. Same for Scorsese, who also could win based on his career rather than The Irishman being one of his best movies.

Joker is seen by some as a ripoff and/or heavily inspired by multiple Scorsese films, so don’t think Todd Phillips has a chance of winning. Bong Joon Ho might be the people’s choice on this one, but he’s a huge long shot. Mendes is the best pick. We’ll see what happens.


My Pick: BombshellKazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker

Likely Picks (if not mine)

Long Shots
Maleficient: Mistress of Evil

Somebody get Kazu Hiro’s name engraved on this already because what he did with prosthetics and makeup on Charlize Theron is amazing. I’m not sure what Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker contributed, but if their names are there, start engraving them too.

I liked how Renee Zellweger was done up as Judy, but it’s not as impressive as Theron as Megyn Kelly. Joker? You got to love his makeup work. So either Judy or Joker are good alternate picks.

Not feeling 1917 in this category. Hairstyles? Makeup? They are soldiers and looked realistic to the time period, but … ? Puzzling nomination.

Maleficient: Mistress of Evil I can see the nomination, but not as sure where the CGI begins and the makeup begins — except for Angelina Jolie, I guess. Am saying no here as well. Better choices.


My Pick: Renee Zellweger – Judy

Likely Picks (if not mine)
Scarlett Johannson – Marriage Story

Long Shots
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Should not have been nominated
Charlize Theron – Bombshell

Renee, Renee, Renee! She acts and sings, and had to do so in one take in front of an audience singing Judy fricking Garland songs. We can debate all day long how difficult this was, but I’d argue nobody else even comes close.

ScarJo has the best script of the bunch to work with and some really meaty divorce drama material, so if we’re looking at pure acting and not considering her very minor song number (which was cute, but not that noteworthy), then she’s a good second choice.

I also like Cynthia Erivo who had the most physical role of everybody nominated. She made me believe she was Harriet Tubman. I like her as an alternate choice.

Can’t get behind Saoirse Ronan, despite loving the film she was in. It’s OK Ronan fans, she’ll be nominated for an Oscar again and it might actually be in a film that’s original enough for her performance to win. The others — except for Charlize Theron who should never have been nominated — a case could be made to win. If Theron wins for Bombshell, the voting is rigged and we should demand a recount.


My Pick: Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Likely Picks
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood

Long Shots
Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes
Al Pacino – The Irishman

Should not have been nominated / travesty
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Joe Pesci somehow managed to play a subdued Joe Pesci. That alone deserves an Oscar. I thought for sure we’d get another Casino Joe Pesci — but we didn’t.

Brad Pitt probably wins this, like he did the Golden Globe. It’s not deserved vs. the others but Hollywood seems to have a love affair with all things Pitt. Personally, I think he’s a good actor, but not one of the all time greats. Hopkins, Pacino, Hanks, all better performances than him by a mile.

Speaking of Hanks, though, he’s got no business being nominated in this category. They are considering him as a “supporting actor” when he was Mister Rogers in a movie about Mister Rogers? The logic is lost on me. Somebody please explain.


My Pick: Roger Deakins – 1917

Likely Picks
Once Upon a Time .. In Hollywood

Unlikely Picks
The Irishman
The Lighthouse

Seriously, just give Roger Deakins the award already. The man is like the Wizard of Oz behind the camera.


My Pick: Little Women – Jacqueline Durran

Likely Picks
Joker – Mark Bridges
The Irishman – Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson

Long Shots
One Upon a Time .. In Hollywood – Arianne Philips
Jojo Rabbit – Mayes C. Rubeo

My pick is suspect here. I’m mainly going with Little Women because I felt the costumes seemed very period-accurate. This is not an areas of expertise for me at all, so I might be all wet and am admitting as much. I also liked the Joker costumes a lot, so would be fine with that pick.

The other picks? The Irishman seemed accurate but plain, One Upon a Time … Hollywood did a great job capturing the end of the 60s. Jojo Rabbit? They were WWII Nazis, yes, that seemed accurate too.

Really there are multiple picks that could be chosen and I won’t protest one way or another. I liked Little Women costumes the best.


My Pick – Little Women – Greta Gerwig

Likely picks:
The Irishman

Long Shots
The Two Popes
Jojo Rabbit

Greta Gerwig clearly had the most difficult task, adapting a novel that has already been adapted 7 times! And she delivered. The non-linear narrative was risky but it worked.

The Irishman is too long and Joker is strongest for the ad-lib acting by Joaquin Phoenix, not the script.

The Two Popes was dialogue heavy and Jojo Rabbit would have been better sans Hitler.


My Pick: Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach

Likely Picks
Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino
Knives Out – Rian Johnson

Long Shots
1917 – Sam Menedes
Parasite – Bong Joon Ho

I don’t think Tarantino’s alternate timeline Manson-era script is all that original, but it is creative. Rian Johnson’s Knives Out was a lot of fun. Noah Baumbach just hit it out of the park with Marriage Story.


My Pick: Joker – Jeff Church

Likely Picks
Ford v Ferrari

Long Shots
Jojo Rabbit

Should not even have been nominated
The Irishman

Joker had the best editing of everything here. It made viewers feel all kinds of nasty and shock. The Irishman was badly in need of more editing. I could see a case being made for Ford v Ferrari as well. The racing scenes were fantastic.


My Pick: 1917

Likely Picks
Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood

Long shots
The Irishman

Should not even have been nominated
Jojo Rabbit

That night time scene with the flares going off in the war torn city? My goodness, that scene alone was gorgeous. The production design in Parasite was very creative too.


My Pick: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – John Williams

Likely Picks

Unlikely Picks
Little Women
Marriage Story

Should not even have been nominated

Not a fan of the movie, but a huge fan of John Williams. When it comes to Star Wars, is there any better music fix?


My Pick: Ford v Ferrari

Likely Picks
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Unlikely Picks

Should not even have been nominated
Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood


My Pick: Ford v Ferrari

Likely Picks

Unlikely Picks
Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood

Should not even have been nominated
Ad Astra

Why is Ad Astra nominated? Sound-wise the mix of auto racing sounds was excellent in Ford v Ferrari. I could also get behind 1917 here. Forget about Once Upon a Time … In Hollywood.

My Reviews For All 2019 Oscar Nominated Movies

For reference, below are my ratings and reviews for all Oscar nominated movies (click the title to read). Note: some titles are nominated in categories I didn’t profile above because I haven’t seen all the movies in that category.

  1. 1917 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ 
  2. Ford v Ferrari ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  3. The Irishman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  4. Marriage Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  5. Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
  6. JUDY ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐
  7. Knives Out ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️️
  8. Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  9. The Two Popes⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  10. The Lighthouse ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  11. Richard Jewell ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  12. Jojo Rabbit ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  13. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ⭐️⭐️⭐️½
  14. Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  15. Parasite ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  16. Frozen II ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  17. Bombshell ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  18. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil ⭐️⭐️½
  19. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ⭐️⭐️½
  20. Ad Astra ⭐️

What are your predictions and picks? Tell me about it in the comments below.

Ford v Ferrari Deserves More Award Buzz

Ford v Ferrari⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Haven’t talked much about this since its release in November 2019. Restating that it’s the best movie we’ve seen in ScreenX format to date.

Now, given, we’ve only ever seen two movies in that format (the other ironically was showing Ford v Ferrari on the side screens for the first 20 minutes or so of the movie due to a technical error), but still, if you think of being in a driver’s seat and having landscape go by you in a blur along the sideviews that is the beauty of ScreenX.

This is also the movie that’s getting the least award and best movie of 2019 buzz that also did well at the box office.

Here we are 55+ days later in the theater and it’s still cruising along, a respectable 12th place in sales recently, past the $100 million mark and still showing in 700+ theaters.

Ford v Ferrari is slowing down, but still in the top 20 at the daily box office

If I asked you what movie had the highest audience review score on Rotten Tomatoes would you answer with The Irishman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️(86%)? Marriage Story ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (84%)? Little Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (92%)? Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (93%)? How about the golden boys of this year’s Golden Globes: Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood ⭐️⭐️⭐️(70%) and 1917 (it’s early yet, but so far: 95%)?

No, to all those films. The only one with any chance to equal or jump ahead is 1917, since that hasn’t been available to watch in the United States theaters until tonight.

The highest audience rating with over 22,500 reviews and 98% audience rating is … (drumroll)

Highest audience score of any recent movie on RT with over 22,500 ratings

Now we can debate the critic portion of RT, but personally I like the audience score. That is the RT gauge that I pay the most attention to and it usually syncs up closer to my own feelings about a movie. Not always, of course, but certainly more often than the RT critic score.

Will Ford v Ferrari get more love at the Oscars next month than it did at the Golden Globes? Hope so. It’s my second most favorite film of 2019.

Reviews by Others

Have seen a few more reviews by others posted since my last recap of Ford v Ferrari to share. Most bloggers like being linked up by other bloggers, so despite the time this takes, I continue to hand select these quotes from the 1,000+ other movie bloggers I follow to highlight their good review write-ups. Enjoy!

  1. AmandaSushma: “I really like this movie! Usually, I wouldn’t go for such an emotional type of movie, but I didn’t know what it was about. My brother just chose it, and I went with him. Very pleasantly surprised!”
  2. Book Beach Bunny: “…fun and interesting if you’re into racing and cars or honestly if you’re just looking for a good movie over the holiday. It’s not going to rewrite the book or anything but it’s worth a watch.”
  3. CinemaClown: “…is a competently crafted & technically polished biopic that narrates the real-life events with gusto despite going a bit overboard at times, and is a downright thrilling, incessantly fun & wildly entertaining fare that will satisfy both racing enthusiasts & casual filmgoers”
  4. Eternality Tan (Grade: A): “I was surprised to find myself with tears in my eyes because car racing is not easy,”
  5. Fast Film Reviews / Mark Hobin (4/5): “The racing scenes are spectacular but in the end, it’s the performances that make this drama transcendent.”
  6. Geek’s Landing: “…tells a riveting true story of creativity with enormous flare and respect. Rather than trying to upend the genre, James Mangold utilizes the tools at his disposal to deliver the best the genre can possibly offer and then some.”
  7. Homebody Movies: “…a competently-made crowd-pleasing movie not based on any existing or aspiration cinematic universes that serves as a showcase for its stars to shine. There used to be a time when movies like this dominated our cineplexes”
  8. Isabelle Reviews Movies (Grade: A-): “another great film from James Mangold. Bale and Damon have impeccable chemistry and the racing sequences take your breath away.”
  9. Jason’s Movie Blog: “I really liked this movie. It was definitely quite an engaging feature that boasted plenty of high-octane moments (behind the wheel, of course), but also provide an entertaining narrative with some quality acting talents to play the feature’s characters.”
  10. Keith & The Movies (4/5): “…a rousing racing drama that doesn’t shirk on the human element. Bale and Damon have a snappy chemistry, and the supporting cast is fantastic”
  11. Lost in the Dark: “If you love a good race car movie (and who doesn’t?), drive at a safe and reasonable speed to your friendly neighborhood cinema to see”
  12. Mike Miller / Ticket To Ride: “This film won’t break any box office records but it is a film that will live on through streaming and other media.”
  13. Mirza Baig: “…an engaging, emotional, and downright thrilling sports film that is incredibly well told and very well acted.”
  14. moviejoltz: “I am not fond of watching car races, but I would see this picture again. The acting was outstanding, matching the well-done script that captured the 1960s perfectly. I found the racing scenes thrilling and felt at times I was sitting in the race cars.”
  15. Movie Musings and TV Talk (4/5): “I ended up being quite pleasantly surprised by how invested in the story I became”
  16. Movie Reviews from the Dark: “…two-and-a-half hours of history, rivalries, egos, and sport. The racing scenes are exhilarating, and the men are driven by testosterone and compelled to be the best.”
  17. Norbert Haupt (2.5/4): “The movie is over two-and-a-half hours long, but worth every minute of it.”
  18. Read it or Weep: “…this is one of the best sports films I’ve seen in years.”
  19. Red Beard Movie Reviews: “A couple of great performances though and a movie that despite being 2 1/2 hours long kept my attention the entire time”
  20. Reely Bernie (4.5/5): “I am a mechanically ignorant but passionately musical educator who finally found a movie that is worthy of the top film of 2019.”
  21. Seonyongs Private Place: “…it will give you one of the most gripping movie experiences of this year, so I recommend you not to miss it while it is being shown at movie theaters.”
  22. skoce: “This is a good movie. Just a solid, entertaining film”
  23. Ten Stars or Less (8/10): “The best part is you literally feel like you’re in the passenger seat as two auto superpowers vie for the same racing title in 1966.”
  24. The Blog Complainer (8/10): “is probably the most crowd pleasing movie I have seen in a while. It’s a well made movie filled with great moments and silly ones.”
  25. writefury: “High quality writing, cool action, fantastic action and great filming. A really, really great movie, go watch it now.”

Also see: 25+ Ford v Ferrari Reviews – The True Story Behind Ford v Ferrari

Did I miss your Ford v Ferrari review? Use the comments or Twitter to tell me about your movie-related/review blog. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quotes from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.