2019 Awards Season Off To Rocky Start

Jack Julow, Writer

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It’s beginning to look a lot more like awards season in Hollywood. As the summer blockbuster season has left audiences wowed with Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and box-office juggernaut Avengers: Infinity War, we return to October horror with a sprinkle of award-hopeful films. However, it is important to begin dissecting which films will be frontrunners at the upcoming Academy Awards and which films stumbled during their rollouts.

Now it is time to begin our early Oscar ballots.

A Star Is Born so far seems to be the only frontrunner at the moment that will make it to February when the Academy Awards are handed out. Starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, the duo have achieved respectable box-office success, a Billboard approved soundtrack, and glowing reviews from the festival circuit. I fell in love with the movie and cried heavily throughout the credits until the cleaning crew politely asked me to leave the theater. Lady Gaga is perfectly cast, and Bradley Cooper’s debut directorial effort is so full of win that both critics and audiences are rejoicing this film. The 2018 version of the classic tale easily makes the best rendition of the tragic story, yet the only thing that can hold it back could be Cooper’s potential showboating.

Coming out a weekend later, First Man fails to take flight. Damian Chazelle, director of the amazing La La Land and Whiplash, drops the ball with the Ryan Gosling-led biopic of Neil Armstrong. I had the privilege to waste money purchasing a ticket to see a showing in IMAX and was left severely disappointed. First Man’s marketing promises a grand epic recounting the Space Race, yet Chazelle chooses to make a very small story that lacks the ambition of previous awards outing by the new director. Claire Foy (from Netflix’s The Crown) tries everything to save the film in an unevenly written part acting opposite the wooden board of emotion played by Gosling. While I did tear up in the emotional climax, the best moments from the film are fictional and short-lived, which will make this film forgotten about in the main awards, so expect to see it nominated for visual effects and sound editing.

Jonah Hill, like Bradley Cooper, makes his directorial debut with Mid90s. I recently saw Mid90s and it was quite enjoyable, yet its themes and relatively unknown cast will probably shut it out from Oscar talk for the time being. You should expect Mid90s to do very well at the Independent Spirit Awards, though.

Oscar season is yet to materialize fully until December, a Christmas present for critics and other Hollywood press. The films to look out for in the coming months are If Beale Street Could Talk, Roma, Widows, Vox Lux, Green Book, The Favourite, and Suspiria. So get ready, awards season is about to get really exciting.

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