A Celebration or a Clusterfuck? My Thoughts on the 93rd Academy Awards

In honor of Thomas Vinterberg’s extremely moving acceptance speech last night, allow me to open with a reference to arguably his most famous film. There is a moment in Thomas Vinterberg’s Cannes Awards-winning Dogme-film Festen (international title: The Celebration), where the main character Christian (played by Ulrich Thomsen) asks his father, whose birthday is being celebrated, what speech he would like Christian to read for him — the green speech or the yellow speech? His father chooses the ‘green’ speech, and, as a result, the events of the unforgettable film take place. Sometimes a single decision can change everything. And, in the case of the 93rd Academy Awards’ ceremony, a decision was made that ultimately destroyed an otherwise decent ceremony.

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Who Will Win the 93rd Academy Awards? Final Predictions

In the memorable words of Billy Crystal: “It’s a wonderful night for Oscar. Oscar, Oscar. Who will win?” After a prolonged awards season, it’s finally time for the main course, the 93rd Academy Awards. This year, due to the limited studio output in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, AMPAS extended the eligibility window to include films from the first months of 2021, which is why a film such as Judas and the Black Messiah is nominated already this year.

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REVIEW: Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Daniel Kaluuya (center) as ‘Fred Hampton’ in JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH — Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Directed by Shaka King — Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King.

Next week, Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah may have become the winner of one or multiple Oscars at the 93rd Academy Awards, which, in theory, was supposed to honor the best films of 2020, in spite of the fact that this film was released in 2021. This is the result of a change to this Oscar season’s eligibility period due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, and this now means that select films released in early 2021 may also qualify to compete against 2020 films at the Oscars.

In general, this was a rule change that I am very much against as I absolutely do think that there are enough good films from 2020 that the Academy should honor, instead of adopting some odd eligibility window for the sake of giving more time to studios to release films that absolutely could’ve competed at the 94th Academy Awards instead. Regardless, I actually highly recommend Shaka King’s Judas and the Black Messiah, and, if it had been released in 2020, it probably would be one of my favorite films of that year.

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REVIEW: Widows (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – 20th Century Fox

The following is a review of Widows — Directed by Steve McQueen.

Based on Linda La Plante’s 1980s crime drama of the same name, Widows is only the fourth feature film from Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and BFI Fellowship-winning film director Steve McQueen, who has now teamed up with crime writer Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl & Sharp Objects). After having made films about Irish history, sex addiction, and the American history of slavery, McQueen’s latest film tackles themes such as class, politics, and gender via an audience-pleasing genre. Continue reading “REVIEW: Widows (2018)”

REVIEW: Get Out (2017)

UK Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of Get Out – The directorial debut for Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele’s Get Out is basically a horror movie version of Stanley Kramer’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?. Peele’s debut tells the story of an African-American man, Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya), who is spending the weekend with – and meeting – his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Continue reading “REVIEW: Get Out (2017)”

REVIEW: Sicario (2015)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate – ‘Sicario’

The following is a review of ‘Sicario’, a Denis Villeneuve film.

I had a lot of expectations going into the theater to watch Sicario. The spectacular cast isn’t the only thing you should be excited about. Denis Villeneuve, the director, is one of the hottest new directors in the world. His last three films (Prisoners; Enemy; Incendies) have been some of my favorites in the years that they’ve been released, and Villeneuve is directing the hotly-anticipated Blade Runner sequel soon. In short, I expected Sicario to be one of the best films this year – I was not disappointed.

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