by CELIA BROCKER
Who Won: ‘Parasite’
Who Should’ve Won: ‘Parasite’
In a shocking twist, the first international film ever won the Oscar for best picture and it was well earned. ‘Parasite’ was one of the best films of the decade, providing commentary on class and manipulation. Thrilling and thought provoking, such films deserve to be honored with more than what they currently are.
Who Won: Bong Joon-ho for ‘Parasite’
Who Should’ve Won: Sam Mendes for ‘1917’
While mostly mediocre directions were given the nod (ahem Todd Phillips) and noteworthy directions were snubbed (ahem Greta Gerwig), there are still directors in who deserve the honor. Bong Joon-ho definitely deserves credit for making ‘Parasite’ the best film of the year, but this one belongs to Sam Mendes. Films like ‘1917’ can only exist through great direction at the helm, and all the special effects in the world can’t help you.
Who Won: Joaquin Phoenix for ‘Joker’
Who Should’ve Won: Adam Driver for ‘Marriage Story’
Driver is a fantastic actor – he wouldn’t have been able to harness a large Star Wars fanbase playing Darth Vader 2.0 if he wasn’t – and he absolutely shines in ‘Marriage Story.’ He has to play a character that draws you to him while he’s driving you away, and Driver does exactly that. You’re rooting for his ex-wife and at the same time you can’t help but pity him.
Who Won: Renee Zellweger for ‘Judy’
Who Should’ve Won: Scarlett Johansen for ‘Marriage Story’
Johansen turned in not one but two fabulous performances this year, the first being a supporting role in the satirical WWII film ‘Jojo Rabbit,’ the second playing half of a dividing couple in ‘Marriage Story.’ In the latter film, the audience watches as Johansen’s character goes through a journey of self-love, and though her marriage continues to dissolve she bravely continues to put herself and her feelings as a priority for the first time in her life, and it’s cathartic to watch. The best part of the performance is that her character never changes from the person we are shown at the beginning of the movie despite her newfound self-worth. Many great performances were snubbed by the Academy this year – Awkawafina in ‘The Farwell,’ Jennifer Lopez in ‘Hustlers,’ Lupita Nyong’o in ‘Us’ – but since this performance was chosen by the Academy it should be given more than a nomination, it should be given the win.
Best Supporting Actor
Who Won: Brad Pitt for ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’
Who Should’ve Won: Brad Pitt ‘for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’
Whether or not you were a fan of this film, you have to admit Brad Pitt turned in a great performance, and it was an opportunity for the Academy to award ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ while still giving the major awards to the more stand-out films of the past year.
Best Supporting Actress
Who Won: Laura Dern for ‘Marriage Story’
Who Should’ve Won: Florence Pugh for ‘Little Women’
‘Little Women’ shows it’s characters at two different points in their lives, as children and as adults. Pugh plays the youngest sister Amy March at age 12 and age 20, two drastically different times in her life. In her younger years Amy is bratty, energetic, rash and imaginative. As an adult Amy is refined, serious, classy and not afraid to verbally dismantle anyone who deserves it. Pugh performs both parts of Amy’s life brilliantly, never putting either one above the other. The 2019 version of ‘Little Women’ shines a light on the most despised March sister in a way previous adaptations have refused to do, finally bringing to life the complex character from the novel instead of creating a basic pretty face. Amy is ambitious and elegant, romantic and realistic, something Pugh captures with ease and steals every scene she’s in, even sitting beside acting legend Meryl Streep.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Who Won: Takia Watti for ‘JoJo Rabbit’
Who Should’ve Won: Greta Gerwig for ‘Little Women’
Though ‘Jojo Rabbit’ was a rare gem, ‘Little Women’ has been adapted for the big screen several times and Gerwig’s script still managed to give a fresh take on the classic. It’s a period film story that doesn’t have the stiff upper lip most period films have, so the audience doesn’t feel detached from the characters. The script focuses on the complexity of all the characters, so it truly feels like it’s a story about Little Women, not Jo March and Her Sisters. Since the Academy excluded Gerwig from the Directing category, they should’ve at least given her this award.
Best Original Screenplay
Who Won: Bong Joon-ho for ‘Parasite’
Who Should’ve Won: Noah Baumbach for ‘Marriage Story’
Though ‘Parasite’ is the most memorable film nominated this year and definitely deserved to win, films like ‘Marriage Story’ function almost solely off the script. Unfortunately, the Academy is going to turn their heads because it’s a Netflix film. Shocker, but it is possible for great content to come from streaming services.