ICYMI, the Oscar nominations got dropped today. We talked about them a bit on today's upcoming episode of LCB, but here is a quick recap of the big categories. I ranked them in order of what I think DESERVES to win and added the streaming options to the end where applicable. Note: This is not who I think WILL win because the political animal of the Oscars is a totally different animal.
#1. Kerry Condon: Going into Banshees there was one thing that was very obvious going in: It was a Ferrell-Gleeson semi-bromance journey. However, Condon absolutely crushed me in that movie. A STELLAR acting performance that took the movie to a whole new level. (HBO Max)
#2. Hong Chau: The Whale is an extremely devastating movie, mostly thanks to Brendan Fraser. But Chau also provided essentially the audience insertion as a person some of us have been before: a friend/family member of a person that is slowly withering away. Some great solo scenes too in that movie.
#3. Stephanie Hsu: EEAAO is my #1 movie of the year and Hsu is a big reason why. She essentially plays 2 WILDLY different characters and did both incredibly well. (Showtime)
#4. Angela Bassett: Wakanda Forever had some flaws, but Bassett wasn't one of them. She was by far the best actor in the entire movie and had a bunch of killer scenes. (Disney+)
#5. Jamie Lee Curtis: Like I said, EEAAO rules and Curtis was great in it. Best supporting actress worthy, though? Not really. (Showtime)
SNUB: Maybe Dolly De Leon. Honestly, there are a lot who could take Jamie Lee Curtis's spot here.
#1. Ke Huy Quan: Like Hsu, Quan had to do two VERY different roles and crushed both. He also delivered arguably the best line of 2022, "In another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you." (Showtime)
#2. Brendan Gleeson: The action of Gleesons character in Banshees, cutting off his closest friend, is bizarre. But his motivation is relatable thanks to Gleeson doing so well in that role. (HBO Max)
#3. Barry Keoghan: Like I mentioned with Kerry Condon before, I expected Banshees to just be Ferrell and Gleesons movie. Keoghan took this role and just went nuts with it though, delivering another one of my favorite lines of 2022 in "Well, there goes that dream". (HBO Max)
#4. Brian Tyree Henry: Henry is an awesome actor and I fully expect him to be back at the Oscars soon for a different performance. He was awesome and Causeway unfortunately flew under the radar but I don't think he will touch the top-3 here. (Apple TV+)
#5. Judd Hirsch: He showed up in the Fabelmans for 5 minutes, delivered the single best acting performance, and dipped. Not enough to warrant a win to me but whatever. (Rent)
Snub: None. They nailed this. Maybe Anthony Hopkins in Armageddon Time but that's not egregious.
#1. Brendan Fraser: The Whale is an emotional powerhouse of a movie and Fraser was just so damn good in it. Lovable, understandable and also tragic as hell. Some amazing lines and also great physical acting. (N/A)
#2. Colin Farrell: Banshees is basically 2 movies in 1. The first half is sort of dark comedy and the second half is more of a dark drama. Farrell is the centerpiece of both sides and crushed it. (HBO Max)
#3. Austin Butler: He was the shining light in an otherwise bad movie. People will make fun of him still doing the voice and all that but he was a good Elvis without a doubt. (HBO Max)
#4. Paul Mescal: Aftersun was a damn fine movie and Mescal was the centerpiece in a really layered role. Really good stuff but not touching the top-3 here. (Rent)
#5. Bill Nighy: He did a great job in one of the rare, good Kurosawa remakes but, like Mescal, isn't touching the top-3. (N/A)
Snub: Diego Calva - Like with Margot, Calva was the saving grace of that mess of a movie. He was super impressive and I can't wait to see him in more stuff going forward.
#1. Michelle Yeoh: Where Quan/Hsu did two different characters, Yeoh had to basically transition throughout the course of the movie from a regular person to the bizzaro character. She did it perfectly and added a ton of emotional depth, especially in that third act. (Showtime)
#2. Cate Blanchett: I'm not huge on Tar but Blanchett was undeniably good in it. There also wasn't a ton of distractions or stimulation inn the movie like with EEAAO. It was basically just her and she carried it. (Peacock on the 27th)
#3. Andrea Riseborough: She is a great actress and To Leslie is a solid movie but this is a two horse race. (Rent)
DISTANT GAP IN SPACE AND TIME
#4. Michelle Williams: She was by far the worst part about the Fabelmans and I've just grown sick of her as an actress. Hollywood loves her but honestly, she really fuckin' hams it up in basically every role she has. She totally took me out of Fabelmans and I really don't get the award hype outside of it being in the Spielberg orbit. (Rent)
#5. Ana de Armas: Good actress, bad role, even worse movie. No clue how any critical mind in Hollywood can consider it a top-5 performance of the year. (Netflix but don't watch)
SNUB: Margot Robbie - She was the best part of an otherwise shitty movie. Her and Diego Calva saved it from being downright unwatchable.
#1. Daniels: EEAAO combined just about every genre you can think of. It delivered some of the best emotional gut punches of the year. They took Ke Huy Quan out of a 3 decade retirement and got an oscar-nominated performance out of him. What more can you ask for to win this award? (Showtime)
#2. Martin McDonagh: He basically made 2 totally different movies and combined them into one incredible one. He also got all 4 major actors oscar noms which makes him the only one who can compete with Daniels. (HBO Max)
#3. Ruben Ostlund: Triangle of Sadness was a really solid movie that I think more people will grow to appreciate when it hits major streaming platforms. Pretty sharp satire that hits some of the same notes (less dark) as The Menu and some great performances from names you might not know. (Rent)
#4. Steven Spielberg: I wasn't huge on The Fabelmans. I found it pretty self-indulgent, unengaging and honestly disappointing. THe least known actor on the cast, Gabriel LaBelle, delivered easily the strongest performance in the movie and Dano/Rogen felt like wasted potential. However, the technical side of this movie was fucking awesome which is the case with almost all Spielbergs movies. (Rent)
#5. Todd Field: Like I mentioned earlier, Tar just didn't do it for me. A mostly forgettable movie that was carried by Cate Blanchett. (rent)
SNUB: James Cameron - Give him the respect he deserves. Cinemas biggest asshole/talker that can also walk the walk.
#1. The Banshees of Inisherin: This script was definitely the sharpest and one of the most complex of this group. McDonagh always delivers in this area. (HBO Max)
#2. EEAAO: Like with Banshees, EEAAO had to balance a lot of comedy and dramatic dialogue. Having to weave through all those genres had to be a real challenge as well so major props to Daniels for that. (Rent)
#3. Triangle of Sadness: Like Banshees, it's super sharp and bitingly funny. Also a ton of drama/tragedy that hits hard. (Rent)
#4. The Fabelmans: Outside of the Judd Hirsch and David Lynch scenes, there isn't much I would point out as being excellent in this script. (Rent)
#5. Tar: Just not a Tar guy, baby. (Rent)
SNUB: The Menu - I'd take that script over Tar/Fabelmans any day of the week.
Honestly, I'm not even going to rank these because Michael Giacchino's score of The Batman is an EGREGIOUS snub. It should not only have been nominated but it should have been the clear favorite. Nothing else but Fabelmans is really even in the conversation.
#1. All Quiet on the Western Front: The book this movie is based on is one of my favorites of all-time. As much as I despise "book is better" people, the book was way better. I was a underwhelmed overall but the cinematography is top notch, especially among this group. (Netflix)
P.S. how much must it suck having to follow up 1917 in that area?
#2. Empire of Light: I wasn't high on this movie, but I'm just a huge fan of the way Roger "freaky" Deakins shoots movies. Absolutely gorgeous. (N/A)
#3. Bardo: A bad movie that was shot well. (Netflix)
#4. Tar: Again, not a Tar guy but it was shot well. (Rent)
#5. Elvis: I just despise Baz Luhrmann's entire visual style to be honest. When they got to shooting 1:1 recreations of televised Elvis moments, it rocked. When Baz was doing Baz shit, it looked like a filtered up CGI mess. (HBO Max)
SNUB: Top Gun: Maverick - Critics don't like appreciating GOOD CGI and practical effects like they should. That movie was absolutely stunning and deserved a nod.
#1. EEAAO: I've been on this since April and it's not gonna change. (Showtime)
#2. Banshees of Inisherin: Like you saw in every nominated category I already wrote about, this movie rocked. Two very different halves that were both executed incredibly. Actually, more than just incredibly. Basically flawlessly. (HBO Max)
#3. Top Gun: Maverick: This movie had no business being that good. Everyone knows that. It goes beyond that, though. It is an INCREDIBLE blockbuster that also hits basically every critical threshold for an oscar-worthy movie. (Paramount+)
#4. Triangle of Sadness: Humor is hilarious, drama is tragic, performances are great. Can't ask for much more. (Rent)
#5. All Quiet on the Western Front: Again, not huge on the adaptation but it's objectively a really solid movie. (Netflix)
#6. Avatar: The Way of Water: As a huge James Cameron guy, even I couldn't have expected this to be as good as it was. A little long, sure but that third act was KILLER and the effects were undeniably top-tier. (N/A)
#7. Women Talking: It's a solid movie that just further proved to me that Jessie Buckley will win an oscar one day. Not in the upper echelon, though. (N/A)
#8. The Fabelmans: Again, mostly disappointed with this one. Tons of wasted potential. (Rent)
#9.TAR: Let's say it one more time: I just ain't a tar guy. (Rent)
DISTANT #10. Elvis: The first 45 minutes of this movie were borderline unwatchable. It rebounds after that without a doubt, but to give this movie a best picture nom is an absolute joke. (HBO MAX)
SNUB: The Whale, RRR - The Whale isn't for everyone so I get it. RRR, though, was a worldwide phenomenon. Still can't figure out why India didn't submit it for best international film.