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Sunday, January 27, 2019

Scarecrow's Oscar Picks - 2019 Edition

Well, gang, it's time to continue on a tradition that I've been doing ever since I developed an online presence 20+ years ago to promote my college radio show.  It's time to blog my Oscar picks!

The logo I made for this in Photoshop way back in 1997.  It says "Scarecrow's Oscar Picks"

Now, I've always done my Oscar picks a little differently.  I only do the two categories that I have a good track record in picking:  best visual effects and best original song.  Best visual effects because, well, I gravitate towards those movies.  And best original song because, well, back when I started doing this in the 1990s, it was the height of the Disney Renaissance, and for a good stretch in the 90s, the Oscar in this category would always go to the love ballad from the Disney animated film.  When they started with best animated film, I started doing that one, because I love my cartoons.  And I do best picture, because that's the big one.

Got all that?  Cool.

Best Visual Effects

My Thoughts:  I liked Solo, but let's be honest, when it comes to visual effects it really offered up nothing new.  Ready Player One is a visual treat, as about 80% of that film is performance capture was we explore our virtual world, but still, nothing really new.  I really regret not catching First Man in the theatre, as I heard a lot of good things.  A biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong, it was heralded as being one of the most accurate depictions of spaceflight since Apollo 13Christopher Robin, Disney's live-action  Winnie the Pooh, was cute, but we've seen talking stuffed animals before.  Really, though, Avengers: Infinity War wound up being such a pop culture juggernaut this year that it deserves to walk away with something, and this one makes the most sense.

My Pick:  Avengers: Infinity War

Best Original Song

My Thoughts: Personally, I think this on is going to come down to Mary Poppins and A Star is Born.  I mean, people have been raving about A Star is Born since it came out back in the fall, so no doubt it'll be picking up a few trophies.  But, Mary Poppins has been winning over the critics, so no doubt that'll sway some Academy voters.  But A Star is Born has been the favourite for too long.

My Pick:  Shallow

Best Animated Film
My Thoughts:  Wow!  First year in a long time I've seen more than 50% of the nominated films.  Saw Incredibles 2, loved it.  Saw Ralph Breaks the Internet, loved it.  Saw Spider-Man, loved it.  I skipped Isle of Dogs.  I saw the trailers and thought, "Wow, Wes Anderson has finally gotten too quirky for me," and gave it a pass.  But still, the Academy does love Anderson.  And Mirai, our token foreign film.  The first anime in this category that's not from Studio Ghibli.  With a lot of good films on this list, I think Spider-Man surprised a lot of people, and since it came out in December, it's still the freshest in a lot of minds

My Pick:  Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse

Best Picture

My Thoughts:  Firstly, yay!  Black Panther is the first superhero film to get nominated for Best Picture.  And the whole point to expanding the nominations to more than five years would be so more mainstream films like this would get nominated.  That being said, let's be honest.  As great as Black Panther is, I don't really think it's Best Picture worthy.  Green Book was an early favourite, but being an early favourite means it's already getting early backlash.  The film -- about an African American pianist in the 1960s on tour in the south and his white driver/bodyguard -- was lauded when it first came out, but has already started getting flak fore being a sanitized look at race relations.  A Star is Born was another early favourite, but over on social media, the one I see people constantly raving about right now is Roma.  It hit Netflix in December, so lots of folks are raving about it right now. 

My Pick:  Let's go with Roma

The big show's on February 24. 

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