Oscars 2020: Awarding the best of those overlooked by the Academy, from Uncut Gems to Us, The Farewell

Prahlad Srihari

Feb 09, 2020 14:52:32 IST

In this week's edition of complaining about things, we diss — and discuss an alternative to — the Oscars: that 92-year-old grandpa struggling for relevance amongst a younger, more diverse generation of film lovers.

The 2020 Oscar race has been underway for months now, and everyone's got their list of predictions and favourites. After Parasite clinched the crown at Cannes, Joker at Venice, and Jojo Rabbit at TIFF, 1917 has become one of the frontrunners for Best Picture having already won the accolade at various other appetiser awards shows, from the Golden Globes to BAFTAs.

Though the 92nd Academy Awards boasts an impressive group of nominees, and the Best Picture race is wide open, it doesn't seem like all the "best" options were considered and accounted for by the Academy. As always, they seem to have forgotten women make films too, ignoring the directorial efforts of Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Greta Gerwig (Little Women) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) among others. Like in the past, the Academy prefers black actors in subservient roles in films that make its white members feel better about their racist legacy. Lupita Nyong'o (Us) should have been a shoo-in for Best Actress, but the only non-white actor to receive a nomination was Cynthia Erivo for playing slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman (in Harriet). Like every year, not all the joys we got from cinema in 2019 were well-represented — and one can't help but feel some truly deserving films, filmmakers and actors were robbed.

With the final verdict just around the corner, we thought we would try to remedy this sad state of affairs, and give plaudits to those snubbed by the Academy. We're all tired of hearing the same list of names being announced at every awards show. So, taking cue from Elsie Fisher and her Elsies, Firstpost presents the first annual celebration of the award season's most overlooked — our very own alternative Oscars.

Note: Our awards are meant to call attention to films whose omissions this awards season were most indefensible. We also try our best to narrow the widening gap between the Oscars' distaste for genre cinema, and the general public's — and our own — love for it. But as always, please note there is an inherent element of value judgement to these awards.

Best Original Score

Winner: Michael Abels (Us)

 Oscars 2020: Awarding the best of those overlooked by the Academy, from Uncut Gems to Us, The Farewell

A still from Jordan Peele's Us.

Other Nominees: Bobby Krlic (Midsommar), Daniel Lopatin (Uncut Gems), Max Richter and Lorne Balfe (Ad Astra), Mica Levi (Monos), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Waves)

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Best Cinematography

Winner: Claire Mathon (Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Atlantique)

Alternative Oscars Claire Mathon

Other Nominees: Darius Khondji (Uncut Gems), Hong Kyung-pyo (Parasite), Hoyte van Hoytema (Ad Astra), Jasper Wolf (Monos), Pawel Pogorzelski (Midsommar)

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Best Documentary Feature

Winner: One Child Nation

A still from One Child Nation.

Other Nominees: Cold Case Hammarskjöld, Maiden, Midnight Family, The Kingmaker, Varda by Agnès

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Best Original Screenplay

Winner: Robert Eggers and Max Eggers (The Lighthouse)

A still from The Lighthouse.

Other Nominees: Alex Ross Perry (Her Smell), Céline Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie, Benny Safdie (Uncut Gems), Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy)

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Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Winner: Cho Yeo-jeong and Park So-dam (Parasite)

Cho Yeo-jeong (L) and Park So-dam (R) from Parasite.

Other Nominees: Adèle Haenel (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Julia Fox (Uncut Gems), Octavia Spencer (Luce), Rebecca Ferguson (Doctor Sleep)

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Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Winner: Song Kang-ho (Parasite)

Song Kang-ho in Parasite.

Other Nominees: Christian Bale (Ford vs Ferrari), Lakeith Stanfield (Uncut Gems), Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man in San Francisco), Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy), Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse)

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Best Actress in a Leading Role

Winner: Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell) and Lupita Nyong'o (Us) - Tie

Alternative Oscars

Elizabeth Moss (L) and Lupita Nyong'o

Other Nominees: Aisling Franciosi (The Nightingale), Alfre Woodard (Clemency), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Florence Pugh (Midsommar), Jocelyn DeBoer (Greener Grass)

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Best Actor in a Leading Role

Winner: Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)

A still from Uncut Gems.

Other Nominees: Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Kelvin Harrison Jr (Luce), Matthew McConaughey (The Beach Bum), Noah Jupe (Honey Boy), Tom Mercier (Synonyms)

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Best Director

Winner: Safdie Brothers (Uncut Gems)

A still from Uncut Gems.

Other Nominees: Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Celine Sciamma (Portrait of a Lady on Fire), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse)

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Best Picture

Winner: Portrait of a Lady on Fire

A still from Portrait of A Lady on Fire.

Other Nominees: Her Smell, High Life, Monos, Synonyms, The Farewell, The Lighthouse, Uncut Gems

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Bonus awards (for the best in genre cinema)

Best Sci-fi/Fantasy Film

Winner: High Life

Alternative Oscars High Life

Other Nominees: Ad Astra, Aniara, Fast Color, I Am Mother, Little Joe

Best Horror Film

A still from Midsommar
Winner: Midsommar

Other Nominees: Hagazussa, In Fabric, Knife + Heart, The Lighthouse, Us

Best Comedy Film

Winner: Greener Grass

Alternative Oscars Greener Grass

Other Nominees: Booksmart, Deerskin, Dolemite Is My Name, The Art of Self-Defense, The Farewell

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Updated Date: Feb 11, 2020 10:14:58 IST