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Oscars 2024: Wrapping Up the Awards Season in Golden-Fashioned Way


By Roger Costa

For 30 years I have been a devoted, faithful follower of the Oscars. In many of those years, including the early days when I convinced and gathered my then-teen friends to keep up awake till late night and watch the entire show (in South America the time zone difference makes it last up to 2 in the morning), I have always disagreed with some of their picks and lately they have lost most of their credibility. Quantity over quality. New trends of the new century. Blockbusters seekers. The end of art cinema. The era of superheroes. Pick a reason, but never give up on the power of cinema. And for that, the Oscars remain strong despite all those years (it’s been almost a century!) of ups and downs: it celebrates the seventh art in its most glorious and essential dynamics. Here is a very honest and personal look at this year’s 96th cerimony:


Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster OPPENHEIMER is the favorite for all of its technical and historical acchievements and will probably win the Top golden statue comes March 10th evening. My personal choice is AMERICAN FICTION which I believe is a phenomenal social and cultural satire to what we call “smart” now-a-days. Second, I’d have to go with ANATOMY OF A FALL a mesmerizing and head-scratching court drama investigating an apparent murder. Now, do not count out the pink and female power of BARBIE which was last year’s highest-grossing film or the heady Gothic feminist saga POOR THINGS, which is currently playing in theaters and making a good profit. Getting the prize will only increase that.


I am betting JEFFREY WRIGHT (“American Fiction”) will upset everyone on Sunday when he gets the prize over favs Bradley Cooper for his embodiment of Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro” and Cillian Murphy for bomb-maker “Oppenheimer”. If so, this will be the first time in a long while since the Academy awards an actor performing without visual effects. It seems the Academy has been favoring actors covered in make-up to emphasize physical transformations. I remember when they used to cheerish a good old-fashioned transformation such as Christian Bale losing tons of weight for “The Fighter”. Now-a-days when an actor gets on a fake suit or spends hours putting on a heavy make-up is an Oscar nod for sure. But hey, Paul Giamatti is my favorite in this category and he is the heart and soul of “The Holdovers”, which could make him turn the tables around and finally get his overdue Oscar.


Lily Gladstone seems to be the frontrunner, but her role in “Killers of the Flower Moon” although is very important, it is small. She’d be perfect for a Supporting Role award. Considering this, Emma Stone is the one to beat, for her hypnotic and satirical gothic-Barbie-like turn in “Poor Things”. But my personal pick, and the one I believe will win is SANDRA HULLER. This was her year, she’s in two of the Top films of the year, and on “Anatomy of a Scene” she kills it, speaking in three different languages and turning all attentions on her. Carey Mulligan has gained some momentum but it’s drifted away, while Annette Bening is still a strong contender for her life-changing and transformative role as the swimmer in “Nyad”.


What a fantastic selection of five nominees. Scorsese is making history as the oldest director ever nominated for “Killers of the Flower Moon”, Yorgos Lanthimos confirms his auteur status with “Poor Things”, Jonathan Glazer is an emerging filmmaker already leaving an impressive mark with “Zone of Interest”. The real battle is between Christopher Nolan for his epic “Oppenheimer” and French darling Justine Triet for her court room drama “Anatomy of a Fall”. Nolan is the favorite, especially after receiving praise from the other nominees (Scorsese is a top fan!), but I will go with JUSTINE TRIET, as I believe she will confirm female empowerment on Sunday over-rulling the male predominance in this category.


Best Supporting Actor will go to RYAN GOSLING for “Barbie”, because he was the best (and sexiest) villain and Supporting Actress should go to DANIELLE BROOKS’s stormy revelation in “The Color Purple”. In other choices, I’d be happy to award Sterling Brown for “American Fiction” and America Ferrara for “Barbie”, instead. Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest” should get the INTERNATIONAL FILM Statue, representing the UK, which should also win BEST SOUND. For Screenplays, “Anatomy of a Fall” is my favorite to win Original, and “American Fiction” for Adapted. POOR THINGS should also win big with Production Design, Make-Up, Costumes and Cinematography. THE BOY AND THE HERON for Best Animated, 20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL for Best Documentary. OPPENHEIMER will also get Editing, Original Score,  MISSION IMPOSSIBLE for Visual Effects and KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON will have its moment winning Best Song (“Wahzhazhe- A Song for My People”).

Social Press . 06/03/2024

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