Previously, in Jack’s 2019 Oscar coverage…
February 20 – Adapted Screenplay
February 21 – Cinematography
February 24 – Final Predictions on Oscar Night
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – NOMINEES
The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga
Roma, Alfonso Cuaron
Vice, Adam McKay
Who will win: The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
Who could win: First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Who should win: Green Book, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga
Who should be here: Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham
The Favourite tied Roma with the most Oscar nominations, but isn’t The Favourite (har har; see what I did there?) to actually take home many of the statues. This is one area where it might have the best shot, which at least provide many people’s favorite (okay, that one wasn’t intentional) film of the year something of a consolation prize.
As much as I loved Roma, I’m a little surprised to see it nominated here. The film’s strength comes from the shots, sound, direction and performances…if anything was a weak point, it was probably the script. Roma was a true slice-of-life film; in that it was loosely plotted around a handful of scenes and images, therefore not centered on a sharply written script. However, a lot of voters in years past have had trouble parsing a film’s pieces from the whole and evaluating them on their own and often films nominated for Best Picture and other high-profile prizes pick up writing noms as well. Not that I want to take anything away from Cuarón and his masterpiece; it’s just I’d like to spread the recognition around.
To that end, I’d like to have seen Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade pick up a nom here. Burnham subverted expectations by creating a gritty, raw coming-of-age tale which holds up every bit as well (if not better) than last year’s nomination darling Lady Bird, and it more than deserved a recognition here. On that note, I’d like to see First Reformed pick up a win here. Ethan Hawke was horribly snubbed for his turn as a priest slowly having a major breakdown in Paul Schrader’s (Taxi Driver) return to form. But FR is very hard to watch, ends on a really odd and creepy note and could well leave people with a bad taste in their mouths.
Last, and certainly not least, Green Book should be getting more awards circuit love than it has in the writing category. Yes, the film has had way more than its share of controversy, but there hasn’t been a funnier serious film in years, and it manages to deftly tackle weighty issues while keeping this compelling and moving at the same time. No little feat.