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12 days til Oscar - a dozen wishes as Oscar voting begins

Though we're dreading the Oscars for the first time in our lives that we can recall (it's that damn gnawing off of their own limbs while in ABC's trap that they're doing) we'll still be watching and hoping for the best. With Oscars just twelve days away and voting beginning here are


1. For voters to watch one or two more screeners before they vote. Better, or at least fairer choices will be made if they have seen every option within a category. Particularly in the lower profile categories like Animated Short or Documentaryl don't just vote for Bao or RBG because they're the ones you've seen -- vote for them only if you think they're the actual best.

2. That John Bailey and the Board of Governors realize their disgusting mistake and reverse course yet again restoring the cut categories to the Broadcast. Giving out awards during commercial breaks is shameful and also, as we've heard from people who've attended, extra disrespectful because in the room there is tons of noise during commercial breaks as everyone runs for drinks, bathroom breaks, to visit friends in other seats, etc...

No one will be paying attention to these artists when they're having their moments!

3. For voters to collectively realize TODAY and all through voting that Mahershala Ali a) already has an Oscar for a better performance than the one he gives in Green Book b) is a leading man in a supporting category where he has an unfair advantage and c) that they have two absolutely grand real supporting performances from enduring performances who have never won in the category that would look great in the history books as winners, would probably result in a superb telecast moment of giddiness and wit, and would also honor both exceptional 2018 performance and decades of film history: Richard E Grant in Can You Ever Forgive Me or Sam Elliott in A Star is Born, take your pick. 

4. If #2 doesn't occur, for several winners speak out from the stage to protest Oscar's recent blunderheaded decisions but particularly the move to not air certain categories. Oscar getting read from the stage is always kind of subversive and thrilling (remember Kim Basinger scolding them for skipping Do The Right Thing AT THAT VERY CEREMONY. Brave and progressive of her for the time)

5. If #2 doesn't occur for the ceremony to be an unmitigated disaster or at least very disjointed and chaotic and low-rated. It breaks our hearts to wish this upon the best event in the whole world but perhaps then they'd realize not to try and fix what ain't broke? 

6. For voters to really think about each craft nominee's achievements as they vote rather than just checking off the name of the film of the film they happen to like the best among the five.  On this same topic it would be cool if the sound branch realized that giving Bohemian Rhapsody the Oscar for playing Queen's music is not remotely the same as resurrecting Freddie Mercury to hand him an Oscar. 

7. the same token for voters to realize that voting for Rami Malek is not the same as resurrecting Freddie Mercury to hand him an Oscar. In fact, it's much closer to handing alleged sexual predator Bryan Singer an award for his directing skill with actors

And -- I know this is asking a lot -- for the voters to realize, overall and in perpetuity, that you don't have to always hand the Oscar to biopic performances. It's not mandatory! Creating a character from scratch and making them feel like an absolutely real three-dimensional person with history, depth, complexities, faults, and reserves of soul takes just as much skill and definitely more imagination (hi, Bradley Cooper & Regina King & Glenn Close!)

8. For Glenn Close to finally win that damn Oscar she's deserved a few times for yet another grand performance. This is IN NO WAY a Scent of a Woman situation. It's only embarrassing to hand career Oscars to sensational performers IF they're doing subpar work. The Wife is among her best performances so there's no reason to hesitate.

9. For the song performances to be so entertaining on Oscar night that at least they get raves and remind the Academy that the format of the show was the fine the way it was and the song performances are fun little 'intermissions' between acceptance speeches. They grant the show variety and they're certainly more exciting than watching some dumb lengthy skit involving 'real' people or lock boxes or whatnot.

And within this group, for "Shallow" to be so incredible live that everyone feels collective shame that they didn't vote for the year's best performance by an actor: That'd be Bradley Cooper.

10. For Border to surprise and win Best Makeup and Hair because it's frankly no contest. This is no shade to the other nominees who would be worthy winners in another year and who should be very proud of their nominations for strong work. But Border is next level.

11. For an actress to present Best Picture. It doesn't happen enough. You have a problem when in 90 ceremonies, only 11 actresses have done it. As a reminder they were: Audrey Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, Faye Dunaway, Diane Keaton, Elizabeth Taylor, Cher, Carol Burnett, Lillian Gish, Julie Andrews, Janet Gaynor, and Mary Pickford.

What on earth is the holdup with having, say, Fonda or Maclaine do it? Or MERYL STREEP ?!? 

12. For voters to realize that Roma doesn't need ALL the prizes. Sweeps are boring and they're also hard to justify with so much fine work nominated in each category. For instance, if it's your #1 vote in Best Picture and Best Director, why give it Foreign Film and Cinematography, too, when Shoplifters and Cold War are right there? 


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Reader Comments (59)

I'm pretty sure Rami Malek is going to win the Oscar. And he'll win it for his performance, not for Bryan Singer.

I agree more women should present Best Picture and Meryl Streep would be a perfect choice!

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

8 to 12: where I sign?

I still think that best picture deserves a presenter who shake things and put order in the house.
Name? Dame Olivia de Havilland. Direct from Paris.

C'mon, AMPAS! And Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyck for best director. Will be heaven!

I like to add Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening because I miss The Grifters very much.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSoshua

Looking at my mock ballot, I realized that, while I'd vote for Roma as Best Picture, I would vote for it for NOTHING ELSE. I prefer Cold War for Director and Cinematography, and Shoplifters for Foreign Film. And I really spread the wealth. The Favourite gets 3 (Supporting Actress (Weisz), Original Screenplay and Costumes) and nothing else gets more than 2. Doesn't look like I'll be seeing my choices reflected in the actual winners.So what else is new?

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

Russell Crowe wrote my favourite #PresentAll24 tweet. This season keeps surprising me.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Just putting down my *co-sign*.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I won't be at all shocked if Cold War usurps Roma for Cinematography and I don't think it's winning either acting award. But BP & BD are just about locked up.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

01) Oscar for Glenn
02) Justice for Glenn
03) Vindication for Glenn
04) Triple Crown Status for Glenn
05) Glenn hearing her name after the envelope opens
06) Glenn grinning at the after party while they engrave her name
07) Glenn generating offers because she's our newest Best Actress winner
08) Glenn's previous Oscar nods getting showcased on streaming platforms
09) Glenn reiterating she can do that and she deserves to do that
10) Oldman shouting you will not be ignored before he says her name
11) Standing ovation for Glenn once she wins
12) Glenn Close winning for The Wife

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Exactly ! Thank You !

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterErick Loggia

I can't be mad at a Roma sweep when a) it's a tremendous film, and b) it's wins will mean so much from a progressive POV. I mean, to see a foreign film of this nature, a black and white, subtle and moving picture about a woman no less, make such an impact without having to resort to dramatics (even the grand finale is subtle and delicate compared to so much these days)'s refreshing. I want it to take everything.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Wait - how is Bradley Cooper creating a character “from scratch?” He is playing a part three other actors have played before him.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

1. Best actress : Glenn Close
2. Best actor : Bradley Cooper
3. Best supporting actress : Rachel Weisz
4. Best supporting actor : Richard E. Grant
5. Best song : Shallow and Lady Gaga receiving the award from Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke
6. Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench giving the Best Director Oscar to Alfonso Cuaron
7. Meryl Streep presenting Best Picture
That's all for tonight!

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterErick Loggia

Quick correction. Olivia de Havilland has presented Best Picture. It was for Lawrence of Arabia and was the year of the infamous Crawford-Davis awkwardness when Crawford accepted the Oscar for Best Actress (Anne Bancroft) that Davis lost.

However, how great would it be to see Dame Olivia recognized somehow this year. It's the 80th anniversary year of Gone With The Wind after all and she's the only notable star of the Thirties left.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Canada

Yes to Richard Grant. No offense to Mr. Ali, but he doesn't belong in this category.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMark F.

...for voters to realize that Glenn Close shouldn’t win because she is long overdue. We gripe about lead performances nominated in the supporting category or about voters not really voting for the actual best. However, we almost never hear people stand up against the unfairness of victories just because it’s long overdue. It is like “hey we love Glenn or Julianne or Meryl or whoever, so it’s wonderful that she won even if it’s not really the best”. Where’s the consistency in our displeasure or complaints?

I am a big fan of Glenn Close, by the way.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commentergoodbar

Yknow whatd be nice? If it didnt feel so scripted. It always feels so planned and scripted and fake. I wouldnt mind seeing all these celebs just go off the cuff and say what they feel let jokes come naturally etc. Thats what I always never cared for at the Oscars the skits that were all clearly made up. Ah I dunno.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterkris01

Your site has become so bitchy and self-righteous. You lost a lot of readers with your stupid comments purporting to understand female sexuality. You are just a hack with a blog.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJane

@goodbar: Most of us who want Glenn to win that have seen The Wife feel she's worthy of winning based on her performance. Perhaps an overdue narrative is a tiebreaker if her performance is on an even keel to another's like Colman's, but if it weren't up to snuff she wouldn't be as strongly in the conversation. That's why she didn't even come close to the win for Albert Nobbs.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Re: Rami Malek winning: "In fact, it's much closer to handing alleged sexual predator Bryan Singer an award for his directing skill with actors." THIS IS PREPOSTEROUS. Just when I thought the hate and the whining can't get any worse.

MY WISH? That we, purported fans of cinema, stop hating so profusely on actors just because we can't accept that people in their own industry like them even if we don't.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRon

my only qualm with glenn is that i think the movie is bad, but at least she's good.i prefer my acting winners to be great performances in great movies, which is why I would vastly prefer Colman. it's a still alice/crazy heart situation. worse things have happened, i suppose

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterc

Ingrid Bergman gave out Best Picture as well (to Gigi).

I want an actress (or actresses) to do it on their own. It has been 30 years since actress got to present best picture, which is mind boggling.

Meryl not giving it out makes sense - she or her films are nominated when she does show up, and it’s usually not someone who is in contention that gives out one of the high profile awards.

However, if Netflix were really on top of their game they’d lobby to have Jane and Lilly do it. Shirley would be wonderful, as would a mini Julia reunion between Meryl and Jane. However, I’m most shocked that they haven’t had Oprah do it at least once.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Meryl SHOULD present Best Pic. That’s all.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I want full on punch you in the face anger like when the Life of Pi team kept going in on Hollywood’s broken system that afforded the film a ton of nominations but couldn’t even pay a fair rate to the vfx studio that went bankrupt after making their beloved film. I want vitriol at the Academy like when Randy Newman called out the music branch for not finding five nominees in Song the year he won. I want Michael Moore getting booed for calling out the Iraq War levels of passion rolling through that theater. I want a presumed front runner to have the head of the cinematography and/or editing societies to give a speech in their stead. With no host, there is no excuse for cutting songs and awards presentations from the telecast.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Hey people be nice to Nat you don’t need to shit on his feelings to voice a complaint he’s harmless :(

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterkris01

@c: I just don't get that. If the performance is great, then it's deserving. It's not Glenn Close's fault that The Wife isn't as good as The Favourite, she made it better in fact.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Jane: you don't make any sense. Get lost and fuck a teddy bear tonight. Sorry Nathaniel. Dumb trolls like Jane piss me right off.

Anyhow, go Glenn go. That's all I want this year.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJones

Jane -- I promise positivity this next week as I need it this late in the season. But as for "purporting to understand female sexuality" I agree that that would be preposterous if I said that but I did not, in point of fact, say that so maybe dont pretend I did because you feel like being mad.

I assume you're talking about the Vanity Fair link -- all I said was that we should respect what women have to say about their own experiences and bodies and sexuality (which I honestly didn't think would be controversial!) Don't get mad at me because of what Sarah Jessica Parker said.

I think everyone would be happier if they weren't ashamed of their bodies or judgmental about other people's bodies. If that's controversial or something to be angry about so be it. One of the best recent developments in the conversations about beauty have been about why we need more inclusiveness --we need to see more body types, more skin tones, because there isn't one way to be beautiful. There's lots of ways.

Jamie -- totally agree.

Joe -- ooh. Jane & Lily would be such a coup for Netflix but also Oscar appropriate since they've been winners or nominees.

Ron -- it was overdramatic I'll admit that but it's not actually as preposterous as thinking this is somehow honoring Freddie Mercury (who is dead and can't speak for himself and I think it's kind of gross that Rami Malek is acting like Freddie in spirit had something to do with his performance.) Personal opinion.

February 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

MIchael -- the basic plot is the same but the characters are different in each version of the story.

February 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Meryl for Best Picture presentation.

I think she could shake things up.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRdf

Nat: in your points specifically referred to the acting awards you keep saying "... for the acting branch to realize..." Let's remember that in the final voting everybody votes for everything. The whole membership should keep that advice in mind.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Michelle, Susan and Cher presenting Best picture. ✌🏼

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTomi

LOL - you did sound stupid Nathaniel talking about women. As a gay man, you really know nothing. And equating Rami with a sex predator seems wildly unfair, and you need to get over your bias against him.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

@Jenn: Ah, and now the homophobia of all these triggered recent commenters sees the light of day.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

Jenn -- sounding stupid and being entirely misquoted are two different things. Never said i was an expert on female sexuality. I agree that that would be LOL worthy.

But I do wonder why you and Jane are so offended that I said we should respect what actresses have to say about their own bodies and experiences. Nobody has answered why they were offended by that. It's one thing to think I'm stupid (whatever, I don't know you. people say mean things on the internet all the time). It's quite a worse thing to suggest that we should discount famous women's feelings.

February 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Marcos -- that's a great point.

February 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Who’s homophobic? Just apologize Nathaniel for being wrong. People might actually respect you again.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

Like Jenn and Jane are actually different people? LOL

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I will defeat Nathaniel at all costs. I challenge you Nat to a boxing match winner gets to run the film experience.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJane

Jenn -- generally if someone needs to mention someone's sexuality to discount their opinion it's a pretty clear sign. But anyway, I'll survive. if i knew what you thought I should apologize for i'd consider it (if i was wrong).

And as for respect. Jenn, sigh, this is the internet. Aint ever gonna get that. Someone will always be angry about something.

February 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Jane 2 -- i'd never gamble my baby away. plus i'd lose a boxing match ;)

February 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Maybe I can translate? Some people, myself included, felt you treated the old Vanity Fair cover as a moment of female empowerment and sexuality, when it was really kind of sexist and gross. Sure some women through their publicist said it was liberating, but did you expect any of them to have a negative comment published? based on comments from women that went through their publicists. I did note that Jennifer Jason Leigh did make it pretty clear at the time that it was kind of a setup for them to be photographed in lingerie. Maybe some of the women liked it, but you seemed to ignore or discount the ones who did not, and focused on some tangent of interest to you.

As for the Rami comment above, I have to agree that it's off base. He is an actor and he has nothing to do with Bryan Singer's ugly personal life choices, unless proven otherwise.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

Nat, don’t forget Loretta Young presented Best Picture solo to Chariots of Fire.

February 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick T

I really think Glenn Close should have won an Oscar for Dangerous Liasons. Some of the other performances she was nominated for were not Oscar worthy. I do wonder if the acting branch is watching all the movies. Because if they are there is no way Olivia Colman shouldn’t be tying with Close for votes.

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

Tom Ford -- "when it was really kind of sexist and gross." but that is a value judgment. Sarah Jessica Parker made a different one, calling it "empowering". I dont understand why, if people make a value judgement about something, they can't respect that another woman might have a different opinion than they do? That's my confusion about this whole thing. People have a wide variety of opinions and feelings. ALL women do not feel anything anymore than all men do. And I keep noticing that everyone who feels that the cover was sexist and gross keeps showing a desire to assume that the famous actresses involved have no autonomy over their own lives choices or bodies.

I don't think it's offbase of me to suggest that this is patronizing to those actresses. Actresses have not been shy lately about speaking their mind (so thankful for that!) so why in this one instance would they suddenly demur and pretend to have liked something that they actually found demeaning? Why would they lie about this of all things? A shoot by a celebrated female photographer who has never been accused of anything untoward or of coercing people into doing things they didn't want to do.

How does this respect women to suggest they are but puppets and other people are making all their decisions for them / providing all their quotes?

As for Rami Malek -- I wish people had felt this way when everyone was attacking anyone who'd ever worked with Woody Allen and demanding that they apologize for taking a job. Suddenly with Malek and Singer (who, unlike Allen has been accused repeatedly of rape and unlike Allen has never been investigated and cleared) we're supposed to not judge that Malek chose to work with him? I find this flip flopping very disorienting.

Anyone else or is it just me?

Is it just because people like Bohemian Rhapsody that they think we should "separate the art from the artist"? Because last time I suggested we do that people got very angry with me.

February 13, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@Nathaniel: Rami will get away from criticism that most Allen actors (who are typically women) won't for two reasons:

1, Rami is a man, and our society blames women for working with an immoral man more because women are still expected to be moral leaders.

2. People are very uncomfortable, still, about talking about gay sex and gay sexual transgressions. That's helped Singer get a way with a lot, because people overlook queer sex (both legal and misdeeds) because it's all marked, through a heteronormative lens, as wrong.

I think you're spot on about Bohemian Rhapsody and what giving the Oscar to Rami symbolizes, and what that film raking in as many nominations symbolizes as well.

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Is Oldman presenting Close? I thought he wasn't a big enough superstar, and they were going to get Miley Cyrus or something.......

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

Travis -- LOLOL. We dont know who is presenting what. We hope they stick with tradition but this year is so fucked up so who knows. The only time it's cool to veer from a fun tradition like that is if you have something even more fun planned (like those years with the group presentations of past winners of the category) and just getting a "bigger celebrity" is not more fun!

February 13, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel: You're right to point out the hypocrisy regarding the respective treatment of Allen/the actors in his films and Singer/Malik.

But don't be surprised. I think that anger makes people's power of reasoning inconsistent.

So much hatred in this thread, some of it directed at you. You don't deserve it. As for the ceremony: I know the Academy has got us all a bit upset this year with its badly thought-out changes. I'm thinking back to the 2005 ceremony: remember the broadcast played music under people's speeches? A terrible idea and they haven't done it since. I'm hoping that the decision to present four categories in the commercial breaks will be like that: once tried, never repeated. Meanwhile, let's hope there's plenty to enjoy on the big night anyway.

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

It's very unfair to proclaim, that Malek doesn't deserve to win, because he was directed by a sexual predator. Malek doesn't deserve to win, because there are better performances nominated alongside him (though I liked Malek very much).
If you say an actor doesn't deserve an Oscar for a performance he gave being directed by a sexual predator, you also say that Cate Blachett didn't deserve her Oscar for Blue Jasmine, nor Ruth Gordon for Rosemary's Baby, which is NOT true!

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermoviefilm

I will try and find a link for you, Nathaniel, but Eric Bana also just went off on an Australian panel news show ("The Project") about the Oscars decision (basically saying" even take the acting Oscars off the telecast before cinematography, because nothing in films compares to cinematography").

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

moviefilm: Agreed!

February 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

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