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Neek's Oscar Picks 2019

It's that time of year
1Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog


Best Picture:

What the Odds Say: Roma
Roma is projected to lead with one of the bigger leads I’ve seen in the last ten years, with Green Book in second and BlackKklansman and The Favourite tied after.

Who Should Win: The Favourite
Honestly out of all these films, The Favourite was my favorite (pun kind intended). It’s the most convincing and daring in terms of artistry and tone, and is even more commendable for making a story that could’ve gotten so lost in parable—given today’s politics—very personal and emotionally moving. Lead by three perfect performances, this would be my pick to win. Still, if Roma takes the cake I wouldn’t be the least bit peeved. It’s a beautiful film and probably the most significant and more unique films to be released these years. It, along with BlacKkKlansman and Black Panther, is a cultural sign of the times and shouldn’t be ignored due to its artistry and importance as a statement of humanity.
2Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
A Star is Born


Who Will Win: A Star Is Born
Okay, this is a dangerous pick but it’s been something I’ve been dreading deep in my bones, and no matter how many times the odds say otherwise, I can’t shake the feeling that the Academy will provide this insane popular (and overrated) film with the Statue. They want, no, crave the views and the need for relevancy, and the only way they know how would be to give it to A Star Is Born. Black Panther would be a far more credible alternative, but based on the sheer star power and amount of noms that this film snagged, I think that this film is being severely underestimated, as much as I hope I’m wrong about this one.
3Typhoon (USA-OR)
Offerings


Best Director:

What the Odds Say: Alfonso Cuaron
Cuaron has a palpabale lead over Spike Lee, with Yorgos Lanthimos coming in behind them.

Who Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron
As much as I love The Favourite and the sheer amount of balls to Lanthimos’ vision, I think that the sweeping drama, achingly rendered imagery and subtext and everything else that this man did to achieve his vision (he also produced, wrote, shot, and edited the film) is impossible to ignore.

Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron
I think the Academy will award him the Oscar for the same reasons I stated above. This man is a genius at the top of his game, and even if I don’t think Roma is his best film, it’s his most personal, and it shows the most obviously in his impeccably delivered vision. It would be great to see get the gold once though.
4Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog


Best Actress:

What the Odds Say: Glenn Close (The Wife)
She lands pretty far ahead of both Olivia Colman and Lady Gaga, who are tied in second, followed a bit close by Yalitza Aparicio.

Who Should Win: Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Okay, so I’m going to point out an obvious bias to my ratings here, I haven’t even seen Close’s performance in The Wife, but honestly I doubt anything could supercede my love for Colman’s performance of this film. I’ve been a massive fan of her since Broadchurch, and the variety of power, passion, and raw energy that she displayed in every scene of this scene was unparalleled this year. And that’s not to say this wasn’t a hard choice. Lady Gaga was the lone shining star of her film, bringing a effortlessly natural charisma the film really needed opposite Cooper’s lack of passion. Aparicio and Melissa McCarthy also just completely killed it and any other year they might’ve been considered frontrunners.
5Jocelyn Pook
Untold Things


Who Will Win: Glenn Close
Again, I haven’t seen The Wife so I feel strange making a call here, but based off of what I’ve read is that Close’s performance has a Steep-esque calculation to it (see: The Post), which I’ve agressively detested in the past (see: The Post). However, there’s a good chance that the Oscars might eat that shit up and give her the Gold for her eighth nomination (with zero wins!) Then again, the Academy eschewed the obvious Steep bump to rightly deliver it to Frances McDormand in her more obtuse, grounded performance, so I have some hope that they might do the right thing here again. Not enough though.
6Sigh
Heir to Despair


Best Actor:

What the Odds Say: Rami Malek
Malek has a solid lead over Christian Bale, who also has a solid lead over the tied Bradley Cooper and Viggo Mortensen.

Who Should Win: Christian Bale
Not going to lie, Bale seems like a lame pick for this one, but after seeing Vice and being absolutely throttled by it, I once again was put into my place by that man. Everytime I get a bit tired of him and his antics, he delivers a transformation like this, and also can be credited (with a great script) as getting me to sympathize with Dick Cheney. To be honest though, this isn’t a great year for Best Actor, especially compared to the fucking insane Best Actress race. Seeing Willem Dafoe at the bottom of the odds is a bit heartbreaking considering how well he did there, but then again I think very few actually saw At Eternity’s Gate (which is also a shame)....
7Queen
A Night at the Opera


....At the end of the day I think Ryan Gosling’s performance in First Man or Ethan Hawke’s in First Reformed were far more powerful, and either would have easily been my vote if they got the nomination. It’s possible that these understated performances went over the under obvious nominations here.

Who Will Win: Rami Malek
Even though I don’t think he gave the best performance, he’s an incredibly talented actor and that he deserves the Oscar (even though I might be a bit miffed about it when he wins).
8Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog


Best Supporting Actress:

What the Odds Say: Regina King (Beale Street)
King has a decent lead over a tied Rachael Weisz and Amy Adams, who are just inching past Marina de Ravira (Roma) and Emma Stone.

Who Should Win: Rachael Weisz
Honestly I could see it going to any of these killer performances. I’m gonna go with Weisz just because of the wide breadth of her performance found a perfect niche between sympathetic and just vile. She’s got a killer edge to her, and I think it’s about time the Academy recognized that. You not mind if any of these actresses won, especially King and Adams (both insanely good performances).

Who Will Win: Rachael Weisz
I think that The Favourite has to be recognized at some point here and that this is the most likely place for it to happen (aside from the technical categories). I think Adams deserves it but is a bit less of a bet due to audeince’s eh treatment of Vice, and King was dealt a blow due to the lack of nominations her film got as well.
9Ezra Furman
Transangelic Exodus


Best Supporting Actor:

What the Odds Say: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Ali in a pretty sizable lead ahead of Richard Grant, who is just barely in front of Sam Elliot.

Who Should Win: Richard E. Grant
Another just boring acting race, Ali and Grant were the only two that really stood out to me. Elliot? Really? And Sam Rockwell did great but there wasn’t much in the way of variety in that role. Those front running two I think were the only ones that really offered something interesting, and Grant’s devious but broken performance, especially this late in his career, was just heartbreaking in a film that really needed the depth.

Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali
It is pretty hard imagining the Academy giving it to anyone else this year, as good as Grant was. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if Grant takes the cake, but I think Ali’s got it down this year once again.
10Terrence Blanchard
BlacKkKlansman


Best Adapted Screenplay:

What the Odds Say: BlacKkKlansman
BlacKkKlansman’s got a solid lead over a tied Beale Street and Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which is ahead of another tied A Star Is Born and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Who Should Win: BlacKkKlansman
Well you can toss those last two out the window, neither has much of a chance and are both a bit too haphazard to truly deserve the win. Can You Ever Forgive Me? had a very good script but it wasn’t utilized to its full potential which I think shows. My biggest problem with Beale Street came from its sometimes over-poetic dialogue which broke the naturalism of the tone, but otherwise the film was exquisitely written. Still, the slap-bang tone-straddling joy-ride of BlacKkKlansman was so well balanced between sides that I don’t think any other film this year about race politics was so goddamn inarguable in its focus.

Who Will Win: BlacKkKlansman
Beale Street could be a nice upset, but I think it’s gonna go to Lee’s film.
11Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog


Best Original Screenplay:

What the Odds Say: The Favourite
The Favourite is sitting pretty on top here followed at a safe distance by Green Book, which is tightly ahead of Roma. First Reformed and Vice round out the back.

Who Should Win: First Reformed
No film (except maybe Blindspotting) riled me up the way that this script did this year. It’s a damning expression of radicalism, environmentalism, capitalism, and religion, and hit me in such a personal place that it couldn’t be ignored. As much as I loved the Favourite, the script for this one was so uncommonly moving and insightful that there’s nothing I can do to deny that this is my pick for the year.

Who Will Win: The Favourite
As amazing as it is that First Reformed at least got nominated for something this year, I doubt that it can topple The Favourite (which was immaculately written, by the way. The only real threat is Green Book, and I might just stop living if that wins the Oscar.
12Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
A Star is Born


Best Cinematography:

What the Odds Say: Roma
Roma’s pretty ahead of the pack here, ahead of a tied The Favourite and Cold War, which are in turn ahead of a tied A Star Is Born (lol what) and Never Look Away.

What Should Win: Roma
I’m probably the most ill-advised of all of these categories so far here, as I haven’t yet seen Cold War or Never Look Away, but I really don’t think anything here can topple Roma. As gorgeous and lavish as the look of The Favourite was, the heavy reliance on long takes and deep focus in forms of gorgeous compositions that highlighted the beautiful scenery and heartbreaking performances. Of all the films, this was the one in which cinematography was most essential to telling the story presented.

Who Will Win: A Star Is Born
lol jk its Roma again
13Queen
A Night at the Opera


Best Editing:

What the Odds Say: Vice
Vice ahead of Bohemian Rhapsody, closely ahead of BlacKkKlansman and The Favourite, ahead of Green Book.

What Should Win: Vice
This seems to be the place where the two black sheep of the Best Picture noms (Vice + Bohemian) seem to be hiding. Since Vice is personally one of my favorite noms, it’s good to see it getting some love here. I think it genuinely deserves this win. But will it get it?

What Will Win: Bohemian Rhapsody
Honestly Bohemian Rhadsody had a lot going for it editing wise. The performances were really well cut, and sequences like the Live Aid concert I think have a great old-fashioned style of cutting that’ll really click with Academy voters. A bit of a risk again I know, but I’ll throw in the hat for Bohemian just this once.
14Sigh
Heir to Despair


Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

What the Odds Say: Vice
Vice far and away over Mary Queen of Scots, which has a healthy lead over Border.

What Should Win: Vice
That Christian Bale HMU has got to be seen to be believed.

What Will Win: Vice
15Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog


Best Costume Design:

What the Odds Say: The Favourite
The Favourite with a tight lead over Black Panther, both of which tower over Mary Queen of Scots, Mary Poppins Returns (I’ve seen neither), and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

What Should Win: Black Panther
Feels weird to be voting against The Favourite, but goddamn would it be cool for a superhero film to win a Best Costume Design oscar. The variety and pure coolness to these outfits shouldn’t be discounted here.

What Will Win: The Favourite
Still, they will be discounted by an Academy that can’t get over period pieces, and even if it’s a good one this time around I wish they’d look at the less obvious answers to this award.
16Hop Along
Bark Your Head Off, Dog


Best Production Design:

What the Odds Say: The Favourite

What Should Win: The Favourite

What Will Win: The Favourite.
17Alan Silvestri
Avengers: Infinity War


Best Visual Effects:

What the Odds Say: Avengers: Infinity War
with an okay lead over First Man, which in turn is only a few points ahead of Ready Player one. Solo and Christopher Robin tie for last.

What Should Win: Avengers: Infinity War
While I’m glad to see First Man grabbing a nom for some subtle from incredible VFX work here, the pure scope and variety to the VFX in Infinity just can’t be ignored.

What Will Win: Avengers: Infinity War
It won’t be.
18Michael Giacchino
Incredibles 2


Best Animated Feature:

What the Odds Say: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
With a surprisingly strong lead over Incredibles 2 and Isle of Dogs, which in turn are above Ralph Breaks the Internet and Mirai.

What Should Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Obviously haven’t seen Mirai, but if you haven’t seen Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse yet then what are you doing with your life? Oh, and it shits all over Incredibles 2 (which was fine).

What Will Win: Incredibles 2
I don’t trust the stats honestly; I’ve got a bad feeling about this one.
19Typhoon (USA-OR)
Offerings


Best Foreign Language Feature:

What the Odds Say: Roma

What Should Win: Roma

What Will Win: Roma
It’s literally nominated for Best Picture, it doesn’t matter what the odds are.
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