2019: A Mediocre Year for the Oscars

When it comes to the Academy Awards, most people either love them or hate them. After seeing the nominees for this upcoming 2019 race, it’s easy to see why people hate them.

In case you don’t know what an “Oscar bait” movie is, it’s essentially a film released in awards season which merely exists to garner awards. Most of the time these movies are either period dramas or movies based on true events.

The 2019 Oscars race loudly screams Oscar bait.

2018 was an excellent year for film. We were delivered many fresh and original films such as “Eighth Grade,” “Annihilation,” “Widows,” “Sorry to Bother you,” and “Suspiria.” Despite this, these were the kinds of films that received zero nominations.

Instead, the Academy Awards chose to nominate mainstream Oscar bait films, such as “First Man,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Vice,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Black Panther.”

Though these films aren’t necessarily bad, the problem with such conventional blockbuster movies receiving the most recognition is that it leaves no room for smaller-budget artistic films to gain any nominations. As a result, unoriginality is rewarded.

Despite all this, it must be mentioned that there were some films nominated this year that fully deserve it. One example is “Roma,” which is in the lead with 10 nominations.

Director Alfonso Cuaron has shown time and time again that he’s one of the most competent directors working in Hollywood today. Proof of this is the work he did on “Prisoner of Azkaban” and “Gravity.”

His attention to shot composition and overall film editing has proven that “Roma” deserves the top spot. There shouldn’t be a doubt in anyone’s mind that “Roma” should win the Oscar for “Best Picture.”

It’s also easy to see why “Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse” was nominated. This visually gorgeous film takes the concept of comic book movies and does something incredibly unique with it. It’ll be a crime if this movie loses in the “Best Animated Feature” category to either “Isle of Dogs” or “Incredibles 2.”

It’s impossible to talk about the Oscars 2019 without talking about superhero movies. We have more superhero movies nominated this year than ever before. With the rise of comic book cinematic universes coming about, it’s inevitable that the Academy Awards give recognition to these types of films.

This year marks the first year in history that a superhero film, “Black Panther,” has been nominated for “Best Picture.” Did it deserve the nomination? Seeing as there have been better superhero movies in the past such as “Spider-man 2,” “The Dark Knight,” “Logan” and “Darkman,” the answer is arguably no. However, it’s hard to be upset when comic book films are starting to be taken more seriously.

But which movies are most likely to win what? As mentioned previously, the Oscars have a soft spot for period dramas and movies based on real life events. One can assume that the following will win said awards in major categories:

  • Olivia Colman for “Best Actress”
  • Raimi Malek for “Best Actor”
  • Rachel Weisz for “Best Supporting Actress,”
  • Mahershala Ali for “Best Supporting Actor”
  • “Vice” for Best “Original Screenplay”

Ultimately, this year looks as though one can skip the Oscars to watch something else. Hopefully next year more inventive, clever films will receive love from the Academy.

camkc2@mail.umkc.edu

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