Oscars Death Race 2020: Prologue

The nominations are in! Time for another Death Race. I have some work to do as I have only seen 9 of the 53 nominated films, and are in the midst of moving to a new home. Wish me luck!

Avengers: Endgame
I really had no interest in seeing this but I wanted to check out a new IMAX theatre with dual laser projectors and all that jazz, and this was the only movie playing. The first act was kind of interesting, dealing with the consequences of the first film. Surprisingly, a bit of focus on the characters as “human beings”. Nothing special, but when it comes to superhero movies, a bit of fresh air. The second act was atrocious with its cheap time travel gimmick that gives the filmmakers a free pass to do whatever they want. Nothing makes sense and character motivations are flimsy at best. The third act is the same old tired battle sequence. I. Am. So. Tired. Of. Marvel. Movies. And. You. Should. Be. Too. Oh, and the 3D was shit.
Nominated for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
This is very much a personal opinion (of course), but this was a very frustrating watch. Tarantino either feels he has to put in his “Tarantino Trademarks” that people expects, or he is becoming as predictable as he fears he will be when he turns 60. What makes this one so excruciating is that it would have been a good movie, had it not been for all the Tarantino bullshit thrown on top.
Nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Leonardo DiCaprio), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Brad Pitt), Best Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Production Design, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing.

Parasite
After Snowpiercer and Okja, this is a return to form for Bong Joon-ho. Unexpected and engaging. Great! Suck on that, Tarantino!
Nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, Best Achievement in Production Design, Best Achievement in Film Editing.

Knives Out
I have not enjoyed any of Rian Johnsons previous work (I have not seen Brick, though). Both Looper and The Last Jedi suffered from what seems like laziness when it comes to plot and story making sense. I was pleasantly surprised when I really enjoyed Knives Out, and everything that can be argued is a plot hole in the movie is elegantly addressed by not addressing it. Make sense of it, those who will. It’s almost like he has learned from his previously work, and become a better storyteller.
Nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

Ad Astra
A mishmash of elements from better movies. And really stupid action sequences. What a waste.
Nominated for Best Achievement in Sound Mixing.

Ford V Ferrari
Competent. An old fashioned entertaining movie, that doesn’t stay with you a very long time after walking out of the cinema. Nothing wrong with that, I guess.
Nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing.

Marriage Story
Really good, and not too somber considering the subject matter.
Nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Scarlett Johansson), Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Adam Driver), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Laura Dern), Best Original Screenplay, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)

The Irishman
I have never been a big fan of Scorsese’s gangster movies. It just isn’t my thing. The movie I have enjoyed the most is Casino. I was never bored during The Irishman’s long runtime, but I never got fully engaged either.
Nominated for Best Achievement in Directing, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Al Pacino), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Joe Pesci), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Production Design, Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Visual Effects, Best Motion Picture of the Year.

The Lighthouse
Loved it, loved it, loved it. Was hooked from the first second. I am very glad the great cinematography got nominated, but Dafoe should have been nominated too.
Nominated for Best Achievement in Cinematography.

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